Travel

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 + Our Travel Plans

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

2019 is already in full swing, and there are endless destinations to visit and explore. If you are like me, you have a mile long bucket list of places to visit, so I know how hard it can be to choose… One way to help narrow down your choice is to look for the current trendy/happening places online! The list below is a combination of destinations that we have either traveled to or plan to this year. I hope that the following list inspires you!

Knowing that we’re a family who loves to travel, people are always asking us about our upcoming travel plans. So before getting to the list of ’10 Best’, I thought it would be great to share with you the locations we have visited and/or plan to later this year. Our 2019 travel plans are not complete yet, but the list below will give you an idea of what we are up to… I’ll start with my list first and then some of the places my parents are planning to visit.

Emma:

  • January: I went to Thailand for 3 weeks with my best friend Maddy. We went to: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Ko Samui, Koh Phagnan.. we loved every minute.
  • February: I went to Cabo San Lucas for the weekend with my boyfriend! We had a blast and this was a total last minute trip so we really enjoyed it.
  • March: I went to Barcelona with my boyfriend for 8 days. We booked this back in September when we found a flight for $300 RT. I will definitely be posting a travel guide soon – it’s one of my favorite cities ever!
  • May: I was invited to go to Portland for the weekend with my boyfriend and his family for a little vacation. I am really excited to see a little bit of Oregon, as this will be my first time visiting. :)
  • July 31-August: For 3 weeks I will be backpacking Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala! This will be the first big trip that I will be truly ‘backpacking’ and staying in hostels every night but I am really excited. I’ll share trip preparations and more of my itinerary closer.
  • December: HAWAII! We are heading to Oahu with our entire family and we are thrilled. Zach, my parents, my aunt Betsy and Jon, my cousins and my Nana & Uncle Rob are all heading down for a fun warm vacation.

Kristy/Jeff

  • April-May: At the end of April through the beginning of May they will be taking a Windstar Cruise from Barcelona through Rome! They are so excited as it’s their first cruise ever and they love this area of Europe.
  • December: Oahu, Hawaii with the family!
  • Many more to come, we haven’t planned everything out for them yet!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. ;) The 10 best places to visit in 2019 (In our opinion) are…

#1. Barcelona!

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

photo via Icing & Glitter

Obviously we both are EXTREMELY excited about Barcelona this year (we are both visiting.. so crazy!) and have both booked separate trips to Barcelona. I was here for 8 days and – newsflash: I LOVE SPAIN. The people are amazing, the tapas is fantastic, there are lots of inexpensive roundtrip flights from the west coast of the U.S. right now and we both found an abundance of inexpensive yet gorgeous hotels as options to stay at.

There are so many things to do from food tours, soccer games (Zach and I saw two of them!), exploring rooftop bars, cooking classes, amazing architecture, history, cava (Spain’s version of champagne) , great nightlife… the list goes on and on. It has quickly become one of my favorite cities in Europe and I know you’ll love it too!

#2. Hawaii

Ok I know this isn’t technically international or foreign BUT it’s one of our favorite places ever. The reason why I listed it as a top place to visit this year is because Southwest now flies to Oahu, the big island and Maui. Yep. And some of the flights are insanely inexpensive! Take advantage of their new cheap flights (especially from the west coast) to some of the most popular cities.

We are a family who loves Hawaii and visits the islands as often as possible. Multiple family members even live on Oahu and Kona. It’s a place that means the world to us.

Click here to see my Maui Travel Diary & here for our Maui Travel Guide.

#3. Greece

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Greece means the world to my Mom. She lived in Athens for a few years while she was growing up and she truly loves being in this special place. She visits whenever she can and loves it more every time.

It’s popular for so many reasons.. it’s ancient history, the islands with their gorgeous beaches, the incredible cuisine, kind-hearted people and stunning resorts. What more could you ask for?

My mom’s favorite place? Mykonos.

Click here to see her Mykonos travel guide.

#4. Thailand

I visited Thailand this year for the first time and it took my breath away. It is known as “The Land of Smiles” but only after I was there for 3 weeks did I truly understand why. The people, this place.. it’s life-changing.

I know this may sound dramatic but it’s true – ask my best friend Maddy. :) When we visited this January we encountered some of the most kind, generous and loving people who helped us so much over our journey.

It is also one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and inexpensive to boot. If you have never visited – you NEED to visit Thailand. It is truly spectacular.

Click here to see my Bangkok Thailand travel guide.

#5. Napa, California

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Need a weekend getaway in the U.S? Look no further. This destination will stun you with it’s natural beauty and delicious wine. We love visiting the wine country – it’s a quick 1 hour drive for us and we try to go as often as possible. We recommend that you plan a trip here to try experiencing the wine tasting in one of the world’s best regions, the spa treatments at some of the most incredible resorts and even antiquing.. It’s a very special place that we love.

Click here to see our Napa travel guide.

#6. Florence

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Florence is a city we love for so many reasons. It’s not too big, not too small – it’s what you might call just right. Famous renaissance art is everywhere you turn and the architecture is incredible. Michalangeo’s David is here, and so much more history that is awe-inspiring.

It has a very romantic feel with little cobblestone streets, sunset watching over the river, and incredible views of Tuscany from every Duomo outlook.

All 4 of us love it, and it’s our favorite city in Italy.

#7. Cabo San Lucas

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Some of you may be surprised that to find Cabo on our list but there are so many reasons why we love it.

First of all, it is relatively close to the U.S. so flights are usually ridiculous. Secondly – there are so many things to do here: whale watching from a private sail cruise, snorkeling, sunset dining, shopping, eating incredible food, massages on the beach, getting to know the sweet Mexican people and more! Zach and I just returned from a weekend getaway which has us buzzing over how much fun we had.

#8. Singapore

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Image via The Blonde Abroad

If you haven’t read or seen the movie, “Crazy Rich Asians” you need to watch it right now.. It sparked a Singapore travel buzz in 2018 that had everyone wanting to experience this beautiful island. People became enamored with the rich and famous from the movie and it made me want to go back again.

We actually visited Singapore back in 2005 as a family when my dad had to visit for work.It was my Mom’s and my first time in Asia (I was 10) and we LOVED it every minute there. The city is immaculate, the shopping is top-notch, the food is delicious and there are so many fun sites to see including the butterfly garden, the historic Raffles hotel, the gardens by the bay and more! An added plus? Singapore Airlines has many flights to and from the U.S. – and they have the best service, even in economy.

#9. Ireland

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

It’s the luck of the Irish! One of my favorite places I’ve ever been, and I’ve only visited Dublin. The kindness and friendliness of the people in Ireland are unlike anywhere I have ever been. (except the Thai) I regretted not staying and traveling around the country longer!

There is so much beauty to be seen throughout the countryside along with history to explore; including game of thrones film sites, (If any of you are GOT nerds like me and my family.. unite!) ancient castles, tiny towns, and gorgeous road trips waiting to experince.

Also – flights to and from Ireland tend to be pretty inexpensive from the U.S!

10. Guatemala

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Tikal Ruins – photo via aladyinlondon

This unexpected country isn’t on everyone’s bucket list but I’m excited to check it out this August with friends. I’m planning a big trip to the Central American countryside in and it’s somewhere I have always wanted to visit.

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Semuc Champey – photo via Wearetravelgirls

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Antigua – photo via wearetravelgirls

Why visit Guatemala? This country has so much to explore – the incredible ruins of Tikal (Star Wars fans may recognize this spot where the Rebel Base was located), the stunning Semuc Champey – a natural bridge with turquoise swimming pools on the sides, to relaxing at Lake Atitlan – known as one of the best lakes in central america and the gorgeous city of Antigua – known for it’s colorful buildings and cobblestone streets. There is something for everyone: adventure, beauty, history, and more.

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Tikal Ruins via aladyinlondon

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

For the Star Wars nerds – Tikal Ruins aka Rebel Base

I hope you found this post helpful and interesting.. Have you planned any travel destinations for 2019 yet? Did we miss a must-visit destination for 2019 on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Make sure to save this post on Pinterest;

10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 | The hottest and greatest destinations to visit both foreign and domestic

Click here for more travel posts.

xo,

Emma

Thoughts?

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46 thoughts on “10 Best Places to Visit in 2019 + Our Travel Plans

    1. Ahh it’s definitely on our list Kelly. We actually wanted to go this year but are doing Hawaii instead. I think it’ll go on the list for next year. Thanks for reading.

      xx, Kristy

  1. Thanks for this great, very useful blog! Reading it makes me want to travel more and to the places you talk about! You are a lucky young woman to be able to travel as much as you do. I’m sure it opens up your mind and helps you appreciate the beauty of these lands, the people and the different cultures! Have fun planning your next trip! ❤️

  2. I absolutely love all the travel tips and hearing about your adventures!!! My daughter just got back from her honeymoon, 2 weeks in Thailand. She said it was, “ life changing” for her and that everyone was so wonderful!!!

  3. Come to Australia! Such a diverse country. Sun,sand,snow and desert. We are coming to your beautiful country in April. Can’t wait to explore.

    1. Hi Wendy – I DEFINITELY want to make it out to Australia. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to, as I’d rather try and make it a 3 week or longer trip due to it being SO far from the west coast of the U.S. But one day!

      And how exciting! Where are you going to in April? xx, Emma

      1. Emma you really should get to Australia. It’s only a 14 hour flight from LA to Brisbane and you’re in the most beautiful state in Australia!

  4. I live in N Wales, UK and would definitely recommend a trip to Wales and then it’s very easy to get train to London or fly up to Edinburgh and tour Scotland ( especially Fife and all the Outlander locations!)
    We’re off to the Maldives in September (Kandolhu private island) and can’t wait to do some snorkelling/ swim with wild dolphins – we’ve also been to Seychelles which was also incredible ( Praslin and Mahe) and Thailand- beautiful Koh Phangan and Koh Samui which has the cutest Airport ever!

    1. Hi Dianne,
      Definitely planning on getting to Wales one day. I’ve been to London 4 times now and love it SO much, but definitely need to get out of the city! Have so much fun in the Maldives.. jealous.
      xx, Emma

  5. Oh this will be our 3rd trip yo the US. 2 years ago we did as much of the West coast including San Francisco (my favourite). This time as much of the South as we can fit in a month with 5 days in New York at the end. A bucket list destination of mine. Can’t wait. You will definitely need at least 3 weeks in Australia for sure. Love following your adventures in the meantime x

    1. Hi Joyita,

      You can print the page out if you’d like! At the top left of your browser under ‘file’ and hit print. You can save that if you’d like. :) Or if you use Pinterest, you can pin the photo at the bottom to a board to save for later! Hope this helps.

      xx, Emma

  6. I love Barcelona also, I must go back only spent 2 days there not enough time. We started & ended a cruise on Norwegian in 2017 it’s a very similar cruise that your going on.

    1. Hi Lisa – I agree, 2 days is not enough! We spent 8 days and still feel like we could’ve spent more time there. That sounds wonderful.. I’ve heard Norwegian cruises are super nice. xx, Emma

  7. I could NOT love a post more. We are in Cali and just returned from a trip to the east coast. So inspired to get planning our next adventure. We have family in Italy so we’ve learned lots about what NOT to do when planning a big trip ?. And we do local getaways as often as we can. Your info is golden and beyond inspiring. Thanks for sharing! #happytrails!

  8. Banff, Alberta Canada .. the drive through the Columbia Icefields between Banff and Jasper is beyond spectacular.. Lake Louise as well .. it will bring tears to your eyes!
    The Amalfi Coast is also another gorgeous place to visit ..

    1. Marilena – I want to do a western canada road trip ASAP! I was actually planning to do one in April but I think I’m going to wait until summer.. :) xx

  9. The Windstar! What an amazing choice for your first cruise. We aren’t cruise ship people but we did their Tahiti trip for our 25th Anniversary in June and we STILL think about it most every day. Met amazing people we still see! And the service, food, excursions are beyond, beyond. Best ever we want to do their Greece and Amalfi Coast next. Have a ball!

  10. Hi, we’re considering a trip to Cabo, we’ll be flying from FL, quite the distance! Do you have hotel or restaurant/ shopping recommendations there? Thank you for the informative guide!

    1. Hi Paula – So exciting. I am a HUGE fan of Cabo. It’s one of my favorite places on earth (I love Mexico so much). I also happen to love Puerto Vallarta, not sure if you’ve considered that area of Mexico but it’s stunning and the beaches are great.

      Hotels in Cabo; there are endless options that I love at all price ranges. It’s good to note that I personally like staying on the peninsula around 10-15 minutes away from Cabo San Lucas because being downtown isn’t my favorite. I love the traniquility of being at the resort while I’m on property, and then when I want to have fun/head to dinner/have a day out I like taking an Uber into Cabo. It’s much more relaxing! I’ve recommended a few in each range:

      High end: Esperanza Resort – https://aubergeresorts.com/esperanza/, The Cape – https://www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/mexico/cabo-san-lucas/the-cape, The One & Only Palmilla (this one is a little further out from town but beautiful) https://www.oneandonlyresorts.com/one-and-only-palmilla-los-cabos

      Middle end – Villa La Estancia (pretty close to town!) https://cabo.villalaestancia.com/, Hilton (I LOVE this Hilton!! My fave but extremely far out from town. Worth it if you’re planning on only staying on property/heading into town once or twice) – https://www.hiltonloscabos.com/.

      Budget – Ok so this resort isn’t your stereotypical “budget resort”. (Welk Resort) It is where Zach and I stayed when we went last month. It was absolutely stunning and on an amazing area of beach. It is smaller but the pools look out over the arch and the food is great on property. It is pretty close to town and Zach and I took ubers into and out of town throughout the weekend. We loved staying here personally! https://welkresorts.com/cabo-san-lucas/

      Restaurants:
      – The Sunset Mona Lisa: This restaurant is absolutely breathtaking. Zach and I ate here on our final night in Cabo and it was so romantic and beautiful overlooking the cliffs and sunset. Truly spectacular.. a must. It’s a pre-set menu and it is pricy but there is also a champagne and oyster bar (and other drinks/appetizers!) which has the same views for less $$. Make sure to make reservations for around 5 so you can enjoy the whole sunset. https://www.sunsetmonalisa.com/

      – Los Tres Gallos: An adorable restaurant in town which has amazing food. Like.. so good Zach and I were sad to leave the restaurant good. The margaritas and queso were to die for. Live music & great atmosphere. Make reservations early in the day! https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g152515-d1778735-Reviews-Los_Tres_Gallos-Cabo_San_Lucas_Los_Cabos_Baja_California.html

      – Tacos Gardenias: for a great ‘authentic’ mexican food experience.. definitely come here. Delicious tacos! Not fancy but the food is amazing! And inexpensive. In the heart of downtown Cabo san lucas. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g152515-d1381299-Reviews-Gardenias-Cabo_San_Lucas_Los_Cabos_Baja_California.html

      – Bajo La Luna: Really cute restaurant in a courtyard with great live music and delicious food downtown! We stumbled upon it and loved it. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g152515-d9608949-Reviews-Bajo_La_Luna_Restaurant-Cabo_San_Lucas_Los_Cabos_Baja_California.html

      The shopping is throughout the town and definitely make sure to book a sailing day cruise! One of my favorite parts of my trip was the sailing.

      Hope this helps! I’m writing a full-blown Cabo guide soon for the blog that will include more details. xx, Emma

  11. Hi from the west of Ireland! I enjoyed your blog and am excited to visit more of the states in the future. It pains me to hear tourists referring to there Irish experience having only visited Dublin. The real Irish feel is truly more south and west – anywhere along the wild Atlantic way but especially County Kerry. This for me is the epitome of all things Irish and that is coming from a Mayo gal! RE: Crazy Rich Asians, I lived this movie and watched it for the first time on a work trip to Malaysia earlier this year. Turns out it’s actually primarily filmed in Malaysia not Singapore!! Places like Langkawi, Penang and Kuala Lumpur! Looking forward to reading your thoughts on your Central America backpacking experience. Chloe, all the way from Éire☘️

    1. Hi Chloe! I NEED to head back to Ireland. Zach and I fell in love when we visited Dublin and I definitely want to head back ASAP. (My whole family is Irish and my Grandma reprimanded me for not going to more places besides Dublin!) Don’t worry I’ll be heading back soon. :)

      And I definitely want to visit Malaysia soon.. When I visited Thailand I went to the southern part of the country at the Islands. Apparently a lot of the food down there is Malaysian influenced and I absolutely loved it. xx, Emma

  12. Have you considered going to Norway? I am 1/2 Norwegian and that is where my grandparents came from in the early 1900, late 1890’s. I have friends that have been and say the people can’t be more loving and accepting. I’d sure love to go some day.
    Love your top 10!

    1. Hi Crystal – I’d love to visit Norway. Our family is Norwegian as well and we’ve heard the country is absolutely stunning, especially in the North. xx, Kristy

  13. Last year we went to Norway and Denmark. What an amazing trip! Taking a cruise through the Norwegian fjords took my breath away; it was one of those once in a lifetime moments that I’ll never forget!

  14. Hi! I am from Guatemala 🇬🇹 there is a lot to explore here. Don’t forget to visit Panajachel, Cobán and Izabal. Won’t regret it!

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