Here’s the thing about the travel: the more you do it, the more you want to do it. Travel addicts are perpetually dreaming of new places to explore or old favourites they want to revisit. One question is always on our minds: where to go next? (Especially when the possibilities seem so endless.) British Airways has answered that question with their Top 19 destinations for 2019. Their travel experts have done the scouting work for us, digging up some surprising and intriguing destinations that are guaranteed to be a very big deal in 2019—and one of them is right here in Canada.
The Sunny Getaways
In need of a gorgeous beach, turquoise waters, and sun? For Canadians, this kind of longing crops up nearly every year (it’s called February). British Airways’ list has you covered. There’s the classic island destination of Barbados where the water is calm and crazy-warm and you can dine on the catch of the day every evening. And Cancun, a longtime Mexican hotspot known for its nightlife scene, is quickly becoming a destination for culture-seekers, too. It is, afterall, the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Mayan temple Chichén Itzá.
If you’ve got a couple thousand Air Miles burning a hole in your wallet, take BA’s advice and book a trip to romantic Seychelles where there are over 100 islands to explore or go down under to sunny Sydney where you can be a beach bum by day and a cosmopolitan urbanite by night.
Like Sydney, Croatia’s Dalmatian coast is a sun-seeker’s dream that also offers the option of exploring nearby cities to experience the country’s Mediterranean culture and eat delicious food. Game of Thrones fan? Check out Dubrovnik to get your epic fantasy fix.
The Adventure-Seekers’ Best Bets
Tropical, trendy, and urban, the South African city of Durban is a first-time addition to British Airway’s list. The coastal destination offers a blend of culture and culinary adventures (bonus: there’s a beach, too).
The Japanese cities of Osaka (where the unofficial slogan is ‘eat until you drop’) and Tokyo (where the ultra-modern shares space with ancient traditions on nearly every city block) should top the list for travellers who crave adventure and immersion in a culture vastly different from the west.
BA picks like the Greek island of Kos offer a trip back in time for history buffs while Marrakech and Dubai will have you posting travel photos to Instagram every 30 minutes or so (#wehearttravel).
The New European Hotspots
The insanely charming and walkable Scottish city of Edinburgh is getting the attention it deserves as a prime UK destination (Attention Harry Potter fans: this should definitely be your next vacation—you’ll feel like you’re at Hogwarts).
So is Sofia—chosen as the European Capital of Culture for 2019, its neighbouring mountain range is also a popular and inexpensive skiing spot. Got some extra vacation time? Hit two cities in one trip: live out your Sound of Music dreams in Salzburg, Austria and then hop over the border to Germany to visit Cologne’s famed chocolate museum (sweetest trip ever? We’d say so).
Finally, there’s Malta, a tiny island country that boasts “prehistoric temples, fossil-studded cliffs, hidden coves, thrilling scuba diving and a history of remarkable intensity.” If it’s a relaxed Mediterranean pace you want, this is your destination.
The North American standouts
If an intercontinental flight doesn’t fit your schedule or budget, there are a trio of cities close to home that made the list. Las Vegas remains the party capital of the continent, but there’s more to the city than casinos and all-you-can-eat buffets. A reminder from British Airways: “The Mojave Desert is a beautiful contrast right on the doorstep.”
Pittsburgh is the second American city on the list, earning its spot for a burgeoning foodie scene, a wealth of museums and galleries, and a tonne of nearby opportunities for hiking and other outdoor activities.
Canadians can also opt to leave their passports at home and head to the third North American city to make the list: Toronto. Whether you’re in search of a major league sports scene, concerts big and small, a packed schedule of arts and cultural events, or the opportunity to sample food from nearly every country in the world, Toronto is a destination with so much to offer. And don’t even get us started on the craft beer scene.