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2019’s Hottest Destinations According to Trend Reports

The hottest destinations of 2019 have been forecasted by trend reports across the web, and include everything from the colorful streets of New Orleans to the lost city of Petra. For the beach inclined, Bora Bora might be on your crush list, but don’t rule out the islands of Mozambique. Or, if you’re more the city-dwelling type, you might want to head to Mexico City, Hong Kong or Berlin to get your art fix.

Whichever of the trending destinations of 2019 you decide to go with, here are a few tips from our team on when to go, what to do and where to stay.

Reporter: Alyssa Brown
1 / 24
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Japan

What’s all the buzz in Japan about? Off the top of our heads, we can list about a dozen things that are going off in Japan right now. First thing’s first. When should you visit? If you want to ski the powdery slopes of Niseko, go early in the year at peak winter. If you want to see cherry blossoms blooming in Tokyo, aim for the end of March. If you want to get in on some of the best music festivals, summer is lit. If you want to see foliage painted every which color, fall in Kyoto is a must.

July’s Fuji Rock Fest, set at the base of Mount Fuji and hailed as one of the world’s best music festivals, hasn’t released its lineup for 2019 yet but last year closed out an epic weekend with everyone from N.E.R.D. to Bob Dylan. This year marks Summer Sonic’s 20th festival, and while we haven’t heard the lineup in Tokyo or Osaka yet we’re sure the headliners will be major.

There are a couple of hotels we’re excited about that are slated to open this year. Aonoza opens in May and will have 25 lakefront suites dotted along Lake Shikotsu in Hokkaido. And the Ace Hotel brand is opening a spot in Kyoto later in the year too.
2 / 24
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Mexico City

Mexico
Kayak has named Mexico City the number one trending destination of 2019, with a whopping 73% increase in searches for travel this year. The bustling art scene led to it being named the World Design Capital in 2018. Plus, the average cost of a flight from the US to Mexico City is under $400.

Film buffs, you’ll want to check the calendar for the Ambulante Film Festival. Early February sets the stage for contemporary arts festival ZONA MACO. And for music fans, Viva Latino and Corona Capital could be your jam. Stay in one of the suites with a terrace overlooking the courtyard pool at Hotel Carlota to be in the middle of all the urban action.
3 / 24
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Atacama Desert

Chile
Known as the driest place on earth, this high altitude desert in northern Chile is a vast expanse that includes bubbling geysers, high altitude lakes, rolling sand dunes, red valleys, ancient ruins, salt plains, and so much more. The dramatic landscape is known to offer some of the best stargazing conditions in the world.

We’re thinking the best time to go this year will be somewhere around July 2nd, when a total solar eclipse will occur for 2 minutes and 18 seconds above Chile’s Elqui Valley. Stay in one of ten beautiful private adobe suites at Awasi Atacama and you’ll have access to your own 4WD and private guide so you can go out exploring the wild landscape any time you want. Or, head to the new Casa Molle Villa if you’re really into delicious food and wine being a big part of your vacation.

New Orleans

Louisiana
Surely you’ve heard about a thousand reasons to visit New Orleans, and we agree with just about all of those (as long as they include food, cocktails, music, the Saints, architecture, culture, etc.), but at the top of the list for right this very second is the Jazz Fest lineup. This year marks the city’s 50th annual Jazz and Heritage Festival and the lineup includes The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Al Green, Earth, Wind & Fire, Leon Bridges, Bonnie Raitt, Alanis Morissette, Katy Perry, Mavis Staples, and so many more than we can list.

Jazz Fest takes place from April 25th to May 5th this year and you’ll want to get right on top of the planning as soon as possible. For accommodations, check out the brand new Hotel Peter & Paul. For .25-cent martinis at lunchtime, throw on your flossiest threads and head to Commander’s Palace.
5 / 24
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Lisbon

Portugal
Kayak reports a 42% increase in travel searches to Portugal’s hilly city. Go between March to May or September to October for the best weather and to avoid high season. Stay in the old cultural quarter at Santa Clara 1728, our favorite six-suite guesthouse that dates back to the 18th century. Eat at beautiful Prado for a meal that delights all the senses. Visit the stunning Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology. There are tons of local festivals throughout the year, but the Carnival festivities from February to March are a major highlight.
Photo:troudaaa
6 / 24
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Bora Bora

French Polynesia
According to travel app Hopper, Bora Bora is officially the number one trending destination for millennials right now, with a whopping 1.2 million Instagram posts with the hashtag #borabora. We’re guessing the popularity of this French Polynesian isle has something to do with the crisp turquoise waters, meandering luxury resorts with overwater bungalows and stunning coral reefs that make for excellent diving grounds. Best time to go? Think November to April to avoid the tourists and the sweltering heat.
7 / 24
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Guadalajara

Mexico
While Mexico City is the urban arts haven most tourists flock to, it’s Guadalajara that’ll have you feeling like a local as you wander the historic streets, beautiful galleries and museums, and enjoy the culinary finds in this city. It’s no wonder the city’s seen an increase of 43% travel searches via Kayak this year. The CHROMA arts festival and the Guadalajara International Film Festival both see an influx of visitors to the city.

If you’re looking for a cool place to stay, Casa Habita, a 37-room boutique hotel in the cool Lafayette District that seamlessly blends early Art Deco architecture with a modern, collected aesthetic. As for when to go, you’ll get the best weather between October and December, and January through May are the best for snagging good travel deals.
Photo:Ammie Ngo
8 / 24
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Vietnam

The Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh has seen an increase of 49% in Kayak searches this year. While the city’s culture and nightlife make for a fascinating visit, it’s the 2,000 miles of tropical coastline most tourists are flocking to. If it’s an urban experience you’re after, check into the Fusion Suites Saigon in Ho Chi Minh and take advantage of the outdoor tubs overlooking the cityscape in the distance. If it’s luxurious seclusion calling your name, Amanoi’s villas and pavilions should be your shelter. Or, if you’re about that archipelago life and lapping up every second of treating yourself, Six Senses Con Dao makes island getaways a breeze.

Regardless of what type of holiday you choose, we’d advise to steer clear of busy Christmas, Easter and Vietnamese New Year (February), as well as October’s typhoon season in central Vietnam. Otherwise, early December is bliss.
9 / 24
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The Bahamas

According to Kayak, there’s been an increase of 45% in searches for travel to the Bahamas for 2019. Aside from the beautiful beaches and pristine waters, lots of airlines have added new flights to their schedules (hello, cheaper tickets!), and a handful of new luxury resorts have popped up.

There are 700 islands in The Bahamas, so it’s hard to say which one is the best for you, but sorting out which resorts appeals to you most is usually the easiest way to plan a trip to the area. There’s Rosewood Baha Mar if you’re looking for a private villa on a stretch of white sandy beach in Nassau. There’s Musha Cay, where you can take your evening bath outside overlooking the islands of Copperfield Bay. Or, there’s The Cove on Eleuthera, where you can opt for a daily massage before heading out for a paddle on the turquoise water.
10 / 24
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Oman

Oman’s expected to see an influx of visitors this year, arriving into the recently expanded Muscat International Airport, that’s now home to a $1.8 billion passenger terminal. Before you brush this destination aside as being too far or too scary, you should probably know that it’s actually one of the safest places in the world for tourists to travel. A word to the wise: aim for traveling between October to April for the best weather sans crazy hot heat.

Not only it is safe, but there are also plentiful opportunities to explore towering sand dunes, incredible mountain ranges, vast deserts and warm Arabian Sea waters that are filled with dolphins and turtles. If you’re looking for a glamorous place to crash, Six Senses Zighy Bay is a beautiful resort and spa set just along the Musandam Peninsula that feels like a true escape from the ordinary. Or, if you’re wanting to be more in the scene with other travelers, the beachside Kempinski Hotel Muscat is Oman's newest five-star hotel.

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11 / 24
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Hong Kong

China
Art buffs, you’ll want to head to HK during Art Basel March 29-31, when the city’s crawling with artists, art dealers and supporters of the international art festival. There’s even a rival fair that’s on at the same time, known as Art Central, which boasted attendance of over 39,000 people last year. For those more interested in seeing the city come to life for the Chinese New Year, a visit in January or early Feb should allow you to see it in all its glory. For dim sum, make a beeline to Michelin starred Tim Ho Wan. For the best plump, juicy roasted goose, head to the lineup at Kam’s Roast Goose.
12 / 24
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Petra

Jordan
Petra isn’t just the iconic backdrop from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade; it’s actually considered one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. The lost city’s ancient ruins date back to some time around the first century B.C. and were vacated around 300 A.D. following a destructive earthquake.

Petra is one of the most visited archaeological sites in the world. The Hilton, Fairmont, St. Regis, W, and Hyatt hotel chains have all opened hotels in Jordan in the last three years, but most are a few hours from the rosy red sandstone city. You’ll likely want to stay at nearby Petra Guesthouse so you don’t have far to travel after long days of walking the ruins. Spring and fall offer the best weather for sightseeing, while summer can be unbearably hot.
13 / 24
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St. Barth’s

St. Barth’s has long been a destination for the billionaire and celebrity set, drawing everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Ellen DeGeneres. Following two difficult summer seasons in 2017 and 2018 due to the damage of Hurricane Irma, the island’s resorts are looking forward to business being back to normal in 2019.

New Year’s Eve celebrations here are epic, with fireworks above Cour Vendome and the General de Gaulle docks. But if you’re looking for a spectacular local event to attend, check out the weeklong regattas in March and April that draw big sailing crowds and 80+ boats. If you’re after a glamorous, see-and-be-seen spot to stay, check out Eden Rock St. Barth’s. Or, if you’re more into a secluded oasis, check out the 14 private villas at Hotel Le Toiny.
14 / 24
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Bali

Indonesia
For those of us who follow trends in travel, Bali is the ticket that just doesn’t seem to fade in popularity. Maybe it’s the lush, tropical rice fields; maybe it’s the crystal clear waters; or maybe it’s the nonstop additions of new resorts and restaurants that keep travelers coming back for more. With the stats coming in at a 65% increase in Kayak searches for travel, we’re thinking it’s probably a mix of all of the above.

April to June and September are probably the best months for a visit that avoids peak travel time and still sits within the dry season (read: best surf and diving conditions). There are countless affordable accommodation options in Bali that’ll have even the budget traveler living like a king. But for those who appreciate ultra luxury and seclusion, you really can’t go wrong at COMO UMA Canggu, Amandari, Bulgari Resort Bali, The Slow in Canggu, The Mulia, or the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay.
15 / 24
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Paris

France
It’s hard to believe that there’s been a 41% increase in Kayak searches for Parisian travel this year, as the City of Lights is such a major travel destination, but Paris seems to be recovering from what was a bit of a drop in American tourism. Paris is its most affordable in the blustery winter months, but the best time to visit is late spring or mid fall for weather.

From visiting the Louvre to wandering Notre Dame, there are a ton of sights to see citywide. If you’re into contemporary art, don’t miss the Musee D’Orsay. If you’re into food, don’t miss nine-time Michelin starred chef Alain Ducasse’s OTT dining experience at Plaza Athénée. If you’re into shopping, don’t miss the boutiques of The Marais. If you’re into luxury resorts, don’t miss Hôtel Ritz Paris on Place Vendôme, one-time home of Coco Chanel.
16 / 24
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Maui

Hawaii
Maybe it’s got something to do with the 5.6 million #maui photos on Instagram, or maybe the trend is simply because this island offers easy access to the rest of Hawaii, but Maui is currently trending 35% higher this year than last (source: Kayak). April through May and September through November are known to be the best times to visit for decent weather and off-peak travel.

Snorkeling and diving are likely to be at the top of your to-do list here, but don’t forget to pay a visit to Haleaka National Park and see the 10,023 foot dormant volcano that towers above the island. The drive to the summit takes about two hours and you’ll want to plan a few stops along the way to dip into waterfalls and hiking trails. Not sure where to stay? Check out The Plantation House, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Hotel Wailea or Four Seasons Resort Lanai.
17 / 24
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Norway

Did you know there are over 1.2 million posts of the Northern Lights on Instagram? Maybe that has something to do with the uptick in tourism to Norway. If you’re in it for the Northern Lights, travel to Norway should be done between October and January. You won’t have much sunlight, but you can chase the Northern Lights on the clearest of very long nights. Better yet, stay at the Kirkenes Snowhotel and you may be able to spot the Northern Lights from the comfort of your own bed inside a dome-like hut that looks up at the stars.

If you’re more of a sunshine bound adventurer, summertime in Norway stuns with grassy scenes and loads of wildflowers. In this case, you’ll want to book in with Manshausen Island Resort, where you can stay in one of four sea cabins and enjoy those long summer days out on the water.
18 / 24
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Berlin

Germany
According to Berlin’s tourism board, the city is logging over 31 million overnight visitors a year, which includes playing host to over 140,000 events and conventions. That number is forecast to rise in 2019 with the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus being celebrated citywide this year. Centennial events include concerts, dance performances, art exhibitions, walking tours, workshops and more throughout the coming months.

Of course, there’s more to Berlin than art and design, as history buffs and night owls can attest. A visit to the Berlin Wall or tour of the Brandenburg Gate provide a glimpse of Berlin’s past, while Museum Island is a treasure trove of artifacts that date as far back as 6,000 years ago. The city seems to never sleep, with countless club options that extend well into every night. Summer is Berlin’s busiest tourism season, as the weather is at its best. For a slightly off-peak visit, check dates in late spring and early fall instead.
19 / 24
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Rome

Italy
Kayak’s reporting a 39% increase in travel searches for Rome this year, and average flights from America are as low as $551 in November. But what’s the best time of year to visit, you ask? Well, summer is pretty brutal for crowd battling, but spring and fall are gorgeous for weather and offer slightly less crowded sightseeing.

The city’s long been home to glamorous old hotels, but the new design hotels are what we’re most excited about, including Hotel Vilòn (former palace and home to royalty), Elizabeth Unique Hotel (with walls adorned by a local art gallery), and H’All Tailor Suite (set above Michelin-starred Ristorante all’Oro).
20 / 24
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Munich

Germany
According to Kayak, there’s been a 34% increase in searches related to traveling to Munich this year. They say the best time of year to visit is between March to May, but many of the city’s major events happen outside those months. The biggest tourist draw card is of course Oktoberfest, but springtime rival Fruhlingsfest is a nice mini version that runs from the end of April to early May. The Christmas markets that run throughout December are another great reason to visit outside the best-weather months.

Munich is also home to a thriving art scene, with the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art, Museum Brandhorst and Alte Pinakothek showcasing international collections and galleries like Weltraum, Barbara Gross Galerie and Galerie Jo van de Loo bringing in the locals. As for where to rest your head, the Louis Hotel’s Japanese style proves a peaceful stay in the heart of Old Town. Platzl Hotel is another fab find, located right in the heart of the city.
21 / 24
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Ireland

Coming in at number 6 on Hopper’s roster of destinations that’ll be hot for millennials in 2019, Dublin is seeing a surge in popularity right now. Summer is definitely the best time to visit Ireland if you’re hoping to experience sunny days and warm temps.

If you make it in the summertime, you’ll also be privy to a number of festivals that celebrate everything from local music to art, the sea and matchmaking. Bulmers Forbidden Fruit Festival in June is a big one for seeing headliners like Skepta, Mura Masa or First Aid Kit. For fans of the Electric Picnic Festival in Laois, you’ll have to scrounge hard to get access to the sold out event this year and the lineup hasn’t even been announced yet (last year was Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack, NERD, CHVRCHES, and St. Vincent, just to name a few).
22 / 24
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Savannah

Georgia
According to Savannah’s tourism board, record tourism has been on the steady rise for the past five years in the Hostess City. And with record numbers of visitors comes new hotels. The Historic District’s southern charmer, Perry Lane, opened in June 2018 followed by stylish riverfront boutique hotel, The Alida. Later this year, the JW Marriott is set to open a monstrous resort that includes multiple restaurants, six event spaces, art galleries, shops, concert halls and more in what was once an abandoned power plant on the riverfront.

As for when to go, the Savannah Music Festival takes place March 28 through April 13 and includes acts that range from brass bands to bluegrass to a gypsy violinist. Springtime is really the best time to see the city in its fully bloomed glory, just before the summer heats up. And if you’re into St. Patty’s Day parades, Savannah hosts one of the largest.
23 / 24
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Mozambique

Airbnb’s annual trend forecast sees a 160% increase in searches of Mozambique this year, with a 156% increase in bookings. With its beautiful Indian Ocean beaches, secluded island resorts, tropical mangroves and rich marine life, it’s easy to see why this coastal city is capturing the attention of many a tourist. Mozambique offers warm waters and temperate, dry days from May through November.

For a paradisiacal stay on one of the islands, we recommend making your way to &Beyond on Benguerra Island, where you’ll be surrounded by a protected marine conservation and some of the best diving sites in the world. If you’re lucky, you might find yourself swimming with manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, hawksbill turtles, or even the elusive dugongs of Africa.
24 / 24
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Houston

Texas
Lots of reasons to visit Houston this year! Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the Johnson Space Center is recreating the July 1969 control room to look exactly like it did during the Apollo 11 mission. Meanwhile, the Museum of Fine Arts is set to open its newly built roof garden, amphitheater, and public plaza. Did we mention there are 19 museums within walking distance in the Museum District and more than half are free? It’s no wonder Lonely Planet named Houston as one of the top ten places for affordable adventures in 2019.

All that, and a visit to the city’s Chinatown is a walk through culinary paradise, especially when you can’t quite make it all the way to Hong Kong. Regarding when to go, our only advice is to skip the sticky weather of July, August and September, when temps are high and hurricanes can interrupt your plans.

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