Traveling, the way to reset your batteries, clear you mind and explore new things. We don’t do enough of it and that needs to be rectified. Our 2018 Travel Wish List is the result.

I’m one of those people who travels in extremes – either a beach holiday or a city escape. Not much in between and that’s fine by me. Schlepping through the wilderness, roughing it on a camping site or sitting in car for hours to drive to that amazing spot is just not for me.

With that in mind, here are some destinations that fit the ticket.

#1 Maldives

Amari Havodda Maldives ResortImagine an over-water bungalow, pristine white sand, plenty of water based activities, azure blue oceans and great food. Combine that with the tranquility of being away from the modern world for a few days and those batteries are fully charged again.

Sure, it probably isn’t the cheapest holiday you could book and getting there might take a bit with multiple flights and sea plane or boat ride to get to your final destination, but who cares once you set foot in that over-water bungalow and sip your first cocktail.

Pictured is the Amari Havodda Maldives resort.

#2 Dubai, UAE

Dubai, UAE, travel wish listOpulent, decadent, old meets new world, luxury, shopping are just a few words synonymous with Dubai. The city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates is for a lot of people a stop over to another destination thanks to the success of their national airline, Emirates.

But we would do Dubai a disservice if a stop over was the only reason for going. Surely all these ultra luxury hotels, boutiques from every designer in the world, amazing food mixed together with old world history and culture deserves more than a day or two?

Find out more about Dubai at visitdubai.com.

#3 Hawai’i

Kaua'i, Napali CoastYou had me at “Aloha”. Hawai’i has so much more to offer than just Waikiki and I’m the first to admit that I won’t let anything get in the way of a good shopping trip. Sure, you can’t not go to O’ahu, but at least rent a car and drive to the north shore and see something.

Ideally, I’d take several weeks and go to all the islands. Take a helicopter along Nā Pali Coast State Park on Kaua’i, watch the lava flow into the ocean from Kalapana on the Island of Hawai’i and experience the great local cuisine and customs across the different islands. I mean, why come all this way to just sit on a beach and go shopping. I can stay at home in Sydney for that.

More information on the Hawaiian Islands can be found at gohawaii.com.

#4 New York City

New York City, NYC, travel wish listI’m a bit of a city boy and nothing beats NYC when it comes to that. I can go on and on about all the things you should be doing, seeing, experiencing, but with a city that is so diverse there literally is something for everyone.

Almost every airline in the world will fly you to NYC. Between the hostels, motels, hotels and AirBnBs there’s surely some accommodation that fits your budget and for entertainment…..well, if you can’t be entertained here, just stay at home, lock the doors and never come out again.

Just go to New York! More information on NYC can be found here.

#5 Eastern Caribbean

Great Bay, St MaartenSo….I’m a big fan of the Caribbean. That’s no secret. If you haven’t read the recent article on the Leeward Islands or The Friendly Island – St Maarten, please do so. They’re well worth the visit.

All the islands were hit quite severely by Hurricane Irma in September 2017 and even though some are reopening for business it will take some time before the islands are back to their old glory before Irma struck.

That doesn’t mean you can’t go there now. Smaller hotels have reopened, restaurants are serving up their best conch soup and the rum is still flowing. Just check with your travel agent before you book!

#6 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, travel wish listThere are so many good times of year to go to Rio de Janeiro, I can’t decide which one’s the best – New Year’s Eve, Rio Carnival, when its winter in Sydney or really any other time of year since the weather is pretty much always good.

The injection of cash into the economy for Rio 2016 did see a lot of the facilities being upgraded and the city in general got a clean up. Crime is still a bit of an issue, so be careful at night or in non-tourist areas. Stick to tourist areas and don’t wander the streets alone, that includes Copacabana.

Definitely on the list to visit are Copacabana and Ipanema, taking a gondola up to the statue of Christ the Redeemer and experience Rio’s nightlife.

More info on when you should travel to Rio de Janeiro can be found here.

#7 Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Mt Fuji, JapanI’ve always been intrigued by Japan and Japanese culture, but unfortunately haven’t made it to their shores yet. I’m sure it’ll be a bit of a culture shock since I’m pretty outspoken and to the point in my every day dealings.

Tokyo will be a great starting point, but definitely will be taking advantage of the high speed trains to visit other parts of Japan and get away from the hustle of busy city life.

Plus, its only a 9 hour flight from Sydney so it’s practically next door. More info on Tokyo can be found here.

#8 Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, travel wish listOne of the few places in Australia I haven’t been yet. I’ve been talking about it for the better part of 12 years, but haven’t made it yet. Part of the problem is that its not cheap to go there. Flights are oftentimes excruciatingly expensive, I can honestly get cheaper return flights to Hawai’i. Hotels are few so the prices are again not the cheapest.

Don’t go there in our summer, it’s just too hot and the flies are literally everywhere. Best to go in the winter months (July-August) and be ready to get up at the crack of dawn to get that perfect snap of Uluru as the sun rises. Another treat is the Sounds of Silence dinner experience that is a must-do.

Finally, if you ever go there, don’t climb Uluru. It’s disrespectful to the traditional Anangu owners of the land and desecrates a sacred site. Sure, it’s not against the law, yet. From 26 October 2019 it will be banned to climb Uluru. Oh yeah, and stop calling it Ayers Rock.

For travel information on Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park visit their website.

There are plenty of other places I’d like to visit, but lets not be greedy. It’ll be a struggle to go the half of the places in this article. At least I have something to look forward to already in 2019 then.

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