What to do for 12 months to plan potential adventures this year? From winter ski slopes in Colorado and Japan to spending your summer vacation in Zanzibar or taking a family adventure along Ireland’s Atlantic Way, there are so many trips just waiting to happen. All that is left for you to do is find a flight deal and a fun place to stay and you’ll be on your way to explore somewhere new!
Lonely Planet’s Where To Go When is the ultimate trip planner. It’s complete with a comprehensive list of 30 places to go each month of the year. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve handpicked three destinations for each month and listed them for you below so you can choose your next adventure with Lonely Planet’s best places to visit list. So, all you need to do is get reading and get planning!
Looking to choose your own adventure? Use our ‘Everywhere’ search below and let the cheapest flights be your guide to your next vacation.
The Best Places to Travel in January
There’s no need to worry about the weather in Budapest. The city has more than 120 thermal baths to choose from with Széchenyi being the most popular. You can even stay warm at night by hanging out one of the city’s many “ruin bars” that stay open late.
Honshu is the main island of Japan where Tokyo and Kyoto are located. There are significantly fewer crowds during the month of January, so you’ll be able to visit the city’s temples without interruption.
Love to ski? Colorado has to be your destination, right? The weather is consistent so it’s likely that skiers will have fresh snow on the mountains throughout the winter. Vail, Aspen, and Telluride are the big names, but there are plenty of budget-friendly spots to hit the ski slopes.
The Best Places to Travel in February
This might come as a shock, but during the month of February the temperatures in Iceland are warmer than New York City – isn’t that reason enough to go? The sun rises before 9 a.m. and sets after 6 p.m., which still leaves enough darkness for you to hopefully catch the Northern Lights.
In early February, Québec Winter Carnival takes place. This family-friendly affair is a Canadian classic where you can enjoy ice sculptures, games, food and so much more. The old town is especially beautiful in the winter, and you can even go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing over the Plains of Abraham.
Dominica was named one of the best countries to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet, so we don’t think there’s a bad time to visit this Nature Isle of the Caribbean. You’ll find a few resorts but most people come for the natural landscapes where you’ll see volcanoes, waterfalls, and even a boiling lake.
The Best Places to Travel in March
With three micro-climates, you’re sure to come across rain during your travels in Vietnam. However, in March, things are relatively dry across the country. Get the perfect picture in Halong Bay, wander Hanoi’s Old Quarter, or enjoy a bowl of pho out on the street with locals.
Here’s another country where the weather lines up perfectly in March. Head out to one of the wildlife parks where you can spot animals, enjoy the beaches, or visit the sacred city of Kandy. Oh, and don’t forget to eat the food, which blends many different cultural flavours.
It’s said that Antigua has a beach for every day of the year. In March, there’s a lull in tourists, so maybe you can find out if there really are 365 beaches on the island. If you need a little bit of adventure, go and explore Nelson’s Dockyard or Fort James.
The Islands of Tahiti
Discover a more affordable side Islands of Tahiti. Not only low-cost flights and guesthouses easier on your wallet, but you can also get a truly local experience as you hop from island to island, experiencing the Polynesian culture and hospitality. Hop islands visiting the charming Villa Rea Hanaa in Bora Bora, Green Lodge in Moorea and the family-run Pension Raita in Ahe.
The Best Places to Travel in April
Fewer crowds and better temperatures… those are some pretty good reasons to visit Rome. The Roman Forum, Colosseum, and the Vatican are clearly must-sees, but skip the Spanish Steps since it’s quite possibly the most overrated tourist attraction in the world.
Visitors can spend over a week here exploring all of the sights and museums — most of which are free of charge. This surprisingly beautiful and intriguing city along the east coast of the U.S. has so much to offer. The Air and Space Museum is a favourite for people of all ages, and if the timing works, you can even catch the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Average temperatures in Jordan rest around 20 degrees Celsius during April, and that will help to make exploring the ancient ruins of Petra very enjoyable. Spend the night in Wadi Rum with the Bedouins or see the Roman ruins in Jerash.
The Best Places to Travel in May
If you’re looking for some sun, head to Cuba where temperatures hover around 30 degrees Celsius in May. Book a beach resort if you need some rest and relaxation, but if you want to see the real Cuba, head to one of the nine UNESCO World Heritage sites found on the island.
Costa Rica calls May the start of their green season, which is code for wet. This wet season can be an ideal time to visit since Costa Rica’s waterfalls are more active and river conditions are perfect for rafting. Not to mention the rain forest region of Monteverde, where there’s plenty of accommodation and adventure-travel opportunities await.
May is the first dry month for Peruvians, so head to Machu Picchu now before the crowds arrive. Keep in mind that only 500 people are permitted to walk the Inca Trail each day, so travellers are advised to book a spot well in advance. Want to really go off the beaten path? Journey to the Ruins of Kuelap, which many locals don’t even know about.
Machu Picchu now before the crowds arrive. Keep in mind that only 500 people are permitted to walk the Inca Trail each day, so travellers are advised to book a spot well in advance. Want to really go off the beaten path? Journey to the Ruins of Kuelap, which many locals don’t even know about.
Skip out on the hustle and bustle of Paris by heading west and spending your summer in Brittany. Begin your trip by exploring the historic architecture in Rennes. Next, head to the Atlantic Ocean to take in the beauty of Dinan, St.-Malo, Dinard or Saint-Brieuc.
Check Mont-Saint-Michel off your bucket list by planning a day trip from Brittany to this Unesco World Heritage site. Be sure to leave early and return in the afternoon as the road becomes inaccessible when the tides are too high.
The Best Places to Travel in June
Bali & Lombok
You’ll definitely want to visit Bali & Lombok in June when it’s dry season. It will still be hot but not unbearable while you explore the many temples or hike up a volcano. Note that Hinduism is practiced on the island of Bali, while next door on Lombok the population is predominantly Muslim. Make sure to be respectful around and in any temple – dress appropriately and respect the local culture. Ramadan takes place during the month of June so you might see increased crowds at times or some attractions may be closed.
Lisbon is known as a value destination, so there’s really no bad time to visit. Sure, you’ll want to take one of their famous trams to see the city, but one could argue that eating is the best experience in Lisbon. Park yourself in a coffee shop or on an outside patio and let the city buzz around you.
The Canadian Rockies could have easily made an appearance in an earlier month, but it’s a much better experience during the month of June. Let your jaw drop as you head into Banff and marvel at the turquoise blue waters of Lake Louise. If you’re coming from Vancouver, it’s worth splurging and taking the Rocky Mountaineer to get to the Rockies.
The Best Places to Travel in July
Stone Town may seem small, but part of the fun is getting lost in the alleys. You’ll find some of the best flavours at the Darajani bazaar, but most people come here for the beaches. If you venture out, you can go snorkelling or dolphin-watching.
If you didn’t know, July is winter in Australia and yet the wildlife is still pretty active. South of the mainland is Kangaroo Island where you’ll find koalas, fur seals, sea lions and, obviously, kangaroos. What you won’t see is a crush of tourists since it’s the low season.
Wild Atlantic Way
Ever since the Wild Atlantic Way opened, it’s been getting a ton of attention. Do you really need a reason to drive along the 2,400 km route on Ireland’s west coast? Discover some of the country’s finest scenery while enjoying the hospitality of locals.
The Best Places to Travel in August
Most people avoid Thailand in August since it’s the rainy season, but the Gulf of Thailand remains relatively dry. Head to Koh Samui where you can find cheap hotels and resorts. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for peace and quiet or a party atmosphere, you’ll find it here.
In August, the Tango Buenos Aires festival takes place, which attracts people from all over the world. Normally, you’d want to avoid such crowds, but the atmosphere is at it’s best during this time. If you really want to get into the spirit, take a tango lesson in the area of San Telmo.
Honestly, you can’t do wrong in Berlin. Check out the art in the funky neighbourhood of Kreuzberg or head to Museum Island where you’ll find some of the best works of art in the world. No matter where you go in Berlin, you’ll quickly come across something cultural or historical that will get your senses going.
Prince Edward Island
Plan your east coast adventure this August to the beautiful island of Prince Edward Island. Starting in Charlottetown, take day trips or plan your route to visit the storybook town of Victoria-by-the-Sea. If you’re feeling active, hike through the sand dunes of Greenwich National Park or cycle from North Rustico along the Gulf Shore Parkway West to Cavendish to visit Green Gables Heritage Place.
The Best Places to Travel in September
Corsica is a summer getaway for the French, but come September, the crowds are gone. The air and sea are still warm, which is perfect for those who plan on tackling one of the many hiking trails.
Most people only pass through Lima on their way to Machu Picchu but failing to appreciate the city is a mistake. The city is South America’s capital of food, and here you can find some of the best chefs serving South American classics such as ceviche and carapulcra.
Explore the colourful and historic old area of Panama City by snagging a flight deal. With flight connections all over Latin America from Panama City, you can either plan a trip entirely to Panama City or use it as a stopover to check a few countries off your list. Stay in the heart of the old town at Las Clementinas or the American Trade Hotel and wander your way through the painted buildings and little shops in Casco Viejo.
Looking to get out of the city? Head to the western Pacific shore of Panama in the Gulf of Chiriquí lies the tranquil private island of Isla Palenque.
If you’re headed to South Korea for the first time, be sure to check out the Royal sites in Seoul. Once you’re done with the capital, make your way to Haeinsa, which is a 1,200-year-old Unesco-listed Buddhist complex.
The Best Places to Travel in October
Compared to its neighbor, the U.A.E., Oman is a throwback to old Arabia. Many things are modern, but there’s no denying you’ve made it somewhere else in the capital of Muscat. Around the country, you’ll find some stunning landscapes. Equally impressive is seeing the country by sea.
Want to get up close to a polar bear? In the Northern Manitoba town of Churchill, these loveable animals practically live next door. Okay, don’t get too close as they are bears after all, but it’s amazing to see them travel to their hunting grounds.
Blue Ridge Parkway
See some of the best fall foliage in the world as you drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia and North Carolina. You’ll be crossing through multiple national parks, so it’s best to plan some downtown to see nature at its best.
The Best Places to Travel in November
Stay warm by flying down to Florida. While you may have already visited this state before, flights to Florida are frequent and usually reasonably priced. Check out the new attractions in Orlando, rent an exotic car in Miami, or explore one of these five fabulous Florida destinations that should be on your list of the best places to travel in 2019.
With the heat much more bearable, you can see Abu Dhabi’s cultural sites without sweating too much. Marvel at the size of Sheikh Zayed Mosque or the stunning architecture of the Louvre Abu Dhabi – yes there’s a Louvre in the Middle East.
You’ll want to avoid the manufactured holiday of Singles Day, which takes place on November 11th since prices are inflated, but the rest of the month is just fantastic. Enjoy the city’s top attractions, but don’t forget about the natural ones. The 100km MacLehose Trail on Lantau Island is especially peaceful.
The Best Places to Travel in December
You may not know this, but Scotland loves to celebrate the New Year. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a major city or a small town, you’ll find a party wherever you are. Add in all the Christmas markets, and you’ll love this winter wonderland.
Edinburgh in Scotland is a beautiful city and worth the climbs for some of the best views and one of the best places to travel in 2019. From the Edinburgh Castle to Arthur’s Seat, it is worth bringing comfortable walking shoes on this trip.
The best part about visiting Edinburgh in winter though is the Christmas Market. Here you can shop for unique Christmas presents at vendor’s stalls, test your balance by going ice skating, or take a try at a few carnival style games. It can be a little chilly this time of the year, but luckily you can also buy some mulled wine to keep you warm.
Visit the Kingdom of a Million Elephants in December when there’s less rain but still enough for river journeys. Laos doesn’t get as much attention as other countries in Southeast Asia, but that just means you’ll get fewer crowds. Laos is still relatively cheap for tourists and the food is delicious.
Head to Northern Spain where you can dine on Basque cuisine in one of the best coastal cities. The food differs quite a bit from other parts of Spain with the spicy sauces being a local specialty. Best of all, you can find good food on any budget.
Utah is the perfect destination for the adventure-seeker or someone looking to get their first experience exploring nature. Flying into Salt Lake City, many travellers in the winter will be finding their way to Park City for some time on the slopes.
Extend your trip and see the beautiful red rocks of Utah and explore the national parks in the winter when the crowds are smaller and the prices are lower. Spend your time hiking through Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to find a flight deal, book a beautiful hotel, request your vacation time and be on your way to explore a new corner of this world in 2019. Now that you know the best places to travel in 2019, all you have to do is pack you bags and be on your way.