Travel in 2017 was a banner year for best holiday places to travel in a sustainable manner. It begun with the United Nations backing the movement and many industry professionals pointing their compass towards these ideals, two years later, the momentum is still growing.
Being a sustainable traveler often means embracing your power to support lesser known destinations and their economies. When certain places receive too many visitors, the quality of life for locals (and travelers, for that matter) can start to deteriorate. Popular destinations are primed to be engines of broad economic growth for countries, but as demand rises, an unequal distribution of wealth occurs along with it.
In 2018 travel was all about far-flung, unexpected experiences—and 2019 is no different. But rediscovering the world’s must-sees, delving deeper into already-trendy destinations, and visiting countries worthy (and in need) of tourism are only some of the ways to travel well this year.
Sometimes the new year is not all about novelty, and travel in 2019 will require taking another look at destinations already on your radar. Here, are our best places to travel in 2019 – whether you’re looking to adventure, or indulge in some much needed self-care. Because the world, it seems, is our oyster, and doesn’t it look delicious.
Why go now : The weather is superb; the food is out of this life and the wildlife is out of this world.
Kenya is a melting pot with an endless array of activities and destinations that promise undiluted fun. However when you google Kenya, the first thing that pops out is the fact that not only are they the world center for animal safaris and active adventure holidays, but they are also long distance runners.
If you love fun and adventure, Kenya is the ultimate spot for you.
Apart from the mentioned, you can also get a chance to practice marathon running with the world’s greatest athletes and gold medalists, on the hills of the Great Rift Valley. Try eating nyama choma with the locals, or sip wine aboard a sailing dhow on the calm waters of the Indian Ocean. Whatever your interests, you will be spoiled with choices in Kenya.
The wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara is one of the natural wonders of the world. Kenya also has many other places of world interest that are worth visiting, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Lamu, Kenya’s oldest living city. Lamu is known for being the best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. There is also the Mount Kenya Forest Reserve in Mount Kenya. Other World Heritage Sites include Fort Jesus in Mombasa, a historical monument built by the Portuguese in 1593, and the Ruins of Gedi, built in the 14th century to encourage the Arab-African trade and other unexploited gems of Kenya scenery that include the Kerio Valley escarpment – a popular destination for Paragliding.
To get all insider tips and help in planning your Kenya trip you can fill in this quick Kenya-quiz to receive a trip suggestion with what to see and do.
Why Go Now : They celebrate the new year in April. (Gives you a second chance to have a go in your new year’s resolution 🙂 )
If there is one Khmer expression everyone traveling to Cambodia should learn, it’s Sok Sabai. Literally, Sok means peace and Sabai means happiness, this expression is used to greet people, ask how they’re doing, and say goodbye.
Underneath the turbulent history, Cambodia still managed to keep its smile. A country that is home to a world wonder: Angkor Wat, an unspoiled coastline and delicious curries. The most memorable experience however will be the generous and friendly people you will meet on your way.
To help you in planning your trip you get a bunch of great tips in this blog post ‘Cambodia in 2 weeks: in search of the hidden gems”
Things to do to immerse in local life : To experience Monastery experience in Siem Reap
Why Go Now : It’s the door to the Himalayas, who doesn’t want to see that?
Following the devastating 2015 earthquake, Nepal saw many of the buildings and temples of the Kathmandu Valley reduced to rubble. Yet three years later, and the capital’s recovery means Nepal should be firmly back on your travel radar for 2019.
Known as the doorway to the Himalayas, Kathmandu is now seeing its monuments and sites restored to their former glory. The city has been designed to reduce noise and air pollution. Cars have been banned from its historic centre and motor horns banned across the entire Kathmandu Valley. There’s also reliable electricity and even WiFi. So you can enjoy some home comforts before embarking on a trek into some of the world’s highest mountains.
The capital will also be hosting the South Asian Games in 2019. But if you still need persuading, Nepal has so much more still to offer. UNESCO-listed Lumbini was the birthplace of Buddha and Pokhara boasts the beautiful Phewa Lake. And if you’re a nature lover, outstanding Chitwan National Park is home to Bengal tigers, rhinos and more local wildlife.
Things to do to immerse in local life: Cook with Rekha in her home
Why Go Now : This year marks 150 years since the birth of Gandhi, the father of the nation, making it a historic year to visit.
Because it is a must see place, first timers should plan for a stop in Agra to view the Taj Mahal at sunrise when it’s least populated (perhaps after a night spent at the Oberoi Amarvilas or the ITC Mughal) and a jaunt in Jaipur and Udaipur, with a stay at the Taj Lake Palace.
Another standout property, the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, was the site of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’ epic week-long wedding (pictured right). Aside from the celeb-approved site, head into the blue city of Jodhpur, where streets and structures of the most stunning shades make for one of the most breathtaking parts of a vast and vibrant country.
But what lands this country on our list are its lesser known destinations focused on India’s conservation efforts, like the wildlife reserves in Ranthambore and Madya Pradesh (home to the largest population of wild tigers), or the northeastern, untapped regions of Assam, Nagaland, and the Kaziranga National Park, “home to Asiatic rhinos and some of Asia’s last surviving former-headhunting tribes.”
India is a country of contrasts; along with natural wonders and wildlife reserves, brace yourself for bustling cityscapes along with the abundance of conservation efforts—and prepare for some of the most luxurious hotel experiences of your life, like the Aman-i-Khas luxury tented cap in Ranthambore.
Things to do to immerse in local life: Delhi street walk by a former street kid.
To further plan your India trip you can download one of the free travel guides full of tips.
#5 Sri Lanka
Why go now : Meditating and spending time in a monastery, maybe just what the doctor ordered.
Sri Lanka is found among or at the top of many lists when it comes to popular travel destinations. 2019 marks a decade on from the end of its civil war, perhaps a good excuse (though none is needed) to explore its 2,000-year-old culture. Discover ancient ruins, wildlife-filled national parks like Yala with everything from leopards and elephants to crocodiles and countless bird species, lush tea plantations and popular surfing spots. Or just kick back on one of the gorgeous beaches and enjoy the scenery.
Time well spent in Sri Lanka is all about balance. Spend days enjoying the surf and the country’s lush beaches, and follow up lazy days with trips to Udawalawe National Park, hikes to World’s End, and trips to the country’s endless array of historic ruins and temples.
Things to do to immerse in local life: Explore Colombo’s street food with raconteur
Why go Now : Because every traveler needs some Indonesian love sprinkled in their lives, every once in a while.
Being the largest archipelago in the world, Indonesia boosts a diverse selection of culture and natural wonders in its more than 18,000 islands. Their ancestry dates back in the 20th century when traders in the Pacific Ocean often pass by.
Kingdoms have ruled for centuries until it became a republic. This has left some of the most important archeological remnants that are being studied today. In fact, some of the first human civilization were discovered in Indonesia,thus it was named the Java Man.
The country is also recognized as one of the largest Muslim nations in the world. The songs, dances and textiles are very intricate that visitors bring them home. From temples to forests to beaches, witness wonderful Indonesia.
Things to do to immerse in local life: Cycling to visit local artisans in Yogyakarta