Our must-visit destinations for 2018

18 January 2018

It’s a new year, which is the perfect excuse to start planning your next adventure. Let 2018 be the year when you branch out and travel somewhere new and exciting.

Argentina

With international art fair, Art Basel Cities program, partnering with Buenos Aires to open it up as a cultural hub, the world is set to discover the rich culture and artistic history of Argentina. The city will also host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics later in the year, along with its own annual events such as Carnaval, Tango World Championships and Festival de Tradicion. And, of course, the country’s other large draw card lies in its regions; Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost point with an abundance of wildlife (including penguins!), the mountainous Patagonia region or Mendoza with its prolific vineyards producing world-famous Argentinian Malbec wine.

Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo Credit: Jeison Higuita via Unsplash

Croatia

Croatia is fast becoming a hot spot for holiday-goers and travellers visiting Europe. Known for its historic towns, stunning natural features, plentiful sunshine and remarkable culture and history, Croatia is a must-visit in 2018. It is also a popular destination for fans of Game of Thrones; there are several important destinations from the show that people flock to. It’s not as pricey as other popular destinations in Europe and many of its best towns are within a few hours of each other, making it a really easy country to get around. 

Makarska, Croatia. Photo Credit: Maria Butyrina via Unsplash.

Samoa

The islands of the South Pacific are the perfect getaway for kiwis that are in need a bit of R & R in the sun! Fiji and Rarotonga often take all the glory, but other island nations, like Samoa, are coming into their own as holiday destinations. With friendly locals, stunning beaches, long days of sunshine and unique natural wonders like the To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa is a great place for an island retreat. While you’re there, check out the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks for a more unique waterfall experience!

To Sua Ocean Trench. Photo Credit: Amber Holyoake

Botswana

When the Okavango Delta flows into the dry savannah of the Kalahari Desert, the whole area teems with an abundance of different animals, from rare birds to some of Africa’s largest and most iconic, such as elephants, buffalo, lions, hippos and more. Botswana is a nature lover’s paradise and a haven for many species of African wildlife, with a strong commitment to conservation, including bans on commercial trophy hunting.

Elephants in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photo credit: Shutterstock.

Mexico

Mexico is already an exciting holiday destination with its vibrant culture, world-class beaches, rich history and of course, iconic food! But in late 2018, something huge is coming to Riviera Maya – Amikoo. Amikoo will be a Mayan inspired theme park from DreamWorks to rival those in other parts of the world, featuring 7.5 hectares of rides, roller-coasters, attractions, pools and a museum of anthropology! Celebrating Mayan culture, the theme park will not only thrill guests, but also educate them about the history and culture of the area.

Ruins in Tulum, Mexico. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Sweden

Scandinavia is renowned for its striking natural beauty, particularly for the ability to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), but Sweden is also home to modern cities and picturesque towns that give its European neighbours a run for their money. Uppsala is a university town perfect for young travellers who love events and great nightlife, Malmö boasts a wonderful blend of old and new with modern waterfront promenades, antique castles and town squares, and Stockholm, the capital, has a dynamic food scene with modern cafes, food trucks, Michelin star restaurants, microbreweries and authentic Swedish markets.

Plus, if you’re going there soon (end of January), you might catch a glimpse of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Wills and Kate) on their official tour of Sweden and Norway!

Stockholm, Sweden. Photo credit: Shutterstock.

South Korea

South Korea is set to host the Winter Olympic Games in February and the Paralympic Games in March. Held in Pyeongchang, the games will be a big drawcard for tourists in 2018, but visit any time of the year and you’ll find a modern Asian country filled with treasures of the past and natural beauty. Take a trip to the romantic Jeju Island for some tranquillity, enjoy the bustle of Busan or take in the sights of the capital, Seoul, from the Seoullo walkway, suspended above the city.

Temple in Busan, South Korea. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Amber Holyoake

Whether its exploring new areas in her hometown of Auckland, or venturing to the other side of the globe, Amber loves adventures and has the world on her bucketlist. With an established travel blog, and a full-time role in the travel industry, she knows her way around a map!