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.
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- Located In: Greece
Who Says It's Hot: Ever since Netflix's Chef's Table aired their Patagonia episode with Francis Mallmann cooking poultry and fresh, salt-packed fish over an open flame, food and travel lovers have been salivating over the South American destination.
What To Do And See: You won't be able to visit Mallmann's slice of Patagonia, as he lives and works on an invite-only private island, but you will be able to soak in some equally stunning natural wonders. Many first-time visitors start with the Torres del Paine National Park where you can gawk at the natural beauty, spot wildlife, and visit the park’s old-growth forests.
Insider Tips: The summer months (December — February) have the mildest weather, but if you go a little earlier during Patagonia's spring (September — October), you'll beat the crowds and be able to enjoy a colorful display of blooming flowers.
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- Located In: South America
Who Says It's Hot: Lonely Planet described this Northern Ireland region as one of the top to visit in 2018.
What To Do And See: In Belfast, check out "Titanic Belfast," an ode to the ill-fated ship, then taste local treats at St. George's Market. When you make your way to the coast, you'll find sandy beaches, fishing villages, enormous basalt cliffs, and puffin colonies. Game of Thrones fans will also recognize the Cushendun Caves, site of the Shadow Baby incident from Season Two.
Insider Tip: Your trip to Northern Ireland is not complete until you've sipped on some Irish Whiskey. Take a trip to the Bushmill's Distillery and pick up a bottle of the Distillery Reserve 12-year-old Single Malt Whiskey, available only at the Bushmills gift shop.
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- Located In: Northern Ireland
Who Says It's Hot: Travel+Leisure called it "the Caribbean's secret," Vogue says "with few places left in this world that feel unspoiled, the country truly stands out," and the Telegraph calls it a "hidden jewel." Note: Dominica is not to be confused with The Dominican Republic.
What To Do and See: Hike Waitukubuli Trail (or part of it, it's 115 miles long), take a dip in Boiling Lake, paddle down Indian River, or spend an afternoon watching for whales while circling the island on a motorboat.
Insider Tips: Dominica has managed to escape the negative effects of tourism in part because of its remote location. You won't be able to fly direct, so plan to fly into a neighboring island like Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, or St. Martin first.
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- Located In: Caribbean