The start of a new year means a host of new opportunties for travel, discovery, or just a bit of relaxation.
Leading travel association ABTA released its annual Travel Trends report last week, including their predictions for the top 12 destinations to be big this year.
Although beach holidays and city breaks are still the most popular choices, twice as many people are planning to cruise this year compared to last year, including more families and those aged 18-24 years, suggesting that cruising is starting to appeal to a whole new generation.
2018 brings a wealth of new low-cost, long haul routes as well as the addition of more direct flights, meaning exotic destination such as the Seychelles are now easier to reach than ever before. To beat demand and get the best choice of dates, location and accommodation we advise securing your booking early - and with deposits as low as £25pp, why not contact us today?
Check out ABTA's list of 12 destinations for 2018 and be inspired by a diverse range of destinations just waiting to be discovered.
1. New Zealand
Part of 2017's Blue Planet II was filmed off the coast of New Zealand with bottlenose dolphins and false killer whales taking centre stage. World-class wineries, majestic mountains, stunning fjords and scenic coasts ensure a paradise on earth.
This idyllic Adriatic country is incredibly welcoming, with friendly locals, quaint towns and stunning coastline. For thrill seekers the mountainous landscape is perfect for hiking, mountain biking and white-water rafting, and it's now easy to reach with new direct flights from the UK.
Rwanda is a lush forested haven, dotted with verdant tea plantations and thousands of kilometres of protected mountain rainforest. This unspoilt natural environment is home to hundreds of indigenous species, including the magnificent mountain gorilla and golden monkeys, all of which can be witnessed on special sustainable small group tours.
Officially back on the map, Turkey is well in demand for 2018 thanks to its perfect blend of historic culture, hot sunny weather and quality beach resorts and hotels. Deliciously fresh sea food and locally sourced fruits and vegetables encapsulates the taste of the Mediterranean, after lazy days enjoyed by the beautiful Aegean coast.
5. British Columbia, Canada
There is something for everybody across stunning British Columbia, from hiking and kayaking the beautiful lakes or strolling the streets of bustling Vancouver to skiing at world-class Whistler resort or sitting back to relax at the vineyards and orchards in the Okanagan Valley.
As well a colourful city break in the picturesque waterside capital Stockholm, Sweden is transformed into an incredible winter wonderland in the north. Pack your snow boots for Swedish Lapland and embark on a snowy adventure in search of the Northern Lights, friendly reindeer and the magical Icehotel.
Now easily reached thanks to new low-cost direct flights combined with an excellent exchange rate, there's never been a better time to visit vibrant Argentina. Witness the jaw-dropping Iguazu Falls in the north, before taking an excursion of the expansive ice sheets of Patagonia's fjords and glaciers in the south. And don't forget to make time for the cosmopolitan capital Buenos Aires, a colourful city with a host of cultural activities to enjoy.
With a fascinating history and some of the best diving sites in the world and an immaculate coastline, Malta is ideal for an interesting sunshine break. What's more, the historic capital Valletta plays host to a range of events this year, including the Malta Jazz Festival and the International Arts Festival.
9. St Lucia
A jewel of the Caribbean, tropical St Lucia is an island paradise complete with fresh coconuts, fruits and rum cocktails. A popular honeymoon destination, it's more than just a beach break with an impressive landscape of volcanic peaks, thermal pools and thundering waterfalls to be explored.
The mountain kingdom of Nepal is home to some of the highest peaks in the world, as well as a huge range of wildlife including bears, rhinos and monkeys. For hikers, Nepal is one of the best spots to explore, with hundreds of trekking routes with views for miles.
Cultural hotspot Germany is packed with fascinating sights, galleries, parks and architecture to take in. Ideal for a festive break, cities like Hamburg and Berlin turn into a Christmas wonderland as the Christmas markets and decorations appear in the winter season.
From the impressive Grand Canyon to the sweeping Monument Valley, Arizona is home to some of the greatest landmarks in the United States. Mesmerising rock formation The Wave is also increasing in popularity - an incredible natural phenomenon of swirling oranges and reds, carved from the sandstone by the wind and rain.
Book your 2018 holiday with Norad Travel.
We are completely independent and fully bonded with ABTA and ATOL. This means we will always recommend holidays based on your specific requirements, aided of course by our own in-depth knowledge.
You can pop in and see us with free parking at all our locations, or give us a call.
Norad Travel Gloucester
3 Westgate House
The Island Westgate Retail Park
Gloucester GL1 2RU
T. 01452 260188
Norad Travel Liss
Suite 3 Oakfield Barn
Brows Farm Business Park, Liss
Hampshire GU33 6JG
T. 01730 892298
ABOUT NORAD TRAVEL GROUP:
Norad Travel Group is a full service specialist travel management and leisure travel organisation headquartered in Liss, Hampshire. As well as a Liss-based holiday and concierge service, Norad Travel Group's Leisure Division includes Norad Travel Gloucester, Howard Travel in Trowbridge and Erne Travel in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
Formed in 1981 Norad are members of the influential Guild of Travel Management Companies and partners in the Advantage consortium of independent travel agency companies. Chairman Mick Gibbs is also chairman of the Focus Group of travel management specialists within Advantage.