It's just about time to start planning next year's travel. Whether you want to check seeing the Big 5 off your bucket list, party in a European city, or chill on a east African beach, these are the trips we think you need to take in 2018.
This east African country has a long, unspoiled coastline, hundreds of miles of sandy beaches and turquoise waters, yet, until now, has remained stubbornly off the radar. There's plenty of reasons why 2018 should be the year that changes. With the near completion of a paved road from the capital Maputo to the coast, getting around is easier and quicker than ever before. It now takes around three hours by road to reach the beach resort of White Pearl on Southern Mozambique's Lagoon Coast — or 30 minutes if you choose the resort's private helicopter option. From there the resort can organize a game drive into the adjacent Maputo Special Reserve where you can spot elephants, zebras, hippos, and more. You can go swimming with dolphins on an ocean safari into the Marine Reserve; watch turtles laying eggs on the beach (it's one of the three most important turtle breeding sites in the world), or just chill out with a cocktail and plate of freshly caught seafood at the chic beach bar.
2. The Bahamas
2017's hurricane season hit the Caribbean hard but many parts of the region either emerged unscathed or rebounded quickly enough to welcome back visitors. The other big travel-related news in the Caribbean comes from the Bahamas, where the long-awaited Baha Mar resort opened its first hotel, the Grand Hyatt, in the spring, followed by SLS Baha Mar in late November — the third and final property, Rosewood, is due to open in 2018. Set on Cable Beach, the resort brings more than 2,000 new rooms to Nassau's northern shore, as well as more than 20 restaurants, including Katsuya, which is helmed by Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi and located in a Philippe Starck-designed space, a Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course, ESPA spa, and the biggest casino in the Caribbean.
3. South Africa
The biggest recent news to come out of the always alluring city of Cape Town is the opening of the astonishing new museum Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa a few months ago. On the V&A Waterfront, the museum located in a hollowed-out grain silo building and topped by a luxury hotel. Next year also marks the centenary year of Nelson Mandela, which will be celebrated by a program of events under the umbrella of Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018: Be the Legacy. In the meantime, you can soak up some of the great man's inspiration in the Nelson Mandela Suite at Johannesburg's Saxon Hotel, where he worked on A Long Walk to Freedom.
Of course, you can't travel all the way to South Africa and not go on safari, so add on a few days in a newly refurbished suite and watch elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinos, zebras, and much more at the vintage-inspired Selati Camp at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve (favorite of Prince Harry), situated on the edge of the world-famous Kruger National Park.
Too long underrated, and favored largely by European weekenders, there is currently a buzz about Malta that even the loss of its most-photographed attraction cannot mute. The big news for 2018 is that the country's tiny capital Valletta will hold the title of European Capital of Culture (shared with Leeuwarden in the Netherlands). The Valletta 2018 cultural program kicks off on January 20th with musicians, street performers and artists, and continues, with a total of 400 events throughout the rest of the year. And if it all gets too much, there's always a sunny beach and the warm sea nearby.
If you can handle the longest flight out of the U.S., Singapore is now an easy 18-hour nonstop journey from LAX to SIN — a.k.a. the best airport in the world, which opened a new $1 billion Instagram-friendly terminal (T4) this fall. Besides the evergreen appeal of great food (don't leave without trying a bowl of spicy laksa), it's a cultural melting pot with an alluring blend of futuristic, midcentury, and colonial-style architecture. Singapore's historic grand dame Raffles Hotel will emerge from renovation works in 2018, reason to celebrate with a Singapore Sling at the place it was born. However, for the photo opportunities at least, we will be checking into the glitzy Marina Bay Sands, home to biggest and one of the best infinity pools in the world.
6. Dundee, Scotland
Scotland's sunniest city has long been one of its grittiest. While it's still a little rough around the edges, Dundee is most certainly, as locals (Dundonians) will tell you, "on the up." The city was named a UNESCO City of Design a few years ago and in late 2018 the V&A Museum of Design, the first V&A outside of London and Scotland's only design museum, will open on the city's massively redeveloped waterfront. It's a great reason to explore the cobbled closes and wynds (alleyways), as well as the many watering holes (from traditional pubs to a stylish speakeasy) of this this long-neglected city — and, after Brexit scuppered its chances of becoming European Capital of Culture 2023, it could use the love.
7. Philadelphia, PA
The City of Brotherly Love got some solid recognition for its food scene at last spring's James Beard Foundation Awards. Michael Solomonov of Israeli restaurant Zahav took home the Outstanding Chef award, while Stephen Starr, whose restaurant group includes Philly hotspots Buddakan, Barclay Prime, Jones, Parc, and Butcher & Singer, was named Outstanding Restaurateur.
You'll have to wait until late 2018 for the opening of the Four Seasons Philadelphia in the city's tallest building. But in the meantime, you can check into the recently opened AKA University City hotel and apartment residences, on the top 18 floors of the 49-floor Cira Center South, and check out its Soho House-style swanky, brand-new members' club Level 28, complete with a "pool in the sky" to fulfill your Instagram needs.
8. Hamburg, Germany
OK, so you know that Hamburg is so hot that even POTUS couldn't find a room last spring. But did you know that it has also recently been named Best Nightlife City in the World? Move over Berlin! Throw in a fistful of Michelin-starred restaurants — The Table Kevin Fehling has a mighty three stars — the glittering new concert hall, Elbphilharmonie, cool festivals like Reeperbahn and chic new hotels like Sir Nikolai and Fontenay, and you have yourself the perfect city break.
Jet Set is Bravo's launch pad for the most extravagant, luxurious, and unforgettable travel experiences. Ready for takeoff? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.