Your New Year, New You Travel Wish List for 2018
It’s that time of year when bonuses are being distributed and cash is being doled out for Christmas gifts. Okay, okay, maybe not for everyone. But still, if you’ve made it to the end of 2017 and have managed to stack away...
It’s that time of year when bonuses are being distributed and cash is being doled out for Christmas gifts. Okay, okay, maybe not for everyone. But still, if you’ve made it to the end of 2017 and have managed to stack away any travel money for 2018, we’ve got 22 ideas for how you can spend that dinero. Rather than purchasing clothes and stuff, we say spend it on experiences and traveling the world. Here are the hottest destinations we’re recommending for your New Year, New You Travel Wish List.
Reporter: Alyssa Brown
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If ever you’ve wanted to go hot air ballooning, Cappadocia is the place to do it. With its lunar-like landscape of soft rock formations, caves, towering boulders and mesas, you’ll definitely want to see this historic Turkish city from up above in the new year.
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Faroe Islands

Photo by Sage Stephens
Lighting up the travel map in recent years, thanks to Game of Thrones and Star Wars using the location as a filming spot, the Faroe Islands are at the top of many 2018 travel wish lists. Head here to see the stunning landscape of the 18-island archipelago, and if you happen to spot Jon Snow running around in the wild, please send pics.
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Hitachi Seaside Park

Japan’s magnetic cities are a big draw card, but we’re adding Hitachi Seaside Park to our new year’s travel list. Located on the east coast of Japan, this public park is filled to the brim with sand dunes and flowers. The fluffy Kochia flower changes colors with the seasons, going from a bright neon green to a brilliant shade of red in the fall months.
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Machu Picchu

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Even for the fit, the trek to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail is the ultimate test of your body’s endurance. With its incredible altitude and gorgeous views, the hike to the top is surreal in its lush green glory. If you’re not feeling quite up to the hike this year, there’s a design-savvy train that’ll take you from the Sacred Valley up to the ruins.

Stay at: Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located adjacent to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
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Hong Kong

A maze of towering buildings and busy streets, Hong Kong may feel like culture shock your first few days but you’ll be sucked into its charms in no time at all. Head to the big HK in mid-February to experience the Chinese New Year and you’ll be amazed by the colorful, wild festivals and local customs that make this place so unique.
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12 Apostles

Australia’s Great Ocean Road will lead you right on out to the 12 Apostles, a rock formation off the coast that stuns with its walls of limestone, pristine beaches, giant caves, and 12 stunning rocks that seem to rise straight out of the ocean. As if the view alone isn’t enough to add this tour to your travel wish list, you may even spot a koala or two on the drive out from Melbourne.
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Giraffe Manor

Not only can you explore Africa’s amazing wildlife through Safari adventures, but you can stay in a hotel where giraffes might literally come into your window to say hello. A stay at Giraffe Manor is sure to tick all the boxes of your animal-loving travel plans list for 2018.
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History runs deep in the streets of Portugal and you’re likely to spend your trip to Lisbon gazing at gorgeous architecture, eating incredible food and learning a ton about the local culture.

Stay at: Bairro Alto Hotel 
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Jackson Hole & Yellowstone National Park

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Jackson Hole is the kind of ski town you see in movies – it’s quaint, it’s charming and it caters to all traveling types from young to old. With Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons as a backdrop, this Wyoming town is a wonderful place to spend winter on the mountains or spend spring riding horses and fly fishing.

Stay at: Amangani
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The museums and public gardens of Singapore are reason enough to add this busy city to your travel list for 2018. You might opt to go island hopping one day, spend the next day in the Gardens by the Bay and the Botanical Gardens and spend the following day at the Sultan Mosque.

Stay at: New Majestic Hotel 
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When your ideal vacation includes riding bicycles through streets filled with beautiful architecture, shops and cafes, Copenhagen is sure to be at the top of your wishlist. Head to the Danish city in 2018 to explore all things design-oriented and book a stay at the design haven of Hotel SP34.
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British Columbia, Canada

Photo by Ian Froome
Filled with beautiful parks, art galleries, interesting museums and botanical gardens, Vancouver is the kind of city where you might visit and end up deciding to stay forever. This thriving Canadian seaport is a big center for the arts and it’s as gorgeous to explore the inner city as it is to visit the surrounding terrain.
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Surrounded by three rivers, Hamburg is a city of lush landscape and stunning architecture that butts right up to the shore. Explore the city, often dubbed “the New Berlin,” on foot or by boat and you’ll be lapping up delicious local fare and shopping the city center like a local. Sounds new year worthy to us.
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Minneapolis & St. Paul

Photo by Elena Kruse
While St. Paul may not be on your radar, we’re excited to recommend this bustling Minnesota city. With tons of cool, industrial spaces, the restaurant and cafe scene is booming and there are seemingly endless cool shops and galleries.

Dine at: Nolo's Kitchen
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New Zealand

The Kiwis have it pretty good in our book. Surrounded by stunning landscapes of mountains, rugged beaches and grassy pastures, this is one island country that has plethora of adventures awaiting. If you’re into winter sports, head to Queenstown for the peaks. If you’d prefer a getaway ASAP, the cities are a lot of fun to explore in the summertime (yep, it’s summer there now) and the tiny towns along the coast are totally charming.
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Photo by Lindsey Higa
If a tropical getaway is what your New Year’s wellness plan requires, head off to Honolulu for a stay at The Laylow – it’s modern, gorgeous and feels totally boutique. We’ll catch you poolside.
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Valle de Guadalupe
Baja California

Baja California is said to be the next big place for Mexican wines and gastronomy, so a trip to confirm the rumors is an absolute must for 2018. It’s research, right? Stay in the glass-walled villas of Encuentro Guadalupe for the best views around.
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Panama City

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Head to one of our favorite hotels in the world for the utmost in pampering, culture and old world glamour. Panama City’s American Trade Hotel’s Art Deco digs have been beautifully restored and decked out to a T, making this hotel alone reason to go and relax in the new year.
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Painted Hills

Photo by Duke Moose
A journey to the center of the earth might conjure up the kind of colors and story you’ll uncover at Oregon’s Painted Hills. Part of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, this stunning terrain of rainbow colored hills really lights up during sunrise and sunset. Add it to the 2018 adventure list!
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If Shakespeare's Romeo had it right, there is no world outside Verona walls. When you find yourself in this charming old Italian city, you may in fact agree. Filled with nods to its historic past and beautiful Italian architecture, Verona is an easy place to escape the tourist crowds during a bucket list worthy trip to Italy.
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So, now that you’ve got that holiday bonus money and you’re ready to live like a queen, a trip to this Indian palace should be at the top of your travel wish list. Make your way to Sujan Rajmahal Palace, where each wallpapered room tells a story of Jaipur’s past.
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A stand-out city of the Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik is a city that stuns. With marble streets, terracotta rooftops and centuries of history to learn about, this Mediterranean destination is a must-add to 2018’s travel wish list.
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