Are you still working on your 2019 travel wishlist? Maybe you are a last minute kind of person, so won’t actually decide until weeks before your trip. Or maybe you are more like me, already working on plans for 2020! While my 2019 plans are not yet totally set in stone, here are the places topping my wish list – and a few more I’d love to squeeze in if I can.
Big Trip Number One – Europe
I plan to spend six weeks in Europe in April/May next year and the itinerary for this trip is almost locked down. Mostly we will be in and around Bavaria in Germany but I have a few more countries I am hoping to visit for the first time.
I will be flying into Brussels and I am looking forward to spending a couple of days in the city. It seems as though Brussels has changed a lot over the last few years and has reinvented itself for the tourist market. As with all European towns, I look forward to seeing the traditional old town, and enjoying the delicious food and beer. Of course there will also be some Belgian chocolate tasting happening at some point during our visit.
Luxembourg City is a convenient train ride between Brussels and Mainz in Germany where we are heading next. I therefore couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore this country for a day of two. I am hoping to hire a car and get out into the countryside, as the rolling hills and castles look beautiful. It might be too early in the year for swimming, but I will have to check out Luxembourg City’s artificial beach so see how this land-locked country enjoys the sun.
While it might be a bit rough on the budget, by now we will be road tripping and just have to spend some time admiring the beautiful Swiss Alps and lakes. I was blown away by this scenery in Austria last year and I’m really looking forward to this part of the trip. I have seen so many beautiful mountain top hikes that I could easily stay here all summer. Combine that with perfect little lakeside villages – sounds like heaven. I haven’t decided exactly where we are going to base ourselves yet, but it will likely be Interlaken or Lucerne. Let me know in the comments which one you think I should choose.
Since I am in this part of the world I should tick off this tiny country. I’m fascinated that Liechtenstein is way smaller in size than just the city I live in here in Australia. I’m curious to see if the people living here really do have a seperate identity or if they blend naturally with their neighbouring countries. (I expect they blend naturally until there is a football game on!) I am also looking forward to more beautiful alpine landscapes, castles, and some lovely hikes.
This one is a last minute inclusion. I really wanted to see Lake Bled during our gap year when we were in the area but we quickly ran out of days on our Schengen visa and just couldn’t fit it in. The small distances in Europe mean that where we will be staying in Austria we will only be a couple of hours from Bled, so I’m hoping to squeeze it in. Another beautiful European town with a lake and a castle! I can never get enough.
During this trip we will also be spending time in Germany and Austria, and possibly even duck into France. Mainz, the Black Forest, Füssen (for Neuschwanstein Castle) and Munich and on the list for Germany. In Austria we plan to spend time in Salzburg, Saalbach-Hinterglemm and Hallstat. We also have short stopovers at both Dubai and Singapore on our way to and from Europe. I have a few friends we will be catching up with along the way too, so this will be a very busy trip, but I can’t wait to get back to Europe again.
Big Trip Number Two – North America
I am looking at September for this trip, but there are still lots of variables that mean this could change. It doesn’t change the fact that these are the countries on my wish list for this trip!
The whole purpose of this trip is to visit our daughter who lives in Vancouver, Canada. I can’t JUST see her though, I will be adding in some exploring in the southwest of Canada while I am there. Of course we will check out Vancouver itself, and I plan to do some hiking around the local area. Perhaps we will head out to Victoria too. I would love to get to Banff and some of the beautiful areas in that part of Canada, but that will depend on the options below.
One of my options for this trip is to spend half the time in Canada, and half the time in Japan. I’ve been trying to get to Japan for a while now and it just hasn’t fit in with our other plans. I’d love to at least get to Tokyo and surrounding areas. I think I could probably spend weeks just there, sitting in little street stalls, nibbling on delicious Japanese food and people watching.
By USA I mean I am considering doing an Alaskan cruise! This would be my first cruise and my first time in the USA. The cruise would leave and return to Vancouver so I could spend a few days at each end with my daughter and also explore a little of the BC area.
Other Countries I’d Love to Fit Into 2019 – Somewhere!
New Zealand is always on my wish list. It’s been over three years since we were last there, so it’s about time for another visit. If some cheap airfares come up, I may jump on them. My plans for my next trip depend on the time of year. I really want to walk the Milford Track. That’s a summer activity, so we would need to go somewhere between November and March to do that. I would also like to spend some time exploring Christchurch (although I know I will be doing a little of that in 2021) and Wellington. On the North Island I also have the Coromandel Peninsula in my sights, as well as a visit to Hobbiton that I skipped when we were in the area years ago.
Iran has been on my wish list for a long time. Twice we tried to fit it into our itinerary during our gap year but we couldn’t make it happen. It’s still a little more difficult to travel in independently, but it is improving all the time, and I would like to get there before it becomes too popular. The visa for Australians is crazy expensive though at €145 each ($225AUD) so when we do go we want to make the most of our time and spend the whole 30 days there. Iran has so much history, and I just love Middle Eastern culture, architecture and food, so a visit will hopefully happen sooner rather than later.
Malaysia is by no means a new country, we have been there a few times before, including earlier this year, but I would love to spend some more time on Borneo. This is one of the last frontiers in terms of unspoiled jungle, and I want to see some of the natural wonders before it’s no longer possible. There are turtle sanctuaries, bat caves, and of course the orang-utans. I’d like to float down the Kinabatangan River and experience the thick jungle on either side.
Another repeat country, but I really loved my visit back there earlier this year and it has really left me wanting to go back yet again for more. The food alone is enough to convince me, but I also think every time I visit I find more things I want to do and experience. I’ve been to Hanoi on both my previous trips, but still feel like there is more for me there. I am finally feeling comfortable enough to really explore and experience all that it has to offer.
We did a day trip to Paradise Cave in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and that brief glimpse has made me realise there is a lot more to see here and around the DMZ area of central Vietnam. I am also yet to visit the popular tourist areas of Dalat and Nha Trang. They may not be my kind of place, but I would at least like to have a quick visit to decide that for myself.
My Australian Wishlist
As always there is so much more to see here in Australia. Here are some of the places I would like to get to in 2019
I have been to all of the Australian states except this one. The biggest one. Taking up nearly half of our country. It’s a huge oversight, and I need to take care of it. My problem is where to go. There are just so many amazing places that the choice is endless. Ideally I would like a few weeks to road trip around, heading down south to Margaret River and surrounds, then up north to Exmouth to swim with the whale sharks. How do I decide?
The Great Barrier Reef is another huge Australian attraction that I have not yet visited. A trip to Cairns for a few day in the middle of winter to escape from the cold down south could be perfect.
This town in South Australia has a Mars-like landscape and many buildings are underground to escape from the extreme heat of the area. It’s an old mining town and is full of colourful characters and tall tales. Much of the population still tinker around looking for the elusive opals that are occasionally found. This is another winter trip, and would be done as a four night road trip from Adelaide.
Another town in South Australia that is just a little bit too far for a weekend trip. I think I will need at least three nights to do this trip. Port Lincoln is best known for the tuna fishing industry that has made many of it’s residents rich. The owner of the three-times Melbourne Cup winning horse Makybe Diva made his fortune from Port Lincoln. It is also known as the place to go if you want to go cage diving with the Great White Sharks. I’m not sure I want to do that, but it would be cool to perhaps check out the local Tunarama festival or just enjoy eating some of the best seafood in the world.
So there you have it, all the places I would like to cram into my 2019 schedule. Some – like Iran – I’m not real hopeful about, but you never know exactly how things will turn out. It will be interesting to look back at the end of the year and see how many of these places I did actually get to.
What are your 2019 travel plans? Let me know in the comments below so I can start working on my 2020 list in earnest!
Looking for more ideas?
How about reading my post on Inspirational Travel Books here
Still want more? How about Lonely Planet’s 2019 Guides
Liked this post? Please share with your friends or pin for later
Josie is a forty-something budget traveller. She only discovered travel in her late thirties, but since then has travelled extensively including taking an adult gap year. She is now based in Australia and loves sharing all she has learned about travelling on a budget but with the comforts a Gen Xer requires.