With 2018 just around the corner, it’s time to make some travel resolutions. While we haven’t gotten lucky with the number of public holidays next year, a little careful planning (remember to start early!) can go a long way. According to travel site Booking.com, 47% of global travellers are already planning to make more trips in 2018, with a focus on history and culture, food and beach breaks. If you are one of these, check out our list of emerging destinations for 2018, listed by month for the best time to go, and start booking.
January: Sapporo, Japan
Why not kick off of the year with a bit of snow? Many travellers visit Japan for the bustling nightlife of Tokyo or temples of Kyoto, but in 2018 travellers will switch to explore the dynamic city of Sapporo. This city is a great base for exploring the mountains and hot springs of Hokkaido and offers great restaurants, being known best for its variety of seafood.
Sapporo’s top endorsements by Booking.com travellers include food, seafood and gourmet food, and with four in ten global travellers planning on taking a food and drink trip in 2018, Sapporo is certainly a destination to consider for its thriving food scene alone.
An emerging destination for Singaporeans in particular, Manila is endorsed by travellers for shopping, food and friendly locals. This heaving metropolis is filled with numerous mega-malls and a flourishing foodie scene to indulge in local staples such as Adobo and Lechon, amid skyscrapers and cultural centres.
It’s also an opportunity to enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities in the oldest and largest Chinatown in the world – Binondo, having been established in 1594.
March: Taitung City, Taiwan
You may not have heard much about Taitung City, the relaxed coastal town of Taiwan, but with its modest charm, cultural diversity and mix of mountains, hot springs, temples and ocean activities, it’s on the rise for travellers in 2018.
Head to Green Island for diving, snorkelling and hiking, buy seafood from Fugang Port, relax in Jhihben hot springs and visit Taitung night market to indulge in the local delicacies.
April: Bucharest, Romania
The elegant city of Bucharest is new to the alternative city break scene and a great option because of its museums, parks, trendy cafés and mix of art nouveau and modern architecture. In the summer make sure you rent a boat in Cişmigiu Gardens and come winter, tuck yourself away in one of the city’s many cosy coffee shops.
Research revealed that 41% of travellers are planning to take a city break in 2018, so make sure you add Bucharest to your list.
May: Georgetown, Penang
Have a quick weekend jaunt to the colourful and historical capital of Penang – George Town. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site staus back in 2008, George Town is bursting with beautiful street art telling the story of its history and people, all amid architectural gems and gastronomic delights selling the likes of Char Kway Teow, Assam Laksa and Nasi Kandar.
The city is endorsed by travellers for its food, history and culture. For those itching to shop a little, Komtar shopping mall has what you need.
June: Zacopane, Poland
The stunning mountain resort of Zakopane has always been popular for ski holidays but it’s attracting more and more travellers for its summer hiking in Tatra National Park. The trend for wellness getaways isn’t slowing down for 2018, with almost double the amount of people planning to take a health and wellbeing trip in 2018 compared to 2017.
The new health and wellness trend for 2018 is set to be more about travelling on two feet with 44% of travellers saying they want to go walking in 2018 and 33% hiking. The top endorsements for Zakopane by Booking.com travellers are hiking, nature, mountain walks and scenery.
July: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Nashville may be famous for its legendary country music scene, but it’s also great for family activities and outdoor pursuits. Music fans will want to browse the museums dedicated to Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, and catch some live music in bars across the city’s vibrant neighbourhoods. Nature lovers will want to explore the city’s many parks, easily accessible by foot or bike.
In 2018, 17% of travellers are planning to take a music concert or festival trip, and 36% of travellers will be inspired to visit a destination having seeing it on TV. Nashville is on the rise following the success of the drama series named after it.
August: Bogota, Colombia
Beautiful Bogotá is on the rise for 2018, being the hectic heart of Colombia and a great base for exploring the wider country. Travellers will appreciate the new restaurant openings and boutique hotels set amongst 300 year old houses, street art murals and museums. It’s essential to try some authentic Colombian coffee from one of the many cafes dotted around the city.
This month you have the choice of heading in early to experience Carnival of Bogotá, which takes place August 5th & 6th or take advantage of two public holidays. Of course you can always do both for an ultra-long holiday!
September, Lima Peru
Travellers will need high energy levels to take on Lima – from paragliding to partying, and sunbathing to surfing, where do you start? The city is becoming more popular for travellers in 2018 and is a great place to spend a few days exploring thanks to the delicious food, rich history and museums.
As well as culture and history, Lima is also the gastronomic capital of Latin America – so make sure you try some local delicacies by taking one of the tasty food tours.
The fact that the city’s unofficial slogan is “keep Portland weird” should get you suitably intrigued, but if that doesn’t do it Oregon’s largest city offers a buzzing nightlife, fantastic food (you’ll find food trucks on every corner), culture and the great outdoors.
Best explored by bike, take a trip to one of the city’s many infamous breweries, and nature lovers will love Forest Park and ‘City of Roses’ at the International Rose Test Garden.
When you think of Australia, it’s usually the popular cities of Sydney and Melbourne that come to mind, but on your next trip down under, why not try the metropolitan city of Brisbane, an up and coming destination for 2018. Travellers will love its restaurant and bar scene, vineyards – and the fact it’s surrounded by beautiful beaches. With half of travellers planning to take a beach trip in 2018, Brisbane is a great option.
Go surfing at Ocean Beach, soak up the sun at Sylvan Beach, spot dolphins at Red Beach or hang out at the beach style lagoons such as Streets Beach and Settlement Cove.
December: Hannover, Germany
The charming city of Hannover is on the up for its choice of museums, cultural sites and green spaces such as the Herrenhäuser Gärten, Lake Maschsee and Europe‘s largest urban forest, the Eilenriede.
It’s a great city break for culture vultures, so with 31% of travellers planning to take a culture and arts based trip in 2018, Hannover is one to visit.