10 Vacation Ideas Abroad You'll Want to Book Immediately for 2019
Only weeks into the new year and already have cabin fever? Start making your 2019 travel plans in January or February to take advantage of early booking deals—and to have plenty of time to prep. Inspired by our sister publication Travel + Leisure, here are ten of our favorite picks from their roundup of 50 Best Places to Travel in 2019. Venture outside London for a long weekend in brainy and beautiful Cambridge, cruise up the Nile from Cairo to Aswan in the spirit of Agatha Christie, or head north to Helsinki, where tradition and modernism meld in a shared language of great art and design.
Cambridge, England: The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 and, even today, "it's impossible to visit and not feel catapulted back in time." Travel + Leisure recommends staying at the University Arms and dining at Parker's Tavern and Restaurant 22. We recommend a lazy summer afternoon punting tour through the college town before grabbing a pint and a pub dinner at The Free Press, a local institution that's been licensed since 1834.
Egypt: Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Death on the Nile is scheduled to arrive in theaters later this year, and T+L editors recommend visitors book the St. Regis Cairo when it opens this spring—and consider a bespoke trip, cruise, or activities orchestrated by Heritage Tours and Abercrombie & Kent while you're at it. For Agatha Christie obsessive out there, you'll want to reserve a few days' stay at the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract hotel in Aswan—where Christie set many of the scenes of her iconic murder-mystery novel (and where much of the 1978 movie was shot)—and take a walk to the center of town for shopping and lunch (a personal favorite: aish baladi, a rustic version of Egyptian flatbread that, in Aswan specifically, is some of the best I've ever had).
Helsinki: There are so many great hotel options for luxury travelers to Finland's capital city—T+L editors recommend the new Hotel St. George in the Kampii district, with its extensive art collection and Ai Weiwei installation—and lots to see and do, including the new city library, Oodi. While you're in town, make sure to check out Kiasma, the Museum of Contemporary Art, one of the most beautiful modernist buildings in the city, designed by American architect Steven Holl, and make time to dine at both Kosmos and Sea Horse restaurants—order the meatballs at Sea Horse—both local institutions in their own special ways. Don't forget to pick up as many bars of chocolate as you can carry from Fazer before heading home.
Los Cabos: Lots happening in Los Cabos right now—so it's perfect year to head to the southern tip of the Baja. T+L editors recommend booking yourself into any one of the stellar new luxury properties opened last year: the Viceroy Los Cabos, the Solaz, or the Montage. Or mark your calendars for this year's debuts: the Ritz-Carlton Reserve property Zadún, the Nobu Hotel, and the 1 Hotel. The Four Seasons is also slated to open along the Sea of Cortés mid-year and Amanvari in 2020.
Nairobi: The first Kenya Airways direct flight from New York City to Nairobi launched late last year, so book yourself a ticket and a stay at one of the city's many chic five-star properties—T+L editors recommend the OneFortyEight Giraffe Sanctuary and visits to the GoDown Arts Centre and the Designing Africa Collective. While you're in the neighborhood, why not take a once-in-a-lifetime journey to see the Mara—consider luxury safari outfitters Micato Safaris.
Puerto Rico: Bringing tourism back to Puerto Rico is one of the most important ways we can all contribute to the rebuilding efforts following the effects of Hurricane Maria. T+L editors recommend the newly reopened Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property, the El San Juan Hotel (just opened post-renovation in December), the Serafina Beach Hotel, and the O:LV Fifth Five. While you're in town, support Puerto Rico's recovery efforts by eating in these incredible restaurants.
Sharjah, UAE: A quick 20-minute drive from bustling and glamorous Dubai, Sharjah "is home to some of the best-preserved heritage buildings in the UAE, plus a number of world-class museums." T+L editors recommend paying a visit to the Sharjah Art Foundation and maybe scheduling your travels to coincide with the Sharjah Biennial or the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, depending on your interests.
Singapore: Seriously, did you see Crazy Rich Asians? Let's go to Singapore... immediately. According to T+L editors, the iconic Raffles hotel will reopen this year; in the meantime, consider staying at the Six Senses Maxwell, Six Senses Duxton, or the Capitol Kempinski.
Tunisia: Travel + Leisure recommends travelers book themselves into the newly-opened Four Seasons Hotel Tunis—which features "fortress-like white walls and direct access to 1,600 feet of pristine beachfront" (we're sold)—and to definitely not miss out on the hotel's Roman-inspired spa.
Uttarakhand, India: Situated in northern India, Uttarakhand is "home to some of Hinduism's holiest cities, one of which, Rishikesh, is considered the yoga capital of the world," according to T+L. Book your stay at the Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa or the Roseate Ganges Rishikesh.