At least once or twice a day, I feel like I'm struck with wanderlust. My desire to travel and see the world becomes so overpowering, and I start looking at plane tickets and dreamy accommodations online. I scroll through my saved lists of hotels and cozy bungalows, and pin a few more excursions that I want to take, like swimming in blue lagoons and learning how to surf. In those moments, my bucket list grows bigger and better, and it takes everything in me not to text my besties and say, "Let's go, like, now." Does this sound very familiar? Then let me give you the latest scoop: TripAdvisor's 2019 Travelers' Choice Awards for Destinations are here, and reveal what your bucket list shouldn't be missing.
Now, before I give you all the info that you need to know, grab your favorite notebook and a gel pen. Find a blank page and sketch a little doodle on top — maybe a suitcase, a palm tree, or an airplane. It doesn't have to come out perfect. It just needs to remind you that traveling will be on your agenda this year, and that you need to start making some serious plans.
This page will stick with you throughout 2019, and serve as a physical copy of your bucket list. (Let's be honest: Up until now, your bucket list has just been a bunch of thoughts and ideas floating around in your brain.) It will be your inspiration board, and a place to jot down where you want to go, what you want to do, and what foods you want to eat. Most importantly, it will be where you mark down all of TripAdvisor's Traveler's Choice Destinations and start manifesting those trips in real-life.
What are TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Destinations for 2019?
According to TripAdvisor, the world's biggest travel site, there are 10 destinations in the world, and another 10 within the U.S., that are worth putting on your bucket list this year. In the world, these destinations include: London, United Kingdom; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Crete, Greece; Bali, Indonesia; Phuket, Thailand; Barcelona, Spain; Istanbul, Turkey; Marrakech, Morocco; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Did you get those down in your notebook? Sweet! Some of them may sound familiar thanks to Instagram, or be places that you've already been to. That means you have a head-start and have plenty of time and energy to visit the destinations within the U.S.
The destinations that TripAdvisor says are a must for 2019 include: New York City, New York; Maui, Hawaii; Oahu, Hawaii; Las Vegas, Nevada; Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California; Chicago, Illinois; New Orleans, Louisiana; San Francisco, California; and the Island of Hawaii (Big Island), Hawaii. You may already know some of the biggest sights and landmarks in these cities and tropical locations. But, if not, you can check out the complete list before laying out your itineraries.
How did TripAdvisor come up with these results?
According to the press release, TripAdvisor came up with these results by using an algorithm. The algorithm took reviews and ratings for hotel, restaurants, and experiences from travelers who have been there and done that, in destinations across the globe. The reviews and ratings all came from a 12-month period, and showed that certain destinations had a larger volume or quality of reviews.
Long story short: Those destinations proved to give travelers the best overall experience, from day one to day 10 of their trips. So, they are highly recommended for you and your bestie who are looking to really see the world in 2019.
Why should you put London, in particular, on your bucket list for this year?
London is the very top destination awarded by TripAdvisor. The algorithm came back with the most reviews for this city in the United Kingdom, and proved to meet a majority of traveler's wildest dreams and expectations. Put it on your bucket list, hop on a plane, and you may have the experience of a lifetime. (I know that at the very least, you'll have some of the best fish and chips you've ever had!)
According to the press release, due to all the excitement surrounding the royal wedding last year, this destination has been more popular than ever. The changing of the guard and tour of Buckingham Palace has been booked 231 percent more than it has been in the past, and admission to Windsor Castle has increased in popularity by 173 percent. Will you book one of those excursions for your very own trip?
Personally, I'd say make sure you see the London Eye and Big Ben, too. Take a picture in a red photo booth or a double-decker bus, and post it on Instagram with one of the best captions for London. After all, that's part of checking items off your bucket list — showing the social media world that you're not missing out on anything, especially the beautiful places that are now on your radar.
What travel tips should you keep in mind when you're checking things off your bucket list this year?
Last but not least, before you close your notebook and start hitting the purchase button on plane tickets and excursions, you should know some travel tips. Truth is, you want to not only go to these destinations, but truly experience them — and that takes knowing some extra information.
According to TripAdvisor, when you're planning your various trips, you should think about the time of year you're going. Some months or weeks out of the year are more popular for travel and seeing the greatest sights this world has to offer. Desiree Fish, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor, states via the press release that booking your stay during an off-peak season can be cheaper, and give you some space from the crowds.
In addition, give yourself time to explore beyond what everybody says you should do, see, and eat. Find your own favorite restaurants, quaint towns, or otherworldly beaches, and make your memories there. It'll make your trip stand out amongst all the others you've taken or are bound to take. Make 2019 a year for the books.