Top Destinations You Should Keep Your Eye on in 2019

Happy New Year Everyone! We at Willamette Intl Travel had a fantastic 2018, and we’re excited to see what our 42nd year in business will have in store for us and our clients!

We’ve taken a survey among our agents of which of the best value destinations you should be keeping your eye on for the coming year. These are the big-bangs-for-your-buck, those locations that aren’t quite done-to-death, emerging or getting a whole new revisioning this 2019.


Interest in Antarctica has been high – one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that no traveler should miss. If you want breathtaking ices capes, awe-inspiring icebergs and penguins, Antarctica in December-March has never been more ideal.


Thanks to a European resurgence and Lonely Planet stamping it with a 2019 approval, interest in this island jewel has never been more abundant. Though no longer as cheap as it was perhaps three years ago, it still offers great value and unique experiences. Wildlife, temple ruins, beautiful tropics, Buddha and Hindu influences, deep history and religious diversity—it makes for an ideal destination. Be sure to book in advance as it can be difficult to find space during the peak season.

Read where to eat in Sri Lanka by Parts Unknown


A discovered destination for a couple years now, Portugal is still thankfully inexpensive—so go this year before it becomes more expensive and overcrowded. Why it’s remained a secret for so long we have no idea—go for the cuisine, stunning architecture, rich diverse history and surf-worthy beaches.


Polar bears are IN this year—which means a flight to the Canada tundra or an iconic train ride. Churchill is one of the few human settlements where polar bears can be observed in the wild. Prime viewing times are October and November, during the annual migration to seal territory.


After a long period of civil strife and upheaval, Egypt is once again back on the traveler’s map. Drawing new attention due to historic preservation efforts, this is one country that won’t be leaving the bucket list any time soon.


With WIT Owners Christina and John leading annual safaris in Kenya and Tanzania, Eastern Africa is more popular than ever. Let our African experts determine best time of year to visit for best game view and weather. But book quickly! August to October 2019 are almost sold out in many safari accommodations.


Jordan has always been the classic Middle Eastern country to visit, and is a must add-on to Egypt. There are few places as iconic as Jordan, with its ancient sites and iconic desert sands. The site of Petra alone is worth its 2-day visit, and there are few memories as treasured as 2 nights in a desert camp in Wadi Rum.  


Malaysia may be still an obscure destination for Americans, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit in 2019. The country has a diverse wealth of cultures, ancient and modern influences, beautiful national parks and sanctuaries, highlands and beaches, laid-back historic colonial towns and good tourist infrastructure. It’s also a breeze to combine with Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Vietnam or Cambodia.

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