The end of the year is rapidly approaching, so we have just one question for you: Do you have your travel bucket list for next year all set?
If not, it’s time to crack down and get that list sorted out. First, make sure you’re equipped with a great travel credit card. Once you have that figured out, choose a destination from our month-by-month travel guide below, featuring a variety of things to do in the included cities, and make 2019 a special one.
The weather in Thailand is gorgeous during January, so why not start there? The three-day Bo Sang Umbrella Festival, with its vibrant colors, parades and kid-friendly events, will make your visit memorable.
Again, head here for a chance to escape the cold grip of winter. Wait until the middle of the month to visit, however, as hotel prices plummet once the New Year visitors depart.
>>Learn more: How to save on your destination wedding in Hawaii
February in Taiwan features events both boisterous and serene. If the former is your preference, take part in the Beehive Festival, which features fireworks galore. If the latter is more your speed, check out Pingxi Sky Festival, when lanterns intended to carry prayers and vows are sent into the night sky.
If you want some stateside fun in February, try Miami for its weather, gorgeous beaches and nightlife.
Get into the spring spirit with a visit to our nation’s capital. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival and plentiful free museums make D.C. a fun, inexpensive bucket list destination.
If you’re looking for something a bit more adult-centric, filled with jazz and fried fish dinners, in New Orleans, March means Mardi Gras. Enough said.
Traveling to Paris is expensive, so be sure you’ve got a travel rewards plan sorted out before taking this journey. April is a great month to visit for the weather and the Foire du Trône festival, which started all that way back in 1805.
>>Learn more: The top vacation destinations for retirees
Never heard of Indio? It’s where the Coachella Festival is held. If you’re a music fan, this is a must. Coachella runs April 12 – 21, 2019.
New York City
The best time to visit New York is either when it’s not too hot or not too cold. Head to the Big Apple in May for a comfortable weekend enveloped in the hustle and bustle.
Every year from April to July, whale sharks — the largest fish species — swim close to the shores in Western Australia. The sharks and other marine life are stunning and make the long journey worthwhile.
The weather in London is fantastic during June. While there, check out the amazing military parade known as Trooping the Colour.
The Chicago Blues Festival, held during June, is the largest free blues festival in the world, and just one of many reasons to visit the Windy City.
As far as family-friendly destinations go, it’s hard to beat Pittsburgh. Check out the Duquesne Incline for an amazing view of the city, its three massive rivers and some of the 446 — yes, 446 — bridges. There’s also a museum dedicated to Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, which was created and filmed in Pittsburgh.
>>Learn more: 5 family vacation planning tips I learned on the fly
You already know why Niagara Falls is a must-see. But here’s a budget-friendly tip: You can save 30% off tickets to attractions if you buy a Niagara Falls USA Discovery Pass.
Animal lovers will want to hit Samburu during August because it’s winter there, which means you have a great chance of spotting big game seeking out watering holes and the remaining vegetation.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Head south for another fun animal sighting experience: Sea turtles nesting on the beach.
Alaska’s high tourist season ends right around September when families shuffle their kids back to school. Book your ticket for this month and enjoy the many wonders of Alaska without the freezing temperatures.
>>Learn more: How to plan for adventure travel like the pros
Book your ticket to Bogotá in the first two weeks of September and you’ll likely get a discounted rate because rainy season begins right around the middle of the month.
Head to Guanajuato during October to see a giant art festival, The Cervantino.
While visiting in October, be sure to enjoy the Head Of The Charles Regatta, a two-day rowing event that attracts more than 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of spectators.
Visit Hong Kong during November for its Wine and Dine Festival, an annual event that brings together the finest food and adult beverages Hong Kong has to offer.
Arctic Circle, Norway
November is one of the best times of the year to see the famous and stunning Northern Lights.
>>Learn more: The best national parks for families to visit this winter
For a warm getaway just before 2020 arrives, fly to Belize. One of the first things you’ll want to do while there is to visit some of the ancient Mayan ruins.
See the pyramids. There’s a reason they’re one of the Seven Wonders.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards
Cheap things to do in any city
Earn more points and miles with these 6 strategies