The year ahead promises to be another record year for global travel. The last several have set records for numbers of travelers and miles flown, and we see no let up in growth for 2018. Rising incomes in Asia, specifically China and India, new planes like the A350 and B787 which open new routes, and a growing economy in the US and Europe should ensure for a robust year ahead. This all means there will be more flights, fewer empty seats and very crowded hotels.
With all this in mind, where should YOU go in 2018? We’ve spent the last few weeks speaking with our TV Director and Producers, canvassing our web and social media team and reaching out to a number of friends and industry associates who are also intrepid travelers, to determine where they want to go in the year ahead. Some places are cities, others are whole countries, but all are places you should see because after all the hottest or coolest destinations are usually not the busiest.
So here, in no particular order, is our Top 10 hit list of places to visit in 2018.
Despite crime, terrorism worries and spotty infrastructure, the Philippines will be a much sought after destination in 2018. Why? Great beaches and luxury accommodation in Boracay and an unmistakable buzz in Manila make the Philippines seem irresistible.
The Serengeti one of the world’s best wildlife viewing areas, Mt Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa and Zanzibar’s stone town with unique culture and food add tot the diversity and attractions to Tanzania. The country also boast excellent beaches and great culinary delights. For all this and more, Tanzania will be a go to destination in 2018.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Forget Rio, Sao Paulo with it’s sophisticated shopping, innovative art and culture, loads of museums and parks and great food and beverage scene make it a big draw. When you add that it’s the business capital of Brazil you begin to see why it’ll be a great destination in the year ahead. Go for the business and hang in a few days to experience the life it has to offer.
Always a favorite destination, Ireland will take on renewed interest in the year ahead. Dublin has great hotels and sites, the countryside is resplendent with pubs and beautiful vistas and the people are about the friendliest on earth. with great connectivity to the UK, Europe and North America (including US Pre-Check), Ireland will continue to be a sought after destination. Here’s a tip, go on the shoulder season – late March and April, October-November to avoid some of the crowds.
Umbria is like Tuscany bit without the tour buses. Umbria is a bucolic, hilly countryside with gorgeous views, great food and some delicious wine. About three hours drive from Rome (watch for the speed cameras), Umbria still offer an opportunity to see the true Italy without the crowds.
Yes it can be expensive and a little boring, but Bermuda is a short 2 – 2.5 hours flight away from the major population centers of the US east coast and Canada and with much of the Caribbean still digging out of the effects of hurricanes, Bermuda offers a nice alternative for a short getaway. It’s much more sophisticated than Cancun, less obvious than Miami and much closer than Hawaii. Look for deals and book something last minute.
About as far away from Europe and North America as you can get, Tasmania is even a journey for Aussies. But it’s worth the travel time. Tasmania has great sport and wildlife options, art, culture, bands and an amazing food and wine scene. Hobart is a city with a vibe and the entire island stands as great place for a trip which will give you great bragging rights.
Luang Prabang, Laos
The former capital of the Royal Kingdom of Laos and a city stepped in ancient myths and legends, today Luang prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its numerous Buddhist Temples and Monasteries. It combines history, culture and fun places to eat and drink. It’s a bridge between backpackers and serious luxury seekers. Think of it as a less crowded Siem Reap.
Yes everyone has already been to Morocco but there are lesser known gems which are very worthwhile traveling to. Fist off you’ll probably land in Casablanca and then you should leave, there’s very little in the capital. Marrakesh is touristy but fun,ho wever after a day in the Medina it is time to go where the real heart of the country lies. Chefchaouen in the Rif mountains was founded in 1471 by Jews and Moors fleeing Spain. It is known as the blue city for the color of its homes. This is a perfect place to wander and take pictures. Essaouira on the Atlantic ocean is where Jimi Hendrix and many in the 60’s counter culture hung out. This walled city inspired Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower and it will inspire you too with art, great seafood, shopping and beautiful scenery.
The wealthy of Argentina and Brazil have long known the sun drenched beaches of Punta del Este as a playground, but increasingly Europeans and North Americans seeking a lesser-known but very well heeled getaway have been flocking here. And the country has a lot more to offer than nightclubs and yachting. The country is progressive, safe and full of attractions. The capital Montevideo is a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city, the countryside sports abundant flora and fauna and there’s a hip, chic vibe. It’s a little out of the way but a lot out of the ordinary.
There you have it, our Top 10 list for places you should go in 2018. So what’s on your list?