2018 is in full swing and your bank accounts are started to recover from the holiday shopping. You know what that means... It's time to start planning your travel for the year!! If you are like me, you've been thinking about 2018 travel since mid-2017, but daydreaming is very different than committing and planning. There's a whole world to explore; where do you even start?! Well, I've done a little research and in my humble opinion, these are my recommended top travel destinations for 2018: Croatia, Iceland, Peru, Scotland, Malta, Ethiopia, and Morocco. Read on to find out why.
I only spent a week in Croatia, but I have been dying to go back ever since. My week consisted of wandering the streets of Split, gawking at the beauty of the Plitvice Lakes, and kayaking in the ocean for the first time in my life. My short stint here was an adventure-filled and affordable trip that was far too short.
I believe Game of Thrones put Croatia on the map, but I know for a fact that's only one of many reasons to visit the country.
Thanks to Wow Air, Iceland is now easier to travel to than ever before. So take advantage of that and get over there! Iceland is one of those countries that will never cease to amaze you. And I don't just mean the price :)
If you are planning to travel to Iceland, make sure you plan a visit during Northern Lights season. To this day, the Northern Lights are one of the most breath-taking travel experiences I have ever had.
Where to start with Peru? You could spend months in Peru and never see it all. Whether you are looking for a quick trip during a week off work or an extended adventure for months on end, Peru will be there for you.
The obvious destination in Peru is Machu Picchu. If you have limited time in Peru, make sure you explore Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley. If you have enough time to really get around and see the country, you won’t be disappointed. From deserts to mountains to valleys to jungles, Peru is a world of its own.
After spending a year living in Scotland, I feel as though I have hardly scratched the surface. First off, there’s Edinburgh, my absolute favorite city on Earth. I have yet to meet someone who has traveled to Edinburgh and not fallen in love. Whether traveling during the summer and experiencing the Fringe Festival, or during the holidays for the Christmas Markets and Hogmanay, or just any-old-time for Edinburgh alone, I feel confident you will love the place as much as I do.
Then there’s the highlands. It doesn't take much driving to get out of the city and into the wilderness, and it is well worth your time. The highlands of Scotland are shockingly beautiful and the ideal place for a road trip.
Malta and Gozo
Another destination for Game of Thrones fans, I discovered Malta and Gozo this past spring and fell in love. Malta is a quaint island perfect for exploring old churches, dining on fish caught earlier that morning, and wandering the streets of the photographer's paradise that is Valetta.
Gozo, on the other hand, is for the adventurers among us. My favorite thing I did in Malta and Gozo was a kayaking tour with Gozo Adventures. That being said, there are plenty of other opportunities to explore, from hiking all over the island to watching the sunset over the ocean.
When I traveled to Ethiopia in 2011, half the people I talked to had never heard to the place. The other half only knew it was an African country and wanted to know if it would be like the Lion King. Seven years later, I am seeing articles about Ethiopia everywhere. It makes me so happy to know people are starting to realize how incredible this East African country is.
Between horse-back riding in the eucalyptus forests, visiting the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, and volunteering in Addis Ababa, I had an amazing two months in Ethiopia. I hope that other travelers out there will be inspired to travel to Ethiopia and experience the unique flavors of injera and wat for themselves!
Photo by Anna Jahn via Unsplash
The only country on this list I haven't been to, Morocco is my personal choice for 2018 travel destination. I just booked my tickets for April and cannot wait to experience this exotic wonderland. I plan to spend way too much time at the spice market, learn what it feels like to spend the night camping in the desert, pet and/or ride a camel (TBD I need to do some research on the ethics of this one), and learn why Morocco continues to pop up on countless "top travel destinations for 2018" lists around the interned.