In 2019, it's safe to say you're more likely to select your next travel destination and plan the trip based on Instagram photos and blogger recommendations than by turning to a traditional travel agency (and for good reason). Thanks to Instagram, Pinterest, and other forms of social media, endless travel inspiration is never too hard to find. Not only can you live vicariously through your favorite travel bloggers, but you can also legitimately plan a vacation based on their favorite destinations and must-visit stops to check out while you're there.
In the spirit of making new plans for the New Year, we tapped a few travel influencers for their take on where to go in 2019. While they've logged more miles than most, there are some destinations even these globetrotters would like to return to for a second trip. Ahead, find out the one spot 14 different travel pros have already visited but are dying to go back to (and their recommendations for where to eat, sleep, and play while you're there). From major cities like Paris and Florence to lesser-known islands of the coast of Spain and Italy, these are the best travel destinations of 2019.
The Destination: Italy
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "I was only there for four days, and to me, that was just a tease. I would like to spend at least one month in Italy and tour around different cities. I have always been attracted to the Italian culture and the beautiful, romantic sceneries."
How to Experience It: "I now understand after visiting the Duomo why we hear the saying "Rome wasn't built in a day," because words or photos can never explain how beautifully detailed the Duomo di Milano is. Another is the Ceresio 7 restaurant, which has a really nice poolside, not to mention the food! I also had a great time shopping at the Galleria Vittirio Emanuele II; the architecture is phenomenal. Last is the Armani/Silos museum, where all of Giorgio Armani's designs are displayed. As a lover of fashion, this was absolutely wonderful."
The Destination: Croatia
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "I recently spent a week sailing down the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia with Sunsail, and it was nothing short of magical. Every single view was like a postcard. The boat would round a corner into a little inlet or pull up to a tiny town's dock, and I'd literally be breathless. The water is a color I've never really seen before. It was like a mood ring that morphed between dark azure to bright turquoise, depending on the sun. I travel about 75% to 85% of the time for work during any given month, and this was the first time I truly felt at peace in a very long time."
How to Experience It: "Konoba Kotin in Milna was my absolute favorite dining experience on this trip. It's got the stamp of approval from the local crowd, which is always a plus."
The Destination: Japan
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "There's so much to explore in this country, and every season you visit brings a whole different perspective to the city. There's a lot going on during cherry-blossom season and the autumn season."
How to Experience It: "I love Kawaguchiko—lots of people do this area as a day trip, but I would definitely recommend staying at least one night so you can fully enjoy the area and thoroughly explore it. Plus, it's a beautiful place to view Fujisan from, so staying extra days increases your chances of seeing [the mountain]."
The Destination: Florence, Italy
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "There's a romance to the city that gives you a sense of discovery, but at the same time, familiarity. Beautiful historical buildings and delicious food aside, it's so close to so many neighboring cities and also the breathtaking Tuscany countryside."
How to Experience It: "The Duomo and Ponte Vecchio are obvious choices; however, as a fashion lover, I'd say you must also visit Museo Gucci. There is also a really nice café and restaurant inside. For accommodations, stay at the Four Seasons Firenze; it's like sleeping in a museum. La Ménagère is a super-cute café/home goods store and flower shop. Go to All' Antico Vinaio for the best €5 sandwiches, Gelatoteca Santa Trinita for rich and creamy gelato, and Ditta Artigianale for really good coffee."
The Destination: Favignana, Italy
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "I fell madly and deeply in love with Favignana last summer. It's such a special little island because it's totally off the standard tourist path, and it's mainly frequented by Italians only. It's laid-back and rugged. It's also pretty small, which makes it super easy to get around on by bike. The water is the most unbelievably turquoise water I've ever seen, and there are plenty of hidden beaches and coves to explore."
How to Experience It: "Book a room at the beautiful French-style boutique hotel Dimora Cala del Pozzo. The design is perfect—simple and rustic, with beautiful antiques and interesting finds. Ride your bike to the Cave Bianche Hotel for lunch one day. It sits inside a limestone quarry of more than 3000 square meters surrounded by citrus trees, manicured lawns, and an impressive pool. Biking around the island is the best way to explore its endless hidden coves. Don't miss the island's most popular swimming spots—Cala Azzurra and Cala Rossa—for the dramatic and picturesque setting along the rocky coastline."
The Destination: Tulum, Mexico
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "I love Tulum so much because you get all the beautiful beaches and seafood you could ever want without the crowds or mega-resort craziness you get in spots like Cancun."
How to Experience It: "I highly recommend staying at Piedra Escondida. It's very private, the beach is stunning, the food is exquisite, and they'll treat you like family! For adventures outside of the hotel, I suggest you venture out to the cenotes—it's a unique and magical experience. There are multiple cenotes, but the most famous is Dos Ojos. I also really enjoyed the open-air Nicte-Ha cenote. Head to Tacos la Chiapaneca for an authentic and affordable lunch, and then visit the trendy and magical garden at Cenzontle for a nice candlelit dinner."
The Destination: Kyoto, Japan
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "For me, it's the vibrant culture and care around preserving the arts. There's an admiration for things created well and a life lived with passion and dedication—Kyoto exudes an energy that I've never experienced before."
How to Experience It: "While visiting Kyoto, a sunrise walk in the bamboo groves of Arashiyama is moving (get there super early to beat the crowds.) My favorite and much quieter of the over 1600 temples in Kyoto was Honen-in Temple near the Philosopher's Walk. For restaurants, Chao Chao Sanjo Kiyamachi is worth the wait for incredible gyoza. To get a taste of the elevated and traditional Kyoto, book a room at the Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. Be sure to dine at least once downstairs at Kaiseki Mizuki for an elegant kaiseki experience."
The Destination: Mallorca, Spain
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "The minute I stepped foot in Mallorca for the first time, I fell instantly in love. It's truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. The island is quite large and the landscape varies depending on where you are on the island. The south side has a sort of desert-like feel and some of the best beaches I've ever been to. The north side has charming hillside towns, over 300-year-old olive groves, and dramatic cliffs."
How to Experience It: "Make sure to have lunch at Ca's Patro March in Cala Deià, drive through the Serra de Tramuntana to the Formentor lighthouse, lay on the beach, and sip sangria at Cala Llombards. Or even better, go on a weeklong retreat with Espanolita Trips. The hosts, Carmen and Deborah, will show you what makes Mallorca so special."
The Destination: New Orleans, Louisiana
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "The city has an incredibly unique history due to the fact that it existed under French, Spanish, and U.S. rule in the course of the last 300 years. Each of these cultures is alive and well in the city, and can still be seen in the architecture, food, and population makeup. Despite its tumultuous history, the city remains vibrant and welcoming, like a warm embrace from an old friend."
How to Experience It: "The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery is my go-to hotel in the Crescent City because it so beautifully blends the city's rich history and architecture with midcentury-modern decor. It also has one of my favorite restaurants and bars, Compère Lapin, on site. Thanks to the talented bartenders, the cocktails at Compère Lapin are the best I have ever had. I also adore Sac-a-Lait for its delicious ever-changing farm-to-table menu, and Sylvain when I'm looking for an intimate dining experience."
The Destination: Marrakesh, Morocco
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "It has the best of everything—strong culture, amazing food, friendly people, and plenty of amazing shopping!"
The Destination: Bora Bora
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "Bora Bora is unlike any other place in the world. The blueness of the water is candy-like, its lush greenery and mountains look like screen savers, and it's tucked away from the rest of the world. It's surreal. You truly feel lost in paradise in the best way possible."
How to Experience It: "The Conrad Bora Bora Nui is the absolute must-stay spot. With its tropical overwater bungalows, posh infinite pools, and endless sweeping views, premier luxury is merely an understatement. Fun fact: I later realized this is the exact same resort where Kim K. lost her diamond earrings in that infamous episode of KUWTK, so it's also a pop culture landmark!"
The Destination: Paris, France
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "Paris is the first European city we 'lived' in as a family. Last year we sold all of our belongings, took on a nomadic lifestyle, and lived in numerous cities for a month each. Our first stop was Paris, and I'm not lying when I say we certainly weren't ready to leave when our time there was up. It's everything we romanticized it to be and more. The architecture, the food, the wine, and every little detail has my husband and I making plans for our move when we're no longer raising little ones!"
How to Experience It: "You can't miss the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, the Sacré-Cœur, the Tuileries Garden, or Notre-Dame, but there truly is beauty around every corner. We loved seeing the sights, but our best memories in Paris were spent walking endlessly, enjoying meats and cheeses at a park, or enjoying a glass of wine on one of the many sidewalk cafés.
The Destination: The Balearic Islands (specifically Formentera and Menorca)
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "Each island is unique, but both have incredible turquoise beaches, picture-perfect hidden coves, the most delicious Spanish food, sangria (so much sangria!), cute towns to wander, tons of trails for walking or hiking, and a laid-back vibe."
How to Experience It: "On Formentera, rent a Méhari to putter around the island in. I'd stay at any hotel within San Francesc, and enjoying a late afternoon lunch at Juan y Andrea is a must. On Menorca, I recommend staying at Can Faustino in the heart of Ciutadella; be sure to purchase a pair of Menorcan sandals from local shop Mibo. A few favorite beaches are Cala Mitjaneta, Cala Macarelleta, and Cala Pregonda."
The Destination: Positano, Italy
Why It's Worth the Second Trip: "You know when you see pictures of a place but in person it's not quite as vibrant? Positano is the exact opposite—it's even more amazing than any picture you've seen on Instagram. The food, people, and atmosphere are truly magical."
How to Experience It: "La Sponda Restaurant at the Le Sirenuse can't be missed."
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