Travel

10 Best Places to Visit in 2020 + Our Travel Plans

10 Best Places to Visit in 2020 + Our Travel Plans... everywhere you need to travel to this year! From Europe to Asia and everywhere in between.
10 Best Places to Visit in 2020 + Our Travel Plans... everywhere you need to travel to this year! From Europe to Asia and everywhere in between.

2020 is here & we are SO excited to start talking about travel again. As many of you may know.. we are a huge traveling family. I was a flight attendant for years & my sister and brother-in-law are both pilots. Emma is a jet-setter/travel hacker who visited 7 countries last year and Jeff’s job takes him all over the world! We are a constant on-the-go family and make it a main priority to explore new countries, visit favorite spots and more.

Last year we published a ’10 best places to visit in 2019 + our travel plans’ post & it was a major hit! We had an amazing year of travel and had so much fun. Click here to see that post.

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 the locations we are planning on visiting this year. Our 2020 travel plans are not yet complete but the list below will give you an idea of what we’re up to.

Kristy/Jeff

  • February – Jeff is going on a work trip to Ireland & London so I’ve decided to join him! (Love when I’m able to do this) I can’t wait.. it’s my first time visiting Ireland and we’re heading to Galway. Leave any comments you have on things to do there below. It will be my first time. London is always a favorite too.
  • April – Emma & I are going to visit my mom in Austin, Texas for Emma’s birthday! We love going back whenever possible. We actually lived there for a couple of years.. just a mile or two from my parents.
  • May – London again with Jeff but this time it’s for fun! My sister and her husband are going to see a show & we decided to hop on their flight with them using their passes. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to sit in first class. ;)
  • June – Europe? Yes please! We’re heading back to Europe with our neighbors/friends for a 2nd cruise! We had so much fun last year going on our first ever cruise that we decided to do it again. :) One caveat – that the cruise lines remain small and intimate. I loved the feel of only having 300 onboard our last ship. We may do a river cruise this time around..
  • July – Mexico! Family trip to Puerto Vallarta (my first time) with Emma and her boyfriend. We are going to Punta Mita and we’re all so excited.
  • September – ??? with our British friends, Carol and Nigel. A couple of years ago we met up with them in Mykonos and had a blast. We’re still trying to decide where to go this time around but at the end of the day we don’t care.. we just want to spend time catching up with them. We’ll firm everything up soon.
  • December – Maui. Jeff and I have decided to head to Maui for Christmas.. just the two of us this time. Emma and Zach are making plans to head someplace adventurous and my sister and her family will also be in the middle of a renovation so they can’t get away.

Emma

  • January – San Diego. Emma went to SD for a week with Zach for a work trip. They had so much fun seeing old college friends and eating at some of their favorite local spots.
  • February – Costa Rica! Emma is heading to CR with Zach for a week at the very end of February. She’s so excited.. she plans to share more here on the blog about the planning & packing for that trip.
  • April – Austin, Texas. This trip we’re all visiting my mom for her birthday.
  • May – Kentucky! Emma is going to KY & Ohio with Zach’s family for a bat mitzvah. She’s also hoping to squeeze in a visit with other family who lives there as well.
  • June – San Diego again. Emma LOVES this city and there are so many inexpensive flights from SF to SD that it’s hard to resist a weekend away.
  • July – Punta Mita, MX. Puerto Vallarta is one of Emma’s favorite Mexican cities so she’s excited to see Punta Mita with us. (just 40 miles north!)
  • August – ??? Emma decided that she’s going to do a solo trip abroad sometime during this month. (this time with a tour group though!) Ideas on places to go currently include Borneo, Eastern Europe, and Nordic Countries.
  • December – ??? Emma will be traveling with Zach somewhere over the holidays.. they aren’t quite sure where yet but want it to be adventurous!

10 Best Places to Visit in 2020

1. Scotland

photo via My Darling Passport

Emma has been dying to visit Scotland ever since she watched the show, Outlander. The country is so romantic and beautiful.. definitely on the top of our list. From the cities to the highlands, there is so much urban & natural beauty to be seen there. Have any of you ever been? Let us know in the comments!

2. New England in the Fall

10 Best Places to Visit in 2020 + Our Travel Plans... everywhere you need to travel to this year! From Europe to Asia and everywhere in between.

Last October Emma & I visited Vermont during prime leaf-peeping season and we absolutely loved it. We fell in love with the East Coast again and vowed we’d return this year. Hopefully we can swing another trip but this time to Maine and Rhode Island.

3. Brazil

photo via the Happy Jet Lagger

Personally, this is a place I would absolutely LOVE to visit. So many of my readers and followers on IG are from Brazil. I’m extremely curious about this lively country and would love to hear from you all what places would be fun to visit. I don’t know much about Brazil except for the fact that it’s filled with wonderful people, the Amazon jungle and the Iguazu Falls (one of the natural wonders of the worlds)

4. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

10 Best Places to Visit in 2020 + Our Travel Plans... everywhere you need to travel to this year! From Europe to Asia and everywhere in between.

Emma has been to this gorgeous city on the sea once before with Zach and they talk about it to this day. They’ve convinced us to go back with them in July & head 30 miles north to Punta Mita – which looks amazing. After researching a bit more it sounds as if it’s one of the best places in the world for relaxation! Click here to learn more about Punta Mita from Forbes, who calls Punta Mita, “The Ultimate Luxury Travel Destination”. Another plus – it’s only a 3 hour flight from the U.S!

5. Charleston

photo via Gal Meets Glam

I’ve been to the south many times – I’ve even lived in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. For some reason.. I’ve never made it to Charleston. It’s a beautiful place I’ve been dying to visit. It has a major food scene so Jeff is already on board.. I’m all about the beautiful architecture, style, and design. So many interior designers and fashionistas are from Charleston.. I can’t wait to visit.

6. Amalfi Coast

photo via Southern Curls & Pearls

This is a place I’ve been wanting to go to for years – I’m shocked I haven’t been already. I went to Capri in the 90’s but haven’t been back since.. I’d love to explore more of this area. (Especially Positano!) If you follow Caitlin Convington from Southern Curls & Pearls – she has great travel guides for this region on her blog! (Click here to see her guides).

7. Santa Barbara, California

photo via Vagabond3

One of our all-time favorite cities in the world. I used to live in Santa Barbara and Jeff & I were married there. It’s a special place to us & we love going back again + again. I definitely need to write a travel guide about this beautiful town. It’s a quick drive from LA and so quaint. There are tons of great restaurants, shops and beautiful beaches full of gorgeous sunsets. I consider SB to be one of the best spots in all of California.

8. Tokyo

gorgeous photo via Postcards from Christine

Emma has wanted to visit Tokyo & Betsy (my sister) went with her family this summer. I fell in love with her stories and descriptions of this amazing city – and now we all can’t wait to go! There is so much to do, from eating incredible food, visiting temples, hiking Mt. Fuji, and more! Japan is pretty expensive to visit though, so be aware of that before you book your trip.

9. St. Lucia

photo via Southern Curls and Pearls

Jeff and I have wanted to visit St Lucia for years now – ever since Fredrik Eklund showcased it on his show Million Dollar Listing and on his Instagram. It’s an island & tropical paradise offering beautiful mountains, crystal blue waters and stunning villas. It looks like the ultimate getaway, and we’ve been trying to plan a trip here for years. Funny enough, Caitlin Convington has also visited St. Lucia & wrote a travel guide on it. Click here to read it!

10. Austin, Texas

photo via Dashing Darling

Emma and I are heading back to Austin in April and we’re so excited! My mom and brother live in Austin, and Jeff and Emma and I lived there for a couple of years as well. We love the city & it’s the perfect weekend getaway. Amazing food, shopping, and so more fun! The Austin City Limits Music Festival is huge. Tons of lakes and spa options as well!

So that concludes our 10 best places to visit in 2020 guide + our travel plans for this year! Where are you planning to travel to this year? There are so many amazing places to go. Please share!

xo,
Kristy

Thoughts?

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38 thoughts on “10 Best Places to Visit in 2020 + Our Travel Plans

  1. i Didn’t realize you married/lived in Santa barbara! I hope you do write the travel guide for it — im going there (1st time) in a few months to celebrate my birthday!

    Loved the other ideas in your post!

  2. Great list! Charlston and the amalfi coast are tWo of my favorites. We are In travel miOde with Aiden so love seeing the rest of your list! Thanks kristy and emMa. XO

  3. Love hearing all the nice places you are visiting this year. If you visit Austin Try to vIsit silos in Waco, tx im pretty sure you would love it.

    Xo enjoy your trips!

  4. Kristy and emma Thanks for your great travel lIst!!!! So manY new places we added to Our must see places list;))
    YOu are so inspiring!!!
    Xxxxxx

  5. we went to ireland for the First time A few years ago. I highly recommend stay at the Jurys inn in Galway. Spectacular location to all the activity in town. Also, The old ground hotel in ennis was wonderful. Check out ashford castle, we didnt stay the night, but We might on ano viSit. the grounds were beautiful. HiKing the Cliffs of moheR is a must.

  6. Kristy this was so much fun to read. As I mentioned in your IG post my husband and I love traveling together. Last year we traveled to Scotland and fell in love. We can’t wait to go back. And when we got back we watched Outlander.

    A few years ago we went to Charleston and had the best time. We hope to go back again. Three restaurants we lOved: Poogan’s smoked house, MagnolIa, and Figs (food is good…we had to sit at the bar because it was comPletely booked…i guess people call ahead to make reservations here aNd at Magnolia.)

    We are going to be in SB later next month and I would love to know the good home stores and boutiques to go to. Or any “musts” as This is our first time visiting.

    Happy travels KristY.

    XO elizabeth

    1. Hi Elizabeth – Aww sounds like so much fun you two. Thanks for the tips! We can’t wait until we visit Charleston. :)

      Regarding SB – you’re going to have so much fun! Definitely make sure to explore the “Funk zone” which has adorable wine bars, home decor shops, and restaurants. Eat at “Santo Mezcal” – the food is amazing! Also, Brophy Bros is a great and unassuming spot on the water to grab some seafood. Loquita is a yummy tapas spot. Where are you staying? We love the Hilton! Enjoy xx

  7. I’m from Scotland and actually grew up only 5 miles from where they filmed a lot of Outlander in First series ( in Falkland , Fife) !… you can now take Outlander tours round the locations- so many BEAUTIFUL plaCes to VISIT .. edinburgh is DEFINITELY wOrth a VISIT- they filmed a lot of series 2 in the part of The Royal Mile, just behind the halls of residence where my daughter was living in when she was a student at Edinburgh University ….and thats when I first heard of Outlander and have been hooked ever since!

  8. I AM HEADING TO SAN DIEGO AT THE END OF JANUARY FOR A WORK CONFERENCE AND MY HUSBAND IS JOINING ME FOR THE WEEKEND. PLEASE SHARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT AND FAVORITE THINGS TO SEE AND DO.

    1. Hi Tara – Have SO much fun. I live in San Diego for years and love it so much.. it has a special piece of my heart. Are you staying Downtown/ in the Gaslamp? Please make sure to go to “Little Italy” right near downtown and eat at the hot spots.. (Barbusa is one of our favorites! Also, Bencotto is another amazing place for Italian) We also love to go to Cafe Seville for dancing & tapas.. it’s right in the heart of the gaslamp and it’s a fun spot on the weekend.

      Lola 55 is located in the East Village and it has great tacos. Sushi Deli is a classic san diego sushi spot that is always good and inexpensive.

      Are you going to have a car? San Diego can be a bit spread out but there are incredible places to eat and explore. If you like thai food – one of the best places I’ve ever eaten at (and ate there multiple times per week when I lived in San Diego) was Bahn Thai located in University Heights. It’s a short uber right but the food is incredible and always busy.

      Not sure if you’re going to make it up to La Jolla, but there are so many wonderful spots & shopping by La Jolla cove.

      Hope this helps!! XX, Emma

  9. Heading to Santa Barbara for the first time next week. RealLy looking FORWARD to it. Im So glad it is one of yOur favorite places as i WASN’T Sure What to expect.

  10. Charleston is a must! Beautiful and very quaint! Fabulous restaurants. You wont be disAppointed! Spring/fall is best time to go. Summer is super hot/humID.

  11. You will love Charleston. We went there for our 30th Anniversary. We anticipate on going back many more times. It reminds me of Old World Europe – BEAUTIFUL city and friendly people.

  12. I love all the places you are going to and have picked. May I add that you look into turks and caicos someday. I have been all over the caribbean from the North caribbean to the south caribbean and i have found the islands of turks and caicos to be my favorite and imo the most beautiful. The people are lovely, friendly, helpful & beautiful. I can’t recommend it enough! (but stay in a luxury rental home on the ocean or at a resort such as the shore club).

  13. MY HUSBAND AND I WENT TO SCOTLAND LAST FALL, WE FLEW INTO GLASGOW, THE SECOND DAY WE WENT TO INVERNESS AND SPENT THE NIGHT THERE BEFORE VISITING CULLODEN. THERE ARE STONES NEAR CULLODEN WHICH WE VISITED BUT NOT QUITE LIKE THE ONES CLAIRE WENT THROUGH IN OUTLANDER. We then spent a few days in Edinburgh, before heading to Ireland. Scotland is a Beautiful country, we will certainly be returing!

  14. Come to Australia !!!!
    Our Eastern coaStline is spectaCular. Dont bElieve the Negativity anout the fires , wE are a big country Come and see us!!!! 🇦🇺

  15. It would be fun to explore Northern California on the coast. There are so many fun things to do and so much beauty! Some of the world’s largest redwoods are in Humboldt County :)

  16. When you come to Charleston you have to let me know. I live in downtown Charleston right in the middle of all the wonderful restaurants & beautiful architecture.

  17. This all looks so exciting!!! I’m so mad at myself for not staying in the travel industry after mY divorce. I did CORPORATE travel for quite a few years and lOved it! If I would have stayed I could be doing these trips like this by now! You are so lucky! 😊

    1. You will love Ireland I’ve been following you for ages now Kirsty…The G Hotel in Galway is COOL….Of course so is Dromoland Castle and Ashford Castle depending on budget… ☘☘☘

  18. Hi Kristy
    You’re going to one if the best cities in ireland!! Galway is fab. Lots to di and see there. The city is small and easy to walk around great pubs with a lot if trad music playing at nite. If you could get to the cliffs of moher from there it’s amazing. Enjoy

  19. While y in Galway, day trip to Ashford Castle and we also loved the Burren Perfumer which we went to on the way to the Cliffs of MoHer. SCOTLAND is amazing (we go all over the world) and I hope you get there soon 😊

  20. Love your stories Kristy of Travels! My daughter Amy has been dating a wonderful guy now for 9 months and hes an avid Adventurer in travel and EXTREME water sports. They have been on FABULOUS trips and i’D suggest them all. JAMAICA was one and They stayed at “Rock House ReSort” UNREAL and SPECTACULAR tHe water is So crystal clear & TURQUOISE blue and great for SNORKELING. The rooms are out of this world!
    Then they went to pueto Rico, that was Very cool mostly for surfing. They just got Back from an 8 day trip to “Tortolas” And this was dreamy and secluded and complete paraDise. Nothing like it in the world! The only thing is its not a resort type of Island, very safe, but There may be only a couple resorts after hurricane Irma sadly. But they stay in air B&B
    Curious if YOU’VE been or heard of “Tortolas”? Id love to go! And i hope to travel to some of your favorite placeS YOU’VE been to and loved. Looking forward to all your trip and stories Kristy in 2020! Enjoy and safe travels

  21. Hi Kristy,
    You will love galway Im from Ireland have been following you a long time. Galway is one of my favourite places to visit in ireland we go at lwast twice a year its a 2 hour drive for us but we love it. Great buzz brilliant music and the nicest pints of guinness too! If you can take a day trip out to the aran islands you will see it advertised everywhere its beautiful i even think you can rent bikes out there too somwthing im sure the two of you will enjoy. Have a great trip love following you guys xx

  22. While in Galway, you must take An excursion to the ArAn islands! Ferry or plane… i did the plane with my now 27year old son while he was stud in Ireland!
    Also the cliffs of mober and Doolin!

    We trave to SCOTLAND two years ago bc we too are outlander fans! I have great tour guide for day trips to see lots of outlander spots, hotels and must see ideas if you need
    #travelingtheworldwithdukeandkaren

  23. Shop street in galway, Walk out to salthill promonade and beach. Bring warm coats, hats and scarves though! All the connemara coast is beautiful. You could get ferry to the aran islands, they only speak irish theRe ! The front door pub in Galway is Great for drinks as is 56 central for brunch or lunch. Enjoy your trip!

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