This year, why not merge your New Year’s resolutions list with your bucket list? If you’ve resolved to travel more, whether it’s roaming off the beaten path or rediscovering old favourites, we’re here to help you check off those empty boxes and fulfill your travel dreams.
To get you started, here are Flight Centre’s top 10 places to travel in 2019.
1. Melbourne, Australia
Rugged and refined, Melbourne is the perfect balance of outdoor and cultural pursuits. Considered Australia’s arts and fashion epicentre, this cosmopolitan city is also a stone’s throw from breathtaking nature. A foodie destination, Melbourne is home to some of Australia’s best restaurants and coffee houses. Just beyond its urbane borders lies bountiful wildlife and local flora (which might just end up on your plate or in your wine glass.) Spectacular hiking, penguin watching, beach hopping or high-end shopping are all within reach.
Expert tip: Book an ‘uplifting’ Yarra Valley hot air balloon tour! Admire the region’s rolling hills and renowned vineyards from a bird’s eye view, touching down for a day of cellar door tastings at premium wineries.
2. Kyoto, Japan
Japan’s capital city for over 1,000 years, history runs deep in captivating Kyoto. Home to an impressive 17 World Heritage Sites, we highly recommend a full day tour to delve into Japan’s fascinating Imperial past. From the ornately gilded Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji), a Zen Buddhist temple that was originally a Shōgun’s home, to the serenely minimalist Ryoanii gardens, one of Japan’s most famous temples. Time stands still in Kyoto, but you will want to keep moving to see its many historic treasures.
Expert tip: There are hundreds of important sights in Kyoto, so to get the most out of your travels in terms of immersion, time and value, we recommend a Kyoto Perfect Full Day tour. To book, simply enlist the help of a Flight Centre Japan expert.
3. Cape Town, South Africa
This year, answer the call of the wild, in luxurious refinement. Breathtaking Cape Town tops many new year’s travel resolution lists and bucket lists for good reasons. Sip local Sauvignon Blanc and witness the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Venture to the Zambezi River to marvel at the spectacular Victoria Falls. Set your sights and camera lens on the majestic beasts of Kruger National Park. Marvel at the starry night sky and hear the roar of lions from the comfort of your luxury accommodations.
Expert tip: Treat yourself to a tour by award-winning Abercrombie & Kent’s Signature South Africa & Victoria Falls, for an exclusive and unforgettable African adventure. Don’t short-change yourself when it comes to these once-in-a-lifetime experiences; only book the best.
4. Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn may not be a recognizable destination to many, but it is one of the Baltic’s most important ports and a notable cruise ship port-of-call. You’ll do a double-take when you discover this hidden gem, as will your Instagram followers when they see your envy-inducing feed. Within the ancient walls of Tallinn’s Old Town, cafes and shops line its cobblestoned streets. Built in the 13th century, its Gothic Town Hall boasts a 64-metre tall tower, among many other landmarks and a thriving cultural hub.
Expert tip: Sail Scandinavia with Princess Cruises, visiting Oslo (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark), Stockholm (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland), St. Petersburg (Russia), & Tallinn (Estonia). A Baltic itinerary is a cruise re-imagined
5. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Far away from Bangkok’s noise and smoky breath, you’ll find Thailand’s northern jewel of Chiang Mai nestled in the fresh, green hills. Meander through enchanting night markets, relax in soothing spas, embark on sustainable travels and take a requisite Thai cooking class to recreate the delicious flavours in your kitchen when you return home. If you’ve already “been there, done that” when it comes to Thai islands and their famous beaches, 2019 is the year to explore a very different side of Thailand.
Expert tip: Stay at the five-star Chiang Mai Riverside Resort for the ultimate escape. Balancing the charm of traditional Thai design with the most modern of amenities, the Riverside defines laid-back luxury (as does its infinity pool that seemingly plunges into pristine nature.)
6. Florence, Italy
This year, experience La Dolce Vita in Florence, Italy. Whether it’s your first time to Florence or you’ve been before, the romantic charms of this millennia-old city will make any visitor’s heart flutter. As for the food, if your New Year’s resolutions are the standard lose weight, we suggest foregoing this goal until after your Italian travels, as Florentine cuisine is nothing short of heavenly.
Expert tip: Ask your Flight Centre Expert Traveller to reserve your spots on Insight’s Ultimate Italy tour. Enjoy iconic sights and cultural delights with this immersive, luxury tour operator
7. Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you’re looking to spice things up in 2019, sultry Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango, will do the trick. Literally translated to “beautiful airs” or “fair winds” this Argentinian city was originally a port town and grew into the cultural South American hub that it is today. The sumptuous home of sprawling parks and colonial architecture, mouthwatering grilled seafood restaurants and sparkling ocean, this multi-faceted jewel will delight even the most jaded of travellers.
Expert tip: For the ultimate voyage to Buenos Aires, be among the first to board the highly-anticipated Scenic Eclipse. What could be the world’s most luxurious commercial cruise ship, enjoy beautiful Buenos Aires and other must-see ports like vibrant Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dare to journey to the world’s most isolated continent, led by a team of expert guides and a keen sense of adventure. This frozen land is more than just stunning glacial vistas; prepare to be surprised by inviting thermal waters and amazed by historic vestiges frozen in time. The inhabitants of this frigid region will warm your heart—playful penguins, regal whales, majestic marine birds and charming seals and sea lions.
Expert tip: If your exploring style is more refined than renegade, you can still enjoy this frozen frontier, thanks to Celebrity Cruises’ Antarctica itinerary. Sail to Ushuaia (Argentina), Cape Horn, Antarctic Peninsula, Paradise Bay (Antarctica), Elephant Island, Port Stanley (Falkland Islands), Puerto Madryn (Argentina), & Montevideo (Uruguay.)
If inner peace and illumination are your goals for 2019, where better to visit than the Buddha’s birthplace? Travellers from around the world come to Nepal for self-reflection and awe-inspiring scenery. With the mighty Himalayas as your backdrop, align yourself with yoga, practice meditation with Buddhist monks, and support friendly local artisans. From colourful festivals and breathtaking trekking, Nepal is a blissful journey for adventure travellers and consciousness explorers alike.
Expert tip: Thanks to the new wellness tour series by G Adventures, we are in travel nirvana! Start the new year happy and healthy with their 13-day Wellness Nepal tour, originating in Kathmandu and forever remaining in your heart.
The coral atolls and decadent over-water bungalows of the Maldives are synonymous with luxury and, most would venture to say, paradise. This indulgent, idyllic archipelago floats in the warm, clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Given its exotically remote locale, this is the perfect place to get away from it all. Dive into the Maldives for endless activities and exquisite accommodations.
Expert tip: When it comes to the resplendent Maldives, it’s “go big or go home.” In other words, an overwater bungalow is truly the way to go when visiting the Maldives. You won’t regret visiting this slice of heaven by doing it properly.
Did you find yourself adding more destinations to your travel wish list? Contact an Expert Traveller today! Visit us in-store, enquire online or Live Chat with a knowledgeable consultant.