Lonely Planet Writer

Save the date for these bucket-list trips in 2019

Planning an incredible adventure takes time and money – and sometimes a lot of advance planning. Even if you live for spontaneous travel, some of the world’s most exciting activities will require that you book well in advance. To make sure you don’t miss out on making your travel dreams come true in 2019, we’ve rounded up some dates to mark in your calendar so you can book that dream vacation.

Aerial view of Machu Picchu ruins in remote landscape, Cusco, Peru
The magnificent Machu Picchu ruins in Cusco. Image by GettyImages/Spaces Images

The Inca Trail in Peru

Hiking to Machu Picchu is a dream trek for many, but if you want to make it happen in 2019, it’s time to start planning. Travellers need a permit to make the hike and they are already available for next year. Since you have to make the trek with a registered operator, they will generally handle getting the permit for you, but since there is a daily limit for the number of hikers, it’s best to start planning early.

Start planning if you want to make it to Burning Man festival. Image by ©4FR/Getty Images

Burning Man in Nevada, USA

If you want to hit the playa in August 2019, you’re going to want to start planning now. In 2018, registration for pre-sale tickets began in January, though varying ticket levels and prices run throughout the year. Burning Man notes that dates have yet to be confirmed but will be similar to last year, so follow the website to make sure.

The world’s biggest cave, Hang Son Doong. Image by ©Mike Rowbottom/500px

Hang Son Doong in Vietnam

The incredible depths of the world’s largest cave lures in travellers who want a true adventure. But the arduous journey into this subterranean site makes booking a trek essential. The major tour operator that takes travellers inside, Oxalis Adventure Tours, says on its website that less than 300 spaces remain for 2019 tours. If you want to make it happen – or get on the waiting list for 2020 – find out more here.

The ‘Under’ restaurant will be submerged on the Norwegian coastline. Image by Snøhetta

Under restaurant in Norway

This amazing dining spot will open its doors in April 2019, giving visitors a chance to watch the marine life under the water. Under, built at Spangereid on Norway’s southern tip, is designed to look like a rock formation jutting out of the sea. But beyond its incredible looks, the focus of the spot is on its seasonal food. Naturally, demand for a table will be high. Travellers are advised to book their table at least six months in advance, so it’s time to start planning now.

Stars and the Milky Way in the night sky over the Elqui Valley. Image by ©Jesse Kraft/EyeEm/Getty Images

2019 Solar Eclipse in South America

The 2019 solar eclipse will be visible over parts of Chile and Argentina on 2 July. In an incredible bit of luck, it will be visible over the Elqui Valley, known for having some of the world’s clearest skies. It will also be visible not far from the city of Buenos Aires. Tours focused on the eclipse are already starting to sell out, so if you want to be in South America to see it, it’s best to start planning now.