About this time of year people start doing round ups. They’re usually helpful things to help you budget better in the New Year or being able to join in intellectual conversations like a grown person. Otherwise they’re total celeb trash so you can join in the conversation like every other grown person who likes to pretend they’re intellectual.

But here is a middle ground round up, of the most popular travel trends in 2018 as voted by the people, according to TripAdvisor. So you can sound all worldly and stuff discussing this over champers at your NYE party.

Best Beach

Look, I still maintain that my DEFINITIVE and INARGUABLE list of the world’s best beaches is still the only thing you need to know. Here you go, you’re welcome:

However, I will admit that while I’ve never been to Grace Bay in Providenciales, it sure does look pretty and therefore I’ll allow it to top the TripAdvisor list. The top 25 also features Baia do Sancho in Brazil – which I totally called – Manly Beach in Sydney – yeah ok whatever you reckon – and Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay which sounds like a dream.

Best Restaurant

The people have spoken and France still has the best food in the world. More particularly, Au Crocodile in Strasbourg does. The place does have a bunch of Michelin stars so it’s good to know they’re earning them. Reviews suggest they’re as friendly as their food is tasty.

Honorable mention to our little brothers, New Zealand, for getting The Grove in Aukland in at number nine. While countries in the top 25 are fairly spread out, Australia did not make it. We are not good enough at food apparently.

Best Experience

I don’t think many would argue there’s a whole lot of point to travelling if you’re just going to sit in your hotel room and not experience anything. So once you’ve checked in, apparently the best thing in the world to do is taking a cooking class and lunch at a Tuscan farmhouse with Local Market Tour from Florence.

I might be more of a get out there and see what adventures happen kind of gal, and also a terrible cook, but I must admit this would be exactly what I wanted to do in Tuscany.

A Berlin bike tour came in second and I have to say I whole-heartedly agree, perfect way to get an overview of the city. It was a few years ago now, but I cannot speak highly enough of Fat Tire. Seriously, I ended up using them in  Barcelona, London and Paris as well because I thought they were rad.

The Sydney Bridge Climb came in fourth, but seeing as it’s under new ownership I’ll guess we see if they retain the ranking in 2019. Also a shoutout to Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour from Melbourne by Go West Tours at 19th. Because yay Australia and responsible tourism.

Best Landmark

You know what, this one surprised me. I’ve heard only good things about Angkor Wat in Cambodia’s Siem Reap, but I didn’t realise it was worthy of number one. There’s a lot of other’s you’d expect in the top 25, like St. Peter’s Basilica, The Taj Mahal, The Golden Gate bridge and a whole lot of churches.

A lot of snooty travellers will say all that popular touristy stuff is commercialised and basic. I say a lot of them are popular for a reason, so do you.

Best Destination

Drumroll please, here’s the big one. We all still have a huge boner for Paris. I actually loved it too, but mainly because I was all up in Jim Morrison at the time of my visit and I stayed by his hotel and such, which turns out to be actually a kind of rough part of the city. Still, it’s nice and makes you feel cultured.

I can honestly say that not a single destination in the top 25 surprised me, and wooo to Sydney for just scraping in there.

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Best Up & Coming Destination

This is the single most important category for that impressing at parties thing, so you can talk about your plans to travel to a new place no-one has heard of. Or at least, not as many people have heard of as Paris.

The number one destination on the rise according to TripAdvisor is Ishigaki, Japan. I can see why too. I do not associate Japan with beaches but hot damn if this place doesn’t look like it deserves to in the best beaches list.

Just a casual mention of Halifax in Canada’s Nova Scotia coming in at number four, purely because I have several Canadian mates from there who’ll be as surprised as I was that time Lonely Planet named Newcastle as the place to be. Personally, I’ll be putting Nairobi in Kenya and San Jose in Costa Rica on my bucket list, coming in at three and six respectively.


Image: iStock Images / [chingting huang]