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: Ever since Condé Nast Traveler ran a story called "Milos Is the Untouched Greek Island You've Been Looking For," trendy travelers have been making their vacation plans.
What To Do And See: Visit a beach that looks like the surface of the Moon (Sarakiniko Beach) or one of Milos's 70 other beaches. Explore blue sea caves, then eat and drink at one of the many beachfront taverns.
Insider Tips: Milos is best seen by sea, so if you go, don't forget to book a boat excursion that can take you to secluded beaches and offer you views that are inaccessible from the shore.
Located In: Greece
Who Says It's Hot: Travel to Japan is on an upward swing, and Lonely Planet named the Kii Peninsula one of the hottest regions to visit in 2018.
What To Do And See: Go to Nara and hand-feed deer, visit Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples, absorb serene natural scenery, relax in open-air hot springs, and enjoy Japanese hospitality and traditional food. The Kii Peninsula is still relatively undiscovered by tourists, so this is a great place to absorb Japanese culture without having to deal with distracting crowds.
Insider Tip: Visit in March. The weather starts to warm up, and the plum blossoms come out in the middle of the month. By the month's end, you'll also be able to see the blooming of the cherry blossoms.You can't go to Japan and not see cherry blossoms.
Located In: Japan
Who Says It's Hot: Havasu Falls is high up there on many adventure travelers' bucket lists. If you can't figure out why, just take a look at some pictures of the place. This destination is also tough to get to, which makes it all the more desirable.
What To Do And See: You have to hike about eight miles to get to the falls, so plan to be gone for a full day or two. Once you're there, you'll want to jump in that beautiful turquoise water and post as many photos as possible to make your Instagram friends jealous.
Insider Tips: The most important thing to note is that you *need to make a reservation* to go. Reservations become available on February 1, and to lock down a date, you need to call the tourism office on the phone. Early fall is the best time to go, so you can skip the summer crowds, oppressive heat, and chance of flash floods.
Located In: Arizona, USA
Who Says It's Hot: Intrepid Travel Blog, CNN, and Forbes have recently sung Porto's praises, and more and more airlines are adding Porto as a stop on their route maps. United Airlines added Porto as a destination in 2017.
What To Do And See: Don't miss the stunning Beaux-Arts train station, the blue azulejo (tiles) on building facades, and the city's namesake: port, a fortified wine. Stroll over the Ponte de Dom Luís bridge, and dip into one of the many port warehouses to take a tour and try the beverage. From here, you'll have a great view of the Porto waterfront. Just be careful on your walk back, port is strong!
Insider Tips: If you're in the area, don't miss the nearby Douro Valley, Portugal's wine region that is still relatively undiscovered compared to California's Napa or Sonoma. You can hop on a train and do a day trip from Porto, or better yet, stay in the valley for a few days and wine-taste to your heart's content!
Located In: Southwest Europe