Pack Your Bags: These are the Top Travel Destinations for 2018

nepal mountain
Photo by Christopher Burns
Having travel insurance is like having medical insurance: You hope that you never have to use it, but are relieved that one time when you do. World Nomads is an international travel insurance company that protects adventurers from the unexpected. Aside from the obvious, World Nomads also collects data on where globetrotters are planning to go based on their insurance needs.

In no particular order, here are World Nomad’s top travel destinations for 2018.

Cambodia

Explore Angkor Wat (Cambodia)
Angkor Wat

Nestled deep in a thick jungle, Angkor Wat may be the most iconic temple in all of Cambodia. While the largest religious structure ever built, draws over 2 million visitors each year, it is only one of the many things that this Southeast Asian country has to offer. The dry season runs from November to May, though the busiest tourist season is from November to February, when temperatures are coolest. Savy travelers are aware of the sparkling beaches of Thailand (more on that below), many may not realize that the beaches in Cambodia are far less crowded.

Argentina

Iguazu Falls Argentina
Iguazú Falls

Argentina is a country where sophisticated splendor meets “edge of the world” adventure. This large South American country has something for everyone, from the Argentine half of Patagonia to the European feel of Buenos Aires. Cruising down the Beagle Channel will bring you to Ushuaia, which is one of the jump on/off locations for adventure cruises to Antarctica. For off-the-beaten-path trips, visit the dramatic and thundering Iguazú Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world, or Los Glaciares National Park to see majestic glaciers.

Iceland

Iceland and Northern Lights
Kirkjufell

Located just below the Arctic Circle, Iceland will having you feeling like you are at the top of the world. This enchanting country offers otherworldly natural wonders, including steaming geysers, glaciers, volcanoes, and some of the best views of the Northern Lights. After a long day of exploring what Mother Nature has to offer, relax in the tranquil, geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon. Looking for the ultimate road trip? The Ring Road is a circular drive around the island offering access to waterfalls, volcanoes, and more.

Thailand

bangkok thailand
Bangkok Photo by Dan Freeman

Thailand has long been a favorite among backpackers and luxury travelers alike. While deluxe accommodations exist for those looking to escape to this Southeast Asian paradise, frugal travelers can still explore comfortably around this budget destination. Bangkok, like New York, is a city that never sleeps — there is always something to do in the Thailand’s capitol. The country is largely Buddhist, and that’s apparent with its many temples and shrines. Visitors can escape the bustling town for adventures in the jungles or relax on many of the world-class beaches that have long made the country a hot spot.

Vietnam

asia 5 Must-try Experiences for First-time Visitors to Asia
Halong Bay

Vietnam’s history is interwoven with our own, and one of the best ways to understand its storied past is by visiting this fascinating country. Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Gulf of Tonkin, contains over 1,600 islands, creating a surreal landscape. The country is also home to the world’s largest known cave, Son Doong Cave. First opened to tourists in 2012, the destination contains some of the tallest stalagmites, as well as sections where the ceiling has collapsed, allowing lush firsts to grow on the floor. No visit to Vietnam would be complete without seeing the Mekong Delta, located in the southwest.

Nepal

Gokyo Lakes, Khumjung, Nepal
Gokyo Lakes Photo by Kalle Kortelainen

It’s been almost three years since the devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal. While the country continues to rebuild, it remains important that tourists continue visiting this this trekker’s paradise to help on the path to recovery. Nepal is home to seven of the world’s top ten highest peaks, with Mt. Everest being the king of the all. The best way to see many of these peaks, each towering over 20,000 feet, is along the Everest Base Camp trek. Aside from its dramatic landscapes, Nepal also boasts vibrant cities and a rich culture.

Italy

florence italy
Florence

Italy: where modern amenities meets ancient history, It’s no surprise that Italy can lay claim to the highest number of World Heritage Sites — 49 at last count, including the rock drawings in Valcamonica, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Pompei. Regardless of your religious affiliation, visitors can’t help but be in awe of the church and cathedral architecture. Exploring Vatican City is a separate outing entirely (and country). There are Roman and Greek ruins peppered throughout Italy; it’s easy to imagine the grandeur of Ancient Rome while touring the Forum, Coliseum, or the catacombs. Cites like Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, and Verona are all interconnected via train, allowing visitors to experience them all with ease. Escape the tourist magnets and head north to the Dolomites, located in the Southern Alps, for some mountain biking, climbing, skiing, and hiking. Oh, and did we mention that the food is amazing?

Ecuador

View of two beaches on Bartolome Island in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador
Galapagos Islands

Situated along the equator, Ecuador is a country where the Andes meet the sea and the temperature is always ideal. With over 500 miles of coastline, beautiful beaches abound. The Galapagos Islands could be a separate trip in and of itself. Explore colonial architecture set against spectacular vistas in the historic capital city of Quito. For a more rugged experience, visit one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, Cotopaxi, which has erupted more than 50 times since 1738, the most recent being in August 2015.

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