All the far-flung places we’re trip-planning for in the new year.
In 2019, Fodor’s Editors had the good fortune of traveling across the world, to islands, mountains, and cities on every continent except Antarctica. But while we traveled around the globe and back again, our bucket lists grow longer every day. Here are the places that have captured our wanderlust for 2020.
Top Picks for You
A Luxurious Cruise to a Far-Off Land
I am vehemently anti-cruise, but for some reason I’ve found myself drawn to them lately. I’d still rather stay home than board one of those 2,500 passenger monstrosities that are single-handedly responsible for ruining ecosystems, ports of call, and entire economies, BUT I’m curious about a different kind of cruise–super-luxe small ship cruises in places that are best visited by sea. There are a few all over the world that have caught my eye–the Seacloud’s Canary Islands trip, Aqua’s Amazon River cruise, Sanctuary Retreat’s Myanmar cruise, this fancy pirate ship that sails around Indonesia, and Seabourne’s Antarctica cruise, where I’ve heard there’s champagne and caviar on demand. I love a fancy hotel, and these ships seem like fancy floating hotels in areas where it’s not so easy to travel by land.
Eastern Europe and the Silk Road
I’ve been living on the West Coast for some time now and I feel like I’m always headed across the Pacific. It’s time to revisit Europe, especially after seeing some of the super unique destinations I’ve read about on Fodor’s 2020 Go List: Albania and Uzbekistan sure seem unusual and affordable. I need some pristine Riviera beaches on the Adriatic Sea and post-Soviet Brutalist architecture off the historic Silk Road in my life.
From the South to Southeast Asia
In February, my wife and I are heading to Alabama for a wedding, where I’ve been promised a shrimp boil and moonshine by my aunt- and uncle-in-law—they cooked this up for us a couple of years ago, and it’s one of the best damn meals I’ve ever had.
I also booked us a flight to Porto for May, but I haven’t booked a return ticket. I’m starting to cut it a little close–I should really get off my rump and start planning this.
And, I’m also trying to get to Thailand. This is very embarrassing for a travel editor to admit, but I’ve never been to Thailand. Every year, I plan to go to Thailand and every year my plans are somehow foiled. I’m getting a little sick of not having been to Thailand because I want to go so so so badly. I’ll be slurping my tears instead of tom yum soup if 2020 isn’t the year for me.
Australian Wine Country
I just checked, and my 2020 calendar is blank except for some birthday reminders and a standing weekly meeting with my supervisor. I’m definitely daydreaming about certain destinations, though: Now that I’ve tasted wines from Victoria, Australia, I could be swayed to visit. Shiraz Central and the Pinot Coast both certainly sound like places I belong. I’m also trying to rack up miles for Mexico, Spain, and the American South.
I have not made any plans for 2020 yet. Okay, I haven’t booked any flights, but I have already run out of travel days in my head. I am obsessed with Spain and want to visit every corner of it. I hope to visit the Canaries at some point late spring and have already mentally packed for the trip (picture me on La Gomera in a flowing white gauzy dress, my hair is about five inches longer, each butt cheek is five inches smaller, and I am golden). After working on Essential Australia this year, I have decided that my next trip there needs to be to Tasmania; I haven’t figure out my wardrobe yet but I’m thinking earthy colors. There’s always an Ireland trip in my year (feeling Northern Ireland), and I’d love to make Finland work later in the year. I’ve been working on Essential Scandinavia, and Finland has really captured my attention. Before you ask, I’ll be shopping for a new Scandinavian wardrobe once I arrive.
While I don’t have any concrete plans for travel in 2020, I would love to make it to Ghana next year. 2019 was the Year of Return, but I didn’t get a chance to go. But I would love to hang out on Labadi Beach, eat Jollof and Kelewele, shop in Makola Market, and soak in the sights. And, of course, I’d take a moment for a historical tour of Elmina Castle, Fort Christiansborg, and Ghana’s other slave castles.
I like to start the year with at least one travel plan and one travel goal. My big trip on the calendar is to Northern Ireland (Where my Derry Girl fans at?), where I’ll be attending a wedding at the most fairytale setting I can imagine—the impossibly green cliffs overlooking the coast at Mussenden Temple. (Just Google it; your mouth will drop open.) I’ll squeeze in a visit to some of Northern Ireland’s other stunning natural landscapes, like the Giant’s Causeway and the Dark Hedges, and live out all my Game of Thrones dreams. And topping my very long (and I mean CVS-receipt-long) list of travel goals in 2020 is Singapore. After editing our guide coming out in August, I was sold at all the amazing food and hotel pools. Even the airport is cool.
Shenandoah National Park
While I don’t have any firm plans for 2020, my family and I are currently planning a camping trip to Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park to knock another national park off our list; the views from Skyline Drive are supposed to be breath-taking. The other place we’re dreaming about is the West Coast of Ireland. I’d love to take my kids through the streets of Galway and then to a small town in Connemara like Clifden to rent a cottage.
There are always so many places to go! My wish list includes Vietnam, Cambodia, and Singapore and closer to home, I’d add Telluride, Colorado. I am also definitely planning a few weekend getaways—I never tire of Charleston or Savannah and I’d like to get down to the Florida Keys again.
—Jill Fergus, Senior Editor
Who knows! I’d like to go back to New York City, which I visited for the first time (and had a blast) earlier this year for World Pride. Elsewhere in the U.S., I’ve always wanted to visit the rainy, moody city of Seattle, so I’m crossing my fingers that that will happen in 2020.
Outside of the States, I’ve heard great things about Mexico City; especially as a more affordable tourist getaway that’s not too far from my Los Angeles residence. It’s filled with all the things I like—remarkable history, architecture, and cuisine—and I really need to start planning a trip there now.
I think the Mediterranean is calling me. Lately, all I can do is think about how I want to spend my days swimming in warm, blue water. Although I’ve yet to narrow it down beyond that relatively broad jumping-off point. Which, to be fair, there’s a pretty wide array of gorgeous options, including Sardinia, Tunisia, or any number of Grecian islands. Whatever I end up zeroing in on, at least I know it would be impossible to make a bad choice based on what’s on offer from this part of the world.
Portugal and the Azores
I’m really hoping this is the year I make it to Portugal and experience its endlessly fascinating architecture and wine scene. I also want to explore the Azores before they become too swarmed with tourists (although I might be too late for that…).