This blog post was updated on February 22, 2018.

With a New Year, most of us begin looking ahead, more specifically to where the year will take us. And if you have the travel bug, you’re wondering if this is the year you can reach as far as the deserts of Chile or climb up to the cliffs of the Faroe Islands.

As you toast to a New Year, check our out round up of some emerging destinations to add to your 2018 travel itinerary that won’t disappoint.


Mexico City

With its downtown layered in 1,000 years of culture, it comes as no surprise that Mexico City was named the 2018 World Design Capital. The first ever in the Americas, Mexico City will celebrate the honor with events like Design Week Mexico, Condo Fair and Material Art Fair. Events for the World Design Capital title will include a rich agenda of activities that provoke thought and action including exhibitions, conferences, panels and installations. Aside from these events, travelers can explore a city with some of the tastiest international cuisine, world-class shopping and a bright business district. Boasting the most museums in the world, Mexico City also is home to one of the world’s largest plazas, the Zócalo.


Those of us with an inner need to be Indiana Jones will find Jordan the perfect backdrop for adventure. Appealing for its lost citadel, the archaeological site of Petra, Jordan has become a relatively safe destination to explore in the Middle East. In fact, the country has even morphed into the luxury travel sector with new hotel openings like the Hilton Dead Sea Resort and Spa, the first Hilton in the country. 2018 might be Jordan’s year as it just recently opened the Jordan Trail. Running 400 miles from the archeological wonders of Umm Qais to the Red Sea, the trail spans the length of the country and includes stops at some of its most impressive and Indiana Jones-worthy ruins.


In a country quite narrow yet lengthy, Chile packs in the punch, especially for 2018. The year marks 200 years of independence for Chile. Independence aside, the country lends more than enough to drag you down here from its landscapes of glaciers, deserts and soaring mountains to its busy cities. Chile offers a wealth of different adventures for travelers from stargazing in the driest desert in the world to exploring enchanted forests to even a visit to the “end of the world” at Tierra del Fuego where you’ll see humpback whales, sea lions and dolphins.

South Korea

While its neighbor to the north might be making headlines for all the wrong reasons, South Korea is landing on the 2018 travel list for it will host the Winter Olympics in the Gangwon Province. The country is making it even easier in 2018 to get to the Games with the opening of a new high-speed rail line from Incheon International Airport to Pyeongchang. Even if you can’t make it to the Games, the country’s capital of Seoul warrants your attention. The futuristic capital city is particularly appealing to museum-goers for its contemporary museums like the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. In addition to Seoul, South Korea offers roughly 3,000 islands and many impressive national parks like Seoraksan National Park with its some 30 peaks.


Game of Thrones fans have already placed Malta on their bucket list, but other travelers will want to add the Mediterranean archipelago to their list for 2018. The nation’s capital of Valletta will be named a 2018 European Capital of Culture. To mark the recognition, the city will offer operas, art installations, theater events and other special exhibitions. Valletta loves its festivals too with the year bringing the Malta World Music Festival, Malta’s International Arts Festival and the Malta Jazz Festival. Outside the capital, Malta dazzles with its beautiful beaches, archaeological sites and its famed blue grotto. And you usually won’t have to worry about the weather getting in the way of your travels. Malta appreciates more than 300 annual days of sunshine.

New Orleans

New Orleans always knows how to throw a party. Each year, the Big Easy hosts roughly 160 festivals. However, 2018, will be a bit different as New Orleans will turn 300 years old. For Mardi Gras, floats will focus on the history of New Orleans. You can expect other events like the pop-up art fest Prospect 4 for the monumental birthday which will cover the city with murals, sculptures and more. You can even come in 2018 just to experience some of the city’s recent improvements such as the renovating Spanish Plaza reopening in the the spring and the North Rampart Street cable car line extension.

Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh is downright intoxicating with its medina. Virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages, the city is a treasure trove of hidden palaces, bazaars and mansions. However, it is Marrakesh’s artistic side that will draw attention in 2018. Home to a number of well-regarded galleries, Marrakesh is adding two landmark openings for art and design to its arsenal, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech and the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair.

Faroe Islands

If you are a tad sick of the Iceland travel trend, Denmark has a solution. The Danish archipelago known as the Faroe Islands consists of 18 rocky islets in the North Atlantic. Some 450 miles southeast of Iceland, 2018 will see more and more travelers looking toward the Faroe Islands instead of Iceland. The wild rugged islands offer a remote location with the other-worldly scenery. While still relatedly uncrowded to travelers, the Faroe islands have maintained an untouched nature. Many of the islands are connected by underwater tunnels and bridges. 2018 is an exciting time to visit for one of the islands’ eateries, Koks, has just been Michelin-starred.

Hong Kong

The sensory overload that is Hong Kong will become even more possible to visit for travelers in 2018. Hong Kong Airlines will launch direct service to the city from Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and London in 2018. With more direct flights, travelers will have more opportunities to see its iconic skyline, feast on its legendary culinary offerings, explore its lush protected nature and pop in a market or temple or two.


In 2018, Estonia will celebrate a big birthday. First established as the Republic of Estonia in 1918, the Eastern European country will turn 100 in the New Year. For the occasion, Estonia is throwing more than one bash. All throughout the year, the country will see a wealth of special museum exhibits, concerts, performances and festivals. As Estonia celebrates its original independence from the Russian empire, you can begin your travels in its capital of Tallinn. Named by Lonely Planet as a best value destination in 2018, the capital boasts one of Eastern Europe’s best old towns with its cobbled streets and colorful buildings. Further afield, Estonia regales with its sparsely populated countryside and extensive forests.

As you make your resolutions for a New Year, these destinations just might convince you to resolve to travel more often in 2018.

Where are you excited to explore in 2018? Share your New Year’s destinations with us in the comments below.

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About The Author

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at