Best Travel Destinations In 2018 Revealed In New National Geographic Survey

National Geographic editors just released their 21 picks for the best travel destinations in 2018. While there are a few mainstream cities on this list, editors tried to choose mostly “off the beaten path” destinations.

First on this list of 2018 holiday locations is the city of Harar, Ethiopia. Located in the eastern section of the African nation, Harar is considered one of the holiest cities by Muslims with a total of 82 mosques. Besides visiting the city’s marvelous historic sites, Harar is known for its exceptional coffee and local hyenas.

Number two on this travel list is the Jujuy Province in northwestern Argentina. Ideal for nature lovers, Jujuy Province has some of the most colorful mountains and intriguing rock formations in the world.

Editors chose the capital Tbilisi in the country of Georgia as their third place travel pick. On the banks of the Mtkvari River, Tbilisi has many fascinating museums and beautiful cathedrals to tour. Tbilisi is also famous for its sulfur baths, glorious wine, and delicious cuisine.

Although Sydney, Australia, is an obvious tourist draw, National Geographic editors put it in fourth place due to draw attention to the Opera House’s latest renovation. That’s right, Sydney’s world-renowned Opera House just finished a $273-million renovation that includes a new foyer and state-of-the-art acoustics.

From number five to number twenty-one, here are the rest of the cities on National Geographic’s 2018 destinations list: Oaxaca, Mexico; Vienna, Austria; Oahu, Hawaii; Malmo, Sweden; Jordan Trail; Dublin, Ireland; Madagascar; Santiago, Chile; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Cleveland, Ohio; Tetouan, Morocco; Seoraksan National Park, South Korea; Albania; San Antonio, Texas; Labrador, Canada; Friesland, Netherlands; and Ruaha National Park, Tanzania.

The 3 Ideal Destinations for a Family Vacation

Picking the right destination for a family vacation can be a daunting task, especially if you have to choose a spot that will be ideal for everyone in the family. In situations like these, it’s best to ask the experts; those who have first-hand experience with the world travel guide. That is where the reviews of other travelers come in handy. Booking.com will help you make the right choice as it has more than 91 million reviews on their site. The following destinations come highly recommended for travelers:

1. Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala

Antigua is a charming small city that has been around for more than 500 years. The town looks impressive with its colorful Spanish architecture covering the streets. It comes to life in the evening with live, local Spanish music and dance. That is not all; the city also provides a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains, an excellent place for active families to go on a trek.

2. Ucluelet, Canada

Ucluelet offers families a stunning ocean view and lots of fun activities to engage in such as camping, kayaking, surfing, hiking, and boat rides. There is also a Wild Pacific Trail that leads you along beautiful thickets of trees and a wild coastline. The coastal area’s hot spring is also another reason that makes this spot the ultimate destination.

3. Salento, Colombia

If you love delicious cuisine as a family, Salento is the right destination for you. The town was traditionally a coffee town; it’s now becoming one of the top family vacation spots. It’s lively and welcoming, and it has a string of restaurants that serve tasty local cuisine. You can take a horseback ride through the Columbian forest on a cloudy, sunny day or visit a coffee plantation.

Air New Zealand Named World’s Best Airline for Fifth Consecutive Year

For the fifth year in a row, Air New Zealand has received the coveted Airline of the Year award from AirlineRatings.com. The site released its list of the World’s Best Airlines for 2018 on November 2, 2017, with Air New Zealand once again at the top.

Citing the airline’s environmental consciousness, record-breaking financial growth and dedicated workforce, AirlineRatings.com described Air New Zealand as an “industry trendsetter” that ranked first or tied-first in all of the agency’s 13 judging criteria. These criteria span every aspect of the air travel industry, including safety, fleet age, profitability, passenger reviews and environmental sustainability.

Air New Zealand’s commitment to improving its economy seat classes received special recognition from AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas, who described the airline’s premium economy cabins as “standouts” that “give thrifty travelers choices and more comfort.” Judges were also impressed with the carrier’s new tracking wristbands, which allow parents to receive live updates on children traveling unaccompanied.

Christopher Luxon, CEO of Air New Zealand, credited the award to his employees, whom he said put in a “huge effort” to “deliver a world-class Kiwi experience on the ground and in the air.” He promised further innovations in 2018.

Second place on the list of the World’s Best Airlines for 2018 went to Australia’s largest airline, Qantas. The Sydney-based carrier took home the awards for Best Domestic Class, Best Catering and Best Lounges. It was also declared the World’s Safest Airline back in January. Third place went to Singapore Airlines, which received the Best First Class award.

Air New Zealand Named Best Airline in the World

It is not surprising that Air New Zealand has been named as the world’s best airline. After all, they have been named as such for the past four years. This will be the fifth time in a row that they receive that title. AirlineRatings.com is the one who puts out the ratings for the top ten airlines.

After Air New Zealand, the second best airline in the world in Qantas. Singapore Airlines came in third, while Virgin Australia came in next. Japan Airlines came in tenth place.

So how does ArlineRatings.com calculate their ratings? There are thirteen things that they take into account. First of all, the airlines must have a minimum of a seven star rating record in safety to even be considered for the top ten. They also rely on reviews made by passengers. In addition, they look for the things that the airlines do to make their passengers feel comfortable, as well as things such as how old the airplanes they use are.

They make sure that premium economy class seats are high quality, and that business seats have flat beds. Basically, they make sure that there is a superb customer experience and that there is a customer service team that really cares about its passengers, their safety, and their comfort. Virgin Atlantic came in fifth, the only European airline to make the list.

Winter Destinations for Budget Travelers

December marks the time when people start looking around for an escape to the sun. Luckily, there are many places in the world that have their best weather of the year at this time. Here are some of the best winter destinations for budget travelers.

Phuket, Thailand

Winter is a spectacular time to visit Phuket. Temperatures are moderate, ranging from 80°F to 70°F. Airfares and hotel rates are quite reasonable up until just a few days before Christmas. The weekend before Christmas is when the peak season starts, so it is important to book early to get a good deal.

Puerto Rico

The Carribean island of Puerto Rico is normally viewed as a warm vacation spot during summer. However, there are many reasons to visit the place during winter. First, you can travel to Puerto Rico in less than four hours much more easily during winter. This is because there are frequent and direct flights to Luis Muñoz International Airport in San Juan during this season. Secondly, the cool weather makes rainforest hiking (especially through El Yunque) the ideal wintertime activity.

Another benefit of visiting Puerto Rico is that U.S. citizens do not need a passport to visit and you don’t get to lose any money on currency exchange since the United States currency is the legal tender in the island.

Other places worth considering include Costa Rica, Cancun, Mexico; Madeira, Portugal; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa.

Travel Gadgets to Pack for Your Next Vacation

When it comes to traveling, the last thing you want is to be encumbered with a heavy suitcase or backpack. However, there are some tech gadgets that you definitely should take on your trip. In this article, we’ll look at some of them.

1. An e-reader

If you are the type of person who spends his/her rides plowing through books, an e-reader is a gadget you’d want to purchase. Books take up so much space and are bulky to carry around when traveling. The Amazon Kindle is a great buy for any avid reader on transit. The Kindle is compact and automatically adjusts its screen brightness to your surroundings. You can, therefore, load your library onto it and take all your favorite books with you wherever you go.

2. Noise Canceling Headphones

Every traveler needs a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. They will make a long flight more comfortable by letting you lose yourself in your favorite music. Additionally, if you are visiting a city that parties all night, these gadgets will help you catch some shut-eye once you have landed.

3. Smart Luggage

In today’s era, smart luggage is an essential travel item. With smart luggage, you no longer have to endure any luggage-related anxiety during your travel. These suitcases have built-in features like remote lock systems, GPS locators, solar-powered batteries, USB ports to charge your devices and weight scales that prevent overpacking.

What’s more, the suitcases come in a sleek design and are made of durable materials. Therefore, you won’t have to sacrifice the look of your suitcase for its efficiency.

Top Four Mobile Apps for Booking Cheap Flights

Are you planning a trip? If yes then read on. We have rounded up four the best travel apps that will help you search and book cheap flights.

1. Kayak

Kayak (free on Android and iOS) is widely regarded as one of the best flight apps around. The app lets you browse and book cheap flights, hotels and rental cars directly from your smartphone. This app is straightforward; it categorizes flights in order from the cheapest to the most expensive, along with the number of seats available for each option.

2. Airfarewatchdog

The Airfarewatchdog app allows travelers to search every airline for the best airfare deals. With the app, you can search for gateways from your home location as well as easily compare advertised fares. The app has a feature that shows the best same-day air travels from your local airport. Additionally, you get timely and insightful air-travel information from professionals at the Airfarewatchdog travel blog section.

3. Get The Flight Out

Get The Flight Out (GTFO) is a last-minute travel app that allows you to see deals on flights departing from your local airport. The app displays flights that depart a few hours from the time of search. Once you select a destination, you are taken to a page showing different flight options like departure times and prices. After you’ve made your selection, you are redirected to the airline’s official site to make the actual booking.

4. Hipmunk

Hipmunk is one of the most popular travel search apps in the U.S. This app takes the top travel websites and compares them to help you find the most affordable flights and hotels. The flight results show up on an easy-to-read timeline while hotel results show up on a map.

Top Three Travel Apps to Install on Your Phone

Planning for adventures can be a major pain, but it is 2017, and there are mobile apps (Android and iOS) that can help you travel better while making sure you stick to a budget. We have rounded up the best travel apps that can help you keep the stress associated with planning for adventures to a bare minimum.

1. Skyscanner

Whether you’re looking for cheap flights, rental cars or hotels – Skyscanner has got you covered. The app offers an easy flight search functionality that allows you to search for affordable flights with “Everywhere” as the location. In short, it is perfect for those who want to travel but don’t have a precise idea about the destination.

2. Hopper

Hopper app is designed to help users get the cheapest possible price for a plane ticket. Its search engine uses data and analysis from different tracked flight prices to suggest when you should buy your ticket. Once the app has identified the cheapest airfare in the market, it alerts you when to purchase your ticket via push notifications.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb mobile app connects people who are looking for accommodation during their travel with people looking to rent their homes. As a host (the one looking to rent out his/her unused space), you can use the app to respond to inquiries, manage reservations and help travelers feel supported throughout their trip. Travelers, on the other hand, can find a perfect place for their stay, locate and book a listing and communicate with their host.

Your Dream Vacation: Closer Than Ever

It has long been thought that traveling to exotic locations all around the world is only for the rich and famous. This is no longer the case thanks to the age of the internet…as long as you know where to look. Always dreamed of seeing Big Ben in London or taking in the Beijing skyline at night? Then now is the time to go. A recent report out states that these two locations, along with other such as Mexico City, Mexico and Lagos, Nigeria, now have a cheaper cost of living than ever before. Because of this, although airfare prices may remain stagnant, the cost of lodging and the cost of food and other necessities are expected to begin to fall. This save you, the traveler, countless dollars and allows your money to go further and thus you are able to experience more in these cities. To assuage your worries of high airfare prices, try one of the online companies dedicated to getting you the cheapest seat possible. Websites like Hotwire and Priceline offer discounted travel and lodging for any and all of your travel needs. The combination of discounted airfare and the lowering of costs of living in many popular tourism hot spots make now the perfect time for a variety of world travels. You don’t have to be rich and famous to feel like you are. If you’ve always always wanted to travel the world but used the excuse that it’s too expensive, then that is no longer a valid excuse. The world is out there waiting for you to discover it and it’s never been cheaper to do so.

3 Best Hotel Credit Cards

Hotel credit cards can earn you free room upgrades, free stays, discounts on travel and hotel loyalty member perks. When you are looking to top up your wallet with a new card, the sheer number of options available can be overwhelming. So how do you choose a hotel credit card that will accommodate your travel goals? Read on. We’ve rounded up some of the best cards on the market today.

1. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

This hotel rewards credit card offers you 80,000 points after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, plus another 7,500 points after adding an authorized user. Additionally, you get to earn five bonus points for each dollar spent at participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels.

2. The Starwood Preferred Guest Card

This credit card from American Express earns you five Starpoints for every dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Marriot and Starwood hotels. You also get to earn one Starpoint per $1 spent on other eligible purchases made at participating resorts and hotels.

The Starpoints can be redeemed for free nights at any Starwood hotel including Tribute Portfolio, The Luxury Collection, Four Points by Sheraton and Westin among others.

3. The Hyatt Credit Card

The Chase Hyatt Credit Card earns you three points on any purchases made at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts. You also earn two bonus points for each dollar spent at restaurants, car rental agencies and on airline tickets bought from an airline. Additionally, you earn one bonus point per one dollar spent on purchases made using the card.