Less than 2 months ’till New Year. If you have been wondering how to choose your next year’s destinations, we gathered some ideas and inspiration for each month from different parts of the world. And no, we haven’t experienced all of these. Tell us, if you’ve experienced some of these places and also, if you have plans to visit next year. Let us also know, what your own dream destinations would be.
January 10th is the official Voodoo Day in Benin, where this tradition has a strong roots and the capital of Voodoo, Ouidah is the home of the biggest annual festival, Vodoun Festival. Stu Jarvis has blogged about his experience this year. Read the post here.
If you Google the festival, you’ll see there are numerous tour operators in that area arranging guided package tours to the festival.
On February 26, 2019, Grand Canyon National Park celebrates 100 years at Grand Canyon. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grand Canyon welcomes approximately six million domestic and international visitors each year.
If winter is not your thing, choose some other season – we visited in summer 2010 during our roadtrip. We recommend an overnight stay to give yourself at least one day to explore. One of the great natural wonders of the world is something you can’t appreciate by only stopping by the edge once or buying the fridge magnet at the visitor’s center and watching a movie. We booked a night at the Holiday inn Express Hotel & Suites Grand Canyon that location wise is perfect: the hotel is just a mile from the South Rim entrance. Having the basic brekkie “Express Start Breakfast Bar” included in room price was good here too. We took a shuttle from the visitors center to tour the Grand Canyon South Rim conveniently on the hop on-hop off style.
If you have more time and an adventurous nature, you may want to consider a hike and camping at the bottom of the canyon or river rafting, but these activities require more advance planning for sure.
However, when you’ve taken gazillion photos of the constantly changing play of the color and shadows and gazed the rock formations for some hours, don’t be ashamed is you start feeling exhausted and tired of the vistas – it took over 2 Billion years for Mother Nature to create this unbelievable place, but we are just human and our sensory overload hits surprisingly quickly.
Head back to your hotel to refresh, maybe go swimming or enjoy the whirlpool and then find a fun place to dine & have some drinks. We loved the Yippee-Ei O! Steakhouse across the road.
Mardi Gras is one of those odd religious festivals that has changing dates each year. This year it takes place in March 5th. The same time all Catholic countries celebrate carnival. But remember that the parading in New Orleans begins in January, just after Epiphany despite the dates of Easter that dictate the beginning of lent. How very complicated, but still super interesting.
Around the particular Mardi Gras date the partying gets intense, you’ll find balls and parties everywhere. And not just in NOLA, you could look for similar festivities in smaller scale in some other Louisiana cities. Make sure to book your stay like..well.. we don’t know how early. Obviously, you have to be booking very early to stay overnight in NOLA during the days around Mardi Gras.
Did you know that Mardi Gras is entirely planned, paid and organized by volunteers without corporate money? This was one awesome, beautiful fact we learned as we toured Mardi Gras World. Individuals pay great sums to participate the parades, riding the floats. And that money is used to pay the float artist’s, the costume makers, the special fees and such. Any special parties and additional events everyone pays for themselves as well. This is a surprising, unique people to people festival that we will definitely want to experience one year. Wanna learn more of NOLA?
And then there’s St Patric’s Day, everyone can be Irish on 17th March and usually days before that as well. The festival of the patron saint of Ireland has become very much secular, but people need fun in their lives and St. Patrick’s is an awesome, global party – one of the biggest global celebrations. Our clubs at home celebrate St. Patrick’s for days every year, next year our winter holiday means us two share the Irish luck with friends in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
If you go to Thailand in April, you’ll be introduced to Songkran. We have no personal experience, but next year the dates are 13th to 16th of April and it marks the beginning of the Thai New year. This Buddist festival symbolizes washing away the negativity, sins and bad luck of the previous year. In some places, you’ll end up joining huge water gun fights. And in that heat it must be quite ok!
Hello Africa! Continent’s most hip festival is MTN Bushfire Festival taking place May 24 to 26 in Swaziland. The official site states that “MTN Bushfire is more than a festival, it’s a living, breathing ecosystem deeply rooted in African soil, yet inclusive and welcoming to guests from all over the world”. Sounds exiting! But be quick to book accommodation as it’s gonna be busy those days.
Head to Reno, people, Reno in Nevada! Reno Rodeo is just awesome. And even if if you don’t join the actual action, you’ll run into the rodeo crowds in town. There’s casino fun, restaurants and bars to explore. And the nature around is worth exploring.
Or maybe you want to experience the legendary Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, UK. Next June the fun takes place 26.-30.6.2019.
If you are a fan of natural wonders and enjoy gazing the stars, early July, July 2nd to be exact, is your time to be in Chile or Argentina. Full Solar Eclipse is definitely something to experience.
All Tolkien fans will head to Birmingham as The Tolkien Society arranges the biggest gathering ever 7.-11.8.2019 to celebrate it’s 50 years of history.
Woodstock re-incarnation in Bethel, NY, United States comes pretty soon after. Joni Mitchell said, “Woodstock was a spark of beauty” where half-a-million kids “saw that they were part of a greater organism.” The original line-up had huge names like Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Stills, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and ravi Shankar. The re-incarnation of the Original Woodstock of 1969 takes place in August. Friday 16, 2019 is supposed to be the 50th Anniversary celebration concert day in Bethel, New York, United States.
The Big 4 Fashion Weeks. Plan your itineraries to go from New York (September 6.-14.) to London (September 14.-18.), London to Milan (September 19.-25.) and finally end your fashion marathon in Paris (September 25. to October 3.) We are pretty sure you can catch some fashionista action just by doing some homework in advance and finding out what happens each day and where to hang out. The special theme for this year is virtual reality and fashion.
Festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated in India and many countries with communities with Hindu traditions. Find out here where to celebrate if you can’t make it to India.
One of these years we want to experience el Dìa de Los Muertos in Mexico. Did you know UNESCO has this bitter sweet, beautiful festival on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage? The tradition of celebrating the souls of the deceased ones and welcoming them among the living in the most warm and colorful ways will certainly be something to experience. Los Angeles also has huge celebrations as well as many cities in the states of Arizona & New Mexico, we’ve learned.
This is a month to go and observe so many traditions around the world.
Don’t forget Christmas (depending on country, main day is December 24 or 25), Hanukkah (beginning December 22) and Kwanzaa (begins December 26). But what the heck is Krampus? If you’ve been a bad kid, you really don’t want to go see Krampus, the demonic companion of St. Nick’s.
We’d suggest you check out Christmas Markets in Europe as there are many, many surprising cities where the perfect Holiday spirit can be found at. Let us know in the comments, where in the world are your fave markets!