9 Peak Millennial Getaways of 2019
For many of us, 2018 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2019! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January and February for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.
It’s the perfect time to start making your 2019 travel bucket list. If you’re anything like us, you’re looking for ways you can fully immerse yourself in the culture, meet local people in the area, try some one-of-a-kind activities and, of course, take tons of photos (hey, a pop of color never hurts). To help plan your ultimate itinerary, we’ve asked popular travelgrammers to share their picks for far-flung destinations just now reaching peak popularity in their feeds.
1. Burano, Italy: While many Italian destinations top most millennials’ travel vision boards, this island off the coast of Venice is quickly becoming a major destination, thanks to its multicolored row houses. “Legend has it the houses are all painted bright colors so the fishermen could locate their house through the thick fog,” writes Amanda of @theviewswechase. “Only a short ferry ride from Venice, this place is definitely worth a visit!” While you’re there, you can also check out its history of lace-making and taste some excellent seafood (risotto di gò is the specialty).
2. Porto, Algarve, and Sintra, Portugal: The country of Portugal is still going strong, says Shoshana Gould, who runs the popular Instagram @traveldreamseekers, which features posts from women travelers with 10,000 followers or fewer. Algarve is known for its otherworldly rock formations and beaches. Instagrammers are also flocking to 17th-century Rococo chapel Igreja do Carmo in Porto (above), which is covered in tiles depicting the founding of the Carmelite Order. In Sintra, the wildly beautiful Pena Palace, done in the 19th-century style of Romanticism, is also on everyone’s list. If you’ve already been, you may want to try the nearby Azores Islands, just a quick four-hour plane ride from the east coast.
3. The Houthavens, Amsterdam: Amsterdam is a favorite among many global travelers for its epic food scene, beer culture, and world-famous museums. Its new waterfront development area, Houthaven, is worth its own visit to see how the city is expanding in planned, environmentally conscious ways. The city’s new creative and design hub, the area also boasts its own burgeoning restaurant scene — such as Pont 13 in a converted ferry boat — and more affordable hotel options than the downtown’s often packed, pricey, and cramped hotels (the new all-suite hotel Residence Inn has free daily breakfast, a pool, and quiet coworking spaces starting at $119 a night). You’ll also get up-close views of the Pontsteiger, a new skyline landmark.
4. Banff, Alberta, Canada: Another hotspot is Canada’s Banff National Park. “Especially during the summer, Banff pictures were everywhere; it’s a great location because it appeals to a wide variety of millennial travelers — both the outdoorsy and the more fashion-focused traveler. Bonus: It’s an amazing destination in both the summer and the winter,” reports Gould. “Some pictures I’ve featured from Banff are from @julesshingary, @shannondidwhat, and @nikkiriddy.” Best place to stay? The mountainside Rimrock Resort Hotel. And if you want to plan a truly unforgettable trip, Rocky Mountaineer’s First Passage to the West will take you on an epic rail-ride from Vancouver to Banff through the Canadian Rockies’ spiral passageways and craggy peaks.
5. Cartagena, Colombia: Cartagena is known for its bright walls, colorful doors, and flowers that line the apartments — those details stand out on Instagram, Gould tells us. “I was just there myself and have seen so many pictures from the city recently. It’s colorful, safe, vibrant, full of rich culture and history,” she says. Another plus is that for American travelers, it’s really inexpensive (roundtrip flights from the east coast shouldn’t be more than $500) and quick (direct flights from Florida are less than three hours). Check out more pics from Tiffany of @pincaboo, Lauren of @wanderluluu, and Joanna of @jksunbeee (above).
6. Petra, Jordan: “Our trip to Egypt and Jordan has been one of the most incredible and underrated trips we’ve ever done this year,” says Cherrie Almonte, who runs popular travelgram @cherrielynn. “It has been on my bucket list for so long, and I was so surprised when I got asked a lot, ‘What’s in Jordan to see?’ It stuns me that Petra is still not as known as I thought. And for both Egypt and Jordan, more than with the unfamiliarity with the countries, I think one of the things millennial travelers don’t know is that it’s mostly safe to travel to both in the main tourist areas.” (Egypt currently has a level-two travel advisory from the US State Department, as do France and Denmark.)
7. Jaipur, India: Another hotspot is Jaipur. “It’s in northern India, and it’s all over Instagram,” says Gould. “Again, like Cartagena, it’s colorful and inexpensive. Jaipur is known as The Pink City because of the pink/red sandstone used for so many of its buildings.” Atlanta-based Shade of @fola.shade took this shot. “Of all the cities I traveled to in India, Jaipur was by far where I felt the most at home. From the bustle of the old spice markets and tuk tuks, to the jaw-dropping beauty of the Grand Palace and Amer Fort, it was the pinnacle of my Indian adventure and will always have a special place in my heart,” says Shade. Amanda and Cole from @theviewswechase and Grace from @skipwithgrace have also gone to Jaipur recently.
8. Bagan, Myanmar: According to Gould, Myanmar is seeing more travel by Westerners since it opened up its borders recently. While Bagan has become famous for its thousands of 11th- to 13th-century temples, some in the traveling community on Instagram have called for a country-wide boycott after members of the military used Facebook to incite the genocide of its Muslim Rohingya minority population. While ultimately it’s up to every individual to make an informed decision for themselves, Alexandra Saper (@thewayfaress) explained her reasons for visiting, citing boycotts can harm citizens that have nothing to do with the violence. “Dollars consciously spent can help keep food on the table for its citizens, many of whom rely on the hospitality and tourism industry for a living, and cross-cultural conversations between locals and travelers can facilitate the exchange of more progressive ideas and values on subjects like violence, human rights, and political oppression,” she explains, noting that in Bagan, “it’s as if centuries of complex religious, economic, and political history are all captured and encased, to stand the test of time, in the thousands of cone-shaped pagodas that pierce the hazy skyline.” Award-winning travel blogger Hannah of @saltinourhair, who took this shot above, says, “Exploring the temple area by e-bike is a fantastic way to see the temples of Bagan.”
9. Ella, Sri Lanka: “Many travelers add Sri Lanka to their itinerary if they are in either India or Southeast Asia,” shares Gould. “Pictures from Colombo, Ella, and Dalawella Beach are trending.” Mimi of @mimischorer, whose photograph of Ella is featured above, concurs. “Sri Lanka, and especially Ella, is indeed a beautiful destination.” If you’re already in the area, it’s definitely worth expanding your itinerary.
One thing to note, stresses Gould: Please research all destinations before you go, including how animals are being treated, and find out as much as you can about the places you’re shooting. “There was a big push on Instagram recently against an ‘elephant sanctuary’ in Sri Lanka. It was a popular Instagram destination because you can get pictures with elephants, but, sadly, the animals were horribly treated,” Gould explains. “Luckily, there has been a lot of public backlash, and it shows that when people rally together, positive change can be made.” In fact, there seems to be a shift away from doing it solely “for the ‘gram” and toward a growing awareness around what it really means to be an ethical traveler. “It’s important to learn about the destinations, and try to understand the context of why destinations are they way that they are,” encourages Gould. “For example, the street art in Medellin, Colombia, is a grassroots response to protest violence and crime and a way to ask for meaningful social change from their local government. Experiences where you can meet locals — maybe a free walking tour, or an Airbnb experience — add a lot to a trip and give the destination more meaning.”
There are some amazing influencers out there who are using their platform to make a difference and encourage others to travel responsibly. “Chelsea Yamase does an amazing job of this,” Gould tells us, “as does Natasha Holland. I’m hoping that they are the start of a larger trend. I’ve seen @wearetravelgirls promote ways to be sustainable while traveling as well. Instagram is an amazing platform because everyone is an influencer — it’s just up to the individual how they want to use their spotlight. I hope that going forward, more individuals provide context and encourage discussion via Instagram.”
Which destination is your number one for 2019? Tag us in your vacay pics @BritandCo.