The Taj Mahal in India at sunset

Where will be popular in 2018? Our predictions

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There’s something about a new year that brings about the plan-making in us. Maybe it’s purchasing a new diary with fresh pages, or maybe now that the festive season is over our minds turn to what’s ahead.

If you use January as an excuse to map out your year, you’ve probably already thought about what countries you would like to visit. You’re not the only one as January is one of the most popular times of year to book, with airlines and hotels offering an array of early bird discounts. If you’re short on inspiration, however, here are our predictions on what destinations will be must-visits over the next 12 months. 

1. Japan

Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto during sunset

Japan is an island full of wonders. Whether you’re looking for sky-high cities, fascinating culture, or stunning natural landscapes, you’ll find it in this two-island destination. The country also boasts an impressive bullet train service, making it an excellent choice for a touring holiday if you can’t choose between the popular cities of Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto.

2. Vietnam

Tourists on a guided river boat tour in Vietnam

Vietnam is the perfect mix between old-school oriental charm and modern-day buzz. Its capital, Hanoi, is a mixing bowl of French and Asian culture and boasts a European feel with a lively old quarter. Down in the south though you’ll find tranquil beaches in the resorts of Hue, Nha Trang and Hoi An (but if you begin to crave the city, the bustling Ho Chi Minh City can also be found in the south).

3. Argentina

The Iguazu Falls from above.

South America is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, and Argentina is currently its hotbed. Get lost in the infectious spirit of Buenos Aires where you can tango until seven in the morning. Then take a trip to the breath-taking Iguaza Falls on the Argentinian and Brazilian border. And remember to pop by the Andes.

4. Italy

Colourful buildings along the coast in Genoa Italy

Thanks to its generous offering of tourist hotspots, Italy makes this list every year. Whether it’s the canals of Venice, iconic buildings of Rome, the shopping in Milan, the scenic views of Lake Garda, or the rich architectural heritage of Genoa – Italy offers something for every traveller.

5. China

Gold pavilion in Chinese garden

China is a fascinating country, whether you’re looking for city lights or iconic world wonders. Celebrate modern China in the city of Shanghai, with its high rise buildings, the charming People’s Square and first-class Grand Theatre. Then explore the oriental temples of Beijing, before moving onto the ancient sites of Xi’an – including the Terracotta Warriors.

6. Croatia

Old Istrian town in Rovinj Croatia during the day with lots of boats in the harbour.

Croatia has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years, largely thanks to Game of Thrones. But this beautiful country is more than just the real-life location of the Red Keep and the House of the Undying. It is home to eight national parks, that are overflowing in fauna and flora, and the striking Postojna Caves.

7. Cuba

Buildings in Havana Cuba with a blue car outside them.

In 2017, the Cuban travel industry opened up and we’re predicting a rise in holidaymakers (especially from cruisers). A little bit different from the other islands in the Caribbean, Cuba boasts a unique, Latin-shaped history with an energetic atmosphere, as well as sunny beaches.

8. Thailand

A traditional boat in a secluded part of Thailand while the sun sets.

Thailand is always popular, and for good reason. Whether it’s the exotic aroma of lively Bangkok or the relaxed beaches of Koh Samui, Thailand offers something for beach-bums and city-lovers.

9. South Africa

Cape Town South Africa from above with the football stadium in full view.

If you’ve never been to Africa before, South Africa is the perfect place to start off. The city of Cape Town has plenty to offer such as Table Mountain, Robben Island and a modern waterfront with shops and restaurants. After you’ve explored the city, get back into nature with a safari in Kruger National Park or a shark diving expedition in Gansbaai.

10. India

The taj mahal in India from the front.

There are many sides to the country of India, but all of them are equally amazing. Feel the buzz in the bustling city of New Delhi, admire the Taj Mahal in Agra, or relax on the beaches of Goa. Whatever India you choose in 2018, we guarantee you’ll love it.

Where are you escaping to in 2018?

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5 scenic stops along South Africa’s Garden Route

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The Garden Route along South Africa’s breath-taking coastline is simultaneously world-famous and secluded. A place where every year travellers come to strike a long-awaiting tick on their bucket-list but still remains pleasantly undisturbed and basks in natural organic beauty. Between its start and end points, travellers will awe at rugged but leafy cliffs that look out onto undisturbed stretches of ocean – with plenty of hidden gems to discover along the way.

1. Oudtshoorn

ostriches in oudtchroorn

It’s not just people who appreciate the beautiful landscapes of the Garden Route – some of Mother Nature’s most fascinating creatures do as well. The town of Oudtshoorn has been named the ‘Ostrich Capital of the World’ and many travellers stop by here to visit one of the many ostrich farms. There is also the nearby Cango Caves and Wildlife Reserve that is home to some of Africa’s best-loved felines.

When leaving Oudtshoorn you can also make the choice to carry on along the Garden Route or turn onto the Route 62 wine route – where some of the finest African port wines originate.

2. Wildnerness

Wildernis in Africaans

This aptly named town is wedged between the Kaaimans River and the Goukama Natural Reserve, and boasts year-round sunny temperatures. Around the town lies beautiful lagoons, stunning beaches, and tranquil seas that are known to attract whales and dolphins.

3. Plettenberg Bay

Robberg Robberg Peninsula Robberg Nature Reserve

If your favourite kind of wildlife is connected to the ocean, remember to park your car by Plettenberg Bay. Its coastal areas are home to a large Cape fur seal colony, a seasonal penguin colony and waters where the ripples are caused by pods of whales. With waters this rich it has naturally become one of South Africa’s best places for diving and surfing.

4. George

View of George in South Africa

Acting as the gateway to the Garden Route, this is the sixth oldest town in South Africa that will greet travellers with a charming welcome. The town is backed by the stunning Outeniqua Mountains, and is steeped by history with the George Museum and the old Moeder kerk, which is a Dutch reformed church. The town’s picturesque charm is topped off with the backdrop of the Outeniqua Mountains, where you’ll find the Outeniqua Railway Museum and the Outenique Choo-Tjoe train.

5. Knysna

Knysne

Every famous coastal route has a hub dedicated to impressive seafood, and Knysna holds this title for the Garden Route. If you’re road-tripping in late June/early July, your taste-buds will appreciate a visit to the Knysna Oyster Festival. Also popular in this area is golf, thanks to its collection of first-class ranges such as Pezula Golf Course, Knysna Golf Course and Simola Golf Course. ]]>

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