Travel future

Travel plans for 2018

Travel plans for 2018 On the Luce

2017 was a pretty epic travel year for me, with 24 trips to 10 countries. But although I visited plenty of amazing places, when I look back at my travel plans post this time last year, it turns out not many of them were actually on it! New York and the Cinque Terre were big ticks, but the Northern Lights and the Scottish islands didn’t happen. Instead I ended up visiting places I never expected – Prince Edward Island, the Swiss mountains, Salzburg, Bulgaria… But I’m not going to let that stop me from making plans for 2018 (everyone needs something to daydream of to get them through January, right?). So here’s my wishlist for the next 12 months – and as ever they’re ranked in order from the already booked to the fingers crossed.

Read more: On the Luce in 2017: The travel review

Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe – a French island in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles – was on my travel plans list for 2017. And although I didn’t quite make it, I wasn’t too far off as it’s going to be my first trip of 2018 in less than two weeks’ time. Sandy beaches, lush jungle, mountains, rum punch and, er, croissants – what’s not to like? But with 7000 Caribbean islands to choose from, why Guadeloupe? Well it’s all because of a TV series called Death in Paradise. It’s a fixture on British TV in the winter, with a hapless detective trying to solve crimes in the midst of this gorgeous tropical scenery. The new series has just started, so we’ll be recreating it on location (hopefully without the murders…), spending 10 days on the island split between the beachside village of Sainte-Anne and a jungle cabin in the hills of Basse-Terre. Bring on the sunshine!

Guadeloupe, French Caribbean

Gorgeous Guadeloupe

Krakow

Also already booked for March is a long weekend in Krakow. Although I’ve explored a lot of southern and western Europe, I’ve still got a lot to see in the north and east. So I’m starting off with a first trip to Poland. I’ve seen so many gorgeous photos of Krakow that it was top of the list (the fact that we got an amazing AirBnB apartment for £12 a night each was a big bonus too!). On the agenda so far are lots of exploring of the medieval old town, a first taste of Polish food and a trip out to visit Auschwitz. Then from there I’m taking suggestions of the best cities in eastern Europe to try next – Bratislava? Brasov? Mostar?

Krakow, Poland

Krakow’s old town

The Faroe Islands

There are always trends in travel blogging destinations – one year everyone seemed to be in Jordan, the next it was Iceland, but my prediction for the next big thing is the Faroe Islands. Set in the middle of the North Atlantic, they have this incredible scenery – like Norway meets Iceland meets New Zealand – great walking, unspoilt old towns and 22 hours of sunlight in summer, but are less than two hours’ flight time from Edinburgh. And even better there are puffins! They have to be my favourite bird, but I’ve never seen them in real life. So that’s a perfect excuse to explore some of the 18 Faroe Islands (and if I don’t manage to find any puffins, then I’ll have to search them out a bit closer to home in Scotland instead).

Puffins in Scotland

How cute are these guys?

Baltics and Russia cruise

Looking back at my old travel plans, there are a few destinations which got away – Sweden, Finland and Latvia were all on the cards at some point but didn’t quite happen. So I’m hoping this is the year I get to put that right, as well as exploring Russia without having to pay the hefty visa fee. After becoming unexpected cruise converts in the Med a few years back (despite not really liking boats all that much), my mum and I have been wanting to do another cruise, so the plan is to take a trip around the Baltics, Scandinavia and Russia. Having tried out three cruise lines now, Celebrity is definitely my favourite, but they’re not cheap, so I’ll be stalking special offers and cruise hacking forums to try and make this one happen.

St Petersburg, Russia

St Petersburg from the water

The Dolomites

I absolutely loved my trip to the Swiss mountains last autumn, but the only problem was that I kept seeing all these enticing mountain paths and didn’t have time to explore any of them. Much as I love skiing and spending winter evenings cosied up by a log fire surrounded by snow, I think I might prefer the mountains in summer now. The scenery is just as amazing but it’s usually much quieter and cheaper to visit. One mountain region I’ve always wanted to visit is the Dolomites. Beautiful scenery, Italian food and plenty of prosecco – plus I can get there by train and make it into another mini European rail trip too.

Dolomites mountains, Italy

Dolomite peaks

A big birthday trip

This year is a big birthday – yep one of those ones with a nought on the end – so I’m going to need a big birthday trip to get over it! It gives me the perfect excuse to splash out and finally get around to doing one of my big wishlist trips. But the problem is deciding which one. After loving South Africa I’m keen to see more of the continent and do another safari, so Namibia and Botswana are on the shortlist. I’ve always wanted to see more of Japan too after spending a couple of days in Tokyo on a stopover. Or Belize and Guatemala with their beaches and Mayan temples have been on my wishlist for longer than anywhere else. So who knows where I’ll end up (I suspect the final say might come down to what flight deals are around!).

Namibia sand dunes

Namibia’s unique scenery

So those are my 2018 travel plans so far. How about you, where do you hope to visit over the next 12 months? Or do you have any tips for any of the destinations I’m hoping to visit?

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    Victoria
    January 11, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    I absolutely loved Krakow! Poland was one of my favorite countries during my most recent eastern Europe trip. There’s just SO much history and culture. If you haven’t been, Auschwitz is pretty cool/depressing. I went during peak time during the summer so that took away much of the reflection time, but if you go during a slower month it will probably be more impactful for you. The food scene is Krakow was surprisingly amazing compared to other places I’ve been, so try to get on a food tour so you can try a little bit of everything!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 15, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      Really excited about this trip now! Food tour is a great idea – such a good way to discover some local delicacies and places to eat. We’ll definitely visit Auschwitz too, it’s one of those places that has to be experienced once I think.

  • Reply
    Emily-Ann/The Grown Up Gap Year
    January 13, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Sounds like an exciting year ahead, especially with your big birthday trip coming up! Looking forward to seeing where you end up going

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 15, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you! Yes always good to have an excuse for a big trip, though I’m having a bit of trouble getting my ambitions to match up with my budget!

  • Reply
    MummyTravels
    January 13, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Love this list – and the fact that your year ended up a bit like mine with lots of unexpected trips. Guadeloupe sounds gorgeous too and the Faroe islands are definitely starting to pop up on lots of lists. Looking forward to reading about your adventures.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 15, 2018 at 11:06 pm

      Love having a few travel wildcards thrown in – keeps it exciting! Fingers crossed I will make it to the Faroes though – and can;t wait for some Caribbean sun. Hope you have a fantastic year too.

  • Reply
    Dace
    January 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Hi, Lucy!
    I hope you will be able to come to Latvia – my country. 🙂
    Great to know that Baltics are on your next destination plans.

    • Reply
      Kay S Dennis
      January 15, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      Lucy, I heartily endorse Dace’s suggestion on Latvia! I have visited six times, as a result of my Fulbright Scholarship to live and teach at the university in Liepaja, a beautiful western coastal city. Also Riga is stunning, and easy to manage, while small towns like Tukums and Kuldiga beg to be explored. And don’t miss Turaida and Cesis. Latvia will capture your heart. You must sample the delicious medus kūka, or honey cake!

      • Reply
        Lucy
        January 15, 2018 at 11:10 pm

        Thanks for all the great tips, sounds like I have a lot to see in Latvia – fingers crossed I can make it out there soon!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 15, 2018 at 11:07 pm

      I definitely will – I was so close to making it for a wedding a few years ago but was too ill to travel, so I need to make up for it!

  • Reply
    Anne
    January 13, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    This is such a great list. I’ve got the Faroe Islands on my wish list for this year along with Greenland. And I love Death in Paradise so Guadeloupe would be great too. And Krakow – that’s been on my list for so long. Can I suggest if you really want to see puffins close up you also add Shetland? At Hermanesss in the far north or Sumburgh in the far south all you have to do is sit and they’ll be flying in to land and popping up out of their burrows all around you.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 15, 2018 at 11:08 pm

      Greenland would be amazing too! Thanks for the tip about Shetland – I visited the Outer Hebrides a couple of years ago and have been meaning to visit some more Scottish islands since. I love the Shetland TV series so that’s another TV location one – and puffins would be a huge bonus!

  • Reply
    Vlad
    January 15, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Sounds like you already have some amazing trips planned for this year, I’d love to go on all of them. Btw, you should definitely go to Brasov after Krakow 😉

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      I think I might have to! Should be a good year if it all works out – look forward to seeing where 2018 takes you too.

  • Reply
    Tanja/the Red Phone Box Travels
    January 16, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I see Croatian money in the photo but no plans for a visit to Croatia?

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 16, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Funnily enough I was so close to booking a trip to Croatia last week – I saw some really good flight deals but couldn’t quite get the dates to work. I’m hoping to do a coast/villa trip with my in-laws later this year through so it might still happen!

  • Reply
    aeparker81
    January 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    I would love to go to the Faroe islands too! We’ve been to the edge of the Dolomites – any mountain range with a local brand of fizz gets my vote!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Mountains and fizz are a pretty good combination!

  • Reply
    Sarah P
    January 17, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    I visited the Faroe Islands in the mid 2000s and enjoyed it. It has really dramatic scenery much like Iceland, and some gorgeous old style houses with grass on the roof. The puffins are super cute, and I recommend a boat trip to see the bird cliffs. They have lovely Scandi style knitwear, and I bought my favourite winter coat there (a brand called Sirri http://sirri.fo/home.html). One warning, though: some of the tunnels between islands have no lights inside and it’s nervewracking to drive through narrow tunnels that are so dark.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 18, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks for the tips (the knitwear sounds fab) – really excited about finally making it out there, though will definitely be careful in the tunnels!

  • Reply
    Kathryn Burrington
    January 21, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    So many things to look forward to and I agree half the fun is daydreaming about places even if you don’t manage to get to them all. I’m really looking forward to hearing about your trip to Guadeloupe. Sounds fabulous! And I also agree the Faroe Islands should be on everyone’s wish list! Would love to visit there one day and even more so now I’ve read your description ‘Norway meets Iceland meets New Zealand’. Yes, please!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 24, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      I’ve seen so many amazing photos of the Faroes that I just have to get out there now so fingers crossed! And here’s to a great travel year for you too.

  • Reply
    wasabi honey bee
    January 21, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Just found your blog. Looks like a fun read and I love the pictures! Cheers!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 24, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    alison abbott
    January 21, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    My list is always ever growing as well. The Faroe Islands are way up there near the top. I’ve read so much and seen quite a few videos. It just looks so magical and I want to get there of course before every else does! Good luck with ticking off your list-it’s made me green with renvy!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      Fingers crossed it all works out – especially the Faroes!

  • Reply
    Sara @ Travel Continuum
    January 21, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Ohhh…you’ve made my head fizz with enthusiasm…what a list! I loved Krakow, and I echo the recommendation for Brasov too, although Bratislava is also pretty and has the best chocolate shop/hot chocolate cafe ever – if only I could remember its name..! As for the birthday list, yeah…ANY of those, but I’d go for Namibia for myself, and the NamibRand Nature Reserve – it’s the only Dark Sky Reserve on the African continent, so far!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 24, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      I think Namibia is edging into the lead for me now too – we’ve just got some Air France vouchers after flight delays on our way to Guadeloupe so that’ll help!

  • Reply
    Emily Ray
    January 24, 2018 at 11:07 am

    I’m so excited for all your upcoming trips! Every single one sounds incredible, so I can already tell 2018 is going to be a fab year for you!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 24, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      Ah thank you – really hoping I can make them all happen (or if not then that something just as exciting will emerge!). have a fab year too.

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 25, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Love your list. And I’m with you on the puffins—cutest bird ever. I’m still formulating plans for this year, but Guadaloupe is on my maybe list. Yep, I watched Death in Paradise too, and the beach just kept calling to me. Can’t wait to see your pics!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 2, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      So cute aren’t they. Guadeloupe was fab – look out for lots of pics coming soon!

  • Reply
    Penny
    February 5, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Krakow!

    You must try the beetroot and dumpling soup! So good! Urban adventures have a little day tour that takes you to a lovely restaurant serving up the goods! Highly recommend.

    If you’re into it, there is a few 1 euro shot bars but the best is not too far from the main markets! And it can be very dangerous as they taste amazing.

    Other eastern europe cities, stopped in bratislava and walked through the streets which was nice!

    If you havn’t already, add Budapest to your list!

    And if you have time, head up to Warsaw and stop by old town. Such a beautiful little marketplace now filled with a ton of cute little resturants serving up pierogi!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 8, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Thanks for the tips – sounds great. I’ve been to Budapest years ago but in the depths of winter so it’d be nice to see it when I’m not freezing, and Warsaw is one for the list too!

  • Reply
    Freedom Chasers
    February 9, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Sounds like a year full of adventure! I love that everywhere you are looking to visit are so unique. I’ve heard amazing things about Krakow, I can’t wait to hear about it.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 13, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks so much – only a month to go now and can’t wait!

  • Reply
    Mónica
    February 11, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    This is a really nice and ambitious travel plan! 🙂 Hopefully you will make it. I live in Helsinki and I would recommend you to do your trip to Scandinavia, Finland and Russia during summer time (May – September). This is because during summer, the days are very long, especially in June when there is almost no night time. It feels like you have a lot of time to do and see a lot. Helsinki is a really nice city. I haven’t done the cruise from Helsinki to St. Petersburg, but I have done a cruise to Stockholm and I can tell you that entering in Stockholm by boat during a summer sunny day is really beautful, the views are stunning. Everything is very green and lush. Good luck with your travels!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 13, 2018 at 8:07 pm

      Good to have something to aim for! Hopefully I can make it out to Helsinki this summer as sounds lovely.

  • Reply
    Bethan Greenhalgh
    February 12, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Wow they sounds like such and incredible trips!! A great 2018 coming up for you!
    I have been to Krakow and absolutely loved it! Really looking forward to seeing your trip to Guadeloupe

    Have an amazing year!!
    Bethan xx

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 13, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks Bethan, Guadeloupe was amazing – lots of posts and pics coming up – and really looking forward to Krakow, will definitely be a bit of a contrast! Have a great year too x

  • Reply
    marat
    February 14, 2018 at 9:10 am

    I have a plan to travel to Iceland, Scotland and the Dolomites and the Faroe Islands from your list too.

  • Reply
    Becky and Mike Drakeford
    February 17, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    A great plan! Finland is an amazing place as I spent 3 months here as a student. Helsinki is beautiful along with Lapland. Plenty of beautiful lakes. I also did a few days in Riga which was amazing and loved walking and getting lost in the cobbled streets.
    St Petersburg with its winter Palace and mind blowing Museums. Make sure you catch a ballet and not drink all the vodka, I did and don’t remember much of the trip.

    Our plans for this year are Toronto, Niagara Falls, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland, Dublin, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia and a Caribbean Crusie. Fingers crossed we tick them all off.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 22, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      So much to see! All sounds brilliant – as do your travel plans for the year (I’ve actually got a Niagara post coming up soon!), hope you manage to tick them all off.

  • Reply
    Beatrice
    February 23, 2018 at 1:06 am

    That’s the ultimate list! This year I’m trying to cover South East Asia 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy
      February 25, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      Sounds great! I travelled a lot in southeast Asia about 15 years ago and loved it, so much to see and do.

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