So, you’ve spent the past year toiling away, saving money in preparation for taking your dream trip in 2018. But where to go? If you’re looking for new destinations – far and wide – to add to your bucket list, look no further. Ahead, you’ll discover the far-flung locales that are set to shine in the coming year – from Pyeongchang, South Korea, through to the Gold Coast, Australia. Grab your passport and dive on in.
1. Pyeongchang, South Korea
If you’re chomping at the bit to get going, pencil February into your calendar and book a ticket to Pyeongchang, South Korea. From the 9th to the 25th of February 2018, Pyeongchang will play host to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Four new disciplines in existing sports are being introduced at the games: big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating, and mixed team alpine skiing. If being the first on the ground is your thing, Pyeongchang should be on your bucket list.
2. Villers-Bretonneux, France
On 25th April 1918, the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux began. It was three years after Australian troops first landed at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli in 1915. In 2018, a Dawn Service will be held at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux to mark the 100-year anniversary of the battle. Note: Registration is required to attend the Dawn Service, and the weather is expected to be extremely cold.
In 2018, Russia will be hitting the news headlines again – this time, though, for slightly less controversial reasons. If you’re a lover of soccer, Russia is playing host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament. The event will be held across 11 cities, between 14th June and 15th July. A few noteworthy facts: This will be the first World Cup held in Europe since 2006; this World Cup will be the first where Italy has failed to qualify since 1958, and both Iceland and Panama have qualified to play in the World Cup for the first time.
Now that Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle have officially announced their engagement, fans of the royal family should immediately secure tickets to England. While your wedding invitation will probably get lost in the mail, there will be plenty of places for the public to get a glimpse of the fairy-tale couple on their wedding day. Even better, England loves nothing more than to celebrate its royals, so the atmosphere in the days surrounding the event is sure to be amazing.
5. The Gold Coast, Australia
From 4th April to 15th April, the 2018 Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held right here at home on the Gold Coast in Queensland. It will be the fifth time Australia has played host to the Commonwealth Games, and this time around, 70 nations and territories (across six continents) will participate. If you can’t secure tickets to the games, but you still want to join in, a series of artistic and cultural events will take place under the banner Festival 2018 – including a global weaving project, WOW Festival, and more.
6. Laya, Bhutan
From 16th October to 18th October, Bhutan will celebrate its third annual Royal Highlander Festival in Laya. Inhabited by the indigenous Layap people, Laya is the highest settlement in Bhutan and one of the highest settlements in the world. According to the Tourism Council of Bhutan, the festival aims to “promote the sustainable livelihood of highlanders; showcase highlanders’ innovation; and exhibit the Highlands as a Pride of Bhutan.” Events will include yak beauty contests and highlander sports such as archery. Given this is only the third time the festival has been held, you can be hopeful you’ll be the first of your friends to attend – and who doesn’t love being the first?
If your favourite type of travel involves a mix of bustling cities and the great outdoors, add Chile to your bucket list for 2018. Why? Let’s start with the fact the South American country is celebrating 200 years of independence from Spain in 2018. (While the first independent government was established in 1810, the year 2018 commemorates 200 years since the actual signing of the Chilean Declaration of Independence.) Various celebratory events will take place around Chile during September. Once you’ve celebrated to your heart’s content, you can check out the amazing outdoors – from the towering Andes to the harsh grasslands of Patagonia.
8. Valetta, Malta
Valetta, the capital city of Malta, has been selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2018. To celebrate, all through the year Valetta will play host to special cultural events, including the opening festival in January, a film festival in June, an international arts festival across June and July, and a literature festival in August. If art and culture are your things, huzzah.