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Top international travel trends and destinations in 2018

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Jan 11, 2018, 12:12 PM | Updated: Jan 29, 2018, 12:59 pm

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The year 2017 is in the history books, and according to experts, travelers are looking forward to 2018 as a time to finally check international destinations off their bucket lists.

Travelers are looking to be energized and recharged by disconnecting from technology, work and everyday life. According to American Express, as travelers venture out to new destinations and international favorites they want to be pampered and comfortable through deluxe dining options, spa services, airline seat upgrades, airport lounges and room upgrades.

Many airports are accommodating by providing better dining options for families and foodies alike, while some even have spa services for a pre- or post-flight massage.

The survey also states an increased interest in cultural discovery, personal connections and inspiring destinations.

Whether you are looking to explore something new in an old city or click reset with a relaxing vacation, here are some of the top 2018 travel trends and destinations that can fill almost every need.

Classic European favorites with a new twist

It’s no surprise that year after year, Paris and London both land top 10 travel lists and continue to increase in popularity. According to Forbes, bookings for the home of Queen Elizabeth and the City of Lights have increased 55 percent from 2016. Even visiting the popular destinations can have a fresh feel when you experience them with fresh eyes.

Art lovers and history buffs can discover Paris in a new way by hiring personal ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour guides of the city and museums. Learn about the Knight Templars in Paris or plan your trip from March-June to visit the Musée d’Orsay, where Le paysage mystiques de Monet à Kandinsky will boast works from Monet, Gauguin, Gustave Klimt, Emily Carr, and many more.

If you’re up for an all night art adventure, plan your trip around the Paris Museum Night, where you can enjoy free passes for more than 150 museums in Paris. It’s basically like having free rein to run around some of the best museums in the world without having to pay a dime.

Even London feels like a new place to discover with Ye Old Tours of London’s Hidden Pubs and Underground Film Clubs and rooftop viewing parties.

Now it will be even easier to get there. And in 2018, several airlines are adding more flights throughout Europe. Film, foodies and art lovers will appreciate quick, daily nonstop flights to London with easy connections to other European destinations from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

To really travel in comfort, leave some time before departure for a relaxing massage in one of the new Xpress Spa locations before you step on the plane. You’ll be rested and ready to take on your new adventures when you arrive.

New adventures

Looking for somewhere new to explore? Portugal continues to see increased popularity for its beaches, history, vibrant cities and exotic islands. Be a trendsetter: travel to Lisbon in the south (a top stop for Airbnb travelers in 2017) for medieval towers and castles and Porto in the north for rivers, vineyards and wineries.

Tel Aviv also tops several 2018 travel lists, a modern, vibrant city and an increasingly desirable destination for beaches, art and food. For easy access, consider a nonstop flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor to Frankfurt with connections to Tel Aviv or any other European or Asian adventure.

Asian encounter

Speaking of Asia, with the 2018 Winter Olympics just around the corner, South Korea has burst to the top of several travel lists. Gangneung, the city that will host all the Olympic ice events, has claimed the No. 1 spot on Airbnb’s Trending Destinations list. Besides catching some speed and figure skating, other Gangneung activities include museums, historic sites, festivals and a decent bar scene.

Canada

Looking to practice your French without leaving the continent? Check into a nonstop flight to Montreal, Canada, easily considered Canada’s cultural capital with festivals, food and arts. Foodies won’t want to miss La Poutine Week in February and music lovers will flock to Osheaga, Canada’s largest music festival, in August.

Sky Harbor also offers nonstop flights to nine other Canadian destinations, including Edmonton and Toronto. An urban destination in its own right, Edmonton is also popular for its easy access to national parks and the Canadian wilderness.

Mexico

If you’re looking for a rich cultural experience mixed with shorelines of beautiful beaches, book a direct flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor to Mazatlan, Mexico. According to a recent Forbes article, this international destination has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down.

Daily nonstop flights to a variety of Mexican destinations such as Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and more make it easy to find the perfect beach vacation with a bit of cultural flair.

So, whether your adventures take you north of the border, across the pond, or to a beach vacation in the south, make 2018 a year of epic adventures that create memories of a lifetime.

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Top international travel trends and destinations in 2018