CHARLOTTE, NC. Travel is one of the most personal endeavors anyone can experience because there are so many options. CDN will try to give you a hand today, as we take you on an economy tour of the world’s currently top trending travel sites. Let’s call them our Magnificent Seven travel destinations for 2019.
Explore the world by indulging your personal wanderlust
Some travelers are professional cruisers while others would never consider exploring the world on a ship. Some adventure travelers like to rough it, while others prefer elegance and pampering. Group travel seems ideal for many first-timers or individuals with fears about language barriers, choices of food or currency conversions. For many others however, the appeal of discovery involves individual freedom and exploration.
But in the end, it all boils down to lifestyles and a traveler’s personal preferences.
When midnight January 1 changes flips the calendar page each year, that’s the signal for wanderlusters everywhere to begin thinking about that next great adventure. And so we begin our 2019 adventure by exploring this year’s Magnificent Seven destinations, starting out with an exotic locale that’s not very far from the USA.
The Magnificent Seven: or, The Trend is Your Friend
Regardless of what year you choose, travel advisors and tourist bureaus often direct you to the usual tried-and-true travel favorites. These routinely include France, Italy, the United Kingdom and such.
At the other end of the spectrum are places that, for whatever reason, became “hot spots” that follow some mysterious unknown allure that soon morphs into a travel trend.
Today we tke a look at some of the trendy locales for 2019. This year’s Magnificent Seven offerings might not appeal to everyone. But we know our current suggestions and endorsements will, at the least, generate great cocktail conversation any time the subject of travel happens to arise.
The allure of Belize
Belize has come into its own in recent years. The tiny Central American country is ideal for independent travelers who enjoy a spirit of adventure, luxurious accommodations and historical destinations. That’s a big reason why Belize appears on this year’s CDN Magnificent Seven list of trending travel destinations.
As with many countries in Central America, Belize benefits from its English-speaking population, its use of American dollars as currency and the fact that it uses the same electrical standards as the United States. That means that travel here requires no clunky international electrical current adaptors.
The Belize Barrier Reef System, which is a smaller version of its sister, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, demonstrates Belize’s commitment to improving the environment.
Filled with Mayan ruins, Belize is an archaeological paradise where ancient civilizations nestle amid jungle-like surroundings.
Caracol, the largest Maya site, is bigger than Tikal in Guatemala yet it is far from the madding crowds.
Belize is also a perfect spot for hiking, bird-watching and wildlife safaris that are especially intriguing at night.
Simply put, “seeing is Belizing.”
Despite the current trade war, China remains a compelling travel destination
China has long been a favorite, but in 2019 its diversity and history have become even more appealing.
Trekking the Great Wall is a bucket-list experience that falls in the same category as the Taj Mahal and Mount Everest which are must-sees at least once in a traveler’s portfolio.
More recently, the Terracotta Warriors at Xian were only discovered by local farmers in 1974. The collection of thousands of sculptures depicts the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.
Also popular is Fanjingshan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Buddhist shrine that was once home to 48 temples. More adventurous travelers may want to hike to the summit for an unforgettable hiking experience.
Add the Forbidden City and you have experienced thousand of years of history by visiting just four sites. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Exotic Egypt: Becoming safe to visit once again
Egypt is making a tourism comeback in 2019 with luxury hotels and new tours that blend the country’s best of the old with the.new.
One highlight is a lavish Nile cruise that was launched last year and continues to grow in popularity.
Cairo, with its crowded streets and exotic souk (bazaar), is the gateway to the pyramids of Giza. If time permits, take in the sound and light show to get the full story.
Also, do not miss the Grand Egyptian Museum which will soon house the largest collection dedicated to a single civilization in history when 5,000 artifacts of the King Tut burial site are on display.
For tourists desiring a taste of undewater realms, the Red Sea is famous for snorkeling opportunities, offering some of the best in the world. And, of course, no visit is complete without a trip to Luxor and the famed Valley of the Kings.
India: Crowded and busy, but the Taj Mahal reno is done!
India is an acquired taste for many world travelers. But in 2019, the good news is that the renovations at the Taj Mahal are now complete. That’s reason enough to add this vast and ancient country to this year’s Magnificent Seven locales.
Some visitors have difficulty adjusting to India’s masses of humanity and poverty. But from an historical and architectural perspective, the country is a rainbow of colors.
Movie fans will enjoy visiting Ubernai, the exotic place where James Bond (Roger Moore) took on an international jewel smuggling ring in Octopussy (1983). And the nightly vigils in Varanasi on the Ganges are also well worth a visit.
Jorden: A tough travel sell these days, but Petra is compelling
Jordan might be a tough sell at first, given its location in the middle of the chaotic Middle East. But once you get beyond that, you’ll find that a trek to Petra offers you a unique glimpse of one of the most incredible ancient sites in the world.
Built between the 4th century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D., the once bustling trading city of Petra was recently crowned one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Rediscovered in 1812 by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss geographer, the ancient Nabataean capital is situated among the Arabah Valley mountains between the Dead Sea and Red Sea.
Known as the “Rose City” because of the reddish-pink hues in the striations of its surrounding rocks, Petra is half-carved and half-built into these rugged stone hills. The city’s Treasury is arguably the most famous structure in the entire, expansive site.
Portugal: The trendiest destination for 2019. And for Europe, the prices are right.
Portugal is the trendiest place on everyone’s lips right now. That certainly argued in its favor when we chose this year’s Magnificent Seven trending travel sites. Indeed, this coastal country is already well known for its delicious cuisine, gorgeous panoramas and lively atmosphere.
Rich in diversity from Lisbon to Porto, Sintra, or even the beaches of the Azores, Portugal is a jewel box of travel discovery gems.
For sheer, hypnotic natural beauty, by all means visit Gorongosa at the southern end of the Great Rift Valley. Its myriad hot springs, secluded waterfalls, hidden caves and rain forests can provide colorful and enduring travel memories.
Lest we forget, no trip to Portugal is complete without experiencing “fado,” the traditional Portuguese music. It’s characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics that often reflect the challenges of sea or the lives of the poor. Typically infused with references to fate and the melancholy pursuit of romance, an evening of fado is actually not nearly depressing as it might sound.
Best of all for travelers, however, Portugal is a land that’s famous for its incomparable hospitality.
The otherworldly perfections of Singapore, the world’s tidiest town
Singapore dazzles. It is a city-state rich in culture and futuristic architecture. Known for its obsessive cleanliness (chewing gum is a huge no-no), Singapore is a marvelous hub for exploring other parts of Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. That helps make this city-state a slam-dunk for inclusion in our 2019 Magnificent Seven list of top trending travel sites.
Once there, but before venturing out into this kaleidescopic city, however, be sure to pause and sample some of the best street food in the world. And while in the area, do not miss Marina Bay.
In conclusion, as we always observe, travel is a fickle enterprise. Fads and trends come and go quickly. But for 2019 at least, our Magnificent Seven top touring hot spots are among the best ever.
— Headline image: The stunning Taj Mahal above is the classic symbol of India in Agra. (Photo: Taylor)
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up