A new year means new travels! If you need inspiration for where to go, we’ve rounded up 18 places to travel in 2018.
Why: As the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korea has been all the buzz – from Korean food to beauty treatments. And the country’s capital, Seoul, is the perfect spot to experience Korean culture. Just take Brownell Independent Advisor Tisha Neufville’s advice, and be prepared to have fun! “When work is finished, Seoul is all about alleviating the stress of living and working in a metropolis. This recharge and rejuvenation can involve spa time, beauty treatments, karaoke, soju, food, shopping, and art.”
Stay: Four Seasons Seoul, Park Hyatt Seoul
Why: Often overlooked by its neighbors Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, Bolivia is making its mark in travel. With pink flamingo-dotted salt flats, white-capped Andean mountains, and verdant jungles, the country’s natural wonders alone are worth the trip. But you can’t miss the blossoming culinary and art scene in La Paz, the world’s highest altitude capital city, or the ruins of Tiwanaku on Lake Titicaca. Brownell Independent Advisor Caroline Wallace recommends spending time in La Paz as well as the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world.
Stay: Atix, Altu Qala
Why: “Easter Island is as remarkable, beautiful and mysterious as described by those who have visited. The island provides the perfect balance of outdoor activities (hiking, snorkeling, exploring lava tubes) and culture (the Rapa Nui people, traditions and Moai statues) in a single, remote place. While it is a long journey, there is no real time change and therefore no jet lag when traveling from the US.” – Brownell Independent Advisor Susan Whitson
Stay: Explora Rapa Nui
Why: For those who think they have “been there, done that” when it comes to the Caribbean, we suggest Canouan. Pronounced Ka-no-wan, this island is located in The Grenadines only 20 minutes from Barbados. Whether you want to relax in paradise or explore one of the Caribbean’s largest living coral reefs, Canouan is ideal for a relaxing getaway. And the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is opening its first property in the Caribbean, the Mandarin Oriental, Canouan. Formerly the Pink Sands Club, the resort will be reopening in the beginning of 2018 with the new branding, but it is now taking reservations!
Why: Fashion, food, culture, adventure, history, and more – there are so many reasons to visit Morocco! A must-see is Marrakesh, where you can visit the newly opened Yves Saint Laurent Museum, shop in the colorful souks, and see the Koutoubia mosque. Beyond Marrakesh, go to the High Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert, Fez, or Casablanca and experience even more of Morocco!
Why: India is on the list for where to go in 2018, but unless you plan on spending weeks in this vast country, plan on making return trips for the next few years. For a first timer, the Golden Triangle in the north is a good place to start – Mumbai and Udaipur (the “Venice of India”) to Jaipur (the pink city) and Agra (home of the Taj Mahal) en route to Delhi. And if wildlife spotting peaks your interest, you can see tigers, sloth bears, and leopards in India!
Why: White-sand beaches, crystal-clear water – nope this isn’t your typical tropical paradise; this is Mozambique. Positioned on the southeast coast of Africa, Mozambique is a perfect place to unwind after a safari in South Africa or Zimbabwe. Our team loves the country’s unspoiled beauty, and recommends going now before it is developed.
Stay: Villa Santorini, Azura Benguerra Island
Why: If you’re an Outlander fanatic, love history, or enjoy the outdoors, Scotland has your name on it. The beautiful Scottish Highlands will take you back to the times of legendary Scottish clans (hello, Jamie Fraser!). And for sportsman, have your Brownell Advisor arrange tee-times at some of Scotland’s legendary golf courses or set-up a private fly-fishing lesson.
Why: Bhutan may be hard to get to and get into (more people visit the Empire State Building in a day than visit Bhutan in a year!), but it is well worth the journey. The green valleys and snow-capped peaks complement the peaceful nature of this country. While in Bhutan, visit local monasteries, try your skills at archery, and hike in the valley. And if you’re up to the challenge, trek to the Paro Valley’s Taktsang Monastery, aka Tiger’s Nest.
US NATIONAL PARKS
Why: Even though there are incredible destinations around the world, some of the most beautiful natural spots are in our own backyard: the US National Parks! Whether you’re heading out on an adventurous hiking and camping trip or bringing everyone along for an all-American family trip, there is a national park to fit just about every need.
Stay: Your Brownell Advisor can work with our partners at Revealed America to design a personalized itinerary, or combine a national park with a city!
Why: Go to New Zealand for the adventures, stay for the jaw dropping scenery. Whether you’re bungee jumping, golfing, fly-fishing, hiking, or simply relaxing with a glass of wine, this country’s picturesque landscape is a photographer’s dream (yes, it really is that gorgeous). And New Zealand’s weather is just as dramatic as the landscapes – you can experience four seasons in one day, after all!
Why: So Hawaii isn’t exactly an under-the-radar destination, but with more flights (thanks, Southwest!), the 50th state is even more accessible than ever. And since it is a part of the United States, you can experience tropical paradise without dealing with passports or visas! There is so much to do – or not do – so a trip to Hawaii can fit just about any travelers’ interest (see our island guide here!).
Why: With the Caribbean Sea on one side, the Pacific Ocean on the other, and volcanoes, rainforests, waterfalls, and ruins sandwiched in between, Nicaragua has it all. Travelers can explore the colonial city Granada, take a surfing lesson, or even try sand skiing!
Why: When you think of Europe, you don’t necessarily associate it with off-the-beaten-path…and you probably don’t think of Estonia either! Established as the Republic of Estonia in 1918 (happy, 100th birthday, Estonia!), this Baltic country has been through its share of change, and exploring it firsthand is the best way to learn about it. Tallinn, the country’s capital, is a gorgeous medieval wall city with plenty of shops, museums, and restaurants to visit or simply take in the architecture and colorful buildings as you wander down cobblestone streets.
Stay: Schlossle Hotel
Why: Yeah, the South Pacific as a whole is a pretty broad destination, and jet-setting from island to island isn’t exactly easy – but cruising is! Many of our top cruise partners have itineraries that take you to different islands in the South Pacific. Lindblad Expeditions has five different itineraries that cover Easter Island, Pitcairn, French Polynesia, Kiribati, the Marquesas, Cook Islands and Fiji (get an inside look at Lindblad CEO Sven Lindblad’s experience here!).
Why: Situated off the coast of Spain, Mallorca has enough to do to be a trip on its own or can be paired with mainland Spain. During your stay on this gorgeous island, you can enjoy sailing, golf, tennis, hiking, biking, history, and cooking…just to name a few ideas. And when you’re ready to relax, head to one of the sun-kissed beaches on Mallorca’s 340 miles of coastline.
Why: In Austria, the hills aren’t the only thing alive with the Sound of Music – the whole country’s rich history in music draws in many travelers. (It is the birthplace of Mozart, Schubert, and Strauss!) But if classical music isn’t your thing, there is much more to do. Austria’s charming landscape looks as though it is straight out of a storybook, with snow-capped mountains, alpine lakes, and quaint villages. It’s no wonder so many famed musicians and artists found inspiration in Austria!
Why: St. Kitts is another hot spot in the Caribbean, and with direct flights from Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, and New York, you can arrive and start relaxing on this island in no time. While on St. Kitts be sure visit Timothy Hill and Brimstone Hill (don’t worry, the beach will still be there when you get back!). If you want to island hop, Nevis is only a short boat ride away and has some other amazing properties!
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