OK people, it’s time to talk about future adventures. Some would say it’s almost New Year’s resolution time, but I prefer to consider it travel resolution time—time to figure out where you’ll be touching down in 2018.
In case you needed some ideas, I have them for you. American Express Travel has sifted through all of its booking data and come up with a list of what they think will be the top 10 destinations to travel to in 2018. Whether they’re right or just making an educated guess matters little, because a lot of the places on the list are pretty cool.
Next year, according to Amex, travel is going to be all about cultural discovery (if it wasn’t already), plus places that are inspiring and experiences that are rejuvenating.
So, take a look and see if any of them will make it to your 2018 travel list.
Probably the biggest win when it comes to rejuvenation, more people are seeking out a Bali travel experience to get their minds right and live their best lives. I’m very into it. Bali has always been beautiful, but its Eat, Pray, Love fanclub seemed to shed more light on what the island has to offer. A typical day on the isle might start with watching the sun rise over Mount Batur and then move on to tasting a fresh smoothie bowl at a beachside bungalow before a swim, then lead to a countryside bike ride passed waterfalls and rice paddies, yoga on a Balinese spa deck, a nap, and a reemergence just in time to sip cocktails and catch the sunset from the neighborhood beach club. Soooo…if you decide to go, please take me with you.
2. Costa Rica
I’m going to guess that part of the reason Costa Rica’s making the list has to have something to do with the fact that people are trying to get very far away from all the nonsense that’s happening in the world right now and disappear into a jungle where their phones probably won’t work. They say the best time to visit Costa Rica is between December and April (dry season), so get your booking on now if Costa Rica’s on your travel-to list in 2018. If you do go, hit up the rainforest at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio and visit the Arenal volcano and stop for a hot spa soak afterward.
If you’re looking for jaw-drops and oohs and ahs from your 2018 travel, try Dubai. The United Arab Emirate is majestic in all its extra-ness. It’s into boasting the biggest and best everything, and it’s definitely an experience to see things in so much splendor. The best thing I did while there was a desert safari, where you go out in a four-wheel-drive jeep, driving recklessly (or being driven recklessly, rather) up and down massive sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. This is where those incredible Instagram desert photos happen. From there, you’ll ride a camel and eat local cuisine for dinner in the sand under the stars, followed by a cool shisha smoke.
There are so many ways to see London. You could go the tourist route and hit London Bridge, the London Eye, see the crown jewels and watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. Or, you could make it to Hyde Park for a stroll or sunbathing like the locals, snap Insta photos in colorful Nottinghill, check out the art scene and the club scene and have a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at One Aldwych, one of my picks for most Instagrammable eats around the world. Also, if you time it right, maybe you’ll catch Prince Harry’s wedding (happening on May 19), which I really hope is just a little extra lit because, Megan Markle.
I have been obsessed with Portugal and all its tiled, cobblestone beauty for some time, and I really can’t wait to get there one day. They say the best time to go is summer, from mid-June to September. The country’s capital, Lisbon, is known for its ancient architecture, and its medieval district of the Alfama is a must-see. Other than that, take the photo-famous trams around the city, find a place for a pasteis de nata (custard tart) and go for dinner and drinks in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto.
Rome is one of those places you have to get to sometime or another in your life. I still haven’t been, but I think I’d be missing something major about the history of the world if I never see it. Grab some gelato, stroll the cobblestone streets past piazzas, see the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum, the Vatican—retrace the steps in Angels and Demons, basically. After the historical stuff, don’t forget how famous Italy is for fashion. Rome may not be Milan, but there’s still good shopping to be had.
7. Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is an interesting pick for 2018 travel, considering all the goings on in that part of the world being stirred up by this part of the world, but while I believe in safe travel, I also believe we can’t always be afraid to visit places because they have “things going on,” or we might never go anywhere. You just have to get the timing right on the places you want to go and make sure the chances that you’ll be safe and OK are as high as possible. Digressions aside, Tel Aviv is known in part for its beaches, its halva ice cream, cafe life and its flea market finds at places like Shuk Hapishpeshim.
8. “Utah-lorado” (Park City, Salt Lake City, Aspen, Denver, Vail)
Those of you who know me personally, or who have been following this blog for long enough, know I don’t choose to visit snow places and call it vacation. If I’m going on holiday, there are bathing suits in the suitcase. But since I’m not the only kind of traveler out there, these are probably some of the prettiest places in the U.S. for cold-weather fun. Ski slopes, snow-hiking (if that’s a thing) and, perhaps most importantly, lodges and cabins with fire places and hot chocolate.
Vietnam isn’t always first to mind for travel destinations, but the place is beautiful in so many different ways so it’s really worth adding to your bucket list. Whether you’re channeling your adventurous side and riding a motorcycle passed rice paddies, or getting clothing tailor-made in no time in Hoi An, or boating through a floating market for fresh coconut at Cái Bè in the Mekong Delta, there’s little about Vietnam that won’t find you doing something for what’s likely the first time in your life. Also, eat pho till your heart’s delight.
The one thing I’ve come to understand about Zurich is that it’s pricey, so this one might be for one of your more splurgey trips. But if you do shell out for it, there’s the annual Château-