The Top 10 Places to Travel in 2018
Wondering where to travel this year? I’ve made a list of the 10 best places you’ll want to add to your 2018 bucket list immediately.
New Year’s is all about resolutions and starting fresh. We strive to eat healthier, stay more active, and make the most out of a year. After all, we’re only given so many of these new years and we want to make sure we live every one to the fullest! We make it a proactive goal to do more things that make us happy in each given year, which for me, means one thing and one thing only – vacations. My year is made by the experiences I have seeing new places, and I can’t help but dream about all the places I’ll go in each new year. So, this year, instead of making resolutions of things I want to DO, I’m making a list of places I want to SEE, and I think you all should too!!
It’s easy to put off that big trip you’ve been wanting to take or even that long weekend getaway to another time, which turns into another year, and then another, and before you know it you’ve missed out on so many experiences and places…. So I’m here to say let THIS year be the year you take that 10-day trip to Bali, or you finally see Lake Como. There’s no time like now to start planning a few amazing vacations to fill out your year to the fullest, and these 10 gems are a great place to start.
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The Philippines topped my list of places to go in 2017, and I’m putting it on this one again! The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, all perfectly coated in pristine white sand, limestone cliffs and crystal-clear turquoise waters with some of the world’s most diverse marine life. You can dive with whale sharks in Cebu, or soak up the sun on Palawan Island, which has been deemed “The most beautiful island in the world” by Conde Nast Traveler. These idyllic islands are not easy to get to, but that’s all part of the appeal. They’re not touristy, and the entire experience redefines remote… everything your deserted island dreams are made of.
I’ve been saying this for a couple years now, but Montenegro is Europe’s next big hot spot. It’s the Croatia that nobody’s heard about yet, and that not many people outside of Europe have discovered. This small Balkan country has everything from medieval villages to rugged mountains to a picture-perfect coastline of gorgeous mediterranean beaches. I fell in love with this captivating country, and it’s definitely on my list of places to get back to in 2018.
This one comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been following me on Instagram, since I was based out of Bali for a few months this fall, and am absolutely enamored with the island. Bali is paradise, and one of the trendiest destinations right now. It’s not only beautiful and full of unique Southeast Asian culture, but it’s amazingly affordable as well. Yogis will love zen Ubud, beach bums will flock to dreamy Uluwatu, and surfers will live for laid-back Canggu. Whether you’re looking for jungles, hikes, surfing, shopping, waterfalls, snorkeling, playing with monkeys, or merely getting $5 massages on the beach with a beer in your hand, Bali is heaven.
Read my post on the Ultimate Guide to Bali here.
4. Mexico City
Mexico City, Mexico, one of the largest cities in the world, is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after travel destinations. A foodie heaven and cultural paradise, Mexico city boasts world-class historical draws like the Frida Kahlo Museum and the National Museum of Anthropology, and pairs them with a new, exciting food scene that competes with any major city worldwide, but throws in uniquely Mexican flare (and fare). You’ll find no shortage of memorable meals in Mexico city, at every budget. Whether you’re getting churros off of a street stand for a few pesos (seriously, the best churros I’ve ever had were in Mexico City on the streets), eating huevos rancheros at a local diner for breakfast, or stepping it up a notch at one of the world’s top 50 restaurants (both Jorge Vallejo’s Quintonil and Enrique Olvera’s Pujol make the list), the food in Mexico City is impossible to beat.
If a South American adventure is what you’re after this year, you’re going to want to add Colombia to your list immediately. You’ll come for Cartagena and the coast, full of tropical vibes and Caribbean beaches, and jaw-dropping colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and stone-walled old cities. But you’ll be blown away by the magic of more inland destinations like Medellin and Bogotá. If your idea of a perfect vacation day starts with sipping the best coffee in the world on a bougainvillea-laced balcony and ends with salsa-dancing the nights away in a nightclub, this is the destination is for you.
6. Punta Mita and Sayulita, Mexico
One of my very favorite places I went to this year was Punta Mita, Mexico, located about 40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast. I have had a lifelong love affair with the country of Mexico, and think that there’s no place quite like it, (I mean… does it get better than beautiful beaches + Mexican food + margs?) but Punta Mita is a whole new level. 5-star luxury resorts like the St. Regis Punta Mita and the Four Seasons Punta Mita offer incredible accommodations (and dining!) while the Mexican fishing village of Sayulita nearby offers a colorful pueblo, lively nightlife, beachfront restaurants and charming Mexican shops.
The farthest of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai is ‘Old Hawaii’ at its best. Think: a slow-paced island lifestyle and days full of coastal hikes, acai bowls and fresh caught sushi. It’s nicknamed “The Garden Isle”, and its lush landscape will remind you of Jurassic Park (which was filmed there) at every turn. Kauai’s jagged coastline of white-sand beaches, crystal-clear coral reefs, and luxury resorts (my favorite is the St. Regis Princeville), make this island a tough destination to beat.
Singapore is one of the world’s most affluent cities and is a beautiful blend of Asian cultures, foods, architecture and natural beauty. You’ll overlook the skyline from the stunning 55-story rooftop pool deck of Marina Bay Sands, or shop up a storm on Haji Lane, or admire the supertrees at the Gardens by the Bay, or sip on a pina colada in a buzzing beach club in Sentosa. With so much happening in this cosmopolitan epicenter, it’s almost impossible to imagine Singapore was just a simple fishing port just over a century ago. But the thriving metropolis today is a sight to behold, and a trip you’re definitely going to want to add to your list.
9. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is having a major moment in the travel circles. AirBnB just predicted it to be 2018’s most visited city of the year, and the New York Times recently noted that the city is now home to more restaurants with Michelin stars than any other city in the world!! (watch out, San Francisco and New York!). With the world’s best food, beautiful cities, mountain landscapes and one of the most unique and fun cultures in the world, Japan is a perfect place to spend a vacation. Not to mention Japan’s public transportation is amazing, making it easy to get around the island’s many destinations. And, it is consistently ranked as one of the safest countries in the world, making a vacation here as hassle-free and easy as possible.
And, last but certainly not least, Cambodia. This magical country was the highlight of my 2017 travels and a destination I can’t recommend higher. From the historical ancient temples of Angkor Wat, to the stunning coast of Koh Rong and Song Saa, Cambodia has something for everyone.
Read my full blog post on the ultimate travel guide to Cambodia here.
Where are you all headed in 2018?! I’d love to hear (and get some ideas from you!) in the comments!