Top 10 International Destinations to Visit for 2020
Dance on a moonlit beach, wave a flag at the Summer Olympics or watch an eclipse from the desert. The world is calling with don't-miss destinations for 2020.
Photo By: Intrepid Travel
Photo By: EF Go Ahead Tours
Photo By: EF Go Ahead Tours/goaheadtours.com
Photo By: Pink Mako Ltd.
Photo By: Martin Ruffo/Intrepid Travel
Photo By: Tourism NT/Dan Moore
Photo By: Ciragan Palace Kempinski
Photo By: Intrepid Travel
Photo By: Getty Images/Ron Dahlquist
Montenegro, an emerging Mediterranean hot spot, is our first pick. Intrepid Travel reports a 45 percent rise in bookings from North America, perhaps a spillover from nearby, heavily touristed Croatia. This small Balkan country has new developments like Portonovi, a 60-acre marina and luxury resort in spectacular Boka Bay, and One&Only's first European location opens in 2020. Intrepid's Montenegro Sailing Adventure around the Bay of Kotor (shown here) will also launch. Go for Montenegro's cobalt waters, historic villages and natural beauty.
BOOK NOW: Intrepid Tours | Montenegro Sailing Adventure from Drubovnik, Starting at $1,934
The Summer Olympics return to Tokyo in 2020, and Japan Airlines is ramping up for the crowds. Soon it plans to connect 500 destinations to Tokyo Narita Airport through its new, low-cost carrier, Zipair Tokyo. EF Go Ahead Tours offers a Japan 2020: Gold Medal Moments in Tokyo tour that includes two Olympic games and an exclusive "behind-the-scenes-experience" in the Olympic Village. The package tour also includes high-speed bullet train rides, visits to shrines and Osaka Castle and more.
BOOK NOW: EF Go Ahead Tours | Japan 2020: Gold Medal Moments in Tokyo, Starting at $4,999
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Billed as "The World's Greatest Show," the Dubai 2020 Expo runs from Oct. 20, 2020 to April 20, 2021. With over 190 nations participating, it's the Arab world's biggest global event ever. At night, huge 360-degree screens will pulse with lights and music, while pop-up theaters, flash mobs, live acts and sports events will entertain during the day. Hundreds of pavilions will house new technologies, interactive exhibits and more. Bring an appetite: Over 200 restaurants will serve everything from street food to gourmet dishes from 50 global cuisines.
The secret's out. The Caribbean island of Anguilla attracted a record-breaking number of tourists in 2019 and visitors just keep coming. Its annual Moonsplash Reggae Festival, called one of the "world’s greatest beach parties," is set for March 2020 and for two weeks in April, the island’s Extraordinary Eats Festival will feature local food and culture. The Anguilla Summer Festival heats things up from late July to early August by celebrating the Emancipation Act of 1833, which freed the slaves in this former British colony. Beach lovers can simply relax on the beachfront, shown here, of the award-winning Zemi Beach House & Spa. See the Anguilla website for details and the exact dates of the festivals, which will be posted before the end of 2019.
BOOK NOW: Expedia.com | Zemi Beach House & Spa
Visit Cuba in 2020—while you still can. In 2019, new restrictions on travel from America to Cuba banned all cruises and certain tours. Intrepid Travel is offering a Hola Cuba tour that meets the country's "Support for Cuban People" travel requirements and stops in Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Viñales. Tour participants stay at privately-owned guesthouses, dine at restaurants serving home-grown foods and learn Cuba’s history from local guides.
BOOK NOW: Intrepid Travel | Hola Cuba for US Citizens, Starting at $2,228
Australia's Northern Territory
Go Down Under in 2020. Litchfield National Park, in Australia’s Northern Territory, is opening new access points to swimming holes and waterfalls, along with new roads, trails and viewing platforms to scope out the scenery and wildlife. Visit before May 2020 to see Tropical Light, an illuminated exhibit by acclaimed artist Bruce Munro. Another Munro exhibit, Field of Light Uluru, has been extended indefinitely by popular demand. Other fun events scheduled for 2020 include the Alice Springs Camel Cup and the Beer Can Regatta. Don't miss the Henley on Todd Regatta, the world’s only dry boating regatta; boaters hold lightweight frames and race through a sandy river bed. The event ends with motorized boats that fire off water cannons and water bombs.
In 2020, Qatar will open three stations in the country's first-ever underground railway system and four new stadiums, similar to the one shown here. All are in preparation for the 2022 FIFA (the International Federation of Association Football) World Cup. Look for new hotels, such as Salwa Beach Resort, Park Hyatt Doha and Al Messila Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, all in Doha. Visitors will also find the world's first sustainable downtown regeneration project: Msheireb Downtown Doha. This planned city is home to shops, museums, restaurants and more in a blend of Qatari culture and architecture with sustainable technologies. Qatar Airways has 77 direct flights each week from 10 major US cities.
Have a martini shaken, not stirred, when the newest James Bond film, No Time to Die, opens in April 2020. Several Bond movies have featured exotic Istanbul, and now Turkish Airlines offers direct flights from nine US cities to new Istanbul Airport, said to be the world's largest. Don't miss historic sites like the Spice Bazaar, historic Sultanahmet Square and the Grand Bazaar. Turkish Airlines Stopover Program allows qualifying passengers a free, guided city tour (restrictions apply). Stay over and book a room in fabulous Ciragan Palace Kempinski, once an Ottoman Sultan’s palace.
BOOK NOW: Hotels.com | Ciragan Palace Kempinski
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Depart from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to see a total solar eclipse in little known Fortin Nogueira. This rare event is visible when a new moon passes over the sun, and Fortin Nogueira's desert is expected to experience one minute and 57 seconds of totality, unlike anywhere else in the world. Intrepid Travel’s 2019 solar eclipse tour sold out two years ahead of time, but its Astronomy Holidays and Tours are still available for December 2020. Tours vary but some include visits to colorful neighborhoods, like the one shown here, along with catamaran rides, scrumptious Argentinean cuisine and more.
You only get a chance to see Germany's acclaimed Oberammergau Passion Play every ten years; the next performance will run from May to October 2020. Each decade, over 2,000 performers, musicians and stage technicians — all local residents — come together to produce the play on an open-air stage. Since it began in 1634, the play has been held in the same Bavarian town and now draws visitors from around the world. Oberammergau is about an hour by train or car from Munich.