14 Countries/Territories I’d Like To Visit In 2018

Filed Under: Travel

Yesterday Live and Let’s Fly wrote a post sharing 10 new countries he hopes to visit in 2018, which got me thinking about the places I’d like to visit this year. Much of my travel is motivated by the airlines I fly rather than the destination as such, though when I have a destination in the back of my mind I’m usually able to work some interesting flights around them.

Best of all, in the case of some of the places I want to travel to, there are airlines that I’ve been meaning to review that could take me there.

So in no particular order, here are the countries and territories that I’m hoping to visit in 2018 (along with how I plan on using miles & points, when applicable):

The Seychelles

I really enjoyed Mauritius when I visited a couple of years ago, and I’ve heard that the Seychelles is even more amazing. Ford and I have already booked this trip for a few months from now, and will be flying Air Seychelles in one direction, and Turkish in the other.

Greenland

I had an amazing time when I visited Iceland, and I feel like Greenland is the next logical destination, especially as Air Greenland has an A330 that they fly to Scandinavia. I know it’s not as popular of a tourist destination as Iceland, but that makes it even more appealing to me.

air-greenland

The Faroe Islands

Ford and I have found that we love nature destinations much more than city destinations nowadays, and the Faroe Islands looks incredible. Maybe I can return to Iceland and add on stops in Greenland and the Faroe Islands in one trip.

Tibet

Last spring Ford and I traveled to Bhutan and loved it, so Tibet seems like a destination that’s generally similar. There’s even a St. Regis there, so we can redeem points for the stay.

Rwanda

Aside from northern Africa and South Africa, Africa is the continent that I’ve explored the last. I’ve heard that Rwanda is an incredible country (both in Kigali, the capital, and in the countryside), so it seems easy enough to tie this in with a flight on RwandAir, which has been on my list for a while.

Namibia

Air Namibia is also on my radar, as they fly between Frankfurt and Windhoek. While I’ve heard that Windhoek is an interesting enough city, I know you need to get out of the city to experience what the country has to offer, so I hope to make time for that.

Tanzania

Zanzibar seems like an intriguing island, and there’s a Park Hyatt there where I could redeem points.

Armenia

I have plans to visit Armenia shortly, as part of my Qatar Airways Qsuites itinerary. I wish it weren’t in winter when it’s cold, though I’m sure I’ll still have a great time. I love Armenian food, and have always been intrigued by the culture (and it has nothing to do with the Kardashians).

Georgia

Ever since Georgia put out a promotional video celebrating their six millionth tourist, the country has been on my bucket list. I’ve also heard great things about Georgia, so hope to visit it this summer.

Lebanon

I’ve been to most major accessible cities in the Middle East, though Beirut is a notable exception. I’ve heard it’s one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in the region, and I also love Lebanese food.

Estonia, Latvia, and Belarus

I know these are all distinct countries with their own charm, but I’m putting them together because I’d like to knock them out in one trip. In particular, I’ve heard that Minsk, Belarus, is like a blast from the past, so I’m probably most interested in that.

Macedonia

I don’t know why I’m so interested in Macedonia. Maybe it’s the years of commercials on CNN International encouraging people to “invest in Macedonia.” But it has been on my radar, and continues to be, and I hope to make it this year. I was booked to go there with my dad a few months back, but due to hurricanes in Florida we had to cancel our trip. From Skopje it’s also easy to make a day trip to Kosovo, which I’d love to do.

Bottom line

While I can’t guarantee I’ll make it to all of the above places next year, I think it’s always good to write down travel goals. To be realistic I hope to make it to at least half of the above destinations this year, though maybe I’ll be able to do better than that.

What’s on your 2018 travel bucket list?

Comments
  1. If you’re gonna hit Tanzania I would absolutely go up to Arusha and do a few days at the Serengeti.

  2. If you go to the Faroes don’t bother flying SAS. Legroom and service much better on Atlantic Airways. And sit on the right for arrival.

  3. I booked a trip to the Faroe Islands for early April. The scenery and food look amazing. Booked atlantic airways there (flight from Edinburgh) and SAS back to Copenhagen.

  4. Check out Selous in Tanzania. It is like the undiscovered Serengeti. Serengeti – you see a lion, and 15 other vehicles. Selous – you see a lion, and 0 vehicles.

    Also, I think the PH Zanzibar is the nicest PH design wise I have ever stayed in, especially the common areas. I wouldn’t spend more than a few days in Stone Town before heading to Kilindi though!!

  5. Timor Leste, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Uruguay, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad & Tobago, Andorra, Liberia, Cameroon, Algeria, Western Samoa, Swaziland, and Bolivia planned and booked for this year.

  6. Nice lucky. Hope you will get out of the westernized experience bubble when you visit these countries.

  7. All great picks Ben; never been to Greenland (I’ve heard it’s not as dramatic or engaging as Iceland) but from the rest of your list my favourites are Lebanon, Tibet, Seychelles and the Faroe’s.

  8. QR to Zanzibar. EY to Minsk. Iraqi Airways and Iran Air J/F. MEA to Beirut.
    Kuwait F, Oman F, TAAG F.

  9. My Brother-in-law lives in the UAE and does some pretty awesome trips. They recently saw the Mt Gorillas in Rwanda and he’s headed to Georgia in the next month or two on a ski trip. A couple of years ago they went to Mada’in Saleh, I’m excited to try for a Saudi Visa this year (my wife lived in Jeddah as a teen).

    Bucket list (most likely won’t happen this year):
    Saudi Arabia
    Oman
    Iceland
    My Grandparents’ hometown in the Dolomites

  10. My 2018 travel bucket list has 1 major item…North Dakota. It’s the last US state that I have left, and I made a goal to visit all 50 before I turn 35 in December 2018. I’m also planning 2 trips to Arizona and 1 to Utah for family events, a Toronto/Niagara Falls trip in late August, and I’m hoping to go to Iceland for my 35th birthday with my best friend.

    Greenland looks beautiful, from what I’ve seen en route from Europe!

  11. “Aside from northern Africa and South Africa, Africa is the continent that I’ve explored the last”

    Um…huh?

  12. @Debit That’s a good point. When traveling to developing countries, I think it’s nice to take a break from such lavish accomodations. Im not saying to stay in a slum, but to stay in close proximity to where locals live to get a true sense of the community and culture because that’s where you’ll often find the most amazing people and best local cuisine.

  13. Ditto on Georgia. I’ve got a friend that moved their recently, and he raves about the place. I had a lot of Georgian colleagues (oddly) when I worked in The Netherlands, and they’re incredibly warm, hospitable people, and the natural beauty of the country is stunning.

  14. If going north europe u can’t absolutely miss Lithuania, Vinius capital, Kaunas are so charming cities with many historical places and church and green everywhere, country of forests, also on baltic sea a place to be is sand dunes of Nida, best time spring or end summer.
    Keep it on note;)

  15. Beirut wont dissapoint you and our food is one of the best worldwide,just make sure no Israeli stamp on your passport or you will be detained,questioned,expelled.

  16. I know it’s not your normal thing, but the best way to get to or from the Faroe Islands is by ferry!
    http://www.smyrilline.com/ connects Iceland and Denmark to the islands and is well worth it – would love to see what you made of an overnight ferry crossing for a change!

  17. I had no idea until considering your list that belarus implemented visa-free travel (trips <5 days). That certainly would be a fascinating destination. (fyi – you probably know this, but you have to stay with an organized tour in Tibet)

  18. I really hope you get the chance to visit my homeland of Belarus! It’s an amazing place. I no longer live there, but return often, and would be happy to give suggestions on what to see. (If you can find a driver or transport, getting out of Minsk to see some castles can also be a great experience, or the wilderness preserve in southwest Belarus). Hit me up!

  19. Hey Lucky, this is my first reply to your awesome posts. I am from Lebanon living in the US. I saw that you wish to visit Lebanon soon. You certainly should as its a great country and vibrant like you said. Email me @ [email protected] if you’d like before you head over there and I will give you some good tips 🙂

  20. Georgia is great – Atlanta obviously is a nice city if you can avoid an airport meltdown; lots of great museums and restaurants. Savannah’s great, of course, especially in spring and summer. You should try Thomasville, actually, for a little change of pace, it’s smaller and – wait, what? Oh, there’s a COUNTRY called Georgia? Ah, well, NEVER MIND!

  21. Its been great to read previous posters replies and so Ben heres my 10 cents worth to add to the mix…
    If you do get out to Namibia which has THE biggest wilderness area in the world you will delight in the searing sands of the Namib desert…breathtaking in its isolation.This wind blown sand creates mammoth dunes some of their crests reaching hundreds of metres (Dune 45). With no pollution you can sleep out under the stars and take in the Milky Way with shooting stars. It is without a doubt one of the most special places in the world I have ever stayed
    Fly into Walvis Bay stay in Swakopmund and drive the 6/8 hours to a lodge to witness the sunrise/sunset over the dunes.Email me for any additional info (Im not a T.A. )

  22. The city is very interesting with European and African influences, but it’s not worth visiting the country just to visit the capital. You must visit the dunes. Dont’ underestimate the size of the country either. The distance from Point A and B is vast, so you would need more than just a couple days to travel in Namibia to get your money and travel time’s worth. Consider Fish River Canyon as well since it is the second largest canyon in the world!

    For visiting the dunes, forget Dune 45, which is rather small. Instead, visit the even higher dune of Big Daddy, which is connected to Deadvlei, a dried up wetland with dead black trees that offer a surreal and almost spooky environment. Both Dune 45 and Big Daddy are in Sesreim, but if I were to pick between the two dunes, Big Daddy is way better.

  23. Completely agree with previous poster Kendall suggesting the selous reserve in Tanzania … went to sand rivers lodge there (and in Ruaha) for part of our honeymoon in September and loved it. Truly a magical place and the safari camps run by Nomad Tanzania are top notch.

  24. Lucky, when are we going to get you to visit The Philippines? We are the friendliest people in the world! Beware though, NAIA doesn’t have very superlative lounges, and most carriers don’t send their best cabins/metal to MNL, but it’s a very quick hop from other gateways like TPE or HKG anyhow.

  25. If in Tanzania, why not go to the Serengeti? You can take a small plane from Zanzibar to the Serengeti.

  26. Hi Lucky: you have some interesting places on your list. Since you are so generous with your travel knowledge, I hope it’s ok to share some of my experiences and make suggestions.

    Yes, the Seychelles are, indeed, a beautiful group of islands. Don’t just stay on Victoria (the island where international flights arrive and depart). Go to Praslin and La Digue – that’s where the beauty is. Sort of like going to the Society Islands. You wouldn’t see only Tahiti (and its capital Papeete), which is probably the worst of all the islands there. You’d go to the beautiful islands, like Bora Bora.

    I thought Zanzibar was just ok. Stone Town was sort of interesting and can be explored in about four hours. If you make it to the mainland of Tanzania, the national game parks, like the Serengeti, are phenomenal. The Ngorongoro crater with its wildlife should not be missed.

    Lebanon is surprisingly pretty. Beirut sits on the Mediterranean sea and feels a bit European. Make sure you take a day trip to see the ruins in Baalbek. I felt perfectly safe in Beirut.

    I visited Armenia and Georgia just over a year ago. I did not like Yerevan or the food. I did find the Armenian countryside and its churches picturesque.
    Georgia, on the other hand, was a gem. The capital Tbilisi is gorgeous. The city has a river running through it and hills and it’s really scenic. Lots of old historical things to see and new ones too.

    Happy travels and I look forward to hearing your views on these places.

  27. You absolutely have to do more in Tanzania than just Zanzibar. If you go, make sure you go to Lake Tanganyika! It is quite possibly the most beautiful body of water in the whole of Africa!

  28. Just came back from Beirut. The party scene there is crazy and the food tops all Lebanese food outside of Lebanon. Enjoyed every moment and typing this while savouring thyme mash with olive oil I brought back alongside fantastic Lebanese white wine.

  29. Lucky I highly recommend you visit Namibia and if Possible see the salt pans when we went there for a TV program it was absolutely spectacular

  30. It would be a shame if you went to Tanzania and only stayed in a luxury hotel in Zanzibar

    Selous , Serengeti, and Mt Kilimanjaro are wonders of the world

    Go on Safari somewhere
    Visit a village
    Climb a mountain
    Lay outside and look at the stars

    Anybody else, I’d tell them to have a blast in Zanzibar
    But you’ve traveled to countless paradise islands in your life..
    And you and Ford have found how awesome nature can be

    Nothing is more nature than Tanzania

  31. Greece. Like seriously it’s awesome. Oh and Aegean is easily top 5 European airlines for short-haul with their service/low price combo

  32. As for Zanzibar, Park Hyatt is a great launching point for exploring Stone Town but by no means is that the spot for the idylic beaches you’ll find on the east (and northeast) parts of the island.

    Transportation on the island is a lot slower than you’d think looking at distances (TIA), so you’d probably be best served doing 1-2 nights at the Park Hyatt and then any other beach hotel on the east coast for another few days of R&R.

  33. I agree with the Faroe Islands and Namibia on the list. If I had to add some more that are off the beaten path, they might be:

    Bolivia
    Paraguay
    Uruguay
    St. Helena (hey Lucky, why not fly to this new airport! Or tell us how to do it)
    Lesotho
    Zambia
    Oman
    Tonga
    Jersey

  34. I absolutely loved the Faroe Islands, just rent a car and drive all over, it’s got stunning scenery! Here’s my trip report.

    http://milestravelingteacher.com/the-most-beautiful-place-youve-never-heard-of/

    I went to Rwanda this past summer and loved the people. Be sure to look into gorilla trekking, which must be booked in advance. I wasn’t too excited about it, but it was amazing to see the gorillas in their natural habitat. Here’s another trip report.

    http://milestravelingteacher.com/gorilla-trekking-rwanda/

  35. I’m originally from Macedonia (have lived in Melbourne Australia most of my life). Let me know if you need any tips!!

  36. Hi Lucky,

    I am delighted to learn that all those investment promotions ads I took out on CNN for Macedonia left an imprint in your mind. I have been to Macedonia well over 100 times and I will be back there from 25-31 January. See our tourism portal at! http://Www.exploringmacedonia.com

    Please let me know if you need more information. Even though our email addresses do not get printed with our comments, I am sure you have access to it.

  37. If your in Namibia, you have to visit the sand dunes and Sossusvlei, I was there this past summer and it was amazing, same goes for Tanzania and Rwanda, please don’t just stay in the cities in these amazing countries.

  38. This is the forum where we all share knowledge and dispense tips and advice. Why not post yours for all of us to read instead of asking Lucky to personally and directly contact you? I’d appreciate the former, especially when you recommend a specific guide or tour guide that provide services in host countries. I cannot wait to know how Lucky will obtain Chinese visa with an intent to visit Tibet. China and Russia are hyper sensitive to white male tourists from western countries visiting their country with intention to promote civil and human rights and religion freedom.

  39. Oh dear.

    Going to Tibet to stay in St. Regis – a true classic experience to get the feel of the country. You’re getting more and more pathetic, Benjamin.

  40. @pushslice
    I disagree, I’ve had far better experiences with Kiwis around the world. And clearly humility isn’t a strong suit for Filipinos.
    @Abdel
    Found Beirut to be way overrated.

  41. I have spent my entire working life in the Middle East, Africa and S.E. Asia so am fortunate in having enjoyed some pretty amazing travel experiences. Iran is an incredibly interesting and beautiful country but my most fascinating and worthwhile trip was to Yemen. Nothing can compare to the ancient walled city of Shibam as well as the country’s many other UNESCO World Heritage Sites and it’s unique natural beauty (including the amazing dragon trees growing on the Socotra archipelego). Of course, Yemen and it’s desperately poor but hospitable people, is currently being bombed mercilessly by it’s neighbours whilst the west turns a blind eye. As well as the subsequent and unforgivable humanitarian disaster that has been created, the widespread destruction is robbing us all of some of the most rare and precious sights on the planet.

  42. Lucky please dont overlook algeria.
    I was in algeria october and it was truly one of the best holidays ive ever experienced. The food,people, roman ruins, natural beauty, sahara and the kasbah in algiers.
    It was very safe and everyone we met hospitable, so please dont forget aljezaa.

  43. Went to Georgia last summer and absolutely LOVED it! Incredible country. Amazing food, super friendly people, unique history, and surprisingly safe.

    Let me know if you want some recommendations (or a list of dishes to try)

  44. Have you done UA154 (aka The Island Hopper)?
    It’s definitely worth the trip even in economy. A stopover in Chuuk or Pohnpei (home Nan Madol) would be amazing.

  45. Faroe Islands – would love to see you review the ferry service (from either Denmark or Iceland); might be out of your comfort zone but would be great adventure

    Yerevan – I loved the city and given your travel style, it’s easy access outside of city to really nice places

    Namibia – on the other hand, so so much more than Windhoek; I sent 2 weeks exploring and didn’t see everything I wanted to. Not sure it fits your style absent reviewing Air Namibia

  46. If you’re going to the Faroe Islands, you could try Atlantic Airways’ A320s, and if you’re going to Georgia you could try Georgian Airways’ B737 LGW-TBS route. Also, if you’re flyng to Greenland, PLEASE try the Air Greenland A330, that looks like an amazing trip review!

    One other idea: if you’ve got a spare week somewhere, why not take $150 to Europe and see how far that will take you on Ryanair. I reckon that you could visit 10 different countries in a week with that money, and I would be very interested to hear what you make of the legendary Ryanair experience…

  47. I would be careful with Kosovo visit – that place is still very raw, and you will get widely different treatment based solely on the language you are speaking… it is just still too fresh in memory, and many people will paint you pro/con based on the passport you are holding. Besides, Kosovo is hardly romantic hidden gem that some not-so-sincere bloggers are trying to paint it – it is about as cool and as romantic as Casablanca is in “Play it again, Sam” legacy.

    For Macedonia, Skopje itself has lively and colorful main street and plenty of history to see – you will not be bored and don’t have to venture far. I know you probably suffer from history overload after Jerusalem, but day-trip to Stobi could be rewarding – all the history like Pompeii, minus any crowds. For nature treck, Ohrid lake was (and is) considered “pearl of Macedonia”, especially if you go to Ohrid itself (not Struma) and find someone to show you the path to Ohrid source. Not too many formal hiking trails, but breathtaking nature abounds. Provided you go during summer months – all surrounding mountains can make this very chilly endeavor in fall/winter.

  48. I agree with Marija and I think you should skip Kosovo for the time being. But what I think would be interesting for you is Croatia. As far as per your website you have not been there, and I am sure you would find Croatia Airlines… interesting. And you can fly from Zagreb to Skopje too.

  49. Im from Latvia, and you should take airBaltic, since I see some business class passengers get pajamas on the 2 hour flight from London. The economy is not bad and business class is their standard intra-European business class. Business class from London is about 1000 GBP!

  50. @Jason Tibet is a self-governing autonomous region of China, which invaded it in 1720, and has been governing it until it broke away (with British support via British India) briefly for < 50 years around 1900-1950, before the present Chinese government liberated Tibet. In contrast, Europeans invaded (com’on, it’s no “colonization”) and founded the present USA.

    I personally feel that the Chinese government should leave Tibet and allow its independence, once the “Europeans” relinguish its control over USA (and Canada) and return North America back to the Native Americans. After all, North America was inavded and occupied for roughly about the same time as Tibet was invaded and occupied by the Chinese. If the “Europeans” can all leave North American and return back to Europe, surely the non-tibetan Chinese people can leave Tibet and return back to other parts of China!

  51. Acutally, there is a big (huge, in fact!) difference between Tibet and North America. Tibet is currently mostly inhabited by native Tibetans, and there are loads of native Tibetans who protest against China, in various US and European cities, almost every week / months. Where are all the native Americans now? Still the majority of the population in USA? Still able to stage meaningful protests against US government?

    The “mistake” of China with regard to Tibet, is that it did not do to the native Tibetans, what USA did to the Native Americans! If it had, there will be no tibet problem today, just as there are now no Native American problems in USA. So, I can understand why Americans and Europeans are lecturing about China now. If only China had received and listened to their “lectures”, back in the 1700s, today, tibet would have been as peaceful as the whole of North America.

  52. No love for South America?

    -Uruguay
    -Argentina
    -Patagonia
    -Brazil (more than just Rio or Sao Paulo), maybe Fortaleza with Joon?

    Also, what about Greece?

  53. @Lucky – if you are planning a trip to Tibet this year you should initiate the process ASAP, since all non Chinese citizens are required to hold a Tibet Travel Permit issued by the local Public Security Bureau. Last I heard it could take months to get permission, not to mention the undisclosed quota every calendar year. Also you need to either be in a group or a local guide who must accompany you 24/7.

  54. @ Lucky @ TC – Regarding Tibet, the permit has to be applied for very near your travel time. Also, recently they are not allowing visitors, so hopefully this will change soon. The Chinese government goes between allowing and not allowing visitors there for various reasons. Furthermore, if you end up going, I would suggest the train from Chengdu due to the views. On another point, I don’t see the value for redeeming points for that St. Regis. It’s only about 1,000 RMB per night or about $150, so I would save the points for redeeming for something more worthwhile. Please let me know with specific questions.

  55. If you do Lebanon (which you really should as it’s one of my favorite countries), you should definitely fly MEA. They’ve recently renovated some of their A330s to have better and updated business class seats, but economy legroom is greater on their A320s.

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