- Jessica White
Hot Destinations for 2020: My 7 Top Picks
As we enter a new decade, we are entering a wonderful time for world travel.
Whether you are looking for relaxation or adventure, read on for my top destination picks for the new year…
For white-sand beaches and crystal-clear water, many first think of Turks and Caicos or Grand Cayman, but I say you need to add another Caribbean destination to the list: the beautiful gem of Anguilla.
A favorite spot for travel advisors, Anguilla is a lesser-known island with a surprising culinary scene, incredible beaches, and a unique Caribbean culture.
Anguilla is also home to some of my favorite island resorts. Stay at the re-imagined Belmond Cap Juluca, which is simply stunning with a beachy chic vibe and warm hospitality, or the Four Seasons Anguilla, which upholds the high standards of the Four Seasons brand with excellent service and amenities.
For those seeking true relaxation in an island paradise – look no further – Anguilla has everything you need!
2. Istanbul, Turkey
Where ancient and modern worlds meet, Istanbul is a mecca of culture and history. When I visited last March, I was blown away by the colors and flavors of this city with so much to offer.
Now is a great time to go since Istanbul recently opened a brand-new airport and increased international flight routes with Turkish Airways. It is extremely easy to travel to – or an ideal city to add in as a layover stop!
Having a knowledgeable local guide is essential to bring Istanbul’s history to life, navigate the alleyways of the bazaars and understand the complexity of this fascinating city – I know the best of the best and can match you up with the perfect storyteller for your time there!
3. South Africa
Having lived in South Africa for a year, it is a country close to my heart and one of my favorite destinations, no matter what your travel interests are. There is just so much to see and do.
It is the perfect introduction trip to Africa for a first-time safari, where you can combine your visit with other fun activities and areas to explore. Head to Sabi Sands Game Reserve for optimal wildlife viewing, the Cape of Good Hope for the cutest penguins, Cape Town for a fascinating art and history lesson, or Franschhoek for fabulous wine tasting.
If you are looking for variety in your vacation – you cannot get much better than the beautiful country of South Africa. It can be a bit tricky to plan out all the logistics on your own, and there are so many options (especially when it comes to a safari), so let me help curate the perfect itinerary for you.
4. Douro Valley, Portugal
Do you love beautiful scenery, relaxing vibes, and amazing food and wine?
The Douro Valley in Portugal provides that perfect combination – and compared to many European destinations, at a much better value for your dollar.
The Douro Valley is best experienced in one of two ways: either staying at the heavenly and gorgeous Six Senses Douro Valley or by taking a river cruise through this UNESCO World Heritage site. For wine lovers, I recommend AmaWaterways’ Enticing Douro Wine Cruise as the perfect way to experience this unique wine region.
The secret is starting to get out about how fabulous Portugal is – so now is definitely the time to go!
5. The Big Island, Hawaii
The Big Island is the perfect place for those seeking a mix of adventure and relaxation (and less tourists than the more popular islands of Oahu and Maui).
With everything from helicopter rides above active volcanoes, night snorkeling with manta rays, to incredible biodiversity – it is a true paradise for nature lovers.
Beyond that, it is a great time to visit because of a couple newly renovated resorts that offer an authentic Hawaiian feel that is very different from the mega-resort complexes you find across some of the other islands. For Hawaiian hospitality and laid-back luxury, head to the completely renovated Mauna Lani. Or, for the best beach and cool midcentury modern vibes, stay at the Mauna Kea.
India is an incredibly diverse, exotic and culturally rich destination. Whether you have always dreamed of visiting the Taj Mahal, wanted to see a Bengal tiger, or just love Indian spices and flavors, India has so much to offer.
India also boasts some of the most luxurious and award-winning hotels in the world, with Indian hospitality at some of the Oberoi and Taj properties being simply legendary. We have definitely had globetrotting clients list these stays as their absolute favorites!
Now is a great time to go because there are so many areas to explore that are widely still untouched by tourists, and at a great value for your dollar. Whether you go for one of India’s famous festivals, or to explore its many treasures, India is sure to surprise and delight.
India can be a bit complicated to navigate when it comes to logistics, so I can definitely help to create an itinerary and take care of all the important details to make for a seamless and once-in-a-lifetime vacation!
Ready to explore the final frontier? Heading to our 7th continent is like no other journey on earth, and with more options and new technology, now is the perfect time to visit this delicate and changing part of the world.
My recommended way to see Antarctica is definitely by expedition cruise. My favorites have the best-of-the-best experts onboard to really enrich your experience, and since passenger numbers are strictly limited in the region – you get a truly intimate adventure experience.
The new Lindblad Endurance offers a winning combination of luxury, National Geographic perks, and new technology to control the ship’s movement, making it one of my top ships sailing the seas. All ships are small, and with a short season book up very quickly, so make sure to plan with lots of time in advance!
Well, there you have it folks – my top picks to add to your list this year!
Now let’s get to the fun part and start planning to make your travel dreams a reality in 2020.