The start of a new year always gets us excited, planning where to travel over the next 12 months is one of the best ways to start the year; with so many destinations to choose from we’ve rounded up some spots to watch and old favourites to create a list of 100 ideas on where to travel in 2020.
This comprehensive, month-by-month guide is designed to give you inspiration for all of your holiday planning this year. What’s more, we’ve picked the best festivals, activities and experiences for each destination so you’ll jet off already knowing the things you can’t miss.
We realise that everyone likes to spend their time away differently, and to ensure no one feels left out this list features a mix of holidays that focus purely on taking it easy and some destinations that encourage exploration. So, whether you prefer lounging on the beach or going on a tour to discover a country’s diverse culture and landscape, our guide will help you discover where to travel on your next getaway.
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Ideal for those wanting to leave the cold of January for warmer climes, the chilled-out vibe of the Bahamas makes it the perfect place to escape to for some rest after the chaos of Christmas.
Activity: Charter a yacht and sail to the beaches of the Exuma Cays or drop anchor at Rose Island and stroll along its pink sands at sunset.
To sustain that festive feeling well into the new year, spend a long weekend on the snowy peaks of Val D’Isere in France. A weekend spent in the warmth of a chalet will quickly dispel any January blues.
Activity: Ski conditions in Val D’Isere are at their best at the end of January and with peaks that range from beginner slopes to off-piste runs, skiers of all abilities will feel at home here.
Tip: Ski to neighbouring Tignes, one of the highest resorts in the alps, and after just seven minutes on the Grande Motte funicular, experience glacier skiing at 3000m.
Explore the world’s least visited continent on an expedition along gun metal grey waters through strikingly blue glaciers witnessing some of nature’s greatest geographical marvels first hand.
Activity: The diverse wildlife of Antarctica means you’ll be huddled alongside a colony of penguins one day and watching humpback and orca whales glide through its icy waters the next.
Tip: The best way to safely explore Antarctica is on a luxury expedition cruise, allow guides to navigate through the frozen landscape on zodiacs before returning to the comfort of the ship in the evening.
The labyrinthine streets and grand piazzas of Venice retain their charm in the cooler winter months, so take the opportunity to explore one of Italy’s most famous cities without the summer crowds.
Activity: A visit to Venice during February means one thing: Carnival. Marvel at locals lining the streets in their renaissance costumes before indulging in the true hedonism of the festival at a private masquerade ball.
Tip: For an authentic taste of Venice dine at Hostaria Da Franz; as the menu changes daily, your waiter will recite the days choices to you along with suggested wine pairings for each course.
This February, celebrate Chinese New Year in Asia’s chicest city, where modern architecture defies engineering and Michelin-star street food sets you back £1.
Activity: Take a break from city life to visit Gardens by the Bay, wander through a cloud forest and flower dome in the late afternoon and watch the light show at Supertree grove once the sun sets.
Tip: Before you leave Singapore, make sure you leave enough time to explore its world-famous airport. Bounce above manicured gardens in sky nets and take a quick stroll through the butterfly garden before boarding.
The extra time off supplied by February half-term makes it the perfect time to discover Whistler. Just hours from Vancouver and home to some of Canada’s best ski slopes after a week, ski aficionados won’t want to leave.
Activity: Make sure your stay in Whistler falls on a Sunday and prepare to watch expert athletes jumping through rings of fire at the weekly fire and ice show.
A beautiful way to step into spring, South Africa’s warm weather, rugged coastlines, diverse landscapes and the wealth of wildlife that calls this country home make it an exhilarating place to visit.
Activity: Stay on one of South Africa’s breath-taking wildlife reserves and see how many of the Big Five you can spot on a private game drive through the wilderness.
Tip: South Africa is an ideal getaway for a family adventure you won’t forget in a hurry; with child-friendly camps and interactive guides on hand to help little ones spot the wildlife, this is a destination designed for the whole family.
The birthplace of balance, India’s colourful and chaotic cities are complemented by serene mountains, opulent palaces and tranquil wildlife reserves. Follow the locals’ example and you’ll quickly discover that life moves at a different pace here.
Activity: During March Delhi plays host to the annual festival Holi, sedate streets come alive with colour as locals and tourists come together to launch a riot of rainbow powder into the air.
Tip: To experience the best of India, pair your trip to Delhi with a tour around the famous Golden Triangle. Watch sunset at the Taj Mahal in Agra, immerse yourself in the history of Jaipur and relax in free-spirited Goa.
Designed for the curious, the bustling streets of Vietnam’s cities coupled with its tranquil landscapes and sombre history make it ideal for anyone looking for adventure in their holiday.
Activity: Make the most of Vietnam’s diversity with a tour that showcases commotion of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi whilst also factoring in time to visit the sprawling coastlines and hill tribe communities that characterise the rest of the country.
Despite its remarkable panoramas, Oman is often forgotten in favour of its more glamorous Arabian cousin Dubai; however, a visit here reveals vast mountain ranges, calming coastlines and a sun-drenched desert.
Activity: Make the most of Oman’s beautiful scenery on a multi-centre trip focused around craggy canyon views, beach lounging and an evening desert experience.
While things are slowly starting to warm up here in the UK, temperatures are finally becoming tolerable in Australia, making it the perfect time to visit its laid-back cities and sprawling natural spaces.
Activity: Learn more about the country’s untamed wildlife and iconic architecture on an indulgent touring holiday tour that visits its captivating cities, rugged mountains and picturesque islands.
A mystical country resplendent with bustling souks and peaceful scenery, Morocco is a melting pot of Arabian allure and African vitality that visitors can’t help but fall in love with.
Activity: Head to Marrakech and prepare to be drawn in by the exoticism of Djemaa el Fna Square, marvel at locals cooking with tagines before bartering for souvenirs with hawkers in the souk.
Tip: The short flight makes Marrakesh an ideal spot for an adventurous getaway over the long Easter weekend, Morocco’s bustling markets and graceful gardens feel like a world away despite being in the same time zone.
A vibrant playground, Mexico’s archaeological sites, classical guitar music and fresh zesty flavours ignite all of your senses. Divide your time between marvelling at Mayan ruins and chilling on one of its secluded beaches.
Activity: Visit Puebla to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, watch the parade through its colourful historical centre whilst sampling local specialties doused in the city’s signature sauce, mole poblano.
Tip: Take the chance to swim in one of the country’s many natural cenotes, these mystical limestone coves hide mineral-rich turquoise pools that offer an inviting respite from the heat.
Travel to the Amalfi Coast and Capri in May to experience the south of Italy’s beautiful scenery and warm temperatures without the busy crowds that descend in the peak of summer.
Activity: Take a day trip away from Postiano’s pastel streets to visit the ruins in Pompeii, a guided tour through this historical site offers an insight into life in the city nearly 2000 years ago.
Tip: Take a ferry ride from Capri to Naples and visit rustic pizzeria Da Michele. Serving only two flavours: margherita and marinara, queue alongside locals to sample what many say is the best pizza in Italy.
Perfect for a dose of pre-summer warmth during a May half term break, Tenerife’s natural beauty, many beaches and all-encompassing resorts make it an ideal luxury escape for families during the school holidays.
Activity: Tenerife may not be the first destination that comes to mind for whale watching, however the rugged coastlines make for some of the best whale watching in the world.
Witness the historical beauty of Greece’s ever popular islands with an early summer visit. Shops and restaurants will be open for the summer season, but the sunset crowds will be smaller and temperatures cooler.
Activity: With so many beautiful islands to see it can be difficult to pick just one to stay on. Privately charter a yacht and go island-hopping in luxury to experience everything the Greek islands have to offer.
Marvel at the natural wonder of Rwanda’s national parks, active volcanoes and Gorilla-inhabited rainforests in a side of Africa that is about so much more than just safari.
Activity: Made famous by the work of primatologist Diane Fossey, the rainforests of Volcanoes National Park are home to eight habituated family groups of gorilla; trek through the lush vegetation to witness them interact in their natural habitat.
Tip: To ensure you don’t miss out on gorilla trekking we recommend booking your trip to Rwanda well in advance as permits are strictly limited and spots on treks fill up quickly.
With the verdant hills of Douro Valley and peaceful resorts of the ever popular Algarve, Portugal is designed for a rustic multi-centre holiday.
Activity: Twin Portugal with a visit to neighbouring Madeira, a mountainous island that’s home to lush sub-tropical flora and a capital city that’s surrounded by verdant hills and overlooks the island’s dramatic coastlines.
Tip: Famous for its food and wine, a tour of Portugal’s the Douro Valley is an epicurean adventure that indulges all the senses; visit cellars in Porto, blend your own port and sample locally prepared cuisine whilst taking in the country’s natural beauty.
France’s ‘Isle of Beauty’ may be small but makes an impact, home to the Mediterranean light that sparked Henri Matisse’s passion for colour, this is an island that’s sure to mesmerise you from start to finish.
Activity: In the July heat, a slow stroll through Bonifacio to experience the Italian feel that permeates the south of the island. Have lunch in one of the many rustic cafes and hike up to the citadel for panoramic views.
Tip: The best way to experience the bold and varying Corsican landscape is on a helicopter transfer that flies over its verdant valleys and dramatic shorelines.
The most famous in the cluster of Indonesian islands, Bali’s spiritual roots and plethora of natural wonders have made it popular for unplugging from the world and reconnecting to yourself and your loved ones.
Activity: Experience Bali’s heritage and scenic beauty on a tour that takes you to ancient monuments, religious spaces, spectacular look out spots and ends in its cultural hub: Ubud.
Tip: Follow divers to the famous Gilli islands near Bali, often referred to as the turtle capital of the world, the beaches and clear waters here are a highlight of any visit to Indonesia.
One of our favourite spots in the Indian Ocean, a Seychelles holiday centres on remote relaxation. With some islands scattered thousands of miles from anywhere, you have no choice but to let go of your stresses and embrace island life.
Activity: To maximise your castaway experience stay on a private island in the Seychelles, with just a handful of cottages scattered throughout lush vegetation this is a secluded beach holiday at its most luxurious.
Tip: The Seychelles islands are home to some of the most diverse wildlife in the region, keep a look out for giant tortoises and tropical birds on the beaches and schools of rainbow fish darting below the water.
Characterised by volcanic mountain ranges and vast national parks, the natural spectacle of Tanzania makes it one of the best countries to visit in Africa.
Activity: While you can participate in the traditional African safari experience and visit the Ngorongoro volcanic crater, a Tanzanian holiday in August is incomplete without witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration.
Tip: The thrilling way to witness the Great Migration is from a hot air balloon, watch from the skies as thousands of wildebeest swarm across the Serengeti below.
For the quintessential summer holiday experience Florida is the US state to visit. From the glamour of Miami Beach to the exhilaration of Orlando’s theme parks, the sunshine state is all about playing host to family fun.
Activity: If you’re coming to Florida with children, there’s no doubt Walt Disney World Resort is at the top of your ‘places to visit’ list; little ones will love meeting their favourite characters while the older can enjoy the rush of rollercoasters.
Famous for its sun-soaked stone streets, Croatia has seen an increase in popularity in recent years with its azure coastline and historic streets making it one of Europe’s go-to destinations.
Activity: While the mainland is great for Game of Thrones themed exploration, Croatia’s islands are where its beauty can be experienced at its best. Our favourites are Hvar and Korcula Island where you’ll find sleepy stone villages surrounded by clear Adriatic waters.
Tip: Don’t forget to visit neighbouring Montenegro to see Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and centuries old Mediterranean port overlooking the ocean and enveloped by limestone cliffs.
A deeply spiritual and peaceful country, Sri Lanka is characterised by its kind locals, verdant landscapes and delicate citadels; expect to pass elephants roaming freely as you walk to one of the many tropical beaches that line its coastline.
Activity: Sri Lanka’s colonial history transforms it into more than ‘just another beach holiday’; for a glimpse into the past, visit the ruins of 17th century Dutch cinnamon trading port of Negombo.
Tip: A trip to Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Ceylon Tea Trails in Hatton. Stay in one of five colonial homes with views that look out across at the country’s natural wonders while learning about the history of surrounding tea plantations.
With a flourishing capital full of Byzantine treasures and Roman history and up and coming Riviera, Turkey is a melting pot of European refinement and Asian mystique.
Activity: It may be tempting to head straight to the warmth and beauty of Turkey’s riviera, but the vibrant streets of Istanbul are an assault on the senses. Feel humbled at the grand mosques, spoilt for choice at bazaars and relaxed in the world renowned Turkish baths.
A quiet escape from the energy of nearby New York City, New England is a cluster of six states characterised by quaint villages, majestic mountains and most importantly, dense forests.
Activity: During late September and early October the changing foliage dominates New England. Take a road trip through the states and stop off to witness one of nature’s most colourful displays from the skies on a hot air balloon ride.
Tip: Due to the popularity of New England’s autumnal colours it is essential to book well in advance as many of the luxury inns and hotels fill up extremely quickly.
The glamorous jewel of Arabia, Dubai’s architecture, palatial hotels resplendent with luxurious super suites and year-round warm temperatures mean it always ranks highly in our favourite spots for winter sun.
Activity: A desert playground, the fun of various activities and water sports on the palm can be followed by world-class dining in Michelin starred restaurants where innovative dishes offer a multi-cultural fusion of flavours.
Aside from the lure of Los Angeles’ celebrity, The Golden State is one of America’s most naturally diverse states; home to dense, misty forests of soaring redwoods in the north and scorching deserts in the south.
Activity: There are few things more quintessentially American than a Californian road trip. Start in the mountainous forests surrounding Yosemite and Big Sur, dive into the San Francisco’s culture and finish on the red carpet at a Hollywood film premiere.
Tip: Don’t forget to sample some of the finest wines in the world in the vineyards of California’s Napa Valley. Spend the day cycling around the vines before a wine tasting and indulgent Michelin-starred meal in the evening.
Perfect for a long haul holiday during October half term, the warm winter sun and tropical beaches of Mauritius are a popular choice during the autumnal months.
Activity: If you can stand to tear yourself away from the beach for an hour or so, explore the historical centre of Port Louis, a capital peppered with crumbling edifices, historical buildings and remnants of the island’s past.
Tip: Schedule a trip to visit Mauritius’ botanical gardens, nestled inland and filled with giant waterlilies and bold hibiscus flowers this hidden gem is not to be missed.
With the energetic streets of Bangkok and peaceful nature of its paradisiacal islands, Thailand is a country that’s home to as much natural beauty as rich cultural heritage.
Activity: Experience the essence of Thailand on a tour that takes in the vibrancy of Bangkok’s culture before flying south to slow down on the beaches of Phuket and secluded beauty of rugged island Koh Yao Noi.
Tip: Take a break from the chaos of tuk tuks and discover Bangkok from a different perspective on a guided river cruise down Chao Phraya River.
A cluster of islands in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are designed for off-grid leisure time. With most resorts having their own island and distinct style, it is easy to choose a secluded beach holiday suited to your tastes.
Activity: There are few places with water as bright and clear as the Maldives, take advantage of the conditions snorkelling amongst reefs and plant your own coral as part of local conservation projects.
Tip: Extend your visit to the Maldives with an Arabian stopover in Dubai or Oman, experience the natural and cultural wonders of these mystical countries before heading on to the calm of an island in the Indian Ocean.
Dubbed as the number one country to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet, Bhutan is full of verdant valleys and pristine mountains where ancient monasteries rest amongst the clouds on rugged cliffs.
Activity: Explore Bhutan in luxury and stay in the Aman lodges that pepper the landscape; discover the country’s beguiling beauty on scenic private drives through the mountains when travelling to each location.
There’s nothing quite like celebrating the festive season than in the snowy wilderness of Father Christmas’ home; Finnish Lapland is an immersive winter wonderland that charms both kids and grown-ups.
Activity: Coming here in December means one thing: an audience with Father Christmas himself. Take your little ones on a magical husky safari through the woodland that ends with meeting Father Christmas and baking gingerbread houses with the elves.
Tip: Due to its immense popularity it is vital you book early when planning your visit to Finnish Lapland. Many of the experiences – especially those with Father Christmas – are highly sought after at this time of year.
Head to New York City in December for a wintery city full of festive movie magic. The city that never sleeps comes alight in the lead up to Christmas, snow dusts the streets and trees of central park and it feels like you’re living your own Christmas movie.
Activity: For a truly special Christmas experience in New York, head to Rockefeller Centre and after looking over the city from 70 floors above watch the famous tree light up from a private viewing platform.
Tip: Ask for an evening private drive around Brooklyn to see some of the most lavish Christmas lights and decorations in all five boroughs.
A favourite for winter sun, a visit to Barbados in December provides the perfect top-up of sun in the middle of the cold winter months; ring in the new year in style on white sandy beaches with panoramic island views.
Activity: Take a break from relaxing on Barbados’ golden beaches and take in some of the island’s culture visiting George Washington’s colonial home and St. Nicholas Abbey, just one of three Jacobean mansions in the western hemisphere.