Travel writer and F&W's newest contributor, Nadia El Ferdaoussi, predicts the destinations we’ll all be flocking to for fun, wine and food this year.
The way we travel is constantly changing, new markets emerging, influences from Instagram and recently opened up flight routes all affect the decisions we make when it comes to our holidays. There are plenty of hot spots to add to your bucket list, but here are our top five predictions for trending places to travel in 2019.
Kaikoura, New Zealand
Following the trend for growing interest in more off-the-beaten-path destinations to explore and with a 210% year-on-year increase in searches via accommodation site Airbnb, Kaikoura on New Zealand’s South Island is growing in terms of popularity, becoming their top trending destination for 2019. The coastal town is one of the best places to visit to see jaw-dropping marine life up close, with sightings of Sperm Whales almost all year round. As the name suggests – Kai, food and Koura, crayfish – it’s also the perfect destination for seafood loving foodies. Try Nin's Bin, a seaside caravan selling fresh local crayfish and wash it down with a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Maipo Valley, Chile
Coinciding your trip with a local event is a growing theme we’re predicting will rise in 2019. What better activity to witness on your holiday than a wine harvest? Travel Local’s Wine Regions of South America trip is the perfect example. Maipo Valley is the closest wine region to Chile’s capital, Santiago, with over 7,000 acres of vineyards. Try your hand (or foot) at grape-stomping at the Vendimia Festival, a lively party that attracts thousands of visitors to the town. The trip pairs perfectly with cooking lessons and wine tastings.
Time Out Markets, U.S.
Even the way we eat and socialise is evolving and it’s influencing our travel decisions. Food halls are becoming much more popular in North America (they’re the new food trucks!), and they’re set to shape the way we travel to the USA in 2019. The success is with thanks, in part, to the likes of Time Out Market, who opened their first food hall in Lisbon in 2014, and has since brought the concept to Miami, New York, Chicago and will be opening two sites in Boston in 2019. They’re hip places to hang and usually showcase quality local produce and talent by way of chefs from popular restaurants in the areas. Check out Visit the USA for more details.
Tokyo to Kyoto, Japan
A country rapidly rising in popularity is Japan, with two global events happening in the next couple of years, making the country one of our topical hot spots. In 2019, Japan plays host to the Rugby World Cup, following on with the summer Olympics in 2020. G Adventures’ Backroads of Japan, Tokyo to Kyoto tour, now travels further off the tourist trail to Tottori and Hagi. You can also visit Nagano, located in the Japanese Alps, which was the host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Tulum, on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, has steadily been rising in popularity and has earned its place on our top trending destinations of 2019 with a little help from TUI’s direct Dublin - Cancun flights next summer. Blend your sun holiday with a hefty dose of culture with a visit to Chichen Itza, one of the New Wonders of the World. The perfect mix of history and relaxation by the Caribbean coast, exploring cenotes and having your fill of tequila and tacos.
Author: Nadia El Ferdaoussi
Dublin native, Nadia is a freelance travel writer whose plan is to wander the globe until the novelty wears off (if that ever happens). Despite travelling to exotic locations the world over, her favourite country is Ireland, “when the sun shines, there’s no better place.” Her dream job would be mystery shopping in hotels, since she has a keen eye for detail and already spends most of her time living out of a suitcase. Nadia has a new found passion for wine and is quickly moving up through the ranks in terms of wine education. Her bucket list destination? Antarctica.