Egypt has become a “hot” destination for travelers again. photo by Susan Waymire
Egypt has become a “hot” destination for travelers again. photo by Susan Waymire
Looking to ring in a new decade with travel? Let me make a few suggestions of what is hot for 2020.

Egypt:

Without a doubt this destination is the hottest destination worldwide. With the Grand Egyptian Museum opening in fall of 2020, many cruise and tour companies have expanded their offerings for this historically rich country. King Tut and many other treasures will now be housed in Giza near the Pyramids making for the most incredible antiquity museum in the world. Both Uniworld and Lindblad Expeditions have unveiled new ships for the Nile. Cruising the Nile is the best way to maximize your time in Egypt as flying between cities is time-consuming. Because this is so popular now, you’ll need to start making your travel plans now as many departures are already sold out through mid-2020.

Japan:

This year Japan hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics. With this monumental event, there’s much visibility on this amazing destination. Cruise companies are offering coastal cruises focusing on the culture and history. Ponant Cruises has an incredible itinerary, “An Immersion into Japanese Culture.” Many off-the-beaten-path ports are included on this sailing. Lush forests and pristine lakes, cultural festivals, and many thousand-year-old shrines will make for a unique trip beyond the bustling city of Tokyo.

Turkey:

Set on the Bosporus situated between two continents, Turkey has some scenes from the Ottoman Empire worthy of a vacation. With beautiful new five-star hotels and an incredible new airport, nonstop accessibility on Turkish Airlines out of San Francisco has made this destination easy for a week-long trip. Turkey has some beautiful port towns set on the Mediterranean. Seabourn, Crystal, and other mid-size ships have the ability to explore some of these towns efficiently, making for a relaxing trip through antiquity.

Costa Rica:

With Alaska Airlines expanding into San Jose and Liberia airports, many travelers are finding this an easy country to explore from the Northwest. For families, Costa Rica offers so many fun adventures such as zip-lining, river-rafting, canyoneering, as well as hiking and kayaking.

Depending where you go, there is something for everyone, from surfing off of Guanacaste to the guided animal viewing at Manuel Antonio National Park. The Springs Resort near Mount Arenal offers an excellent jump-off point to explore the interior of Costa Rica and caters to families. Set in the rainforest, this property is a spectacular getaway.

The Canadian Rockies:

Exploring closer to home, the Canadian Rockies are now easier to access on account of WestJet and Air Canada now flying out of Portland nonstop to Calgary. If you haven’t tried a heli-hiking or heli-ski trip with Canadian Mountain Holidays, now is the time. Check out the ultimate adventure in British Columbia…many of these departures in the summer are filling up now. With Jasper and Banff an easy drive from Calgary, it’s a relaxing way to explore some of the most spectacular scenery in North America. You will need to book hotel reservations well in advance, as the park lodging does fill up during the summer months.

India:

Another hot destination right now is India. United added a flight nonstop from San Francisco to Delhi, making it an easy connection out of Redmond. If the Taj Mahal is on your bucket list, it’s a great time to check it off. If you’re looking to see the Bengal tigers, Ranthambore National Park is an easy flight from Delhi. Many companies offer private guiding such as Abercrombie and Kent. It’s a great way to take your own group. If you want something more organized, then Natural Habitat has a three-park wildlife adventure exploring tigers, one-horned rhinos and Asiatic elephants.

San Diego:

For a destination closer to home, consider San Diego. Alaska Airlines will start new nonstop service from Redmond in March. What a great place to take your grandkids for the weekend, hassle-free! The San Diego Wildlife Park is an amazing place to visit as well as the San Diego Zoo. There are now behind-the-scenes tours available for a little extra on top of the ticket, but well worth it. The Hotel Del Coronado sits on one of the best beaches in Southern California.

So, if the winter is getting you down, come March, run away for the weekend.

With all of the airlines expanding their routes, many destinations that were previously difficult to get to are now just single connections from Redmond — no more driving to Portland necessary as fares are fairly similar between both airports. As travel and tourism expands, more options are available. It’s a great time to connect with your favorite travel agent to explore options out there.