As January kick-starts a new year, it brings with it 12 months of opportunity, exploration and discovery. Whether you fancy yourself a well-travelled holidaymaker or you’re just beginning your journey into the world of globe-trotting, pretty much everyone has a dream destination they’d love to trek to. Far-flung or close to home, these are the places high upon travel wish lists, locations that are more like pilgrimages to plucky travellers than a regular holiday.
We’ve asked some of our favourite travel bloggers to tell us about their dream destinations as well as any travel plans that the next year might have in store.
When it comes to travel goals, award-winning travel blogger Emily Luxton looks far beyond the horizon: “For me, the ultimate dream destination is Tokyo. I absolutely loved Japan when I visited last year, but I didn’t have the time to make it to Tokyo – which has always been a huge bucket list destination for me. I’m a super geek so I want to see all the arcades and the Studio Ghibli museum, as well as eat all the ramen I can get my hands on, of course!”
As for the new year, Emily says: “My 2018 travel plans are still a little bit vague at the moment because I’m trying to figure out exactly what I want to focus on. It looks like at the end of January I’ll be flying out to the Philippines and from there I’m hoping to spend a couple of months exploring SE Asia. But I also plan to travel a lot slower than I have been in 2017; to go to fewer places and spend longer in them. I think it’s the only way to find the right balance between working and travelling.”
Emily, the Cosy Traveller, dreams of a holiday down under. “My absolute dream destination? That would have to be Australia. Ever since I studied the history of Australia at university, I’ve wanted to visit. Of course, the pristine beaches, exotic wildlife and fab food culture have probably got something to do with it too…”
What’s in store for Emily this year? “I’m most excited about my first trip of 2018 to Tromso, Norway” she says, “we’ve timed our trip to hopefully coincide with the Northern Lights, so fingers crossed we are successful! From whale watching to dog sledding, the activities on offer in Tromso are so varied, and it’s been a destination I’ve always been fascinated about.”
“All my 2018 travel plans are still to be confirmed, but I am most excited about booking flights to the other side of the world”, says Jenny from She Gets Around, “where I’ll be maid of honour to my best mate Monique at her wedding in New Zealand! I have been desperate to visit this country (and my friend) for so long, but I’ve been waiting for her to set a date, knowing I wouldn’t be able to miss it for anything. I am considering turning my New Zealand trip into a bit of a mini ‘round-the-world’ jaunt, stopping off in Australia, Fiji and America en route home! Who knows where else 2018 might take me, but I know it’s going to be another good one.”
Chloe from Wanderlust Chloe had a busy 2017 travelling all over the world, but that hasn’t stopped her dreaming about visiting some exciting new destinations this year: “Japan has been on my list for a while now. It just looks so intriguing. I’m a huge foodie, so I want to visit fish markets and find the freshest sushi, then sit in ramen bars slurping the tastiest noodle soups. I’m also really keen to visit South Africa. In terms of landscapes, it looks like one of the most photogenic places on the planet. While there, I’d love to head off on an adventure through the Garden Route. The wine tasting there looks incredible! ”
Award-winning travel blogger Simon’s Jam Jar is all about turning travel into an adventure, setting goals and accomplishing them along the way. “My aim every year is to travel to three new countries. In 2017 I managed Sri Lanka, Slovenia and the Maldives, as well as perennial UK favourites such as the Lake District and Cornwall.”
He has plenty of exciting trips planned this year: “In 2018, I’ll hopefully be visiting Poland, Finland and Myanmar for the first time, and, hopefully, go back and explore some more of Iceland. Here’s to another great year of travel!”
For Suzanne from The Travel Bunny, colder climes are a warming thought: “If I could travel anywhere, then there’s one destination that I dream about visiting. Think sparkling glaciers, towering icebergs, mountains, snow and a profusion of wildlife: The Great White Continent Antarctica is calling me. Hopefully the dream will become reality one day”.
Over the course of the next 12 months, Suzanne’s schedule is looking busy. “Flights have been booked and we’re researching what we’d like to see, do and eat during our 2018 adventures. Four new destinations are on the cards for next year. I’ll be visiting Valencia, Spain’s third largest city and I’m looking forward to exploring its vibrant food scene. Vienna and Klagenfurt in Austria will be interesting to see in the summer – a combination of city paired with lakes and mountains. I’m looking forward to seeing Barbados, too – the Caribbean with a British edge.
“For our big trip, Costa Rica is beckoning and I’m especially excited about this. I’m fascinated by wildlife in its natural habitat so that, together with tropical rainforests, waterfalls, volcanoes and white sand beaches has me thinking this will be a trip for making life-long memories. I’ll be photographing as I go and then writing about all three on the blog next year.” We’ll be staying tuned for those, Suzanne.