Yes, there’s New York City and San Francisco and Los Angeles and Miami. And of course, Paris, London, Barcelona and Montreal.
But we’ve entered a new year. So maybe it’s time to do some new thinking about different places to travel, about what you want to experience and what you want to see. The new convention is exploring the unconventional.
Here are a few options that are growing in popularity. You’ll want to explore them before all of your friends start posting their own Instagram pics from there. And given their distance, you’ll want to prep with the best travel accessories to make the trip comfortable.
Cinque Terre is a cluster of five insanely colorful towns straddling the cliffs along the coastline of the Italian Riviera. As you look down at it from your plane, you’ll see what looks like a random splash of rainbow colored candy dropped across the austere gray cliffs.
Cinque Terre is as beautiful on the ground as it is from above. You can scale down the cliffs to watch the fishing boats in the harbors. The restaurants in this Ligurian region have their own seafood specialties and are known for their pesto.
There’s a hiking trail -- the Sentiero Azzurro (aka the Light Blue Trail) -- along with the cliffside that links all five villages and provides stunning views of the Mediterranean.
This a destination that you’ll dream about long after your trip is over.
The lush rainforest is the attraction on the Chinese island of Hainan. The Yanoda Rainforest is near the city of Sanya, which is connected by a shuttle that makes a trip from the Sanya Phoenix International Airport quite easy.
The rainforest encompasses 47 square miles of land, part of which the government has designated as a tourism zone. While most people think of rainforest when they hear the word, Yanoda has been also described as “part movie set, Mickey Mouse Club, and Club Med.” There are cartoon character sculptures at the entrance to the rainforest, with all of them smiling to demonstrate Yanoda’s reputation as “the ultimate happy place.” And the zip lines that can take you from one part of the forest to another, looking down at the thick and lush green land below while soaring through the bright blue sky.
You can also climb the waterfalls and walk upstairs, across suspension bridges, and along plank roads to see the vegetation, the native animals and the enormous boulders wrapped with massive old-growth root-and-vine networks.
Monteverde, Costa Rica
If you love flowers and you love birds, this is the place for you. Smithsonian Journeys says Monteverde is home to “100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds (including 30 kinds of hummingbirds), and 2,500 species of plants (including 420 types of orchids).
And then there’s the Glasswing butterfly, housed in Monteverde’s Butterfly Garden, along with the Blue Morpho. And of course, there’s the quetzal, fanning its beautiful plumes, which legend has it lost its voice when Spain conquered the land in the 16th century. Legend also has it that that voice will come back when the people and the land are totally free.
Okay, you may have heard of McAllen. But the odds are you haven’t heard why it should be on your travel list for 2019.
This small city in the lower Rio Grande Valley is known as “the City of Palms,” which reflects its incredible weather. It’s also one of the artsiest small towns in the United States. In addition to local galleries, the MCA2 Creative Incubator is the place for performances and exhibitions by local artists.
For you science and history buffs, McAllen has the Veteran’s War Memorial, the International Museum of Art & Science and Quinta Mazatlan, a 10,000 square foot Spanish Revival style mansion surrounded by an estate where people can see and learn about birds, plants and learn about environmental stewardship in South Texas.
Oh, there’s also a nightlife district, a place to take a break from history and science and get your Texas Two-Step on, if that’s what you’re into.
Must Have Travel Items
Each of these travel destinations is entirely different. But no matter which of them you put on your 2019 travel list, you’ll want to make sure you have the best travel accessories to make your trip comfortable. The travel items any travel addict should have on his or her list are a Sleeping Mask, a Travel Wrap, and a Travel Pillow.
That’s where HappyLuxe comes into play. They offer all three separately or packaged together in their Paris Travel Set. Each travel item is designed by a female professional pilot. Who is better to know what you’ll need to relax on your exotic trip?
The HappyLuxe Wayfarer Travel Wrap, Escape Sleep Mask, and Odyssey Travel Pillow are all made of a soft MicroModal fabric that breathes easily. They come in a variety of colors, and they are all easily tucked into your onboard luggage or bag. That means you won’t have to sacrifice a camera or hiking boots to take them with you.