Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads
Sometimes the most memorable kind of trip is the one where you seek out a way to challenge yourself, whether it’s by experiencing a new language, tasting food from a different culture or chasing adrenaline by pushing yourself physically (and mentally). Adventure comes in many forms but one thing is certain, this type of travel is expanding and evolving with bucket list experiences for 2019.
First, fly to Reykjavik. Then head to a mountainous archipelago of 18 islands where you’ll discover remote adventures with gorgeous landscapes. This is a place for travelers looking to explore the (luxurious) unknown. Go off-the-map and have dinner at Michelin-star Koks for a 21-course meal in a farmhouse without any roads leading to it.
Searching for those red-rock sandstone arches splashed all over Instagram? Do it a little differently. Capture the moment in Arches National Park but then head 15 minutes south to Moab: home to mountain biking, hiking and off-roading. If you have the time, see Utah’s Mighty Five national parks, including Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands. You can see it all in three days but many people take at least seven.
Milford Sound Hike, New Zealand
Probably most famous as home to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, this landscape has been dropping jaws for as long as hikers have been visiting. In order to conserve the area, a limited number of travelers can visit each day. With suspension bridges, mountain passes and incredible marine life, this is a hike that needs to be booked in advance.
While a portion of the Bow Valley Parkway remains closed after several grain-filled cars on a freight train derailed, Banff is still a must for an upcoming summer or fall adventure. Start off with a hike into Larch Valley or Sentinel Pass. Then stay at either the Fairmont Banff Springs or Moraine Lake Lodge in Alberta.
Dragon's Back, Hong Kong
One of the best urban hikes, this is an incredible way to see Hong Kong from above. The hike meanders and turns like it would on a dragon’s back and finishes off with access to Big Wave Bay, so travelers can surf or take a dip. Easy tips on how to get there: Located on Hong Kong Island, take the Island Line MTR to Shau Kei Wan Station. Take Exit A and look for Bus No. 9 at the bus terminal. Once on the bus, wait for your stop at To Tai Wan. Hop off and follow the path to Dragon’s Back. You can also book a tour.
British Virgin Islands
While there are of course plush accommodations to stay at while in the BVI (hello, Necker Island), our favorite way to experience the destination is to charter a boat so that you’re not tied down to one area. Charters are expanding so much so that millions of Americans now take an annual sailing excursion. Unlike a cruise, you set your own pace and follow the itinerary of your choosing.
Routeburn Trail, New Zealand
Traversing over Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Park, this hike through the Southern Alps of New Zealand covers 33 km one way. For seasonality, we recommend visiting now through the end of April and then again in October. With mountain peaks and valleys, meadows, streams and gardens, this hike has incredible vistas that can be seen over the course of two, three or four-day trips.