Every year at the new year (since we’ve been open) we’ve written an article about the top destinations to travel to in the coming year. In years past, we’ve taken the aggregate recommendations of various respected travel publications to come up with a list that all travel experts can “agree on.”  One of our favorite things to write about each year is the Kinship Vacations’ Top Travel Picks.

In 2017, the top three destinations were: (1) the Scandinavian Countryside, in Norway, Finland, and Sweden; (2) Canada, specifically Banff, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia; and, (3) India, specifically Central India’s National Parks and the Ulley Valley. 

 In 2018, the top three destinations were: (1) New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; (2) Valleta, Malta; and, (3) Southeastern Europe, specifically the Balkan states such as Slovenia, Serbia, and Croatia. 

In 2019, the top three destinations were: (1) Western Europe: Germany and Belgium; (2) On the water with a River Cruise on the Rhine or Ocean Cruise in the Mediterranean; and (3) Walt Disney World in Orlando for the opening of Galaxy’s Edge.

For the past two years, I’ve consulted the experts at Kinship Vacations. We each have our own specialty and interest in travel, so I think you’ll find something different and interesting for everyone! Without further ado…

Here’s Kinship Vacations’ Top Travel Picks for 2020:

Japan

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Japan, this year is your time to go! Japan is a beautiful place to explore with so many amazing events occurring throughout the year.

One of the biggest events that you don’t want to miss is the 2020 Summer Olympics, set to take place in Tokyo from Friday, July 24 through Sunday, August 9. Not only will you have the opportunity to see amazing athletes from around the world compete against each other, you’ll also be able to explore the capital of the country!

Immerse yourself in a fascinating culture which includes delicious cuisine, incredible historical sites, while being near some of Japan’s major attractions like Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea.

If you’re looking for something romantic to do during the spring, you should check out the Cherry Blossom Festival which will occur from the end of March to the beginning of April. Although cherry blossoms can be seen in the springtime all over the country, two of the most popular locations to visit this festival are Ueno Park in Tokyo and Nishinomaru Garden located in Osaka.

If you prefer to be surrounded by cold weather and snow then I highly recommend the Sapporo Snow Festival. This festival occurs on the island of Hokkaido which is the country’s most northern island and attracts more than 2 million people each year.

This is a free festival that is set to take place from February 4 through February 11, 2020, across three locations which are the Odori Park, Susukino, and Tsudo. Whether you’re booking a solo, romantic, or family vacation, Japan has exciting adventures that any traveler would want to check off their bucket list! 

To plan your trip to Japan this year, reach out and we’ll set you up with Sophia Julias, our resident Japan expert.

Walt Disney World

Disney World 2020
Photo Courtesy of Dina Farmer

Should you go to The Walt Disney World Resort in 2020?

The short answer is yes and no!

There is a revitalization going on at EPCOT and more construction going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. During this time there will be some closures of certain portions of the park but nothing that should seriously impede foot traffic. This also means that a lot of the sight lines will be disrupted. So, if you are looking for that Instagram perfect shot of those two Parks you’ll have to just accept construction walls in your shorts until 2021/2022.  

However, with all the construction going on, a host of new attractions are opening! Rise of the Resistance just opened in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in December 2019. Mickey’s Runaway Railway opens in March 2020 and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opens at the French Pavilion at Epcot in summer 2020. All these smaller attractions marks a lull in new and exciting things at Disney in preparation for the huge attractions opening in the parks. I personally think it’s good to go in 2020. These smaller attractions are to entice guests to visit but many guests might be holding off till these larger attractions open in the upcoming years. It may might smaller than normal crowds but not by much. It’s a wonderful time for a slower period at Disney that may make it a wonderful time to visit!

To plan your trip to Disney World this year, reach out to our resident Disney expert, Dina Farmer from Lily and Magnolia Travels.

Belize

Photo Courtesy of Krystal Eicher

Belize is the hidden gem in Central America that you must visit before word gets out! This charming country has a little to offer everyone and every vacation speed.  Whether you crave beautiful beaches or jungle adventures, Belize has you covered. You can pick one, or split your time and spend a few days in the jungle and grab a quick 40 min plane ride to the beach.  If you are looking for some fun and sun with an upscale feel, be sure to take a look at San Pedro. Want to wake up to howler monkeys and the sound of jungle cats before your trek to Mayan ruins? Then check out San Ignacio.  Looking for a more chill and mature vibe? Placencia has all you are looking for! Each area has accommodations to fit a variety of budgets and travel groups. Be sure to contact your favorite travel advisor to match you up with the right one!

To plan your trip to Belize this year, reach out to Krystal Eicher, our resident Girlfriend Getaway expert.

Polar Bear Safari Coast Cruise 

At the top of my personal bucket list is a Norwegian Arctic Cruise to see icebergs, Inuit villages, and wildlife such as polar bears, walruses, arctic foxes, whales and reindeer in their natural habitats. Knowing that the Arctic landscape is changing every year, this is something I want to do as soon as possible. Not only do you get to enjoy the comfort of the small expedition cruise ship, but you get to be active throughout the excursions, hiking, kayaking, and getting once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities. Some cruises will combine the stunning landscapes of Greenland and Iceland on these itineraries as well. 

The Anti-Cruise for Adults Only

If I weren’t giving birth to a small human mid-year 2020, you can bet I’d be on one of the inaugural sailings of the newest player in the cruise industry, Virgin Voyages. Self-professed to be anything but the typical cruise experience and a vacation experience for people who don’t like cruises, I am very curious to try this experience out! I actually believe what they say too – as they are headed by one of the most disruptive business minds out there, Richard Branson. Everything he does is, well, different. If you are looking for a way to get away from the kids with your significant other or maybe want a new experience for a girlfriend getaway, consider a Virgin Voyages sailing out of Miami starting April 2020 and as low as $1350 per cabin. Also, in 2021, Virgin Voyages will start sailing its second brand-new ship in the Mediterranean, round-trip from Barcelonan. Get your deposit in now by filling out our Virgin Voyages trip planning form. For more info on the Virgin Voyages experience, check out our previous article on it. 

2020 Events to NOT MISS

There are some fantastic worldwide events occurring in 2020 that you may want to place at the top of your bucket list! 

For history buffs: Plymouth, Massachusetts is commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock in 1620 with extra special events, ceremonies, performances, and more on April 24th.

For music lovers: England’s Glastonbury Music Festival is celebrating 50 years with performances from Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Diana Ross and more June 24th– 28th.

For those with pride: San Francisco is celebrating the 50th annual LGBT Price Celebration themed Generations of Resistance. “The festival includes 20+ live stages at the Civic Centre Plaza, showcasing the diverse talent within the LGBTQ+ community in San Francisco and beyond. The annual event will be on the weekend of June 27th – 28th in 2020.”

Summer Olympics: Tokyo, Japan will host the Summer Olympics for the first time since 1964 between July 24th– August 9th, followed by the Paralympic Games August 25th– September 6th.  

For coffee lovers: Kona, Hawaii is celebrating its 50th Kona Coffee Cultural Festival for 10 days in early November 2020 filled with tastings, cultural demonstrations, art, music and dance. 

For eclipse gazers: See a total solar eclipse on December 14, 2020 in Chile and Argentina (which happens to be a lovely time to travel to both of these countries).

Passion Play Oberammergau, Germany – once every 10 years this event occurs in beautiful Bavaria to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus. Tours and tickets are almost sold out so don’t wait another minute. *Get in touch with Krystal, who lived in this area for expert advice.

ICC T20 World Cup– If you’re a cricket lover and/or always wanted to go to Australia, now is the time to start planning. *Get in touch with Suzanne, who is originally from Australia for expert advice on a ICC T20 World Cup Australia trip. 

2020 World Expo Dubai –If you’ve always wanted to go to a world expo and/or always wanted to go to Dubai, get planning now. *Get in touch with Veronica, who lived in the middle east and traveled extensively throughout including to Dubai.

2020 honeymoons, anniversary trips, and/or destinations weddings – Did you recently get engaged and are you planning a destination wedding or honeymoon? Get started planning it now, because special events like this take a lot of time to pull together. 

To make it to any of these events, start planning now as lodging, tours, and tickets sell out fast. 

Alright, I think this gives you enough to chew on! If you hadn’t realized it yet, we are an enthusiastic bunch here at Kinship Vacations, ready and excited to help you plan a dream vacation. Please get in touch with us to plan your next vacation, because we know your time is your most valuable resource and we want to help you maximize that!

Look back at Kinship Vacations’ Top Travel Picks from years past. While they’re not our current recommendations, they’re definitely must-dos or must-sees and you wouldn’t be disappointed by anything you might decide on.

If you’re ready to make 2020 a year to never forget, reach out to us by filling out our trip planning form now. 

In the meantime…. 

Happy Wanderlusting! 

Ashley 

P.S. If you have a group (10+ people) that you’d like to plan a 2019 vacation for, consider yourself a group leader in the making! What does that mean? It means you can possibly earn free travel for yourself or others in the group, extra group perks, and/or potentially a share of revenue with Kinship Vacations. Is there an important charitable cause in you and your group’s life? Or, maybe you are a small business owner looking for a fun new revenue stream. We can share our revenue with you. What a nice way to spend your vacation, right? To get more info on our group travel opportunities, fill out our group trip leader form. 

P. P.S. To keep receiving travel tips and inspiration and a FREE GUIDE, “10 Ways to Strengthen Relationships Through Travel” CLICK HERE 

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