If you really want to make the most of your down time, you can’t be following the herd. This is our Global Playboy selection of the coolest travel destinations for this year.
Bored of Barcelona? Vegas played out? Done Dubai? Well, luckily there are lots of uber cool places waiting for you to rock up this year. Here’s our pick of the best:
1. St Lucia
This jewel in the Caribbean is a proper high roller‘s playground. St Lucia has a lot going on this year with a glut of great festivals to temp visitors. Head for the Soleil Summer Festival in May to get stuck into rum, jazz and soul music. Any time you’re on the island is a great time to explore some of the best diving in the world, and if you’re looking to charter a luxury boat, well, this is the place to do it…
Tropical paradises don’t come much more fun than St Lucia…
Can’t tango? Don’t worry, you can soak up the sizzling vibe in awesome Buenos Aries anyway. Chow down on the finest steaks on the planet, party with super friendly locals and explore this stunning country. From glaciers to jungle, it really does have it all.
South America has long been a draw for backpackers, but with budget flights from Europe starting this year, make a beeline to Buenos Aries before everyone else discovers it.
3. New Zealand
Forget Hobbits and Rings… This secluded nation has tons to offer the adventurer. If you love a bit of party vibe then Queenstown is where you need to go. The adrenalin capital of, well, maybe the world, is a draw for many and is still relatively untouched.
You can also surf world class beaches, mountain bike in secluded mountains, sky dive over literally awesome vistas and if you really just want to relax well, grab some fantastic wine and food and soak up the vibe.
4. Arizona, USA
The southern USA is seeing a bump in tourism and Arizona in particular is drawing in more visitors this year. Why? Well, the scenery is spectacular, of course. But cities like Phoenix are now seeing direct flights from Europe, meaning more curious visitors to the Wild West.
The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend and friendly southern hospitality are all great reasons to come and check out the deep south vibe.
It’s an exciting time for Portugal. The government has been tempting tech startups to relocate and there is now definitely a buzz, almost an anything goes vibe in the whole country. What does this mean for you dear Playboy (or Playgirl)? It means a great party vibe, lots of opportunity for those looking for business and some of the best food and drinks on the planet.
And if you’re looking to get away from dreary Northern Europe, you’ll find sun, surf and sexy people all year round.
6. South Korea
The spotlight may have fallen on the Korean peninsula this year for many wrong reasons, so this is a great time to go. In fact, Korea is rapidly becoming the new Japan. Tech behemoths Samsung, LG and Hyundai continue to dominate and Korean culture in the form of K-Pop and Korean cinema have started to creep into the western psyche.
In this amazing country you’ll find technology side by side with tradition. Head to robot cafes, then trek quiet nature reserves. Plus, this year you’ll find the Winter Olympics in the Pyeongchang resort – so you can even go skiing and boarding.
As a side note, the nightlife is buzzing so make sure you’re wearing your finest…
It’s true, this isn’t the easiest country to get to. But that’s precisely why anyone looking for the next coolest destination should head here… Unique wildlife, exceptional landscapes and some relatively cheap accommodation (of admittedly varying quality) make a trip to Madagascar very rewarding.
There are no package tours or direct flights from Europe, yet… So, if you’re looking for a real wow factor break this might be the best on the list.
8. Andalusia, Spain
No, not the Costas… You’ll need to head to more cultural hotspots like Sevilla or Granada. Even Malaga is having a bit of a renaissance of late. Cool cafes, delicious tapas, stunning architecture and pretty much guaranteed amazing weather mean the cities of Andalusia are waiting for you to get stuck in.
Even at the peak of summer, when most package tourists head to the beaches around Torremolinos and Almeria, you can still find a good deal on hotels in places like Granada.
Check out Moorish era palaces like the Alhambra in Granada, the Alcazar in Seville or Alcazaba in Malaga. By night find cool bars and friendly locals to drink with… Make sure to get practising with your Spanish too!
9. Edinburgh, Scotland
Thanks to budget flights from Europe, Scotland really is becoming more of a must visit destination in this year. The Harry Potter link as well as the upcoming British royal wedding mean the UK is on the radar more than ever. But, London is a bit oversubscribed at the best of times, and Edinburgh has pretty much all the important stuff that London has (palaces, history, culture, pubs, nightlife) plus incredible whisky and access to the great outdoors. Oh and it’s an excellent spot for a stag party.
Hike up Arthurs Seat or amble around Calton Hill before feasting on great food in newly gentrified Leith or the tourist hub of the Old Town. Then, get stuck in to the fantastic and varied nightlife.
The Ghosts of 1994 have been exorcised (well, as far as tourism is concerned anyway) and Rwanda is now one of Africa’s coolest destinations. The main draw is seeing the gorillas in Agakera National Park or Virunga, but you’ll also find affordable safaris, hiking and mountain biking that is second to none on the continent and a very warm welcome from Rwandans themselves.
Nightlife in Kigali, the capital is also a pretty big deal with a host of cool bars and clubs opening regularly. Check out this blog for the lowdown on Kigali’s party scene.
2023’s Coolest Destinations??
If you’re looking for the places that have the biggest buzz in 2018, these are our top picks. Drop us a comment below if you’re heading to any of these or if you’ve been already, we’d love to hear your take on them.
If you’re ready to get out there and explore our coolest destinations this year, check prices on our handy flight widget below.