Dream Destinations and Actual Travel Plans for 2018

One of the best parts about the year ending, is reflecting on just what the new year will bring. Particularly in terms of travel.

I’ve been writing these roundups for a couple of years now. When I first started, I was living in the UK. This was a round up of places that I’d probably legitimately end of travelling to over be course of twelve months.

travel plans 2018

I’m hoping 2018 includes more explorations around Australia and therefore more bird-watching!

Now I write them simply because I must sincerely enjoy torturing myself.

This is because Australia is about the worst place you can move to if you wish to travel internationally often. I’d say it’s third to Antarctica and New Zealand, in that order.

If you want a breakdown in comparison – in 2016 I visited 21 countries. In 2017, I hit up three on my one holiday abroad. Which is fine. I had a lovely time and I know it is almost sacrilegious to write such a thing on a “travel” blog, but I was happy to have a bit of a break from travelling.

Plus coming home from three years spent overseas forced me to sit up and look at things that I’d long neglected.

There are so many places I would like to visit, but there are other things I want desperately out of life, too. Like, owning a piece of real estate in my overly expensive home country one day. Having a proper garden. Coming home one day to a pet dog (omg, I want a dog so badly) and chickens. Not having to pick up and move every twelve months or less.

This is all tempting stuff. And if life teaches one anything… you can’t have it all. Maybe a little bit from column A and a bit from column B, if you’re lucky.

Related: Which is Harder: Moving Abroad or Coming Home?

But, for now? Well, my feet are a bit itchy. I’ve got a couple of concrete trips planned and beyond that, a handful more places that I’d like to visit. Here are some of them.

Thailand

Thanks to Australian carrier Jetstar’s epic 13th birthday sale earlier this year, I managed to nab super cheap flights to Bangkok return, in February.

This will be my first time in not only Thailand, but the entire region of SE Asia (yeah. I’m a living, breathing Australian who has never been to Bali. Zero regrets from this gal).

I’m not entirely sure of plans yet, but I’m hoping to spend a couple of days in Bangkok before heading to an island to soak up some sun on the beach – something I don’t get to do regularly (read: at all) in Melbourne. Suggestions are welcome!

travel plans 2018

I can’t wait to watch the sunset INTO the ocean from the west side of the country.

Perth

Perth’s been pretty high on my “must-visit” list for some time now. It’s the only capital city in Australia that I’m yet to step foot in and I’d love to tick them all off my imagined list.

It also seems like half my friendship group hail from the place and I’ve heard enough both good and questionable things to refuel my intent to finally visit the country’s most isolated city.

New Zealand

I would be doubly happy for 2018 to be the year I visit NZ for the first time in my life (I know), mostly so I can stop feeling crap about the fact I’ve never been there.

I’ll admit, I never really had any burning desire to visit Australia’s biggest neighbour in the past. If I was going to take time off work, I wanted to go further afield – mostly to America or Europe, not somewhere that seemed like it was a cooler version of Australia (I mean in both general attitude and actual temperature, there).

Yet there’s no denying that New Zealand is a beautiful place and considering how quick it is to fly there (it takes more time to fly to Perth from Sydney or Melbourne), added with the occasional bargain of a flight… I can’t think of a single reason not to go (and it would have to be to the South Island, for sure. My mind is already made up on that!).

travel plans 2018

Hawai’i is awesome and I want to visit more islands now, please.

South Pacific

I’ve long wanted to visit an island in the South Pacific and spending time in Hawai’i this year has convinced me that this would be a Very Good Idea. Fiji is still high on my list, along with Vanuatu.

The only problem with the South Pacific islands, is they seem like they are very much a “couples destination”. I’m not entirely sure if I’m into that. Yet, I’ve heard accounts from others who have ventured there alone and a good time was seemingly had by all.

Lord Howe Island

If you were to ask me where in the world I would most like to go, I’d answer with “Greenland” and then “Lord Howe Island”.

This is a small island off the coast of my home state New South Wales and it looks like paradise. It also costs the same to travel to as a flight to Europe would, upward of $1000 AUD return, with Qantas.

The only way I can justifiably imagine this happening, would be to pay for part of the flight with frequent flyer points. My main goal for this year (along with buying a car) is to amass enough points to make this dream a reality. We’ll see how this goes.

travel plans 2018

Downtown Ballarat in regional Victoria.

Regional Victoria

Once I do get my car (I’ve tried to make public transport in Australia work, but I just can’t take it anymore. It’s doing my head in), I would love to start seeing more of the state I’m living in.

Victoria is full of historic towns, sprawling mountain ranges, beautiful national parks and most importantly, top-notch vineyards. Plus, it’s tiny as far as Australian states go, meaning much of the region can be seen in weekend or even day trips.

Australia is so expensive to travel in, that any chance to save a bit of dosh should be seized upon eagerly.

Alaska

I’m not surprised that Alaska made it onto Lonely Planet’s best regions to visit in 2018. I’ve already wanted to visit for awhile now (due to the ongoing obsession with places that are cold and have crappy weather) and wish I’d done so sooner.

I love travelling to the USA and have done so every year for the last five now. Having ticked off some of the more popular states, Alaska is one of many others that have started to pique my interest, along with Wyoming, Montana and Maine.

It’d be radical to visit all fifty states one day, probably an ambitious plan for an Australian, but it’s good to have goals in life.

travel plans 2018

Love a country pub.

Northern Wales

I’ve been to Wales once – a whirlwind weekend trip to Cardiff for a travel conference in early 2016. It wasn’t enough time to take the city, let alone the country in and I’ve been intrigued by Wales ever since.

It definitely gets overlooked, when paired up against Scotland or England and I’m not really sure why… Northern Wales in particular looks like a dream to visit. High on my list of Welsh experiences is poking around the secondhand bookstores of Hay-on-Wye and a day spent at the seaside, preferably in the rain.

I’d be pretty lucky to make it to more than a small handful of these places (I made it to 2/7 on my list last year) but who knows what the next twelve months will bring. Which is certainly one of the joys of life – you never know where it’s going to take you.

What are your travel plans for 2018?

PS. If you’re interested…

Travel Plans for 2016
Dream Destinations for 2017
Australian Travel Goals 2017

Posted by LC
December 27, 2017
LC

LC can often be found nursing a cup of green tea, with her head in a book. She is a writer, video editor and professional cheeae eater. Her life's aspiration is to one day live on a farm in Tasmania with 11 dogs, a Shetland pony and several pygmy goats.

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Rhiannon - December 28, 2017

Reading this, you should 100% plan your life to visit Wales in the first half of the year and New Zealand in the second half ๐Ÿ˜‰ But the beaches in the South are way better than the North (And thatโ€™s not bias, theyโ€™ve won awards and everything!).
Merry (late) Christmas and happy new year, to one of my favourite blogs and itโ€™s person! Hope the new year brings everything you could hope for and more! ๐Ÿ˜€

Reply
    LC - January 1, 2018

    Haha I’d love it for things to work out like that too! I think I will make it to NZ, so will definitely wait until you’re there to do so. I have heard good things about the southern beaches but I’m really intrigued by the north for some reason (don’t hate me!) although I’ll happily take any Wales I can get.
    And ditto, keep writing and am very excited about your 2018 adventures! Hope you had a grand NYE.

    Reply
Allison Green - December 28, 2017

I am dying to visit New Zealand and Alaska as well! Basically the more impractical it is to go somewhere, the more I’m convinced it’s a great idea. Also, you should break your Bali prohibition to come hang out with me – I’m soooo clooooose (by Australian standards)

Reply
    LC - January 1, 2018

    Haha if I could get on a plane tomorrow and come, then I could! Maybe you could hang around the region a wee bit longer… say Thailand in the last week of Feb? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Reply
Alyse - December 29, 2017

You have such an amazing mix of places here! I hope you get to them all next year, Alaska looks especially incredible. Admittedly, you and I are probably the only Australians who haven’t been to Bali (hehe). New Zealand is breathtaking and you absolutely must go… I’m pretty sure it will exceed any expectations you have (it’s blown me away each time; I’ve been 4 times now). Feel free to let me know if you need any tips or any translating of Kiwi lingo. Have a wonderful New Year! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    LC - January 1, 2018

    I feel like the fact that it’s such a mix will compound my ability to get to every one, but I’ll be happy with a handful (especially Perth, damn it Perth, why are you so elusive?!). I think we definitely are the only Aussies who haven’t been, everyone else I know has! Happy New Year to you too!

    Reply
Rohini - January 11, 2018

South Pacific Islands is not at all couple’s destination . I think because of the pristine beaches and resorts it sees to be attracting a lot of honeymooners. But keep that aside it is a great place to travel solo . I had been to Fiji, Vanuatu & New Calendonia and all have been just amazing . we just need to focus on our interests and there are plenty of options!

All the best for your travels this year ๐Ÿ™‚

Reply
    LC - January 11, 2018

    Thank you Rohini, that’s really encouraging to hear! A lot of my coupled up friends have been to them in recent times but I’ve heard of a few people flying solo – will definitely look further into it as the year progresses. Best to you too!

    Reply
Scott G - January 18, 2018

Hey hey, so I can DEFINITELY say visit northern Wales. It’s amazing. Also, I’m American and used to live in Montana. That, my dear, is God’s country. And Wyoming is fantastic too. Another secret: New Mexico. If you haven’t been, put it on your list asap. Email me, I can give you mucho details about any western state. I’ve been to 47 states. Finally, I am assuming you’ve been to Norway. That’s my favourite visit so far, just before Croatia and Portugal. Ok so for me in 2018? Denmark, The Faroe Islands, Sicily, and Tenerife. Hit me up! I love talking travel. I’m a soloist. Love your blog by the way! Just starting mine…

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    LC - January 25, 2018

    Noted re New Mexico! Would love to get to that many states one day… bir harder as a non-American though, haha. I have been to Norway and it is lovely, big fan of the Nordics here. The Faroes are phenomenally beautiful! And Denmark is good fun too. Good luck with the advent of your blog and happy travels, Scott!

    Reply
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