This list of exciting places to go in 2018 highlights all the trendy travel destinations that you need to put on your to-do list ASAP. These travel hotspots are still relatively unknown — they've been heating up just below the surface — and it is your mission to visit before they become the next Paris or Chang Mai.
As you peruse these 2018 hot travel destinations, ask yourself: Do you want to be the first of your friends to post a selfie from an island in Greece that resembles the surface of the Moon? Of course you do! Do you need to hold a photo shoot in a trippy turquoise lake surrounded by red rock formations? Um, yeah!
Featuring an eclectic array of gorgeous locations, the lineup includes some beautiful places in America, cool cities in Europe, and natural wonders from around the world. If you're already starting to feel the wanderlust in your gut, read on and discover the most popular travel destinations 2018 has to offer, then see where you should go in 2019.
Who Says It's Hot: Tom McDermott of the travel site Huckberry believes travelers should experience the natural beauty and traditional culture of Viñales, Cuba. Huffington Post ran an article called "Drop Everything And Head To Viñales, Cuba. NOW."
What To See And Do: Stay at Casa Dovales and eat delicious home-cooked meals, walk by the Mural de la Prehistoria and photograph the brightly painted homes, sip coffee or smoke a cigar at a local cafe, and watch classic cars cruise down the street.
Insider Tip: It became a whole lot easier to visit Cuba when President Barack Obama lifted the travel ban in December 2014, but it is still technically illegal to go. You'll have to jump through a few hoops and make sure your visit falls under one of 12 categories, such as visiting relatives, conducting research, or attending a cultural event.
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- Located In: Caribbean
Who Says It's Hot: The Faroe Islands may just be 2018's Iceland. CNTraveler recently named it an "emerging destination."
What To Do And See: This self-governed Nordic group of 18 volcanic islands hosts five live music festivals throughout the year. If you can't make it to one of those, there are plenty of steep cliffs, hiking trails, waterfalls, and rocky coastlines to make your trip worthwhile. Oh, also, northern lights!
Insider Tips: If you're going to go all the way there, plan your trip to overlap with the G! festival or another summer music event. You'll likely never have another experience like it.
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- Located In: North Atlantic
Who Says It's Hot: Marrakesh has been heating up for a while now, and in 2017, The New York Times published an installment of their "36 Hours" feature on the capital city.
What To Do And See: Explore the Old Medina and get lost in the backstreets, or wander through Jardin Majorelle. Eat a snake while browsing a souk (an outdoor marketplace) then clean up with a visit to Les bains de Marrakech, a luxury take on a traditional hammam.
Insider Tips: You'll need to come with your bargaining pants on. At the souks, no price is final. Bring along a trusted local guide, decide on a price before your negotiate, and be ready to walk away if you don't get the price you want. You may want to read up on haggling tips before you go.
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- Located In: Morocco
Who Says It's Hot: This bustling metropolis has been on the rise for a few years, and it was just named the 2018 World Design Capital by the World Design Organization. Design lovers should put Mexico City at the top of their travel lists for 2018.
What To Do And See: Mexico City is one of the best culinary cities in North America. On nearly every street corner, you'll find tlacoyos, quesadillas, tlayudas, esquites, churros, crispy chips, salt pork skin snacks... it's a food lover's dream.You can also tour the remains of the old city, visit a modern art museum, go to a soccer (ahem, futbol) game, and drink mezcal.
Insider Tips: Since Mexico City is so centrally located, it makes a great home base for exploring other parts of Mexico. Don't miss a trip to the impressive pre-Columbian city of Teotihuacán, located about an hour north of the city in the state of Mexico.
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- Located In: Mexico