This January, escape the widespread wintry cold in most of the U.S. and head to Puerto Rico. A trip here supports the island’s tourist industry, which in turn helps hurricane-relief efforts as Puerto Rico continues to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. If that isn’t reason enough, Hamilton, the world-famous musical, has special shows at the Luis A. Ferre Performing Arts Center (Bellas Artes) from January 12th to 27th, starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, whom has Puerto Rican roots.
Yes, it’s cold, but Canadians embrace this fact of life with wonderful winter festivals in February. Head to Nova Scotia for the annual Lobster Crawl that kicks off on the first of the month, or to Newfoundland and Labrador for the Mid-Winter Bivver, a snowmobile and culinary festival. Quebec City’s famous Winter Carnival, now in its 65th year, will also be held this month, featuring an ice canoe race and night parades. And another province, New Brunswick, hosts its restaurant week, Chop Chop, at the end of the month in the popular city of Saint John.
Trinidad and Tobago
For a warm-weather carnival destination, Trinidad and Tobago is one of the best places to travel in 2019 for March. The first full week of the month is the island’s biggest party in the capital, Port of Spain. Typical of other Caribbean Carnivals, the festival always starts just before Lent and is a time to celebrate culture and indulgence.
Head to one of the U.S.’s emerging destinations before the hot summer months. Underrated and less crowded than its Southwest neighbor, Arizona, New Mexico is full of surprises—despite its desert location, the state has a monsoon season (summer) but also gets snow. Its two main cities, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, are only an hour apart and offer a variety of experiences, from fine dining at one of the top 10 restaurants in the U.S., Geronimo, to gorgeous (but not too crowded) national landmarks like White Sands and Tent Rocks.
From its culinary cities to a world-renowned national park, Maine is a popular New England summer destination but is getting more and more crowded. Head to Vacationland in May instead and avoid the crowds; while the weather is milder, you can get lucky with warmer temps towards the end of the moth.
June 6th marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy. To honor fallen soldiers and to commemorate the world-changing event, Normandy will host events all summer long, including fireworks displays, airdrops, concerts, giant picnics, concerts, and military parades. Daks Over Normandy, a reenactment of the event, will take place on June 5th; 250 men and women will fly across the English Channel and parachute into Normandy.
Chile and Argentina
South America will see its own solar eclipse this year, with the path of totality marked just south of Buenos Aires. The event occurs on July 2nd and is the perfect excuse to plan a trip to the region this month. SA Expeditions, a travel company that arranges tours to the region, recommends three spots for the solar eclipse in 2019: Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Elqui Valley, Chile; and Mendoza, Argentina.
Summer 2019 brings the much-anticipated opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. While the attraction could see record-breaking attendance numbers, August might be your best bet for fewer crowds as hotter temperatures hit Southern California and the initial hype begins to wear off.
After a year of increasing popularity, Portugal may no longer be Europe’s best-kept secret—but its colorful palaces, historic towns, and fertile vineyards still deserve a spot on your bucket list. Visit in September for pleasant weather just about everywhere. Start in the country’s heart, Lisbon, and then travel to the wine region around Porto or the beaches of the Algarve.
Spend Halloween with werewolves, haunted castles, and, yes, Count Dracula in Transylvania. Intrepid Travel’s Halloween in Transylvania tour takes you to the vampire’s birthplace, as well as other must-see Romanian stops like a traditional Saxon village, Biertan, and the capital, Bucharest.
Tourism to Germany is on the rise from years past and Berlin is a surprisingly affordable metropolitan destination with famous art, food and drink, and nightlife offerings. November 9th marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which divided West and East Germany for 28 years. The city will mark this momentous event with museum exhibits, concerts, performances, and even bike tours that run the length of the original wall. While recognitions and events last throughout the year, November is the most significant time to visit in 2019.
While currency exchange rates are impossible to predict—especially given the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit—the U.S. dollar is currently enjoying some of its strongest-ever rates against the British pound. Book early to take advantage of the savings and celebrate the holidays in England, Scotland, or Wales. It’s hard to compare other cities to London’s cultural blend of old-fashioned Victorian and modern-day glamour, which is especially celebrated during the Christmas season. Or cozy up in the countryside of the Cotswolds when the weather gets wet. Up in Scotland, Edinburgh hosts popular winter festivals and markets, while Wales’ landscape is arguably at its best under a light dusting of snow.