The 10 Best Destinations For Your 2020 Travel Plans

24 October 2019
Travel, Destination, Holiday, Vacation, Jetset
Take the guesswork out of your travel planning thanks to Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list

Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s more alluring: being able to explore foreign countries and their culinary delights, or being able to set-up an Out of Office automatic email reply?

At some point in the year, when you’re phone is groaning under the weight of a full inbox and you get more messages from a Google calendar reminder than you do your own partner, the idea of a holiday seems implausible. But as soon as the weather warms up and frequenting the shops barefoot is deemed acceptable, our thoughts turn not to what we should be gifting our family this Christmas, but to where we want to go. Travel poses the idea of reinvention. Regardless of how shitty the year has been, how unproductive we were in the office, or if we totally didn’t follow through on that fitness resolution set back in January, travel still suggests we can shrug out of these habits and become someone else – the person we always wanted to.

Naturally though, the challenge isn’t so much convincing ourselves to travel, but choosing a destination. While we’re afforded some stunning beaches here in Australia, we aren’t exactly a strones throw away from hot spots like Europe or the United States. We can’t be country-hopping so whimsically, making the deliberation process quite a tiresome one.

Thankfully however, Lonely Planet has released their Best in Travel list for 2020. The go-to travel company compiles the list each year, asking everyone from their writers and editors, to their online family of social media influencers, for their pick of the best travel spots. The list is whittled down by a panel of travel experts to just 10 countries, 10 regions, 10 cities and 10 best value destinations, chosen for their topicality, unique experiences, and ‘wow’ factor.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, now is the time to peruse the list and get some ideas for your next travel pursuits. Whether sustainable travel is your focus, or you live a life of adventure, Lonely Planet has you covered. Here are the winners of Best in Travel for 2020 – you better get that automatic reply ready.

Top Countries
1. Bhutan
2. England
3. North Macedonia
4. Aruba
5. eSwatini (Swaziland)
6. Costa Rica
7. The Netherlands
8. Liberia
9. Morocco
10. Uruguay

The Top Pick, Bhutan: Considered a Himalayan paradise, Bhutan operates under a strict ‘high-value, low-impact’ tourism policy, compelling travellers to pay a high daily fee just to set food in its pine-scented, monastery-crowned hills. As a result, the scenery is unspoiled and affords travellers views of mountains and a natural environment that are beautiful beyond compare. Bhutan is already the world’s only carbon-negative country, and the kingdom is set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020.

Top Cities
1. Salzburg, Austria
2. Washington DC, USA
3. Cairo, Egypt
4. Galway, Ireland
5. Bonn, Germany
6. La Paz, Bolivia
7. Kochi, India
8. Vancouver, Canada
9. Dubai, UAE
10. Denver, USA

The Top Pick, Salzburg: While Salzburg is already an impressive city, in 2020 its Salzburg Festival will turn 100 and you can guarantee that this centenary milestone will not go down without a party. The festival will hold special exhibitions and events taking place all over the historic centre – concerts, plays, readings, Mozart matinees and more.

Top Regions
1. Central Asian Silk Road
2. Le Marche, Italy
3. Tohoku, Japan
4. Maine, USA
5. Lord Howe Island, Australia
6. Guizhou Province, China
7. Cadiz Provence, Spain
8. Northeast Argentina
9. Kvarner Gulf, Croatia
10. Brazilian Amazon

The Top Pick, Central Asian Silk Road: This region was made rich by trade and travellers, yet even today it continues to attract global interest as a major tourist destination. With ancient cities to explore, bustling bazaars and stunning scenery open for exploration, this travelled route is a must for many. And now, even Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are offering either visa-free or e-visas for the majority of the world’s citizens as the region moves towards a unified ‘Silk Road’ visa.

Top Value
1. East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
2. Budapest, Hungary
3. Madhya Pradesh, India
4. Buffalo, NY, USA
5. Azerbaijan
6. Serbia
7. Tunisia
8. Cape Winelands, South Africa
9. Athens, Greece
10. Zanzibar, Tanzania

The Top Pick, East Nusa Tenggara: While often overlooked, this region of Indonesia offers pristine beaches that are a lot quieter than any you’ll find in Bali. It also offers one of Indonesia’s best diving scenes, which can be found on the Alor Archipelago.

Via GQ Australia