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National Geographic's Best Trips for 2018

By Samantha Scott
November 28, 2017

It's that time of year again! National Geographic has announced their Best Trips for 2018. Each year this list explores a wide range of countries and cities around the world, encouraging travelers to step outside the box, as well as explore parts of the box that might be missed. 

For 2018, National Geographic chose destinations as varied as Ethiopia and Albania, Canada and Cambodia.

We've got some trip ideas to help you visit!  

1. Trips to Ethiopia

Camels in EthiopiaEthiopia continues to have a strong pull in the travel sphere. It's "off the beaten path" reputation has remained as more tours plan itineraries to visit this wonderful country. For 2018, National Geographic specifically recommends the city of Harar, known as the "City of Saints". Home to 82 Mosques and, reportedly, Ethiopia's best beer. 

2. Trips to Argentina

Mountains in Argentina

The colorful rock mountains in the Jujuy Province of Argentina made the Nat Geo list for their Instagram worthiness. The "Hill of Seven Colors" (Cerro de los Siete Colores) has cropped up more frequently in the travel sphere of social media, so this hidden gem is worth seeing soon.

3. Trips to Georgia

Tbilisi in Georgia

Georgia is the perfect destination for those travelers who want to go beyond their comfort zone. The country is stable, but definitely off the beaten path. National Geographic recommends visiting Tbilisi in 2018. Georgia's capital has grown rapidly through development projects but much historic charm remains. This is a great destination for architecture nerds - the city has been influenced by many different architectural styles over the centuries from Arab to Russian.

4. Trips to Australia

Sydney Opera House Australia

Classic city Sydney is the star for Nat Geo in 2018. A cultural hub, with numerous activies and bucket list attractions, Sydney is a solid addition to any "must see" travel list. The famous opera house on the Sydney Harbor has undergone a facelift, especially inside, so visit now to see it's brand new renovations!

5. Trips to Mexico

Women in Oaxaca Mexico

Mexico is a consistently popular travel destination, especially when you go beyond the resorts. Albeit the resorts can seem like the only option given Mexico's reputation with safety, or lack their of. This is a great reason to travel on a tour - you'll see more of the real Mexico while in the capable hands of a guide. National Geographic's city pick in Mexico for 2018 is Oaxaca, for the traditional handmade textiles.  

6. Trips to Austria

Vienna Austria

Austria, and more specifically, Vienna makes the list at number 6. Pinpointed for the centennial that will be celebrated in 2018 - the anniversary of the Secession art movement. Three of it's most influential members passed away in 1918. Multiple art muesums around Vienna plan to commemorate their contributions. 

7. Trips to Hawaii

Oahu Hawaii nature

Hawaii remains one of the most popular vacation spots, year after year. The pristine beaches, blue water, and jungle like inland areas are perfect for travelers looking for an active getaway. Culturally, Hawaii is a fascinating place to visit - native traditions are alive and well, and have many similiarties to the native cultures of Oceania. National Geographic suggests traveling to the North Shore of Oahu for the remote wilderness and rural farm experience.

8. Trips to Sweden

Malmo Sweden

Sweden might not be the most popular travel destination in Europe, but Nat Geo thinks you should rethink this. Especially for foodies, who should visit Malmo, the third largest city in Sweden. Numerous unique cuisines are represented, due to the fact that Malmo is home to over 100 different nationalities. 

9. Trips to Jordan

Camels in Jordan

Did you know their's a new trail along an ancient trad route, leading through Jordan and along the Red Sea? Well this is the reason to visit Jordan in 2018, according to National Geographic. The trail was supposedly traveled by heavy hitters like Mohammed and Jesus so you will be following the path of some pretty famous footsteps. And if you want to make a few Last Crusade references here and there, we wouldn't blame you. 

10. Trips to Ireland

Pub in Dublin Ireland

There's a lot to love about Ireland. The lush and delightfully wild countryside of the Emerald Isle, dotted with castles, friendly small towns, and local pubs draws visitors year after year. Irelands cities are another attraction, especially Dublin, which tops Nat Geo's list for what to see in Ireland in 2018. Termed "Europes largest village" for it's friendly nature and attractiveness among locals and vistors alike.

11. Trips to Madagascar

Lemur in Madagascar

Home to lemurs! Every wildlife lover should definitely visit Madagascar at least once. The island is located off the East coast of Africa and home to incredible biodiversity, including 100 different species of lemur. Visiting on a tour is the best way to contribute to their survival, as they face an uncertain future.

12. Trips to Chile

Street art in Santiago Chile

The long skinny country on the West coast of South America has a multitude of attractions; diverse landscapes, architechure, and cuisine. Santiago is National Geographic's star for 2018. There are many reasons to love Santiago, among them is the city's incredible street art scene. 

13. Trips to Cambodia

Phnom Penh Cambodia

Cambodia draws visitors especially for the ruin city of Angkor Wat, which gained some fame from the film Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie in 2001. For 2018 another Angelina Jolie project is putting Cambodia on the map. She directs a new film about the horrific Khmer Rouge regime in the the 1970's, which among other things, is known for the Killing Fields. Travelers to Phnom Penh can visit the genocide museum to pay their respects to the victims of this horrible event.

14. Trips to United States 

Mission in Texas United States

Two US states are featured on National Geographics Best 2018 trips list: Ohio and Texas. More specifically they are excited about the cities of Cleveland and San Antonio. Cleveland is a hotbed of indie music for those who enjoy finding new cool sounds. San Antonio, founded in 1718, will be celebrating a Tricenntenial in 2018, and year round events are planned to commemorate this.

15. Trips to Morocco

Tagine in Morocco

Fascinating Morocco is a top Africa tour destination. Relatively safe, stable, and a great option for also visiting Spain if you have time for an extended trip. Art lovers will love Morocco's traditional and European influences. Today a contemporary art movement has begun in Morocco, especially prevelent in Tétouan. 

16. Trips to South Korea

South Korea Nature

Travel to South Korea has gotten more popular in recent years, despite the antics of their dangerous northern neighbor. South Korea is a fascinating country, with tremendous beauty. Just check out Seoraksan National Park for a chance to take in unparalleled landscapes. This is also the site of the 2018 Winter Games, so as South Korea prepares to grace the world stage, this destination is sure to become the next big thing in travel.

17. Trips to Albania

Albania gate to ocean

Perhaps the least well known Balkan country, Albania is actually one of the most interesting places to go scuba diving. Just below the surface are archaological treasures, preserved during a long period of isolation under communist rule. And if you're not a diver, you can still soak in Albania's amazing beauty and fascinating history.

18. Trips to Canada

Canada fall landscape

Enormous Canada is difficult to see in one trip, unless you have a lot of time. Better to focus on one province, city, attraction at a time. For 2018, National Geographic suggests focusing on Labrador - probably not the first Canadian destination that springs to mind! But for nature lovers, now is the time to visit for the brand new National Park in this remote but beautiful region, in the far Northeastern region of Newfoundland province.

19. Trips to The Netherlands

Friesland Netherlands

Ah the Netherlands. This lovely country is a very popular European tourist destination, especially for Amsterdam with it's picturesque canals and carefree vibe. For 2018, National Geographic is excited about the Friesland region, who's main claim to fame is as the birthplace of Mata Hari. As intriguing as her story is, Friesland is also a wonderful destination for slowing down, appreciating nature, classic Danish treats, and local sea faring life.

20. Trips to Tanzania

Lions in Tanzania

Some of the largest concetrations of lions live in Tanzania, which remains a very popular safari destination. The national parks here are leaders in conservation efforts, and visitors will have the opportunity to learn how they can help protect the wildlife and maintaining the natural landscape.


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