With everyone ringing in the New Year, people are starting to decide where they should travel to next. Picking a travel destination takes a lot of research, planning, and saving, so you want to make sure you pick a place where you'll make great memories and enjoy every day you're there. There are numerous places all over the world to go too, whether you're looking for outdoor adventure or just want to soak up the sun on a pristine beach. While you look up the best places to travel to this year, you might want to also consider places that you should just skip altogether.
European travel destinations are always thrilling and trying new foods, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people sounds like a blast, however, most people stick to the cities and countries that often are overcrowded with tourist and can become overbearing, ruining your trip. Consider going to countries that aren't as popular like Croatia, which has a spectacular and stunning coastline or Romania, a country ringed by the Carpathian Mountains and cities with castles that make you feel like you're in medieval times.
If you consider yourself a beach bum and want to go somewhere with warm weather and dazzling beaches, knock Mykonos, Greece off your list and consider the island of Crete instead, which features just as beautiful views and spectacular beaches. Skip party going islands like Ibiza and Los Cabos, which can become overwhelming with young crowds and check out the gorgeous Amalfi Coast in Italy instead.
Whatever you are looking for in a vacation destination, we've listed here in our 15 Surprising Spots We Need To Visit in 2019 and 10 places we think you should just skip.
25 Must Visit: Croatia
One of the most striking features of Croatia is easily its stunning and long coastline with over a thousand islands along its coast at the Adriatic Sea. With one of the most striking coastlines in the world, Croatia has crystal clear waters that dazzle in greens and blues and white sandy beaches that are great for lounging and soaking up the sun. If its coastline doesn't intrigue you, Croatia has a variety of medieval towns and villages to visit and further inland, you'll find rolling farmland. Another main attraction in the nation is The Dinaric Range, a striking mountain range that stretches from Italy to Albania and is made up of picturesque caverns, river canyons, and waterfalls.
24 Must Visit: Alaska
If you're looking for some outdoor fun and you love adventure then consider making a trip to Alaska. The largest U.S. state, Alaska is known for its mountains, forests, ample wildlife, small towns and is an excellent destination for a number of outdoor activities like skiing, kayaking and mountain biking. Alaska is also one of if not the most stunning of all the U.S. states. Alaska contains the largest national park, the highest peak, longest coastline, and the longest day and night. The state's terrain is striking and its untouched land makes it a fantastic place for travelers who want to see connections with nature, wilderness, and rich culture.
23 Must Visit: Patagonia, Argentina
If you want to visit one of the most beautiful places in the entire world adds Patagonia on your travel list. Located at the southernmost tip of South America shared by Argentina and Chile, this region is on thousands of people's bucket list. Patagonia's 400,00 mile stretch through both these countries encompasses ice fields, scrublands, grasslands, barren plains and an untamed and untouched landscape that offers a one-of-a-kind wildlife encounter. No matter if you decide to visit one country or the other, you'' find natural sites whichever way you choose to go. According to Jetsetter.com, if you find yourself in Argentine Patagonia, boat close enough to the rugged cliffs of Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate or stand below Mount Fitz Roy and admire its natural beauty.
22 Must Visit: Crete, Greece
You always hear about people vacationing in places like Mykonos and Santorini in Greece, but why not get away from the outrageously popular spots and check out Crete, Greece. Crete is Greece's largest island and its terrain varies from stunning beaches to mountain ranges, including Lefka Ori, which translates to the White Mountains. Crete has its fair share of history, with remnants of ancient civilizations still preserved, a plethora of beautiful beaches, mountainscapes, fertile valleys, and of course, delicious Greek food. One of the most picturesque places here is Heraklion, a port city and the capital of Crete, known for the Palace of Knossos, which is a huge archeological site that dates back thousands of years.
21 Must Visit: Bhutan
In South Asia, you'll find the country of Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas' eastern edge. Bhutan is known for its rich culture, its monasteries, and stunning landscapes. According to Lonely Planet, foreign visitors must pay a tariff of $250 per day, and while that might seem like a lot, everything is included, such as accommodation, food, transport, and an official guide. Bhutan and its people heavily protect their Buddhist traditions and there is a blend of ancient and modern that makes this country extremely fascinating. There is plenty of unique and wonderful architecture here, majestic fortresses and of course, the jaw-dropping Himalayan landscape.
20 Must Visit: Krakow, Poland
When you think of European cities that people have traveled to, you don't usually hear Krakow, Poland being brought up. However, there is a lot of history in this Polish city to discover, plenty of delish Polish food and sites that make you feel like you went back in time. Main Market Square is the largest medieval market square in Europe and is filled with outdoor cafes, bars, and restaurants. One of the most striking places here in St. Mary's Basilica where you'll see some of the most elaborate Gothic altarpieces of all of Europe. You can also visit the Rynek Underground Museum and get a blend of medieval history and state-of-the-art technology that will take you back to the middle ages of Krakow.
19 Must Visit: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province that is highly known for its stunning red sand beaches, lighthouses fertile farmland and delicious seafood. The island is famous for "Anne of Green Gables," a novel written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. If you travel here, a stop at the Green Gables Heritage House is a must, where you can walk through the rooms of the Victorian home and experience farm life. You'll also want to check out Prince Edward Island National Park, a 37-mile park that features picturesque white and red sand beaches and plenty of outdoor activities. If you're into shopping and eating, walk cobblestone roads on Victoria Row in Charlottetown.
18 Must Visit: Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik is Iceland's capital and its largest city featuring a combination of cosmopolitan adventure and stunning natural wonders. The city is a fantastic vacation spot for relaxing and exploring with events related to art and music offered on a daily basis, and abundance of museums, a wide range of restaurants, the ability to see the jaw-dropping Northern Lights and Mt. Esja, which feels so close you can almost touch it. Some of the main attractions in this city include Hallgrimskirkja church, a striking structure that took over 40 years to build and a lively nightlife, where cafes by day turn into bars and restaurants at night.
17 Must Visit: Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast is easily one of Italy's most stunning locations with sheer cliffs, a rugged shoreline lined with beautiful beaches and pastel-colored buildings that are dotted along the mountains and sea cliffs, making it look like something out of an enchanted fairytale. The top destinations here include Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello each with its own stunning architecture, captivating villas, and hikes that take you into the hills and snake high above the coast through small villages. To get a real feel for the exquisite topography of this coast, take a boat ride and see the coast from a different angle, with full views of the villas suspended over the sea, the grottos tucked in the cliffs and the pristine beaches.
16 Must Visit: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are considered the world's foremost destinations for wildlife viewing. Located on the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos archipelago is made up of 19 islands with the area still volcanically active. Its an isolated terrain continues to shelter a wide range of plant and animal species. There is an abundance of underwater life, which makes this location perfect for divers and snorkelers. Sharks, sea lions, fur seals, turtles, and marine iguanas will greet divers. The most popular way to see the islands is by boat where you can discover a variety of wildlife, different scenery, and marked trails where visitors often pass over rough lava or uneven boulders.
15 Must Visit: Sri Lanka
Located in the Indian Ocean and south of India lies Sri Lanka, a country, that while relatively small, offers amazing scenic views, beautiful beaches, and central highlands that are sprawling with emerald tea plantations. You'll find several ruins of ancient kingdoms, hidden rock caves, ancient sacred temples, and gorgeous architecture. The east of the island is more peaceful, with lush green fields, places of worship and pristine waters. Sri Lanka is also a fantastic place for those who enjoy bumming it at the beach and having a variety of water activates. For history buffs, make your way to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, one of the most sacred cities of World Buddhists where you’ll find structures with intricate carvings, palaces, and monasteries.
14 Must Visit: Perth, Western Australia
Perth is home to breathtaking beaches, fun nightlife and where nature and urban life seems to coexist in harmony. The heart of Perth is bustling with bars, restaurants, and cultural spaces and is also home to King's Park, one of the world's largest inner city parks. Just a short drive away is Swan Valley, where you'll find wineries and stunning beaches. One of the most popular attractions here is the Crystal Cave in Yanchep National Park, an underground wonderland that contains stalactites, stalagmites, and helictites. Perth has a laid-back atmosphere, however, it still is a cosmopolitan city that knows how to have fun.
13 Must Visit: Namibia
Namibia, Africa is known for its stunning landscapes, with deserts, mountains, canyons and savannas and just a sheer beauty that is captivating. If you have never been to Africa, numerous travel experts will tell you that Namibia is the best place to start. There are a plethora of outdoor activities to do here and wildlife to explore. Make your way to Etosha National Park where you'll get to drive alongside elephants, giraffes, lions, and more. Check out the beautiful Namibian desert for sand dune climbing and see the sunrise. There are also beaches and a coastline called the Skeleton Coast, which is often called "The End of the Earth," because of the number of ships that were wrecked here.
12 Must Visit: Transylvania, Romania
Transylvania is often associated with Bram Stoker's famous gothic tale, "Dracula," a land filled with blood-sucking vampires. The city in Romania is breathtaking and is home to some of Europe's best-preserved medieval towns, most famously Brasov, which features medieval Saxon walls and a towering Gothic-style Black Church. Travelers will love visiting the stunning castles, especially Bran, a fairy-tale structure which was the inspiration for Stoker's novel. Traveling around Transylvania, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time with its cobblestone streets, a feeling of living in the medieval ages. The city is bordered by the Carpathian Mountains, which is home to wolves and Europe's largest population of bears.
11 Must Visit: Hangzhou, China
Hangzhou is sprawling with a rich history and culture and is one of China's seven ancient capitals with a history that can be traced back over 2,200 years to the Qin dynasty. The city is home to one of China's most beautiful sights, called West Lake, which features stunning temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees. Hangzhou is also home to the Grand Canal, the longest canal in the world, running from Beijing to Hangzhou. Take a boat trip along the canal to see all the glorious sights and if you like tea, you must visit Meijiawu Tea Plantation, a village with a 600-year history and famous for growing Longjing tea, the most famous green tea in China.
10 Skip: Ibiza, Spain
There is so much buzz about Ibiza and its extravagant party scene and beautiful beaches. There is no doubt that the island is majestic and stunning, and is legendary for its European nightclubs with numerous celebrities flying out here to party. However, all the talk about Ibiza can seem overrated and there are other larger islands that you should make your way too. Instead of being crammed in one of Ibiza’s popular nightclubs, spend your days on the island of Mallorca, which has its own Mediterranean seaside charm and its own vibrant nightlife. There are over 200 beaches just as stunning as those on Ibiza, but maybe not as packed.
9 Skip: Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos, Greece is jaw-dropping, from its beautiful vistas, spectacular nightlife, and stunning beaches; anyone would want to vacation there. However, Greece has over a thousand islands to discover and they are just as striking. The party scene in Mykonos can be overwhelming for some and partygoers head to clubs around 1 a.m. The island has also been dubbed a "celebrity Instagram" destination and people are constantly distracted on their phones and not enjoying the real experience. With its popularity, visitors might find Mykonos to also be a little more on the expensive side, with places like Athens and Crete being much cheaper.
8 Skip: Dubai, UAE
If you have the money to shop until you drop and enjoy being in the weather of over 100 degrees every day, then Dubai is the place you need to be. While Dubai is a city that is always transforming and always ahead of the game when it comes to technology, the city is a little overrated. It's a fact that Dubai is expensive and according to Work Hard Travel Well, "experiences such as brunch parties or yacht rides can cost a couple of hundred or more per person." Dubai is also known for its extremely hot weather and dry heat and beaches can be unpleasant with scorching hot sand. And, if you aren't going to adhere to the dress code in some particular places that don't bother going.
7 Skip: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is one of the world's most popular destinations, which means there are endless crowds of people. While the city's iconic canals and row houses are gorgeous to look at, the hundreds of tourists that come to visit Amsterdam can ruin your trip. According to Travel and Leisure, Amsterdam's main shopping center, Kalverstraat is always crowded and stores "consist primarily of bland global chains." If you were looking to drink, you'd want to avoid the busy square of Leidseplein, which is heavily touristy and overpriced. As for its infamous Red Light District, you'll find numerous drunken parties, bad smells, and way too many gawking tourists.
6 Skip: Miami, Florida
You either love Miami, Florida or you hate it. The city isn't for everyone and people might not enjoy its endless traffic, how expensive it is and party going lifestyle. Even locals believe the city had "deteriorated," like this one resident who wrote on Quora, "Now, what I think is negative about Miami is that the nightlife is not all as great as it may sound. South Beach is worth driving around in, maybe walking during the day to be exposed to the scene, but I think it has deteriorated much, much more than I ever expected. People in Miami are nice, sometimes. The humidity is terrible. Public transportation is nonexistent. Everything is Miami is divided into neighborhoods and niches.” If you aren't into partying until the morning hours, hot weather or want to be around college-aged crowds than you should skip a trip here.
5 Skip: Los Cabos, Mexico
According to Insider, Cabo is slowly turning into the next Cancun. "It's filled with rowdy college kids and themed bars and restaurants peddling cheap alcohol," the site reports. Los Cabos is a beautiful area with stunning beaches and an inviting climate, however, it's become a center for partygoers and less of a place where you'd expect to relax. Cabo has become an overhyped vacation destination where it once was a hotspot for warm beaches and luxurious resorts and is now no longer charming. Today, it's more like a hot spot for sororities and fraternities and a younger crowd that just wants to overindulged on booze.
4 Skip: New Delhi, India
New Delhi is a glorious city with a rich history and culture, however, the city is extremely overcrowded and while you can find unhealthy air in pretty much any country, India, specifically New Delhi, has been ranked the most polluted city on Earth. Just walking down the street can give you claustrophobia and it can be severely overbearing. More than 10 million buses, cars, trucks, and motorbikes crowd the city roads and getting around can be rather stressful. Tripbase also notes that there is a constant pungent stench of sewage, rotting fruit and a never-ending sea of litter. And lastly, the persistent fog that hits the capital every winter can totally wreck your plans.
3 Skip: Rome, Italy
While Rome is filled with history and is a city everyone should visit once in their lifetime, it's become ridiculously crowded with tourists. This is a city you may want to visit once and only once. Rome becomes terribly overbearing with the thousands of tourists that flock its main attractions every day and it can become hard to move around. Thanks to the huge amounts of people coming into the historic city, it has gotten dirty and trashed. Expect long lines at famous sites and attractions and sidewalks filled with people. Try and enjoy Rome as a local would and also do your best to get off your phone and actually enjoy the sites.
2 Skip: Venezuela
Venezuela consists of stunning Caribbean beaches, majestic mountains, and beautiful national parks, but you should reconsider traveling to the Latin American nation due to high and violent crime, social unrest, and pervasive food and medicine shortages. The U.S. Embassy in Venezuela has warned U.S. citizens to avoid going to the country. There has been significant violence and there are areas that have become high-risk for robberies and kidnappings. Political and rallies and demonstrations are a regular occurrence and police force is strong with officers responding with tear gas and rubber bullets. Looting and vandalism have also been a big occurrence.
1 Skip: Philippines
The Philippines is a must go travel destination for beachgoers and those who want to explore beautiful tropical islands. However, there are a lot of areas that should be avoided and are extremely unsafe if you don't do your research. In certain areas, there is a high risk of terrorism and kidnapping does happen. If you are traveling to the country, you should also take note of the weather. Volatile weather and natural disasters are known to ravage the nation and cities like Manila experience a severe wet season. The Philippines is a magical place, no doubt, just make sure you do your research before vacationing here.
References: lonelyplanet.com,travelalaska.com, jetsetter.com, icelandtravel.is, earthtrekkers.com, thisisinsider.com, theinvisibletourist.com