Is 2018 the year you finally start traveling more? The months are already starting to slip through our fingers and it’s time you got some trips firmly locked in.
But with a whole world to explore, where does one start? There are an awful lot of options to choose from and a lot of bucket list destinations to be ticked off, but only a certain amount of time and money. How do you decide?
If you’re in need of some inspiration, we’ve been doing our research and have picked out some of the best spots for you to visit this year. These countries are, for one reason or another, particularly great to visit right now, so have a quick read and then get booking.
Climate change is becoming a more critical problem by the year, so if you want a first-hand look at the effect we’re having on this stunning wilderness then consider making this the year that you finally tick off the continent that the majority of us never reach.
Whilst it’s true that visiting Antarctica takes its toll on it, if you go with a responsible, committed tour operator then you’ll minimize your negative impact and, hopefully, come home again with the determination to really make a difference in your daily life.
Seeing the glaciers melting and the penguins who are struggling to survive with your own eyes is too powerful to ignore.
Portugal has very much come into its own in recent years and, in 2018, has firmly established itself as a world-class tourist destination. No longer Spain’s slightly overlooked younger sister, Portugal has become a hub for digital nomads thanks to its beauty and affordability.
It’s drawing crowds thanks to the plethora of new museums that have opened country-wide in recent years, and the visitors aren’t complaining about the thriving microbrewery scene, either. The cities of Lisbon and Porto are both picture perfect and have a million and one things going on at all times of the year.
If it’s beaches rather than museums that you fancy, explore Portugal’s long coastline. Over 300 beaches earned Blue Flag status in 2016 alone and two new biosphere reserves were created. Aim for late spring or early autumn to avoid the crowds.
Long overlooked as a destination since Valletta played a starring role in Game of Thrones Malta has become ever more popular, and deservedly so. You’ll be bowled over by the history of this collection of islands in the Mediterranean, with fortifications and temples everywhere you look.
2018 is the perfect moment to visit as Valletta is this year’s European Capital of Culture, meaning there are festivals galore. The best news is you’re practically guaranteed sunshine, with other 300 sunny days a year, and the friendly locals speak excellent English if your Maltese is a little rusty.
You can’t help but be dazzled by the jewel that is Mauritius, legendary for its crystal clear waters and luxurious accommodation. Kick back on the beach, or, if you’re feeling a little more energetic take a cruise around the lagoon, go diving, sea kayaking, or even kitesurfing.
Recently, more flights have begun serving the island, including KLM who are now flying from Amsterdam, meaning it’s easier to get there than ever. The island in the Indian Ocean celebrates 50 years of independence this year, so there are all kinds of celebratory events going on.
5. United Kingdom
If you’ve always wanted to explore the historic UK but have been put off by the strength of the pound, take your chance whilst the British currency is suffering thanks to the uncertainties of Brexit.
Things will become clear in 2019, so book yourself a British break for this year. London is never going to be a particularly cheap destination, but it won’t currently put quite such a large dent in your wallet, so take advantage and explore the iconic capital. Just make sure you keep an eye on that exchange rate whilst things are still uncertain.
Don’t just stick to London, head for cities that are smaller than just as historical, like Bath, where you’ll get more bang for your buck. Head into the countryside in the southwest in the counties of Devon and Cornwall, where you’ll find charming villages and picturesque walks inland and impossibly perfect fishing ports on the coast.
The World is Your Oyster
There are exciting things going on everywhere you turn, as well as concerning issues that we need to remain aware of and educate ourselves about. Whether you choose education, culture or pure relaxation, or a mixture of all of the above, wherever you choose to head for this year it’s sure to be unforgettable.
Where are you heading in 2018? Leave a comment that’ll make us green with envy.