Friday, December 28, 2018

Where in the world will you go in 2019? What's hot for the new year



Malta is an enticing, beautiful place, if you've been before, or have yet to go.  Here near the Blue Grotto, a series
of lovely caverns carved by the wind and sea.  Malta is a friendly place, easily accessed from Italy. 

WRITE YOUR OWN TICKET FOR THE NEW YEAR -- ISLANDS, PARKS, CITIES BECKON

STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER
If you've considered a wildlife expedition, go on line
and look.  The options abound -- from Antarctica
to Africa, the Galapagos and our fine national parks.
IT'S FUN at the beginning of a new year to ponder then plan the next year or two of travel.
Because we're on the road so much, we book our trips two and three years ahead. Most people work only a year or a few months ahead. For us, planning is part of the fun.
We don't book according to what's "hot" although many people do.  But it's always interesting to find out what's trending. Our homework often puts us ahead of the curve.
American cities leading the popular
tourist spots list are New Orleans,
and New York. Here, breakfast
at "Nawlins'" Cafe du Monde.
For 2019, the forecast for popular places are Cuba, Japan, Singapore, Italy (particularly Cinque Terre and Rome), Greece and Paris.  Prague and London are on the "hot spots" radar and Sydney, New Orleans and New York are again predicted to be popular with tourists in 2019.
Pearl Seas Cruises offers an enticing 11-day cultural tour
of Cuba, with more ports than any other line, here Havana.
FIRST, NARROW the field, make it fun for the travelers, whether couple, family or group of friends planning a holiday  -- domestic or abroad. From the music, food, cars and culture of Cuba to the rain forests of Peru and Brazil to the fjords of Norway or New Zealand, here are basic considerations:
* City, beach or countryside? Lots to do or quiet, chill time. Cruising is a great option.
* Hot, cold weather? Beach, skiing, diving, etc.
* New adventure or pure relaxation? Educational? Cultural immersion?
The Venetian harbor in Chania, Greece, is not well known
by Americans but is a popular holiday spot for Europeans.
* Shopping, culture or the rush of discovery? If you like theater, shows, opera or concerts, consider places like Prague, London, Vienna, New York and Las Vegas. Architecture, antiquities? Think Rome, Venice, Petra. Cuba is opened up now and Pearl Seas Cruises has a wonderful expansive itinerary aboard the smart, small Pearl Mist. Cairo is slowly cleaning up its act after the political unrest of the past decade? Turkey is coming back on the radar after cruise lines pulled out.
* Budget savvy or going for broke? Somewhere in the middle?
* Who's traveling? Family, friends,  partners, college buddies, boyfriend, girlfriend? Maybe you're traveling solo and want to meet people?
* Independent travel, with room and time to strike out on your alone?  Or do you prefer everything organized and pre-paid for you
Las Ramblas in Barcelona is a vibrant, lively place for culture, food, music.

* Off the beaten track to a "undiscovered" place, or a tried and tested destination?
ALWAYS BE daring and creative, once you settle on basic preferences. If you truly want to see a place and can't coax anyone to come along, go solo. Put yourself out there and meet people. Look for singles-friendly tours. Or consider treating a niece, nephew, cousin, sib.
Think outside the box. If you have your heart set on Malta -- a clean, progressive and welcoming place with great food, pretty scenery and friendly people -- don't be put off if the flights are too high.  Fly to Rome, enjoy, then take a connecting flight or ferry to Malta.
Architecture, antiquities, history lure us back to Rome multiple
times, here for a pause at the famed, restored Trevi Fountain.
HIT THE library or book stores.  Stock up on brochures, travel books, magazines.  We keep a huge box of files, newspaper clips, magazine pieces with features on places of interest. We're big fans of Rick Steves and catch his helpful shows on Public Television. We also enjoy the Lonely Planet books -- and we hold out for the print edition, although Kindle is available.
If you're "bucket-listing" remember the Seven Wonders of the World await.
    Colossus of Rhodes, Great Pyramid of Giza.
    Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Lighthouse of Alexandria,.Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
    Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
 If you want to see the Amalfi coast as you've never seen it before, consider
CBM Tours. The letters stand for Can't Be Missed and  you'll truly not be 
sorry.  You'll see little pockets of land and sea.  
UP NEXT: While we're in a planning mode, consider a tour.  There are month-long tours, day trips, world cruises with all the details tended to.  We've been enjoying day trips the past few years, and came upon CBM Tours on this recent two-month foray on the Mediterranean and in southern Europe. Expert guides with extensive history backgrounds guide in small groups with interesting commentary and the ability to swing off the road into a view spot like the one at left on the Amalfi Coast. Remember to explore, learn and live. 

3 comments:

  1. Cleveland GlobetrottersJanuary 3, 2019 at 9:53 AM

    Happy new year to our favorite world travelers. Thanks for bringing us to places we've been -- and might not be able to see. Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fun send-off of 2018, and greeting for 2019. Thanks for these delightful snippets of our ever-changing world. Especially enjoy your cruise pieces.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cincinnati SailorsJanuary 4, 2019 at 12:06 PM

    Imaginative look at the world. Thanks for bringing us a close-up view.

    ReplyDelete