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22 of 2018’s Hottest Destinations According to Trend Reports

With all the fire on your Insta feed, how to choose one to-die-for destination from the next? Iceland and Cuba topped everyone’s sojourn sundae last year, but what’s travel bae for 2018? Whether this is the year you’re looking for something luxe and a little off-the-grid or perhaps planning a bach party for your pals where you’re living like locals and checking that once-in-a-lifetime bucket list experience... there are inspiring “It” list itineraries for you.

We’ve checked in with trusty travel pros, the good old interwebs and YOU to help guide you towards the most interesting and exciting travel experiences to put those PTO hours to good use in 2018.

Reporter: Katie Bush
1 / 24
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Shanghai

China
If you’re thinking of style, elegance and culture in a cocoon of cosmopolitan glamour, look no further than Shanghai. Every step is a creative, historic lesson while you can also have anything delivered to your door, at any time. It’s a veritable treasure map of best friend dares – from competing in community park karaoke, to visiting the People’s Square Marriage Market or getting perfectly tailored matching outfits made at the Fabric Market, it’s a seriously cool, creative place for a group of good friends to have a trip of a lifetime. BONUS: Did we mention decadent brunch is a way of life? Check out The Stage in the Westin, with two floors of superb eats from lobster to traditional teppanyaki with free-flowing wine and champagne for days (or hours, but you get the point).
Photo: jcpieri
2 / 24
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Mauritius

Africa
This Indian Ocean gem has long been overlooked for it’s equally glamorous cousins, the Seychelles and Maldives, because it’s been so darn hard to get here. That’s all changing lovelies, thanks to brand-new flights from Amsterdam and the UK. On top of the newly accessible flight routes, Mauritius is celebrating it’s 50th year of Independence and along with that comes a series of national events culminating in March. Where to stay?  One&Only Le Saint Géran, fresh off a multimillion dollar renovation, located on a private peninsula on the island’s eastern shore and loaded with once-in-a-lifetime curated experiences for the most epic family reunion or group getaway we can think of.
3 / 24
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Petra

Jordan
For head-turning history, Petra is the place to be: the UNESCO World Heritage site is a three-hour drive through the desert from Amman and you’ll see architectural feats literally by yourself, even on the busiest of days. Petra is home to stunning natural gorges, temples and tombs carved into the rocks and winding trails that lead to mountainous summits (“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” anyone?). A bucket list must do? The Jordan Trail, a 400 mile hiking route that takes you through the wadis and cliffs of the Jordan Rift Valley and mountains of Wadi Rum. While the State Department has issued a travel warning for the region, it has done so for other, much more traveled countries – Jordan remains a safe haven of dramatic history within a turbulent Middle East.
Photo: heyandiehey
4 / 24
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Lisbon

Portugal
It’s not simply the pretty that lures travelers to Portugal – stunning UNESCO monuments, gorgeous beaches, charming cities and gosh-darn perfect weather. It’s also got a sophisticated urban art, food and nightlife scene. But what makes Portugal a tip-top choice for 2018 is its amazing affordability. It’s one of the most affordable countries to visit in Western Europe, giving it the edge over neighboring Spain, which has long been the main attraction on the Iberian Peninsula.
Photo: Roman Kraft
5 / 24
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Hamburg

Germany
We’re talking stylish, design hotels and hip hostels like Gastwerk, a 120-year-old red-brick former gasworks in Bahrenfeld with minimalist decor and a warm, welcoming Moroccan spa. Hamberg is known for it’s nightlife and there’s plenty of neighborhoods to explore based on your predilections. But if you’re asking us, and you are, we’re more interested in the post-revelry party at the St. Pauli Fischmarkt (Fish Auction Hall and Market). Not only are the stalls stocked with fresh fish and other goods, but there's also steaming hot bratwursts, endless-flowing beer and an energetic band to keep the jovial atmosphere alive. For those of you craving some high-end culture, check out the stunning new €790 million Elbphilharmonie concert hall.
6 / 24
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American Southwest

Long held as the wild frontier of shoot-em-up cowboy movies and the preservation of Native American culture, it’s dusty-rose desert vistas inspire a longing in all of us and house some of the most stunning scenery in the U.S.  Take an art tour of Taos, NM and stay in an Earth Ship – a fully sustainable, futuristic house. Or book a stay at the five-star Amangiri in Canyon Point, Utah where the stunning stone colored luxury structure rises out of the sand like a magnificent mirage. From rocket builders to cool creatives making new lives in quirky mountain towns, it’s bucket list road tripping at it’s finest.
Photo: hulyaozkurt
7 / 24
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Budapest

Hungary
There may not be a more magical place to travel to in 2018’s winter months than the beauty that is Budapest. Rejuvenate in one of the renowned thermal baths or throw a “SPArty” with your pals. Ice skate in front of castle, take a ride on a sparkling streetcar and kick back with a cocktail at a rooftop igloo - sounds like a fa-la-la-la lovely time to us.
Photo: Zach Rose
8 / 24
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Toronto

Canada
It’s not simply the handsome and dashing Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who’s thrust Canada firmly into the cultural zeitgeist this year – luxe hotels and exciting, design-focused culinary experiences are popping up across the city of Toronto like whoa. In understated yet elegant Canadian fashion, they’re hidden in old railway stations and unassuming warehouses. Like a fabulous treasure hunt, uncover Brothers Food + Wine — one of the city’s most exciting new openings inside a tiny, nondescript space just above the Bay Street subway station as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art, moving into a century-old former factory in the Junction Triangle this Spring.
Photo: Redd Angelo
9 / 24
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Kyoto

Japan
The most obvious and never-ever changing reason to go to Kyoto? Three words: Cherry. Blossom. Season. It’s also the reason thousands of others flock to Kyoto the last week of March and first two weeks of April, but have you seen those Insta snaps tho? Less obvious, more understated reasons? If you’re on a quest for the perfect meal in a Michelin-starred setting Kyoto restaurant Iida, and Hajime, which is “inspired by the themes of earth and space,” according to a press release from Michelin, have both been awarded three stars. And if you miss the Nishiki Market, arguably the most important seafood market in the world, your inner Anthony Bourdain will write an expletive-filled rant about your lack of reasoning skills.
Photo: Tara Milk Tea
10 / 24
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Oahu

Hawaii
Long held as the cosmopolitan hub of Hawaii, it’s better known for it’s international shopping and tourist-filled beaches, with many seasoned travelers preferring the back country feel of the Big Island or the pristine beaches of Kauai. But Oahu is emerging as cutting-edge island cool with new boutique hotels such as The Surfjack, The Laylow and the one that started it all, Modern Honolulu.
11 / 24
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Alaska

Can you imagine a birthday bash with your bests complete with Northern Lights viewing at midnight… all without leaving the U.S.? Alaska is an adventurous hotspot for 2018, where you will immerse yourself in a vibrant natural wilderness – kayak near some friendly humpback whales, with little to no cell coverage for that data detox you so desperately need.
12 / 24
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13 / 24
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Mexico City

Mexico
After the devastation that last September’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake wrought, not only is Mexico City back up and running, it’s thriving and exciting, especially as it’s been named the world design capital for 2018. Not only is it a direct flight from most West Coast cities, it’s got an up-and-coming new neighborhood, Juarez, where creative types are opening galleries, restaurants and cocktail bars. It’s also home to Enrique Olivera’s restaurant, Pujol, made famous in Netflix’s “Chef’s Table,” where elevated street food becomes your bucket list culinary experience of the year with your compadres.
14 / 24
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Turks and Caicos

In a post Hurricane Irma world, many of us would wrongly assume the devastation wrought by last year’s horrific storm season would be cause to celebrate elsewhere. Not so. Turks & Caicos rebounded beautifully and the world-class beaches, resorts and bars have re-opened for business. Easily accessible from the East Coast, it’s a two hour flight from Miami and three from New York. Revel in warm sparkling waters, the freshest seafood you’ve ever tasted and luxury resorts like Grace Bay Club, COMO Parrot Cay and Amanyara ready to provide out-of-the-box opulent experiences for your next group getaway or perfectly sophisticated bach party.
Photo: Cassie Matias
15 / 24
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Antarctica

Placed firmly at the top of most dreamers, doers and adventurers’ bucket lists, this beautiful tundra boasts beauties and heartbreaks most of us will only see in images. It’s fragile Ground Zero for climate change, and a luxury cruise on fuel-efficient, Cleanship-certified vessel like the Abercrombie & Kent, visits the scientists at Palmer Station to donate research equipment. Melting glaciers, elephant seal and Emperor penguins in their natural habitat is a heartbreakingly beautiful reminder of what we all need to do to save this fragile frontier. 
Photo: Dan Freeman
16 / 24
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Auckland

New Zealand
While many adventurous a traveler has headed to New Zealand to find Middle Earth, it’s NZ’s most populous city that makes the grade for go-to places to visit this year. While there’s plenty to enjoy in Auckland’s urban scene, we’re picking perennially cool Waiheke Island for your getaway go-to. Waiheke Island features several vineyards, an olive grove, three white-sand beaches and a variety of shops, delicious restaurants and the coolest boutiques hotels around.
Photo: Filip Gielda
17 / 24
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Greenland

Without a doubt, the most exciting news to come out of gorgeous Greenland in 2017 is that next summer will be the first time that guests can experience the new Ilimanaq Lodge, located south of Ililissat, West Greenland which are basically like over-Arctic bungalows. 15, two-story luxury cabins boast contemporary Nordic-style interiors and large floor-to-ceiling glass walls that overlook Disko Bay (we’re reading “Disco”), with panoramic views of icebergs, fishing boats and the groups of humpback whales that gather here during warmer months. The cabins (sleeping up to four) are all powered by solar energy, and any surplus power is sold on the cheap to locals, meaning the less power you use, the more you give back to the local community. Did we also mention Greenland’s new glamping retreat, Camp Kiattua, which has tipi-like tents with fireplaces and fur-draped furnishings?
Photo: Colin Maynard
18 / 24
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Brussels

Belgium
Waffles, fries, chocolate, beer… do we go on or are you convinced your favorite food vices can be adequately sated on this sojourn to Brussels? On top of your culinary cravings, there’s also more cutting edge museums like Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art and edgy-cool new hotels like JAM Hotel, think modern concrete jungle in an old art school cool. Go with your gals in the summer and your apt to run into a music festival or twenty, ranging from pop, rock, techno and jazz - then close out your day tasting a few of the 1,000 microbrews Belgium is known for. 
Photo: Jason Briscoe
19 / 24
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Miami Beach

Florida
Another hotspot for 2018 that the world watched undergo a stunning hit during Hurricane season this past year didn’t actually stage a comeback... as it never left the world’s travel scene. As always  it’s the sweet, sandy, cosmopolitan U.S. go-to for Caribbean cool without the price tag. The beauty of Miami is there’s a stay for every price point – old Hollywood glamour at the Raleigh, the sensory high-end pleasure palace that is the new Faena Hotel, modern minimalist gem the Miami Beach Edition, or the coolest hostel you’ve never seen, Freehand Miami. Whatever your price point, it’s the new hotspot for a seriously cool, cosmopolitan bach party without the Vegas stigma.
20 / 24
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Matera

Italy
If you’ve put “drinking wine in an modern, yet underground cave set underneath an old Italian village” on your bucket list, Matera, Italy is your next need-to-know place to go. Enoteca dai Tossi, said underground cave, is carved into a mountainside with modern and minimalist touches, emphasized by Kelly green accents and three floors of beautiful Italian wines to tingle your tastebuds.
Photo: Sasha Zvereva
21 / 24
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Buenos Aires

Argentina
This past year, the dollar has increased 13.5% in Argentina, and Buenos Aires is a late-to-bed-dance-the-tango-til-dawn beautiful hotspot that won’t break the bank. Did we mention its also an oenophile’s opulent daydream with vibrant vistas of wineries dotting the landscape? Throw in stunning salt flats and the opportunity for high-altitude llama treks, it’s all around adventure central.  Also, Tegui, an eight-year-old restaurant in trendy Palermo, was recently named one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants — the first time an Argentinean spot has made the list in 15 years.
22 / 24
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Napa

California
While the West Coast escapes the hurricane season that batters the southeast U.S., it is certainly not exempt from raging wildfires sparked by the warmth of the Santa Ana winds late in the year. Napa and Sonoma valleys took an extremely harsh hit in 2017, but the world’s premiere destination for vibrant vineyards isn't going anywhere for 2018. In addition to top-notch wineries, a Wine Train (hello), farm-to-table restaurants, quaint coffee shops and iconic tours (including hot air balloon adventures), it’s absolutely still the Golden State’s travel treasure.
Photo: Neal Santos
23 / 24
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Philadelphia

Pennsylvania
In 2018, Philadelphia will debut the cutting-edge cool Comcast Technology Center, a fully re-imagined LOVE Park, and phase one of the Rail Park, the city’s first elevated park. The Comcast Center is a Lord Norman Foster designed $1.5 billion, 1,121-foot building, the tallest between New York and Chicago. On top of housing the Comcast headquarters, The Four Seasons will occupy floors 48 to 60, offering sleekly minimalist design, 360-degree views and exceptional luxury. Chefs Greg Vernick and Jean-Georges Vongerichten will have restaurants at the bottom and top, respectively. BONUS: For a cool, off-the-beaten path experience, try Harper & Crown a vintage looking Philly hotspot with a bowling alley in the basement.
24 / 24
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