With 2018 behind us, it’s time to start planning your 2019 Summer Getaway. This year, pretend like this is your ultimate travel bucket list and knock them off one at a time. That means not waiting for your friends to finally have enough money, waiting until you meet the right guy, simply stop being afraid of the unknown.
My top bucket list adventures for 2019 have all been handpicked by your girl so you know they are going to be good! Among the reviews you will find: Hot Air balloons, Overwater Bungalows, swimming with the pigs, historical landscapes and new restaurants worth traveling for. To help you get the most bang for your buck, I accompanied each recommendation with a pro tip to help you save money when it’s when to go, discount flights, or the ideal time to travel.
Start packing: Let’s get those passports stamped!
11 Underrated Summer Getaways for 2019
If you are on Instagram I am sure you have seen the photos of hot air balloons floating in the sky as if it were some magical fairytale from another world. Cappadocia is geologically amazing from the rolling hills, towering boulders and concrete formations that were built thousands of years ago.
Cappadocia, Turkey is like having your very own fairytale kingdom. Cappadocia was formed by a volcanic eruption that is now filled with breathtaking land surfaces and an impressive underground chambers, tunnels, and cities from thousands of years ago.
It is composed of 5 provinces: Aksaray, Nevsehir, Nigde, Kayseri, and Kirsehir. The beautiful underground cities were declared “World Heritage” by UNESCO in 1985 but the main attraction to Cappadocia these days is the chance to see the city from above in a hot air balloon.
Luckily, you can book a flight from just about anywhere and see it for yourself and book your stay at Sultan Caves for an unforgettable and Ultimate bucket list adventure.
When to go: Istanbul is charming in April, during the city’s international tulip festival and value peaks during the shoulder-season months of June and September.
When not to go: In July and August, the busiest tourism months, hotel rates are as sky-high as the temperatures.
2. Costa Rica
Santa Teresa is located on the remote tip of the Nicoya peninsula. You will experience incredible sunsets, delicious international restaurants, luxurious boutique hotels, and myriad adventures including: (ATV rentals, nature tours, journeys on horseback, etc.) are all part of what makes this the romantic getaway of a lifetime.
Santa Teresa has 800 miles of shoreline, protected rainforest, and reserves, volcano-heated hot springs, and lush river valleys keep me returning to Santa Teresa year after year.
Santa Teresa has not become a tourist trap just yet like so many other parts of the country with the influx of condos and mega-resorts. This little town remains rugged, rustic and natural but I worry that will not be the case much longer because Santa Teresa, Costa Rica is no longer one of my best-kept secrets. I suggest staying at Florblanca Luxury Resort! I promise you will not be disappointed.
When to go: Early December and May, the start and end of high season. You get great weather without paying top dollar.
You’ll get clear mornings—but heavy showers every afternoon—during the rainy season, from June to October.
3. Czech Republic
Famous for natural parks, beautiful preserves, and gorgeous villages, the Czech Republic is one of the most fascinating destinations I’ve ever visited. Each city is studded with castles, ancient buildings, and beautiful ornate churches. The Czech Republic is the most famous for its vintage pride of Prague Castle that dates back to the 9th century but it’s most underrated and overlooked gem is Olomouc.
Olomouc is home to Holy Trinity, Saint Wenceslas Cathedral, and the Church of Saint Maurice. Let’s not forget the food in the Czech Republic because the Czech’s prepare some of the most savory meals you will ever have the pleasure of tasting.
Being home to such historical gems, the Czech Republic should definitely be on your 2019 bucket list.
Many cities in Europe are very expensive to visit but the Czech Republic is not one of those cities. Your airfare will be the most expensive thing you will pay for because the hotel, food, and cocktails are so inexpensive it seems almost unreal. I stayed in a 5-star hotel and a luxury hostel for less than $100.00 bucks per night.
4. Sri Lanka
If golden beaches, calming waves, larger than life mountains, majestic elephants, and giant whales, are what you are looking then Sri Lanka is the place for you.
There is so much to do and see in this tiny little country in South Asia located in the Indian Ocean. You could be surfing at dawn and exploring the green-carpeted mountains by dusk. After exploring all day enjoy some of the cuisines Sri Lanka is known for from its spicy food, exotic fruits and the array of sweetmeats found nowhere else in the world.
Sri Lanka has a mix of religions, cultures, beautiful temples, and let us not forget the wildlife. This tiny country has something for families, adrenaline junkies, foodies and couples no matter the budget.
Although Sri Lanka’s southern beaches attract the most tourist the east coast is still undeveloped. The most known among the Eastern beaches is the Arugam Bay, which is where the surfer’s hangout.
Zimbabwe has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons and many travel bloggers were even boycotting the country because of its political views and the regime that ran the country. Zimbabwe is one of Africa’s safest destinations and is also home to the Big Five-filled national parks, listed on the World Heritage site, and, of course, Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe is ready to reclaim its title as a premier safari destination and tourism magnet not only for adventurers, families and travel bloggers.
Zimbabwe is home to some truly stunning national parks – from Hwange National Park (the third largest in Africa) to Mana Pools (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site) to Victoria Falls National Park.
You don’t even have to seek out wildlife in Zimbabwe wildlife seeks you out! There will be herds of elephants, zebras snacking just feet away or even a lion pride will stroll right past your tent. The options are endless in Zimbabwe.
The safari’s in Zimbabwe won’t break the bank and in fact, Zimbabwe comes out on top when it comes to pricing against other safari’s so definitely put Zimbabwe on your travel bucket list.
6. Emilia Romagna
If you are a car lover then Emilia Romagna is the dream vacation you have been in search of your entire life. Emilia is home to Pavarotti, Enzo Ferarri, Ferruccio Lamborghini, and the Ducati brothers. It is also the land of Parmesan Cheese and Balsamic vinegar! What more is there to want in life?
I had no idea Emilia existed prior to Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX). When people think of Italy and they want to experience the Italy they have seen in the movies but instead, they get Rome and thousands of tourist stepping all over each other trying to get a photo, unauthentic pasta, and extremely long lines at every decent restaurant.
Emilia is the Italy you long for after years of dreaming about visiting Italy. Emilia reminds me of the Amalfi Coast where old men sit outside and chat about soccer or the news and where locals yell Ciao and Grazie on a regular basis.
Emilia is filled with beautiful scenery, rich history and a food culture like no other so pack your bags now and book your flight.
Rimini’s oldest monument is the Arco d’Augusto, now stranded in the middle of a square just inside the city ramparts. It was erected in 27 BC, making it the oldest surviving ancient Roman arch.
7. Matera, Italy
Matera is set right on the boot of Italy and best known for the white Sassi structures carved into limestone hills, which earned the town a UNESCO designation. The announcement that Matea would be the 2019 European Capital of Culture has spurred an increase in tourism.
It’s not the easiest place to reach which is why it has managed to remain relatively unknown, especially to American tourists but the region is slowly growing and many of the caves Matera is known for are now boutique hotels and restaurants.
Like the Amalfi Coast, the best way to explore the neighborhoods is by foot, roaming through the labyrinth of narrow alleyways, up and down uneven stone staircases, discovering dead ends and tiny courtyards adorned with flower pots, and cave churches.
If you don’t like stairs, Matera, Italy might not be for you so bring your walking shoes and Apple watch and prepare to work up a sweat… especially if you’re visiting in the summer.
8. Exuma, Bahamas
The Exumas are a 120-mile-long island chain-within-the-chain of the Out Islands, with the Exuma Cays scattered in a long line extending north toward New Providence from Great Exuma. The Cays are the most exotic of the Out Islands, a collection of tiny jewels set in the aquamarine and sapphire of the most beautiful water you’ve ever imagined.
Where are the swimming pigs?
Although its location may be somewhat remote, I suggest staying at Sandals Emerald Bay which is an all-inclusive adults-only property. The resort has three pools, a 150-slip marina, two whirlpools, and of course their signature Red Lane Spa which you will need after a day of swimming with the pigs.
June through November is considered hurricane season, and the pigs are usually taken to shelter during those months.
Belize is home to the world’s second-largest barrier reef; its interior is riddled with some of the most extensive and accessible cave systems in Central America, and the people have heritages that include Maya, Mestizo, Garifuna, Creole, and Mennonite. Many travelers are still unsure of where Belize is on the map.
Belize has so much to offer from culture, cuisine and people so take advantage of the country’s stunning cayes and jungle hideaways, and travelers are discovering a slice of Central America that’s relatively uninhabited by tourist.
I suggest ditching the beach for the jungle and stay Ka’ana Luxury Resort. Ka’ana Belize Boutique Resort lies right in the heart of the Belize jungle. The resort is just 2 hours from the capital, Belize City, and just minutes away from San Ignacio so Belize should definitely be at the top of your bucket list adventures.
Allow the hotel to set up a day of explorations which will include ancient Mayan caves where rituals used to be performed, float on an inner tube down rivers, explore ancient Mayan ruins, or plan a private picnic right next to a waterfall.
1o. Billings, MT
Shaped by the Yellowstone River on one side and protected by the Rims on the other, Billings, Montana, is a small town with an enormous history, unbelievable natural formations and kind people. Visit Pictograph Cave State Park to learn about the life of Montana ancestors 2,000 years ago, stroll through Montana Zoo to meet the animals that live in the Rockies and bike the trails on the Rimrocks for spectacular views of Billings, MT.
Yellowstone Cellars & Winery is a boutique winery that makes wines from hand-picked premium red and white grapes from small vineyards in the Yakima Valley in Washington. The fresh grapes that are still on the stem are transported during the harvest time directly to the winery in Billings, where the grapes are crushed less than 30 hours after the harvest.
Billings, Montana’s Trailhead, has the only self–guided, walkable brewery tour in Montana. This unofficial “brewery district” is located downtown and includes six breweries, two distilleries, and a cider house, all within easy walking distance. Take this 1.5-mile brewery route and I promise you will not be disappointed.
11. Memphis, TN
Last but not least Memphis is home to some of the best BBQ in the world so make sure you go on a culinary tour try out some local favorite BBQ Joints like A&R BBQ, Paynes BBQ, Cozy Corner, Charlie Rendezvous, and Central BBQ just to name a few.
Plan your vacation around the last Friday of each month to take advantage of Trolly Night in downtown Memphis which means the galleries will be open late, special deals, music, and free drinks will be available on South Main.
Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!
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