Happy New Year. Welcome back to Vagabrothers. Welcome to 2018. Wow. We know that you just got finished with the holidays, but trust us. January is the perfect time to start planning your adventures for the new year. We’ve gathered up all of our notes to help you get started. We’ve compared prices, and we’ve come together with a list of the 18 best places to visit in 2018. We’ve struck a balance between tight budgets and bucket lists experiences, telling you where to go and how much it costs to get there. 2017 was a wild year: natural disasters, terrorist attacks, the travel ban. We’ve considered all this in making our list and selected countries that are safe, accessible, and where your tourist dollars can make a difference. So get out your vision board, if you still do that, and get ready to book your flights. These are the 18 best places to visit in 2018. Number 1: Peru. Peru is already on everyone’s bucket list thanks to Machu Picchu, a jewel of humanity’s heritage and a mandatory selfie stop for pretty much everybody who knows what a selfie is. The cat’s already out of the bag, and the crowds at Machu Picchu are insane. But Peru makes our list for everything beyond Machu Picchu. Start with the food…. Peruvian cuisine has taken its rightful place as one of the best cuisines in the world: a fusion of Andean, European, and Asian cuisines that has made the capital Lima one of the best foodie destinations in the world and the only city to host two of the world’s top ten best restaurants. So if you’re into good food, Lima is the city for you. Then there’s Cusco, the Rome of the Americas, the ancient capital of the Inca where you can soak up history before catching a ride to Machu Picchu on one of the world’s most luxurious trains. If you haven’t already seen our vlogs from Peru and our 360 tour of Machu Picchu, make sure you click the cards right here to get some more inspiration. But this year we’re trying to go even deeper- surf trips up Peru’s unspoiled coastline, eating our way through colonial Arequipa and heading over to the Peruvian Amazon to spot wildlife in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. If you’re dead set on Machu Picchu, you might want to go in May. This is when the weather is still good enough to hike the Inca Trail, which must be booked months in advance, but the crowds are not yet insane in Machu Picchu. Number 2: Belgrade, Serbia. If your idea of a hike is more like a pub crawl, then you should go to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and home to some of the world’s best nightlife. In recent years, everybody has been talking about Croatia. And with Game of Thrones being filmed there, the crowds are getting pretty intense. Serbia is right next door, and although it doesn’t have Croatia’s beaches, it doesn’t have Croatia’s crowds, either. Belgrade the capital combines old-world charm with the edgy vibes of the Savamala neighborhood where local artists have covered abandoned buildings in street art, converted warehouses into clubs, and started bars and restaurants that make this one of the funnest and cheapest destinations in Europe. Next up: New Orleans. No one ever needs an excuse to visit New Orleans. It’s the birthplace of jazz, of Mardi Gras, of creole cooking, and the food alone is worth the trip. But this year is extra special because on May 7th, New Orleans turns 300 years old. And if there’s any city in the world that knows how throw a birthday party, it’s New Orleans, so this year we recommend that you skip the drunken crowds at Mardi Gras and instead head to the birthday party, “Laissez les bon temps rouler.” Number 4: Namibia. If crowds aren’t your vibe, they’re not really mine either, then think about visiting Namibia’s Skeleton Coast where the world’s oldest desert meets over 1,000 miles of unspoiled, undeveloped coastline. I’ve been to Namibia, and it was one of the most incredible travel experiences of my life. But getting there is not easy, especially the northern part of the Skeleton Coast National Park where only 800 visitors are allowed to visit each year. It’s called the Skeleton Coast because of the shipwrecks and whale bones that litter the beaches. There’s plenty of wildlife, but the most elusive locals are from the Himba tribe, meaning you should get Namibia’s epic waves pretty much to yourself, if you can figure out where the secret spots are. You might want to use Google Earth to try to find some of those point breaks. Number 5: Morocco For something more accessible, but no less fascinating, we recommend Morocco in North Africa. Just 15 kilometers across the Mediterranean from Spain, Morocco is where European, Arab, and African cultures intersect in a heady blend that is uniquely Moroccan. Check out Essaouira, once home to Portuguese traders and Jimi Hendrix. If you’re a surfer, go south to Agadir. Fashionistas will love Yves Saint Lauren’s museum, the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, and everyone can fill their stomachs with delicious Moroccan tagines, get Instagram gold in a riyadh and bring home some boho chic home vibe inspiration from Morocco’s many markets. Number 6: Georgia the country, not the state. Georgia is fascinating. It’s located at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Middle East. This cultural melting pot has been influenced by everyone from the Persians, the Arabs, the Byzantines, the Ottoman Turks, and Soviet Russia. Start in the capital of Tbilisi, famous for its old quarter, its thermal baths and over 2,000 years of history. Outside the capital, make your way to Ushguli, the highest village in Europe. Then sip your way through the vineyards that have been in cultivation since the Stone Age over 8000 years ago. Top it off with a legendary Georgian feast known as a Supra, and you’ve pretty much nailed 2018 in one trip. Number 7: Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca has long been considered one of the most vibrant corners of Mexico, but this is the year to visit for a number of reasons: first up, it’s beautiful. Oaxaca City is a colonial town with tons of colored houses, cobblestone streets, and some of the best restaurants in the world. Oaxaca has killer moles and tons of great restaurants. Plus, it’s the birthplace of mezcal that little liquor that’s been slipping its way into cocktails all around the world at the trendiest bars. That’s from here. And you can go to Oaxaca and easily go visit artisan distilleries where it’s made by hand, and you bring back bottles are not for sale in your home country And everyone’s going to be like… where’d you get that awesome drink? and then you can tell them, ” I went to Oaxaca; it was recommended by Vagabrothers. You should check out the Vagabrothers.” Cheers to that. Thank you for the recommendation. From the city, you can go down the coast. I really love Zipolite. It’s a blissed-out little hippie haven; it’s very chill. There’s also Porto Escondido. This is the home of big wave surfing in Mexico. And then the entire coastline down to Selena Cruz is full of unspoiled surf breaks and beaches where you’ll find no other foreigners. Not to mention, Oaxaca is one of the best places in all of Latin America for textiles. So if you’re into rugs,they have really cool and affordable rugs you can bring back for your house, as well. 2018 is the year to visit Oaxaca because in September of 2017, it got hit with two major earthquakes, a very painful moment that was made worse by the subsequent decline in tourism. My friends who live in Oaxaca have assured me that everything is safe, and this is the time when tourism is very much needed in Oaxaca in order to help build back up the economy so people can recover. So go to Oaxaca, get yourself some mezcal, buy a rug, support the economy, and enjoy your time because it’s great place. Number 8: the Dominican Republic. Speaking of natural disasters, let’s talk about the Caribbean. 2017 threw some sinister storms to these islands, making it the most destructive year on record and wiping out some nations. The worst affected places were Dominica, Puerto Rico, Barbuda, Saint Martin and the B.V.I., but luckily other islands like St Kitts, the Bahamas, and Martinique escaped relatively unscathed. While many islands will take time to recover, others are open for business but hurting with the drop in tourism. This year we’re choosing the Dominican Republic for a number of reasons. Not only did it escape the worst of the storms, but it’s one of the most affordable destinations in the Caribbean. Most travelers stick to the resorts around Punta Cana But we’re encouraging you to get off the beaten path and explore the southwestern area near Barahona. This is where the mountains meet the sea on the scenic coastal highway 44 from Barahona to Pedernales passing by the Bahia de las Aguilas, which has stunning scenery but very few tourists. Back in the States we’re recommending Taos, New Mexico. Nestled in the foothills of the southern Rocky Mountains, Taos is the quintessential western town both naturally beautiful and culturally rich, it has a combination of Spanish, indigenous and cowboy cultures. Taos has long been a home to artists and more recently this southwestern aesthetic has influenced designers around the world from fashion to furniture not least Hopper Goods, a store founded by the daughter of longtime Taos resident Dennis Hopper. Rest in peace. So whether you’re looking for a cool hat or an outfit for Coachella, Taos is the source of style that you’ve been searching for. Next up is Ghana, a peaceful, stable, affordable English-speaking country that is a great choice for West Africa. Start in the coastal capital Accra, which juxtaposes urban sophistication with informal chop bars, traditional markets with young globally minded entrepreneurs. African surf vibes and the fishing village turned cultural hotspot of Jamestown. Down the coast, places like the Cape Coast Castle offer sobering reminders of the horrors of the slave trade and the colonial legacy that left Ghana with more fortresses than any nation in Africa. Inland you hike to waterfalls in the mountains of the eastern region, spot elephants up north at Molay National Park Or do a canopy walk through the tropical rainforests of Cockrum National Park. Number 11: India. India makes a list for 2018 because it is truly one of the world’s most fascinating destinations and hands down one of the cheapest places to travel on the planet. We just got back from filming a VR film and vlog series in Rajasthan, one of the most colorful corners of India. Rajasthan was amazing. We went to Udaipur, which is known as the Venice of India because it has a lake with a floating palace, Jodpur, the Blue City, which is equally fascinating. We went to Pushkar, a holy pilgrimage site with a camel fair, and it was excellent. All those vlogs and more are going to be coming out on the channel very soon. So make sure that if you’re not already, subscribe and turn on notifications so that you get updates when those videos go live. But in 2018 we’re going to try to continue exploring India by going to different regions . First up we’re dreaming about a motorcycle trip to the Himalayan region of Ladakh. We’re also looking at exploring more of southern India particularly Tamil Nadu as well as the former Portuguese colony of Goa. No matter which region you choose, all of India is incredible. We definitely recommend you go there to make the most of your budget in 2018. Number 12: Portugal. Portugal is the sleeper favorite of Western Europe. Long overlooked by Spain, France, and Italy, travelers are finally starting to catch on to Portugal, which has everything at much lower prices. Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, is the obvious place to start with its seven hills, cable cars, and colorful winding streets. In 2018 we’re looking further afield. Swap Lisbon for Porto, Portugal’s overlooked northern city. Skip the crowds of Algarve for the fishing villages, vineyards, and empty coastlines of Alentejo right next door or maybe just forget the mainland entirely and check out the Azores or Maeda, beautiful Portuguese islands off the coast of Africa. Number 13: Zanzibar. Apart from being extremely fun to pronounce, Zanzibar tops our list for African destinations. Zanzibar is a tropical archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, also known as the Spice Islands, and it combines gorgeous coral sand beaches, incredible diving and a fascinating blend of Arab, African, and European cultures. Start in the capital, Stone Town, a warren of alleyways bustling with spice markets, street food and history. Next, stop at a spice plantation before making your way up to Nungwi where you can plan dive trips to the off shore islands. Zanzibar might not be the closest destination nor the cheapest, but we definitely feel that it’s worth the trek. Number 14 is Patagonia. Patagonia is an eternal destination, a vast expanse of open wilderness at the tip of South America, stretching from the glaciers of the Andes through the fjords of southern Chile and the tip of Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. It’s one of the last great wild places on earth, and in 2018 it’s our number one pick for spending time in nature. Whether it’s wildlife spotting at Torres del Paine, island hopping in the fjords of the ice in Patagonia or living the gaucho life at an estancia. With so much open space, it’s ideal to spend some time in silence and solitude. But it’s also vital to preserve this place, and there are plenty of organizations such as the Tomkins Conservation where you can volunteer to help preserve Patagonia for future generations. 2018 is also the 200 year anniversary of Chile’s independence. So it’s a good time to go visit. If you want to see a cool new movie from Patagonia, check out El Faro de las Orcas, or the Lighthouse of the Whales on Netflix. Just watched it. Loved it. If you’ve seen it, drop some comments in the comment section. News flash, news flash! It’s official. In 2017, we’ve reached peak Bali with unprecedented numbers of Instagram models and youtubers visiting the islands in numbers not seen since the publication of Eat Pray Love. In all seriousness, there is nothing wrong with Bali. It is an incredible destination, but Indonesia is huge, and there are over seventeen thousand five hundred and seven islands to explore. So this year we’re encouraging you to go to Indonesia, but go beyond Bali. For instance on the nearby island of Java, you have the largest Buddhist temple in the world as well as Jomblang, the Cave of Heavenly Light. Sorry for my pronunciation. Not to mention Komodo dragons on Padar Island, scuba diving the reefs of Raja Ampat and the world’s top hotel the Nehe on Suma Island. Number 16: Tallinn, Estonia Our pick for northern Europe is Tallin in Estonia, a great budget alternative to its more expensive neighbors in the Nordics. The heart of Tallinn is the immaculately preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Town, a walled city oozing with charm complete with a Hanseatic themed restaurant that takes you back to the Middle Ages. But it’s the neighborhood of Cala Maya that enticed us to stick around for longer. Just outside the city walls, the former fisherman’s quarter is where you’ll find factories converted into art spaces, craft breweries, and restaurants that are putting an Estonian twist on the New Nordic cuisine of their neighbors. Tallinn is great in the summertime, but it’s also beautiful in the winter, and its Christmas markets are some of the best in Europe. Moving down under we have Nouvelle Caledonia, New Caledonia, the mystery island that we featured in our recent collaboration video with Mercedes Benz. We chose that island for the video because it had so much diversity on one island. Every single corner of the island is a different micro climate, and culturally, it’s got this blend of Melanesian, French, Arab, and Vietnamese influences. We recommend skipping the capital and doing a road trip around the island to see all the different micro climates. The most popular area is the Isle de Pines, the Pine Island, which unfortunately we were not able to visit. Our favorite area was to drive along the northeastern coast where tropical mountains go straight down into crystal blue waters, and there’s just a narrow two-lane highway connecting all these small villages with the rest of the world. After our shoot, we decided to stick around for a few days and unplug. We spent a couple of nights at the Culles Nouveau Village, which was good quality, affordable and still relatively undiscovered by tourists. That’s partly because New Caledonia is not really close to anything except for Australia. So it can be expensive to get to. But if you’re looking for a place to really get away from it all, New Caledonia is for you. Lastly the bucket list destination for 2018 is Bhutan, an idyllic Himalayan mountain kingdom where the government restricts tourism and measures its GDP by the gross national happiness of its citizens. We haven’t been to Bhutan yet because it’s expensive. It’s far away. Flights to Bhutan from India are limited, And there’s a mandatory visa for all foreigners that cost hundreds of dollars a day. It’s designed to keep tourism low and avoid the negative repercussions of over tourism that affected Nepal. However, we recently learned that the visa covers an all-inclusive tour of the country. So when you add it all up, it’s not that bad, and who are we kidding? 2017 has been such a hectic year that escaping to a peaceful Buddhist monastery in the Himalaya sounds like the perfect escape, whatever the price. Okay guys. That’s been our list. Tell us where you recommend traveling this year. Tell us what you’re stoked on. Put that in the comment section. If you liked the video, give it a thumbs- up, share with your friends, and subscribe to Vagabrothers for more travel videos from all around the world every single week. And in the meantime, remember stay curious, keep exploring, and we will see you on the road in 2018. Peace out.