I think it’s safe to say that I’ve caught the travel bug, because I’ve made it a quest to photograph every country in the world. Sounds wild, but it’s definitely possible because quite a few people have done it before me.
Since my recent trip to Iceland, I’ve been obsessed with reading travel guides to various countries and saving photos to my travel Pinterest board. It’s crazy to think that stunning places like Greenland, Thailand, and Prague exist (these don’t even scratch the surface!).
Traveling, while it can be exhausting, is such an amazing experience that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. There’s nothing better than exploring a new country, trying new foods, and being surrounded by all the natural beauty in the world.
Now-a-days you can get round-trip flights to different countries around the world for cheap, so you really have no excuse! It’s all about choosing how to want to spend your time and money.
This is the year for you to get out of your comfort zone and experience new things, so if you’re having trouble deciding which new country to visit in 2018, I’ve put together a list of my top 10 travel destinations for 2018.
If you’re looking for nature, culture, and traditions then make sure to put Cuba on your list. It’s an island located in the western part of the Caribbean that offers stunning beaches, architecture, and lots of adventure. The weather in Cuba is tropical and humid depending on the season. November to April is the winter season and not really rainy while May to October is summer time and the rainy season.
They specialize in tobacco, rum, and coffee and it’s a must to try authentic Cuban dishes such as Casabe, Tamales, and roasted pork. Cobble stone streets are lined with pastel houses and 1950’s era cars which is seriously a photographers’ dream.
Havana, Trinidad, and Cienfuegos are cities that can’t be missed when visiting Cuba because they all offer so much history and life. Must see attractions include The Malecón which is a seawall, The Cathedral Havana, Playa Ancon in Trinidad and The Arch de Triumph in Cienfuegos.
Image by Manbutur on Flickr
Image by Pinterest
Indonesia is home to over 17,500 islands and wildly known for their beaches, elephant shelters, Komodo dragons, and Monkey Forest. It’s located off the coast of Southeast Asia in between the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
The climate in Indonesia is tropical so they have a wet season between November and March and a dry season between April and October. The island offers a mix of vibrant beaches, city life, and stunning views with a rich ancient history that you have to experience for yourself.
Bali, Komoto Island, Jakarta, and Lombok are just a few of the cities to put on your itinerary and must see attractions in Indonesia are the Sacred Monkey Forest, Borobudur Temple, and Prambanan.
Japan has the best of both worlds when it comes to beaches, mountains, ancient history, and city life. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it is home to thousands of shrines and temples, modern architecture, and mountainous national parks that all offer a timeless experience.
Japan’s beauty is enjoyed all year round, when you decide to travel there just depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. Summer boasts vibrant festivals and enjoying the coast, Fall brings an array of autumnal foliage and pleasant temperatures, Spring is peak season and offers the amazing experience of cherry blossoms, and Winter has amazing skiing, snowboarding and hot springs.
Toyko, Kyoto, Osaka, and Mount Fuji are just a few of the amazing cities you can visit in Japan. Tokyo is the capital and offers thousands of choices for entertainment, shopping, culture, food and is the most populated cities in the world.
Must see attractions in Japan include Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Naoshima (if you enjoy art), Toyko Tower, Mount Fuji and Himeji Castle but there are tons more all throughout the country.
Image from momoafrica.com
Image by Joe Navin
Madagascar truly is one of kind because it houses animal species that are only found on this island located off the southeast coast of Africa. It offers rich landscapes with rain forests, reefs and blue water. The rainy season falls between January and March with cheaper accommodation and fewer tourists, April or May is the best time to visit because of the fresh lush greenery, but all the way through December is great too depending on what you want to do.
Activities to do in Madagascar include hiking, river canoeing, and looking for lemurs in one of the many national parks. The national parks offer unique wildlife, stunning scenery, waterfalls and forests.
Must see places are the Avenue of the Boababs featuring centuries old trees, Isalo National Park, Nosy Be, and Tsiribihina River where you can take a river tour.
Bangladesh most likely isn’t someones first thought when deciding on where to take a vacation next, but it’s a country that you can’t overlook. Located on the Bay of Bengal to the east of India it’s home to tons of waterways, rich culture, and lush greenery. Don’t be surprised if you’re constantly traveling by boat because that’s the beauty of it.
In Bangladesh you can see the Bengal Tiger in their natural habitat in the mangrove forest and if you want something more calm you can choose to enjoy the many tea gardens and fruit plantations.
Monsoon months are between July and September and it’s typically humid and hot. October through February is the best time to go because the weather is fresh and dry.
Must see spots in Bangladesh are the Kantanagar Temple in Dinajpur, Somapuri Vihara which is the ruins of the Buddhist Vihara, and the Sixty Dome Mosque also known as the Shait Gumbad Mosque.
Croatia is a great destination if you’re aching for a Mediterranean getaway, because there are miles of coastlines and more than thousand islands for you to enjoy. There’s a ton of architecture dating back to the 16th century, crystal blue waters, natural wonders, hidden gems, and diverse museums to explore.
The peak season is between July and August and the most expensive time to go, so if you’re looking for a discount then go any other time of the year. It’s been said to occasionally snow during the winter, but it rarely snows along the coast.
Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, and Havr are cities that you can’t miss if you’re ready for stunning coastal views, rich architecture and urban cities, and lots of beautiful nature.
Must see attractions in Croatia are the Dalmatian Coast, waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park and the architectural marvels in Zagreb.
Bhutan is a vibrant country with deep ancient roots that play a huge role in the art, culture, food, and architecture. The landscape is filled with wondrous mountains and deep valleys waiting for you to explore. Physical activities include hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing and more for adventure lovers and many relaxing activities such as retreats for those who seek wellness and spirituality.
Classic foods you have to try are Momos, which are Tibetan-style dumplings is stuffed with pork, beef or cabbages and cheese and Ema Datsh which is made with green beans, ferns, potatoes, mushrooms or swapping the regular cheese for yak cheese.
Although the climate in Bhutan typically varies, the monsoon season falls between June and September with heavy rain and high humidity and the dry season is in early March until mid April.
Thimpu, Paro, Bumthang, and Trashigang are cities that must be on your list and a few of the must see places are Paro Taktsang, Punakha Dzong and National Museum of Bhutan.
8. USA Southwest
I can’t neglect the U.S. in my top 10 list because international travel isn’t for everyone and there’s still a lot of great sites to see. West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Southern California, and Utah pose as the best states to travel to if you want a true desert experience. There’s tons of mountain views, amazing desert landscapes, and National Parks with high peaks, canyons, and hot springs to explore.
If you want to knock them all out within a week or two and save money on flights, then you should consider doing a road trip and that’ll allow you to get off the beaten path. Fall is typically the best time to go because of the colorful foliage and cooler temperatures and winter is typically the busier time because Northerners comes to the South for warmer weather.
Cities you should definitely have on your itinerary include Phoenix, Tuscan, and Page in Arizona, Santa Fe, Roswell, and White Sands in New Mexico, Palm Springs and Joshua Tree in California, Monument Valley and Arches National Park in Utah. Must sees include Zion National Park, Goblin Valley State Park, Lower/Upper Antelope just to name a few but there are tons more in each of the states.
Peru, located in South America and surrounded by five other countries with a coastline along the Pacific Ocean. It’s most known for Machu Picchu and the lush Amazon Rainforest and it’s a great destination for ancient sites and amazing mountain hikes. It’s lively with music and dance, rich culture and traditions and has a mix of everything when it comes to the jungle, highlands, and coastline.
The best time to visit Peru is during the winter months which is between May through September because the weather is dry. December through March is the summer time and considered the wettest months. Activities that you can experience in Peru include mountain biking, surfing, paragliding, canoeing, kayaking and more.
Cities to visit in Peru include Lima, Cusco, and Ica but there are tons of other cities to visit all throughout Peru. Popular attractions just to name a few include the obvious Machu Picchu, Chavín de Huántar, and Colca Canyon.
10. Czech Republic
Czech Republic is a European country that has a long medieval history dating back to the 9th century with tons of castles and old town buildings. Expect lots of pubs, museums, churches, and gardens in the capital city of Prague and you can experience hiking and canoeing in other parts of the country.
The best time of year to travel to Czech Republic truly depends on what kind of activities you’re wanting to do. In the early spring and fall is a good time to visit because of the milder weather and smaller crowds. The winter season is nice for a festive experience with all the white snow and Christmas markets.
Prague, Český Krumlov, and Brno are a must is you want to fully experience the picturesque cities and attractions you can’t miss include cruises on the Vltava, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle and Old Town Square.
Hopefully this list inspires you to get out and go see what else the world has to offer. What trips do you have coming up? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create, and grow!