In October we released Best in Travel, our list of the top countries, cities, regions and best value destinations to visit in 2019. For this month’s round-up we asked our family travel Pathfinders to share their travel stories featuring any of these 40 places.

As well-travelled as ever, our family travel community has tips for wild swimming in Australia’s Red Centre, exploring Seattle for free and getting off the beaten track on Indonesia’s most popular island, Bali.

Mother and son enjoying the sunset on Kalutara © Koverninska Olga / Shutterstock

Sri Lanka: our #1 best country for 2019

Why Sri Lanka is fantastic for young kids – Jenny Lynn

As family travellers the first thing we always want to know about anywhere is how much fun it would be to explore with kids. In this post Jenny gives us more than enough ideas, from train rides to pristine beaches, animal spotting to peaks that small legs can conquer, as well as covering the basics such as how family-friendly everyone is, how easy it is to get around and shopping for essentials. We’re sold.

Jason and Jenny love to travel and believe that having young children shouldn’t change that. Follow their adventures at travelynnfamily.com.

Australia’s Red Centre: our #4 best region for 2019

Wild swimming in the Red Centre – Jessica Palmer

The idea of being able to cool the kids off while you are out exploring the Australian desert is hugely appealing, especially when you learn from Jess’ post that it’s relatively straightforward, free and – importantly – safe for little ones. Plus the pools all look absolutely stunning.

Jessica believes travelling with kids opens their hearts and minds, teaching them tolerance. Find her blog at travelwithjess.com.

Also worth a read: West MacDonnell Ranges – hidden gem of Australia’s Red Centre – Jurga Van Steenbergen

Indonesia: our #7 best country for 2019

Komodo dragons & pink beaches – Nicole Hunter

Prepare to be inspired. Not only did Nicole’s family have an incredible adventure with some ‘exciting’ parental moments, they clearly had their minds blown by the different ways they experienced the local wildlife. Nicole’s enthusiastic account provides just the right level of detail as well as some amazing images.

Nicole believes in the power of travelling to bring families closer. She blogs at gofargrowclose.com.

Also worth a read: Off the beaten track Bali with kids – Ariana Svenson

Houston has plenty to keep families busy © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Houston: our #5 best value destination for 2019

13 free uniquely Houston things to do with kids – Montoya Hudson

Inspired by Houston making our best value destinations list, Montoya has put together this fantastic blog of free things to do to help bring the city to life for families. It covers ways to get active, to learn, to relax, be creative and even… feed horses. See what she means about ‘uniquely Houston’?

Montoya and Philip take their girls away every spring break so they learn, grow and experience new things together. Follow their trips at thespringbreakfamily.com.

Zimbabwe: our #3 top country to visit in 2019

A trip to rainbowland – Charlotte Kona

We loved this photo post because it’s about a family of ‘grown-ups’ taking a trip together and just having fun, exploring as a group and learning more about each other. And we’ll admit it: we have a soft spot for Victoria Falls and love to read anything that reminds us how special it is.

Charlotte travels with her blue trainers and shares her journey at bluetrainertravels.com.

Best in Travel also has a list specifically for families: the best new attractions for kids in 2019.

Find out what else the Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to by checking out the Travel Bloggers: your stories forum on Thorn Tree.