Let the stars guide you on a dream trip this year.

Credit: Ian Lloyd

Matt Murphy, 38, a Capricorn from New York City, is planning a big trip in 2009 but agonizing between a jaunt to tango in Buenos Aires or a nightlife jag in Shanghai. The price is the same, but which trip fits his personality better?Maybe astrology has the answer.

Every January, stargazers unveil their yearlong predictions for each sign; the in-depth life guides run through money, family, love, home, health—and sometimes even touch on travel. Star astrologist Susan Miller, the guru behind Astrologyzone.com, regularly incorporates travel predictions in her monthly charts; and she has some sign-specific observations for travel in 2009.

“Sagittarius and Gemini love to travel anyway, and they’ll be doing it a lot this year,” she explains. Gemini especially will experience the effects of Jupiter; the planet of expansion and good luck will turbo-charge travel to foreign places from January 5 on. As for Sagittarius, it will be Mars, planet of action and energy, that will hype trips at home and abroad for a staggering seven months starting later in the year, on October 15. “Sagittarius will be on the road so much, they should definitely buy a new piece of luggage.”

Where will they stay?Miller predicts that eco-minded hotels and resorts will flourish this year, thanks to Jupiter (again) nestling for the entire 12 months in the futuristic, idealistic sign of Aquarius. “And it’s Capricorns who will do well financially this year, so they can afford to splurge,” she says. For all other signs, if money’s tight, travel can become more creative, so house swapping is likely to be on the rise this year. That’s a boon for Cancer. “They love to be in a homey environment, and if they can cook, like on a house swap, they’ll feel completely at home.”

But there are also times—for all signs of the zodiac—when it’s prudent to just stay at home. When a planet retrogrades (moves backward rather than forward in the horoscope, according to astrologers’ calculations), its influence goes haywire. Fast-moving Mercury rules travel and communication; so when it retrogrades, trips can often go awry, with tickets lost or planes canceled. Star-savvy travelers often avoid booking jaunts during those periods, if they can. This year, there are four stints of retrograding from Mercury: January 11–February 1, May 7–May 31, September 7–29, and December 26–January 15, 2010.

In addition to star-savvy Susan Miller’s recommendations, Travelandleisure.com has also put together a cheat sheet of perennial suggestions of each sign’s ideal vacation. To make the most of this astro-travel bible, you should have your personal horoscope on hand while browsing; cast it gratis at www.alabe.com/freechart, provided you know your birth time within 15 minutes or so. Note where the sun sits (that’s the big sign whose predictions you check daily), as well as your “rising sign,” or ascendant, and whatever sign is home to your moon. That three-way mash-up is a more accurate sketch of your core personality, so combine all three suggestions below to plan a customized astro-trip in 2009.

As for Matt Murphy, he should pick whatever’s priciest—after all, Capricorns will be this year’s big earners.

Queen Anne Hotel

Located near popular San Francisco destinations like Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, and Golden Gate Park, the Queen Anne Hotel on Sutter Street is from the days of large Painted Lady Victorian mansions. Originally built in 1890 as a girls’ school run by Mary Lake, the four-story bed-and-breakfast boutique’s first-floor common area includes Victorian-style moulding, chandeliers, heavy draperies, and fireplaces. The rooms are classified as Victorian (economical), Deluxe, Superior, and Suites, and all feature tall windows and antiques. In addition to the continental breakfast, there is a complimentary afternoon tea and sherry.

Carlsbad Plaza Hotel

A glamorous five-star hotel.