written by Ali Iovino
Did you explore any of our Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2017? While we still encourage any of those destinations, our travel consultants have a new list of the locales for your 2018 adventures.
1. Costa Rica
If you’re looking for a mix of adventure and relaxation, Costa Rica is the ultimate getaway. You can go hiking around volcanoes, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, or cliff diving one day and relax in a tranquil hot spring the next. There is no limit to the experiences you can enjoy between the beaches, rainforests, and amazing wildlife Costa Rica has to offer.
2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A mix of historic sights, futuristic architecture, glamourous shopping, and electric nightlife, Dubai should definitely be on your travel bucket list. After a day of adventuring on a desert safari or riding camels, you can watch the sunset from the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and then explore the various nightclubs and bars. The shopping in Dubai is also incredible – we recommend the Gold Souk, a marketplace with endless gold, gemstones, pearls, platinum, and silver.
You may recognize this destination as one of our 2017 travel hotspots. Iceland tourism is still booming and for good reason – the locals are friendly, natural beauty is phenomenal, and you can be as active (or inactive) as you want. Hike glaciers or around volcanos, have a spa day at the Blue Lagoon, or stare up in pure wonderment at Northern Lights. With all it has to offer, Iceland is guaranteed to be a getaway you’ll never forget.
If Croatia isn’t on your travel radar, it should be. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan you can visit some of the filming locations and see firsthand why they chose Croatia to capture some of the magnificent backdrops. Dubrovnik is enchanting with amazing views from the Minceta Fortress and plenty to explore in Old Town from old churches to museums and restaurants. Visit gems like Diocletian’s Palace in Split or St. James Cathedral in Sibenik. When you’ve had your fill of relaxing sea-time among the almost 1200 islands, wander inland to go hiking in Krka National Park.
Portugal has a little bit of everything to offer for the perfect European getaway. Stroll through picturesque fishing towns, admire wondrous architecture, unwind on white sand beaches, and feel small among the ragged cliffs. There is no shortage of history to absorb throughout the country either with plenty of museums and castles to adventure to. And don’t skip out on the wine! Portugal is home to amazing wineries you can tour and enjoy wine tastings.
Thailand is another destination that is a continuous source of wanderlust for our team. While we still recommend visiting the temples, ruins, gourmet restaurants, and floating marketplaces, we’re keeping Thailand on the list for the growing popularity of wellness getaways. More resorts are offering holistic retreats to help renew both mind and body. Relax on a pristine beach or amidst luxurious gardens for the ultimate environment to recharge and come back refreshed.
Who hasn’t dreamed of Hawaii? 2018 is an amazing time to finally get there (even Southwest is working on it). Take a cruise or utilize the super short flights jumping from island to island to explore as much of Hawaii as you can. In Oahu you can visit Pearl Harbor Memorial or check out the Kualoa Ranch to see the private nature reserve where over 50 movies and TV shows have been filmed. Maui is home to Haleakala National Park where you can hike through bamboo and experience Waimoku Falls. On any of the islands you can embark on whale watching adventures, snorkel, dive, hike, relax on beautiful beaches, and eat fresh fruit on a variety of farm tours. And of course, you want to make sure you get a classic luau in the mix while you’re there!
Switzerland is so much more than chocolate and skiing. Although we will admit, the chocolate and skiing alone makes the trip worth it. Take a scenic train ride between the picturesque cities and absorb all of the natural beauty Switzerland has to offer. Visit breathtaking natural sites like the Matterhorn, Swiss National Park, Lake Geneva, or the Aletsch Glacier. Then for a change of pace stroll through the plethora of museums, shopping, and historic churches of bustling cities like Zurich or Lucerne.
9. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Of course Rome and Florence are amazing adventures all their own, but for a slightly different taste of Italia we recommend wandering a little farther south to the Amalfi Coast. Amazing food, jaw-dropping views of the colorful coastal cities, and beautiful beaches is the winning combination for an incredible getaway. Visit the town of Sorrento and drink up their famous Limoncello, take a day trip to Pompeii, rent a boat out in Positano, or visit the town of Amalfi itself.
10. Cartagena, Colombia
Stroll through the historic Old City and experience the bright colors and spirit of Cartagena. The cobblestone streets will lead you through a mix of old and new filled with cafes, art galleries, and plenty of shopping. The neighborhood of Getsemani is great to soak up the local culture and experience some of the vibrant nightlife. Be sure to wash down some incredible seafood with a refreshing Limonada de Coco while you’re there!