When it comes to planning your next vacation, the earlier you start, the better! How else are you going to narrow down all of your top choices? From sipping piña coladas in a hammock on a Caribbean island, to cuddling a cup of hot cocoa on the porch of a quaint mountain vacation rental in Utah, the getaway options can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve narrowed down the most unforgettable destinations in the world. Here are the top 30 places to visit in 2018.
1. Banff, Alberta
Canada is our neighbor to the north, but an often underrated travel destination. Banff offers a wide range of recreational activities from hiking and whitewater rafting to skiing and snowboarding.
2. Machu Picchu, Peru
Visiting this UNESCO World Heritage site is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s located in the Andes Mountains and features 12 acres of temples, aqueducts, and gardens. Get a vacation rental in nearby Cusco so you can spend a day or two acclimating to the altitude.
3. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, but large amounts of coral bleaching has been slowly destroying this massive marine life habitat. It currently features 3,000 coral reefs, 600 islands and more than 1,600 species of fish, so go see it while you still can!
4. Park City, Utah
Park City Mountain provides some of the best ski conditions in the United States. Full of upscale mountain resorts, it’s the best place for a luxury ski vacation.
5. The British Virgin Islands
A trip to the British Virgin Islands is like stepping into a postcard. No wonder it’s consistently rated a top Caribbean destination. One of the best parts of BVI is that it’s not overcrowded with cruise ports or huge resorts, so you can work hard on relaxing.
6. Costa Rica
If you’re looking for adventure, look no further than Costa Rica. Take your pick from tropical rainforests, volcanic mountains, pristine beaches and wildlife reserves. Spot some exotic wildlife at the remote Tortuguero National Park or explore the Nicoya Peninsula.
7. San Sebastian, Spain
The northern coastal town of San Sebastian is known for its gorgeous beaches and unique culture. Explore the city’s pintxos bars to get a taste of the local cuisine, the Basque version of tapas.
8. Breckenridge, Colorado
This Colorado town is one of the best winter sports destinations in America. There’s something to do no matter what time of year you visit. Hit the slopes during the winter, or take a scenic mountain drive along Boreas Pass Road during the summer.
9. Serengeti National Park
If an African Safari is on your bucket list, Serengeti National Park is for you. Located in northern Tanzania, the 5,700-square-mile wildlife park is home to The Great Migration, where millions of animals migrate every year in search of food and breeding grounds.
10. Grand Canyon
It’s hard to imagine a canyon that measures 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and more than a mile deep. That’s why you just have to see it in person. Hike the North Rim, horseback ride on the Bright Angel Trail or raft down the Colorado River to enjoy the sheer magnitude of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
11. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Five million tourists travel to this Italian coast region every year, and we bet a lot of them are repeat customers. You’ll come for the picturesque scenery and brightly colored houses, but you’ll fall in love with the rich cultural history and of course the fresh Italian cuisine.
12. New York City
There’s something about the bustling Big Apple that’s hard to describe. Maybe it’s the thrill of seeing a Broadway show, treating yourself to shopping at Fifth Avenue, or just people watching in Central Perk. Or maybe it’s seeing famous landmarks like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. It’s hard to tell, but one thing we can guarantee is that you’ll want to go back.
13. Paris, France
It’s hard to believe that there’s so much history and culture packed into one European city. Spend your days visiting the Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, Chateau de Versailles and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Then, learn how Parisians are so effortlessly chic while you soak in the atmosphere and dine on some world-famous cuisine.
14. Angra dos Reis, Brazil
Angra dos Reis is where many of the Brazil’s elite have their beach villas, and you should take advantage of this island paradise too. This quaint fishing town is surrounded by 365 islands and over 2,000 beaches, all with their own unique natural beauty. You’ll discover waterfalls, tropical forests, spectacular mountain views, and pristine coastlines.
15. Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast is quickly becoming a tourist mecca thanks to a growing array of open-air bars, arts venues, and restaurants. This bustling city also has stunning scenery, beautiful historical landmarks, and a vibrant city center. It’s also home to the film set of Game of Thrones. Enough said.
16. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is known for its iconic mountain backdrop and cinematic beaches. In addition to beaches filled with penguins and mountains you can reach by cable car, Cape Town also has harbors and gardens. It literally has it all.
17. Hampi, India
When this city was built in the 14th century, it was actually one of the largest cities in the world. Its dazzling temples, monuments, and public buildings are still on display for interested tourists. Thanks to the launch of a new high-end resort, Orange County, Hampi, this town is more accessible than ever. To really feel like a local, opt for a vacation rental instead. You can score a room for less than $20 per night.
18. Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu has long been a favorite among vacationing families and newlywed honeymooners, but it’s also a place for burgeoning artists and award-winning surfers. You might think it’s too touristy, but you can’t visit Hawaii without experiencing a luau.
19. Indianapolis, Indiana
The Midwest isn’t usually on people’s vacation wish list, but Indianapolis should definitely be on your radar. It’s recently been gaining steam for it’s growing culinary scene, and soon, Sun King Brewery will open a 15,000-square-foot distillery in nearby Carmel.
20. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
From hiking the backcountry of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks to exploring Jackson proper, there’s plenty to do in and around this Wyoming town. Jackson Hole is also an up and coming winter destination thanks to some new mega ski resorts that will battle anything Aspen or Lake Tahoe has to offer.
21. Jerusalem, Israel
You’ve probably heard of your coworker’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but this city has more to offer than rediscovering your religious roots. There’s plenty to discover in the Magical Old City, including a sizzling culinary scene. We recommend the Mahane Yehuda Market where food and drink spots of popped up in produce stalls that often stay open well into the night.
22. Kanazawa, Japan
With the new bullet train extension, it only takes two and a half hours to reach Kanazawa from Tokyo. Go for the old wooden teahouses of the Higashi Chayagai district, the beautiful samurai residence in Nagamachi, and the contemporary art museum. For a truly traditional experience, head to the Noto Peninsula and stay in a Japanese farmhouse, where you can forage for wild mountain greens and mushrooms and dine by an indoor fire pit.
Madagascar isn’t just another safari destination: This massive island is home to thousands of animal species that can’t be found anywhere else on earth. With the threat of climate change, more than 90 percent of Madagascar’s flora and fauna could be lost, so definitely make this trip sooner rather than later.
24. Montreal, Quebec
With its French-British background and multi-ethnic population, Montreal offers a unique experience for travelers. it’s the world’s second-largest French-speaking city and offers a taste of Europe in our own backyard.
25. Nashville, Tennessee
You don’t have to like country music to love Nashville, This gateway to the South, of course, offers attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and the Bluebird Cafe where many famous artists got their star. The city also has plenty of new award-winning eateries, festivals, fairs, and well, live music.
26. Noosa Heads, Australia
Less than two hours from Brisbane, Noosa Heads is a great Australian option when you want to head down under. Main Beach is not far from Noosa National Park and is a surfer’s paradise. For even more nature, take a guided bushwalk.
your trip off with a rainforest tour and some snorkeling around the surrounding islands. Next, head out for some hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Finally, relax on the beach on the edge of Costa Esmeralda.
There are only about 800 mountain gorillas left in East Africa, and more than half of them live in the foothills of the Virungas. The Virungas is a chain of 12,000-foot volcanoes stretching through Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo, and out of the three countries, Rwanda is by far the safest and most reliable.
29. Suzhou, China
Suzhou is only 30 minutes from Shanghai by bullet train and has nine UNESCO-designated classical gardens that have been celebrated in Chinese art and poetry for centuries. On the other hand, this city also has a shopping and entertainment district named Times Square and a Ferris wheel not unlike the London Eye.
Nepal is slowly bouncing back from earthquakes and a fuel strike that previously made getting around the country tough for tourists. You can still access the best of Nepal’s world-famous trekking routes, and if you go now, you can easily travel for under $50 per day.
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