How far out do you plan your trips? Some families plan their vacations almost a year in advance. That is not us. For my work, I often know where I’m headed a few months out, but if it’s a personal trip, it’s usually pretty last minute. I’m itching to get travelling in 2018, so I did some research for under the radar destinations and the biggest celebrations to consider for your 2018 travel plans. Hope you enjoy this armchair wanderlust as much as I do.
San Antonio anniversary celebrations
I loved this Southern Texas city so much when I visited last year, I’m dying to go back! Many people say it’s the new Austin. This year is a big one, as they’re celebrating their 300th anniversary in 2018.
San Antonio has most delightful River Walk that winds its way through downtown. You can even enjoy open alcohol on your stroll, just like you can in Vegas! The River Walk has been expanded from 3 to 15 miles and it’s now connected to five Spanish colonial missions. These 18th century missions are peaceful, architecturally beautiful and have been recently named Unesco World Heritage sites. And you know not to forget about the Alamo! Conveniently, it’s situated right downtown!
I’d recommend visiting in April during Fiesta. That’s their 10 day celebration – similar to Stampede, but without the rodeo. The hippest neighbourhood to hang in is the Pearl District. You can check out my review of what to do here.
Puerto Vallarta celebrates 100 years
Confession: I’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta, but I so want to go. It’s another city having a notable anniversary. Centennial celebrations are in full force in May, 2018. What’s great about this city is that it’s easily accessible from Calgary. You can score direct flights sub $600, and I found these amazing deals from Air Transat for all-inclusives sub $1000.
Now there’s more to PV than its cinnamon hued beaches (though they do look pretty lovely). It’s got this charming historic center that oozes culture. Strolling around the cobblestone streets and popping into different cafes and shops makes a nice change from the beach. Plus, it’s the only Mexican beach destination with a gayborhood in its Zona Romantica.
Expected to open this year is a Cirque du Soleil Theme Park. Located just a few minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta international airport, the park will include circus attractions, rides, a water park and a large theatre for evening shows.
Portugal is Europe’s new hot spot
First off – did you know Madonna has moved here? Obvs, she has homes around the world, but because her son David is attending a soccer academy in Portugal she bought a major pile, errr place outside of the capital. (That would be Lisbon.) And check this out – Madge has been seen taking an ECONOMY flight to Lisbon from London!
Now back to why you’d want to travel to Portugal…
- It’s relatively cheap as far as far as European destinations go.
- There’s fewer touristy crowds.
- There are now loads of direct flights for Canadians through Toronto. Air Transat starts flying early May through the end of October.
If you’re travelling all the way to Europe (on Air Transat) and are a nervous flyer, you might want to consider getting an Option Plus ticket. It gives you priority services at the airpot, an additional piece of baggage, priority baggage handling, seat selection and priority boarding. All this while sipping a glass of wine! And if you hate airline food, you can purchase the Chef’s Menu by Daniel Vezina, one of Quebec’s most renowned chefs. This menu is included in the Club Class service, but is also available to Economy Class passengers for $25 CND.
Sri Lanka emerges from India’s shadow
The pearl of the Indian Ocean, this island nation is situated just south of India. I’m attracted Sri Lanka because of the endless options. There are miles upon miles of powdery sand beaches. There are oodles of ancient sites filled with stunning ruins to explore (eight Unesco World Heritage Sites!). Elephant and monkeys are everywhere, but there are safari tours to spot leopards, water buffalo and the like. Trek through the rainforests or stroll around tea plantations before enjoying a cuppa.
Not only does Sri Lanka appear to be quite affordable, distances are short. It’s not arduous to jump from the beach to the rainforest to the colonial capital. And the trains look like the perfect mode of transportation for sightseeing.
Where do you plan on travelling in 2018?