It’s time to get some new travel dreams. If you are after some inspiration, you’re in luck. We’ve put together our top places to be and to see in 2018!
Namibia, Africa - A strange twist of nature
WHY 2018? Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast Park
The shores are littered with whale bones and shipwrecks as far as the eye can see. But there hasn't been much scope for visiting this spooky and beautiful slice of Africa (unless you had an extra $6,000 laying around the for fly-in safari) …until now!
The Shipwreck Lodge opens June 2018 and will be the first camp to be built inside the Central Concession Area. The lodges will even be shaped just like shipwrecks to fit in with the 1,000+ vessels that already line the beach.
OTHER MUST DO'S OF NAMIBIA:
- Surf AND Sandboard in Swakopmund
- Sulphur Springs & ‘Glamp’ at Fish River Canyon
- Visit Etosha National Park, one of Africa’s greatest reserves
- Volunteer on our Elephant Conservation & Helping Local Farmers Volunteer Trip!
Start planning: Read more about Namibia on Global Roaming.
Gold Coast, Australia - Perfect mix of city and sea
WHY 2018? 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
The Gold Coast is home to none other than Global HQ and we’re always showing off what the glitter strip has to offer to all our travellers who arrive in Australia! In April, the Gold Coast hosted the 21st Commonwealth Games, (the first regional city EVER to host) where 6,600 athletes and team officials from 70 countries joined us to share the dream. In the aftermath, we scored Australia’s first light rail network the G:link and $200 million in world-class sporting infrastructure. Plus, bragging rights, the Logies Awards will be held in the countries favourite holiday playground for the first time ever in July!
OTHER MUST DO'S OF THE GC:
- Get your heart racing at the theme parks
- Kick back on the beach or learn to surf in Burleigh
- Head inland and explore Lamington National Park
- Tick off as many trendy bars and nightclubs as you can in Surfers Paradise
Start planning: Read more about the Gold Coast on Global Roaming.
Chile, South America - Nature on a colossal scale
WHY 2018? The new ‘Route of Parks’
Chile is filled with endless escapades and now they’ve made it even easier to explore! In addition to acquiring 10 million acres which will be preserved as five brand new and three extended national parks, they’re constructing “The Route of Parks”. 2018 is the year that this 1,500-mile stretch will finally string together the national parks and link up the country's most remote corners. Talk about a road trip!
OTHER MUST DO'S OF CHILE:
- Stop off at the Atacama desert - the driest desert on Planet Earth
- Ski the second highest peak in the world at Portillo
- Check out the famed archaeological site of Easter Island
- Volunteer on our Charismatic Chile Volunteer Trip!
Start planning: Read more about Chile on Global Roaming.
Peru, South America - Warning: requires a strong set of lungs and steady legs
WHY 2018? Kuélap!
Due to increased tourist traffic at Machu Picchu, Peru is now urging visitors to head to the off-the-beaten region of Kuélap. This less known site is a stunning pre-Incan settlement referred to as ‘the fortress in the clouds’ and was built by the Cloud Warrior people of the northern Andes in the sixth century which actually predates Machu Picchu by several years!
The walled city sits 10,000 feet above sea level and the ruins have only just become more accessible with the recent opening of a cable car system that cuts travel time from the nearest Town, Nuevo Tingo, to just 20 minutes.
OTHER MUST DO'S OF PERU:
- Explore the amazing Amazon Rainforest for yourself!
- Witness the Rainbow Mountains
- Trek the Colca Canyon
- Teach on the beach in Zorritos!
Start planning: Read more about Peru on Global Roaming.
Monteverde, Costa Rica - famous for fun and biodiversity
WHY 2018? Monteverde Cloud Forest
Nature enthusiasts looking to go off the grid should stop here, where 2.5% of the world's total biodiversity call home! Spanning an impressive six ecological zones (or 25,950 acres) and nestled high up in the mountains - it’s famous for protecting an abundance of wildlife, monkeys and mist. The roads seem to be the most adrenaline fuelling of the experience with 90% of them remaining unpaved and requiring a 4x4… and possibly a pacemaker. Until now, they have upgraded the roads this year to make the journey a lot easier!
Other must do’s of Costa Rica:
- Volunteer with sloths, sea turtles or communities!
- Watch lava spill from Arenal Volcano
- Do a day tour of Tortuguero National Park
- Relax in the hot springs of Río Chollín
Start planning: Read more about Costa Rica on Global Roaming.
Gangwon Province, South Korea - not just the land of kimchi and non stop kpop.
WHY 2018? Bullet Trains!
Those in the know are aware of the Winter Olympics which recently went down for the first time in PyeongChang. The Games have ignited much more than just a desire to watch the half-pipe comp! The government have poured $13 billion into the region and built a high whiz bullet train, new highways and tons of infrastructure to whisk people across the country between Incheon and Gangneung, cutting travel time from 6 hours to 2.5-hour on a high-speed adventure. Making a mountain retreat or a beach escape, with a side of après-culture easily accessible!
Other must do’s of South Korea:
- Get Seoul searching and Teach English!
- Visit the historical DMZ North Korean Border
- Hitch a ride to Busan - the San Fran of SK!
- You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Korean BBQ
Start planning: Read more about South Korea on Global Roaming.
Uluru, Australia - The red heart of Australia
WHY 2018? Ayers Rock
This epic 600-million-year-old rock is not the only thing central Australia has going for it, we promise you! The red heart of Australia will now stand as a monument to admire, rather than to conquer, forbidding the climb as of 2019. Visitors need not worry that there will be nothing for them to visit with the climb closed because there is so much more to explore! Tons of fascinating cultural tours, workshops and free ranger-guided mala walks are on offer to discover the natural wonders of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Other must do’s of Uluru:
- Walk the famous Kings Canyon and surrounding lush gorges and rock formations
- Check out the spectacular Field of Light
- See a Kata Tjuta Sunset for yourself
- Learn the history and culture of the traditional land owners (the Anangu people) in any of the region’s smaller cities - Darwin, Palmerston or Katherine.
Start planning: Read more about Australia on Global Roaming.
Rotorua, New Zealand - Celebrating what lies beneath the surface
WHY 2018? Mudtopia Festival
So everyone knows that NZ is not only the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter destination, but it’s one of the world’s ultimate outdoor playgrounds. But why, oh, why Rotorua you may ask? Rotorua sits firmly on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so naturally, it’s a melting pot of attractions! Mud bubbles, mountains explode, geysers spout and sulphurous gas stink it all up. In order to celebrate the city’s geothermal blessings, the very first annual Mudtopia Festival was recently launched complete with mud games and massages!
Other must do’s of the North Island:
- Head to wine heaven over on Waiheke Island
- Magical Glowworm Waitomo Caves
- Matamata is a must-see for those searching for Middle Earth!
- Hike the epic Tongariro Crossing
Beijing, China - Discover ancient wonders reinvented
WHY 2018? The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City once served as the Imperial Palace and political centre for the Chinese government for 500 years throughout the Ming & Qing dynasties (1368 - 1911). It’s now the largest ancient palace in the world and a symbol of stunning endurance. Due to the sheer scale, restoration is ongoing - however, this year previously restricted areas are now open to the public, and with nearly 10,000 rooms to explore they have a plan to have 80% open to visitors by 2020!
Other must do’s of Beijing:
- Wander the Great Wall of China
- Visit the famous Terracotta Army
- Snap a photo at the famous gates of Tiananmen Square
- Wander the bustling markets
Start planning: Click to check out our Teach in China trip!
Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA - the “Paris of South America”
WHY 2018? 2018 Summer Youth Olympics
Buenos Aires lives up to its nickname, with an overwhelming cafe culture that would definitely rival its European counterpart. This electric city is a hot spot for lovers of music, food and dancing and 2018 is proving to be an especially exciting year for the second largest city in South America. Sports fans can cheer on world-class tennis matches, polo tournaments and even the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics this October.
Other must do’s of Buenos Aires:
- Go market-hopping in San Telmo
- Get cultured at MALBA and see Frida Kahlo’s work in the flesh
- Escape the urban jungle in the Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve
- Try out the tango & mind your toes at a milonga (tango event)
Start planning: Check our our Community Buenos Aires Volunteer Trip!
New Orleans, USA - A party 300 years in the making.
WHY 2018? The Big Easy turns 300.
Known for its round-the-clock nightlife, colourful demeanour, and non-stop flow of energy, you wouldn’t think the Big Easy was a day over 21. Well, it turns out she's turning the big 3-0-0 this year, and in honour, special events have been scheduled throughout the year to reflect on its history as well as it’s melting pot of French, African & American cultures. To commemorate, the government is also planning a major $6 million makeover to it's famous Bourbon Street.
Other must do’s of New Orleans:
- Walk the oldest streets in North America in the French Quarter
- Gawk at Carnival floats up close
- Magazine Street has a good six miles worth of shopping
- Check out the amazing art scene at Jackson Square
Start planning: Read more about the USA on Global Roaming.
Reykjavík, Iceland - The secret is officially out
WHY 2018? The Blue Lagoon is getting an upgrade!
Iceland used to be a luxury hotspot only accessible by the rich and famous. Now, thanks to the cheapest WOW Air Flights we have ever seen to Reykjavik, travellers can now access this charming Nordic isle, characterised by lava fields, volcanoes, waterfalls and glaciers much cheaper, and easier! The world famous Blue Lagoon is going through a phase of expansion and will see it’s first luxury hotel open in 2018 - plus new geothermal baths and natural spas!
Other must do’s of Iceland:
- Witness the spectacular Northern Lights for yourself
- Snorkel or snowmobile the Golden Circle
- Visit the West Fjords
- Go Glacier Hiking and Ice Caving
Start planning: Hop over to Iceland on our Working Holiday Trip to the UK!
Cambodia, Asia - Where ancient and modern worlds collide
WHY 2018? Shinta Mani Wild
It used to be that a trip to Cambodia could begin and end with a trip to the spellbinding temples of Angkor Wat. Now interest has sparked further afield and extended to the untouched islands and mountainous rainforests. In the previously unprotected wildlife corridor near Southern Cardamom National Park, Shinta Mani Wild is a new luxury camp experience set along 1.5 kilometres of river and waterfalls to provide an experience unlike any other in Asia. Visitors will be surrounded by the local residents including wild elephants, bears and tigers!
Other must do’s of Cambodia:
- Explore rural Cambodia on our Community Outreach Volunteer Trip
- Take a Tuk-Tuk to Downtown Siem Reap
- Take A Boat to the Floating Villages on Tonle Sap Lake
- Learn the history of Cambodia with a visit to The Killing Fields
Start planning: Read more about Cambodia on Global Roaming.
Malta, EUROPE - This tiny nation’s buzz has been building for years
WHY 2018? Valletta
If you look at a map closely, you’d think Malta is just a tiny speck on the boot of Italy. But it’s so much more. A European crossroad filled with fascinating history, prehistoric temples crown hills, 17th-century fortifications stalk the coast and not to mention the laid-back lifestyle, beaches and more than 300 days of sunshine a year! Valletta has been named Europe's Capital of Culture for 2018 and over 400 events have been planned throughout the year to celebrate.
Other must do’s of Malta:
- Take a tour of all the Game of Thrones locations
- Tour temples older than the Pyramids at the Megalithic Temples on Gozo
- Explore the Blue Grotto
- Scuba dive one of the best spots the Mediterranean has to offer
Start planning: Hop over to Malta while on your Au Pair Trip in Europe!
Glasgow, Scotland - One of the UK’s up and coming most intriguing metropolis
WHY 2018? A city re-invented!
It claims the title for the world's friendliest city, now Glasgow has even more going for it. It's set to see another major revival in 2018, with the creation of more than 250 architectural projects taking shape on the River Clyde. 2 of the 20 new distilleries opening in Scotland are in Glasgow, including the $12.3 million Clydeside Distillery, the city’s first in 100 years.
Other must do’s of Scotland:
- Hold down the fortress at Edinburgh Castle
- Visit The Loch Ness Monster
- Swim in the fairy pools of Isle of Skye
- Take a Scotch Tour in the home of Whiskey!
Start planning: Check out our Working Holiday Trip in the UK!
Nepal, ASIA - Back on top of the world
WHY 2018? ‘Visit Nepal Year’
Nepal needs no introduction, this country of extremes is a must do for travel enthusiast all around the world. Over the past few years, a series of natural disasters has led to a dramatic decline in visitors. This year the government have started planning for the future of travel declaring 2018 the ‘Visit Nepal Year’ and has the ultimate goal of attracting 1 million visitors.
Other must do’s of Nepal:
- Snap a picture at the Boudhanath - Asia’s largest stupa!
- Trek through the Himalayas
- Explore the temples in Kathmandu
- Get a glimpse of Mount Everest
Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC - A magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes
WHY 2018? 100 Years of Independence.
Prague is considered one of Central Europe's most charming and colourful cities - with breathtaking views 365 days a year. This year the Czech capital will celebrate 100 years of independence and festivities will run all year long with plenty of concerts, events and exhibitions to celebrate ‘the city of a hundred spires’.
Other Must do’s of Prague:
- Explore the Old Town Square with the famous Prague Astronomical Clock
- Witness the old ghetto and winding lines of the Jewish Quarter
- Admire the Lennon Wall
- Visit the magical Prague castle
Start planning: Hop over while on a Working Holiday Trip in the UK!
Toronto, Canada - The most multicultural city on the planet
WHY 2018? Another big B’day for Toronto!
Canada isn't all maple syrup and moose, folks. They love to party! They may have just finished up a year-long party in celebration of 150 years of Confederation. But, now it’s Toronto's turn. Toronto itself is turning 225 this year and as you can imagine, there’s plenty happening year-round in this cosmopolitan city.
Other must do’s of Toronto:
- See the city from above in the CN Tower
- Take a trip to the Distillery District
- Stand on the edge of glory at Niagara Falls
- Check out Toronto’s buzzing nightlife
Start planning: Read more about Canada on Global Roaming.
Ready to rumble yet? Get in touch via the green button below and we'll help you find your very own path to explore!