Travel future

Travel plans for 2019

Travel plans for 2019

A new year, an empty diary and a whole lot of travel ideas, it must be time for my annual travel plans post! As ever, last year’s travel ambitions were a bit hit and miss. My trips to Guadeloupe and Kraków worked out as planned, Saint Lucia and Malta were unexpected additions, and I traded in my plans for a big birthday trip for a Master’s degree in Scotland instead.

Student life means I won’t be travelling much until the spring, and my sustainability course means I’m becoming a lot more aware of the impact that travel has on the environment and people in the places we visit. So I’m cutting down on flying (especially short haul) and trying to visit a few lesser-known places away from the tourist hotspots in 2019. But there are still lots of exciting plans in the pipeline – here’s where I’m hoping the next 12 months take me.

Read more: On the Luce in 2018: The travel review

Cat in a suitcase

All packed!

Lapland

2019’s travels are getting off to an exciting – and very chilly – start as I’m heading out to Lapland this week. I spotted some bargain flights to Rovaniemi in Northern Finland back in the summer after easyJet started a new route out there, so I snapped them up. Then everyone I told decided they wanted to come too, so we’ve ended up with a group of eight of us going now.

We’re hiring a big log house just outside of the city and will be trying out husky sledding, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, visiting a snow castle full of giant Moomins (as you do) and fingers crossed I’ll finally get to see the Northern Lights. All while being incredibly well wrapped up in five layers of thermals as night-time temperatures out there hit -25ºC last week!

Northern Lights in Lapland

The Northern Lights (hopefully)

Lots more Scotland

This one’s a given as I have another semester of my degree course left, so I’ll be spending half of my weeks back in Dumfries until the end of March. But between the lectures and essay-writing I plan to make the most of my temporary base north of the border and see more of Scotland. Including actually exploring Dumfries and Galloway as I’ve not left the city yet.

On the cards so far is a rail trip on the West Highland Railway up to the Isle of Skye and a weekend in Aberdeen. I’d also like to head out to the islands and visit either Shetland or Orkney. Of course there’ll be plenty of trips to my beloved Edinburgh too – not least as I’m going to be working on an exciting new project in 2020, writing a guidebook to the city. And fingers crossed I’ll be heading back to Glasgow in the autumn to graduate with my Master’s degree.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland

The West Highland Railway route

Northern Italy

A trip to the Dolomites in Northern Italy was on my 2018 list, but I ended up with a summer week in the mountains across the border in Morzine in France instead. So when I saw the 2019 Traverse travel blogging conference was being held in the Italian city of Trento next June I couldn’t resist snapping up a ticket (any excuse for a dose of pasta and prosecco).

I’ll be spending a couple of days in Trento for the conference but will also tag on a few extra days to explore the area. The initial idea is to head up into the Dolomites for some walks in that amazing mountain scenery and then visit Verona or Lake Garda. Or maybe head down to the coast and across the border into Croatia and the Istria peninsula wine region.

The Dolomites in Northern Italy

The beautiful Dolomites

Alaska and the Rockies

This year’s big adventure is going to combine a trip back to one of my favourite countries with one of my top wishlist destinations – Alaska. I’ve visited Canada three times now but the one part I haven’t seen is probably its most iconic region, the Rocky Mountains. The plan is to head back into an RV and do a road trip through the gorgeous lakes and mountains of the Rockies, before catching the Rocky Mountaineer train to Vancouver. From there we’ll take a cruise up through the Inside Passage to see the fjords and glaciers along Alaska’s coastline.

Alaska cruise through the fjords.

Cruising through the Alaskan fjords

Eastern Europe

Kraków in Poland was my favourite city of 2018, so I’d love to get back to Eastern Europe and see some more. I’ve got some Air France compensation vouchers to use up so I’ve been looking at the places I can fly to with them and Warsaw is top of the list. But it would be great to extend the trip and travel down through Eastern Europe by train (my rail trip geek side is already getting overexcited about all the train schedule planning involved!). But even if I don’t make it further than Warsaw, this redeveloped city looks like a fascinating place to explore.

Warsaw old town in Poland

Warsaw in Poland

The Middle East

This year’s wildcard trip is a return to the Middle East for an end-of-year dose of sunshine. I loved travelling around Jordan a few years back and keep reading about other places in the region I’d like to visit – Lebanon for the wine, Abu Dhabi for the skyscapers, Egypt for the pyramids. But top of my Middle East wishlist is Oman for its mix of big city Muscat, historic forts, coastline, mountains and desert wilderness – plus the fact it’s still relatively unvisited.

Middle East sunset

Middle East sunset

So those are my 2019 travel plans so far. How about you, where do you hope to visit over the next 12 months? Or do you have any tips for any of the destinations I’m hoping to visit?

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35 Comments

  • Reply
    Jess
    January 2, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    I would love to travel into Asia & The Middle East but I already have so much planned for this year.

    xoxo
    Jess
    The Crown Wings | UK Travel & Lifestyle Blog

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2019 at 9:12 pm

      So many places to visit it’s always tough to narrow it down!

  • Reply
    Kim John
    January 2, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    I discovered my passport runs out in June and no real plans to travel anywhere – as much as I’d like to, my bank account says no! However, I would absolutely love to go to Italy and me and the other half discussed (and by discussed I mean, I told him) that we could investigate the possibility of going away for Christmas this year. We shall see – either way, I’m going to need to renew my passport!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      Italy is one of my favourite countries in the world – so diverse (and such great food and drink!). Christmas away sounds good too – better get that passport renewed!

  • Reply
    Julia
    January 2, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    I can’t wait to hear about your Lapland adventures as it is on my wish list for next year when I celebrate my 50th! This year we are exploring Santorini, hoping to climb Ben Nevis as managed Snowden last May which was on my bucket list and in the summer off to Slovenia and Cyprus in October!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2019 at 9:14 pm

      Sounds like you have some great trips in the planning – Santorini is just gorgeous and I loved Slovenia. Good luck with the Ben Nevis climb too!

  • Reply
    Explore With Ed
    January 2, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    I soooo want to see the northern lights (fingers crossed for you) – and the dolomites!

    I’m heading to Eastern Europe too, first trip to the Baltics and looking forward to it 😀

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2019 at 9:14 pm

      I so wanted to do a Baltic cruise last year but it didn’t quite work out, one for the future though for sure – have a great trip!

  • Reply
    Ben Zabulis
    January 3, 2019 at 1:18 am

    Oman is a good choice for the Middle East as of course is Jordan. Great to see that you’re into sustainability, it’s a buzz word at the moment especially among us engineers. We’ve cut back on flights and have done a lot recently via boat and/or train – having said that, not sure what 2019 will bring travel-wise, no plans yet… lots to think about ! Happy New Year !!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2019 at 9:16 pm

      Happy New Year to you too! I loved Jordan so hope to make it to Oman, though definitely looking more to sustainability – trains are my favourite way to travel so I’ll be doing as much as I can short-haul by land.

  • Reply
    John
    January 3, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Oman looks fantastic – I know a couple who got out there last year and loved it. And I challenge anyone to not love Warsaw. Looks like another great year!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2019 at 9:17 pm

      Fingers crossed! Look forward to seeing where 2019 takes you too.

  • Reply
    April | April Everyday
    January 4, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    So umm, can I just tag along on all of your adventures this year please haha?! They all sound so amazing (and I’m loving the shots of Lapland so far – I definitely need to head there soon).
    We did a roadtrip to Italy last summer in our campervan, and the Dolomites is STUNNING! Definitely recommend some time there – we did Tre Cime di Lavaredo and it’s literally one of my fave places now. Lake Garda is stunning too and I really want to head back again soon to see more. We spent the day at Sirmione!
    xo April | April Everyday

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      Ooh thanks for the Dolomites trip, I’m so excited to finally see that part of Italy, it’s been on the wishlist for so long. Hope you have a fab year of travels too!

  • Reply
    Kim
    January 6, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Seeing the Northern Lights and visiting Ireland (specifically Dublin, Belfast and The Giant Causeway) are high on my wish list this year. But, besides my sister’s hen weekend in Disneyland Paris, I haven’t made any firm travel plans yet this year. My friend and I are hoping to travel some of Northern Italy in the Autumn.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2019 at 9:19 pm

      Italy is wonderful! I’ve still not seen much of Ireland yet but would love to explore some more. Happy travels!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    January 7, 2019 at 3:49 am

    I’m in love with Scotland and I want to go back this year (first trip was in October of 2018) and explore more, especially the Highlands region. And seeing the northern lights is on my bucket list, too! I can’t wait to read more about your travels.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2019 at 9:33 pm

      Scotland is so lovely! I’ve got a lot of places to see while I’m up here and the Highlands are high on my list too.

  • Reply
    MummyTravels
    January 8, 2019 at 8:42 am

    I am.still dithering about where to go – but highly recommend Oman, we had an amazing week and I’d love to go back and explore more.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 9, 2019 at 8:49 am

      Your posts definitely made me add it to my list – fingers crossed we can make it work!

  • Reply
    Maria Stadler
    January 9, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Amazing plans you have! The northern lights are on my list as well, going to Finland in February, I hope I’ll manage to see them!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 9, 2019 at 8:45 am

      Fingers crossed for you!

  • Reply
    Jason Lang
    January 10, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this post. Happy travels!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 14, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks – and you too!

  • Reply
    trinitravels
    January 22, 2019 at 1:25 am

    Sounds fantastic! Hope it exceeds expectations!!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 25, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks, hope you have a great year too!

  • Reply
    Holly Da Silva
    January 22, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Italy is on my travel list this year too! x

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 25, 2019 at 1:50 pm

      Love Italy! I don’t think I could ever get bored of visiting.

  • Reply
    pam
    February 3, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Heading to Wales and Manchester in June. Any advice? Also planning a trip in November of flying from US to Brussels than taking train to Bruges; Cologne and than Amsterdam. Returning home from Amsterdam. Any advice on taking the train between these cities? Little nervous on how easy this will be. Thanks!!

  • Reply
    Hannah
    March 6, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Those trips all sound incredible, especially the road trip through the Rockies! This year I’d love to head back to South America and spend some time in Colombia.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      March 10, 2019 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks can’t wait to see the Rockies! Colombia sounds amazing, I would love to explore South America.

  • Reply
    TRAVEL DONE CLEVER
    April 26, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Sounds exciting! When visiting Eastern Europe, consider visiting stunning Prague 🙂 We have just come back to the UK from St Lucia and Martinique. We are off to Rome in May and to Slovakia in June 🙂 and later we will see..

    • Reply
      Lucy
      April 27, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      I visited Prague a while back – great city! Slovakia is lovely too, hope you have a great trip.

  • Reply
    Katie
    June 21, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Just stumbled your site Lucy whilst doing some research for a forthcoming trip to Montenegro – definitely wish I’d come across it sooner!
    Wow! You are living the dream, if only I had an endless supply of annual leave from work (and a money tree!)

    My 2019 has so far included trips to:
    – Barcelona (for the umpteenth time)
    – Budapest
    – Malta
    – Brussels, Brugge & Antwerp

    Still to come:
    – Dubrovnik
    – Montenegro
    – Providence, Rhode Island (work trip)
    – Dublin & Co. Wicklow
    – Christmas market trip: Salzburg or Prague

    • Reply
      Lucy
      June 21, 2019 at 6:02 pm

      Ah thanks so much! Sounds like you’ve got a pretty great 2019 planned. Montenegro is fantastic, hope you enjoy it.

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