The Hot List: Top 10 Destinations to Travel in 2018
By Oliver Lynch
It's a new year, and if you’re like us, you're wondering about the top 10 destinations to travel in 2018.
Based on ABTA’s recommendations (and a few of our own), here are this years most up and coming travel trends. These stunning destinations are all seeing either a resurgence in tourism or are expected to attract more visitors for various reasons. From natural attractions, budget factors or just the fact that they’re back on the radar, get your favourite flight finder up and running and see what you can find.
The press hasn’t been kind to Turkey over the past few years what with a dodgy dictator and some recurring terrorism, but that shouldn’t detract from this stunning country’s offerings. Istanbul is easily one of the world’s greatest cities – a literal melting pot where East actually does meet West. Phenomenal food, maze-like markets, friendly people, exciting nightlife, art and culture…
Are you looking for flights yet? Because you should be.
If cities aren’t your thing, head to Fetihye for amazing beach life, Cappadocia’s awe inspiring mountains and historical sites including Troy and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
Despite its dark past (see the genocide of 1994) Rwanda has been a growing tourism hotspot for years now. Gorilla spotting, hiking, mountain biking and stunning scenery mean that visitors will find stacks to do in this compact country. And thanks to its compact size you can do a lot in a short time. Head to Virunga or Volcano national parks for the best scenery and sample great coffee at many great cafes.
Besides the Kigali Genocide Museum (a must visit), the chances of spotting anything to do with the genocide are slim so you can get on with enjoying jungle retreats and the fantastic welcome.
With so much to offer, picking a destination in South America can be like trying to pick the best chocolate in the box. But Argentina might be one of the best options, with so much to see and do. Granted it doesn’t have the rep of Rio, but Buenos Aries is a party hot spot, packed full of tango, massive steaks and very friendly locals.
For those who love the great outdoors, sprawling Patagonia and the Andes mountains (head to San Carlos de Bariloche) can offer everything from sports to relaxation. Plus there are now budget flights from London, courtesy of Norwegian. It just keeps getting better!
If you’ve not been to Malta yet, then why the hell not? This tiny country is a speck of land in the middle of the Mediterranean, but it has a character all of its own. From the unique architecture to the language, Malta is a fun little oddity and probably has more history per square mile than anywhere on Earth.
Wander the streets of Mdina, party the night away in Sliema and St Julians, go diving in crystal clear seas and dine on exceptional food for relatively low prices (for Western Europe). With cheap deals to be found, you can easily explore this tiny island nation from a package tour base.
Another country that often gets overlooked by slightly glitzier neighbours (I’m thinking France here), Germany is definitely a country that has come back onto the travel radar for 2018. Sure, everyone knows about Berlin, but heading into the country you’ll find stunning countryside in Bavaria and the Rhineland; cool cities like Munich, Hamburg, Leipzig and Cologne; plus stacks of art and culture all with friendly and helpful locals, excellent food and even better beer!
So if you’ve never been, or you’ve only ever been to Berlin, this year might be a great opportunity to explore Germany.
It’s no longer a best kept secret, but Nicaragua is definitely still a bargain and a great way to see the best of Central America for cheap. Not as dangerous as neighboring Honduras or as expensive as Panama or Costa Rica, you can climb volcanoes or surf, dive and relax on paradise style beaches.
If you’re looking for somewhere that’s still relatively unspoiled, get here soon!
This Himalayan state has been a hot spot for trekkers for many years thanks to the world’s tallest mountain, Everest. But you don’t have to join the masses heading to base camp, there are plenty more places to explore. Trek the hills around Pokhara and Annapurna, find your nirvana at any number of stunning temples and spot rhinos and tigers in Chitwan National Park.
After a messy revolution in the mid 2000’s and then a devastating earthquake, Nepal has rebuilt its infrastructure and tourism bases considerably and is now calling out for visitors. Head to this stunning and (literally) breathtaking country for an unforgettable break in 2018.
Over the past few years you’ve probably heard a lot about the various ex-Yugoslav states – Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia have all had some spotlight time recently. Expect to start hearing lots about Montenegro. This tiny country offers a slice of Balkan beauty at a fraction of the prices in Croatia and is still little-visited by the hordes. Kotor is the picture postcard image (seen in James Bond’s Casino Royale) but there is more to see here, including exceptional beaches, ancient fortresses and unspoiled nature reserves.
Come and see what the fuss is all about before everyone else finds out!
9. South Korea
It’s never really been on the map for most travelers, but Korea rivals Japan for crazy technology, edgy fashion and fabulous food. This is the home of tech behemoths Samsung, LG and Hyundai and the whole country is tech crazy – you’ll find WiFi, neon and robots everywhere.
You can also go to a raccoon cafe or a princess cafe (really!), enjoy a soothing bath in one of the many bath houses, wander secluded wildernesses and even get some winter sports action at the site of the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
You’ll find less tourists than in Japan and your money will go a lot further too. So if you want some crazy Asia without the price tag, this is still the best bet in 2018.
There are plans afoot to make this tiny African nation into the new Dubai. Sitting right on the entrance to the Red Sea, the nation aims to become a transport hub and to tap its extensive natural resources. But to the intrepid traveler like you, the country is still unspoiled and waiting for visitors. Think lunar style landscapes, empty beaches and French colonial architecture.
Although the best is still to come for this little nation, there is lots to do. Dive with whale sharks, go hiking on extinct volcanoes and visit nomadic villages. You can still get a great deal on accommodation and the country is well served for international flights (most likely you’ll go via DXB, Ethiopia or Abu Dhabi), so whats stopping you? Check it out before everyone knows!
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This article was originally written by Oliver Lynch for Gone Travelling and was reposted with permission. Check them out today.