10 Travel Goals That Will Make 2018 The Best Year Ever
Posted by Lexi Herbert on Monday, December 25, 2017
It’s almost New Years, and we cannot believe how fast 2017 went by. As well as popping bubbly and lighting sparklers to welcome in 2018, we're spending a moment - okay, more than a moment - thinking about travelling next year. We aren't going to call these resolutions, more like goals; for where we want to go, what we want to experience and what we want to see. Because the festive season is all about sharing, we're sharing our list to impart some travel inspiration onto you, our travel-mad reader.
No matter whether you like the sound of travelling somewhere new and unknown, or the thought of impromptu road trips has you warming up the car engine in anticipation; this list has goals big and small, and something for every kind of traveller. Make sure your suitcase is easily accessible, and get your trusty notepad ready; it's time to plan your next getaway.
1. Travel to a destination you’ve never visited before
The spine-tingling anticipation that comes with travelling to places unknown is on our agenda for 2018. What awaits? Will you find unexpected adventure and breath-taking natural wonders, or a destination that completely captivates and quickly earns its place in your 'Favourite Places' list. It may be a travel hot-spot or a destination that is trending. It could be a town with a restaurant you've read great reviews about; a national park ranked as one of the country's best, or a pristine beach you've seen on Instagram and simply have to experience for yourself. Be it a destination within your own state, or somewhere across state borders; venturing to a new region, town or area is always an accomplishment full of rewards. For inspiration on where to go, have a look at the top travel destinations that reigned supreme on Beautiful Accommodation in 2017, there is sure to be a place that catches your eye.
2. Order a dish that you usually wrinkle your nose at
So maybe oysters aren't your thing, or perhaps the idea of blue cheese makes your stomach churn. But who knows, your palate could well have changed since you last tried *insert least favourite food here* and the only way to confirm or deny that is by taking a deep breath and tackling any food phobias head on. Even if it is just for you to reconfirm your food fears, it makes for an anecdote you can roll out next time someone asks you to split a dish laden with coriander at a restaurant or dinner party. To find the best destinations to discover your new favourite feast, visit our article on Australia's best food and wine destinations.
3. Recruit a friend for a weekend - or even just a day - and go on a road trip
A road trip is perfect for when you have a few days free; grab a friend (or two, or three) and hit the road. Drive down to the coast for a day, head into the hinterland to explore small towns or look up any events or festivals happening in a particular destination. The Great Ocean Road is a fantastic Victorian drive, or explore along the South Coast or North Coast of NSW. You don't have to venture far, and a destination that can be reached in less than an hour from home holds just as many possibilities as some far-flung region several hours' away. Either way, organise your boutique accommodation for the end of a long - or not so long - day on the road.
4. Switch off your phone and go off the grid for a day or two
Signing out of your social media accounts and putting your smartphone on sleep mode is a refreshingly simple way to travel. You might embrace the no-phone mantra and decide to go camping, or you may simply want to spend a couple days lounging on a beach without any interruptions. By going off grid, chances are you’ll notice more of what’s going on around you and will appreciate your surroundings in a way that just can't be done when you're too busy lining up the perfect Instagram shot. Go super method and take any photos with an old-school SLR camera, or (gasp!) with a disposable camera. Stay in the traditional theme and print out your shots, frame them and have them as permanent reminders of your adventures. If you're looking for scenic inspiration, check out our guide to the most beautiful wine destinations, or Tasmania's most photogenic locations.
5. Rough it (but maybe not too much)
We know, camping isn't for everyone. But that doesn't mean you can't embrace the great outdoors and rough it... at least a little bit. Glamping is a way of getting in tune with nature without having to sacrifice a comfortable mattress, running water and acceptable A/C or heating. Glamping sites have popped up all across Australia and it is a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Thanks to popularity, travellers can take their pick from a range of glamping locations and styles. Imagine walking out of your luxury safari tent of a morning to be greeted by the site of the River Derwent in Tasmania, or sleeping in a tent that sits on secluded beach in Arnhem Land. An exclusive getaway close to Uluru might take your fancy too.
6. Make a friend while on your travels
Who knows? Maybe you’ll strike up conversation in a café and then a year later be travelling as a duo. What better way to find a compatible travel partner, than one that already loves adventuring in the same places as you? Not only would it be convenient to have a friend as keen for a weekend getaway as you, but you’ll have the perfect go-to meet-cute story for you and your new friend when anyone asks.
7. Visit a rainforest and a desert
When it comes to landscape extremes, Australia has plenty to offer. The rainforest and the desert are two of the most striking, so putting them on your must-see list for 2018 is sure to deliver a rewarding experience. Travel up to the Queensland Tropics to be humbled by the world-famous Daintree, or swap the humidity for cool-temperature flora with the wilderness of Tasmania. There is also rainforest accessible from Byron Bay on NSW's North Coast, and in Western Australia's Kimberley region. Once you've had your fill of verdant greenery, explore the other end of the colour spectrum with a trip to the Red Centre to experience the iconic arid Australian desert with red dirt and rich Indigenous culture. You could even do both in the one Northern Territory getaway; starting with a trip to Kakadu before moving south towards Katherine, Alice Springs and Uluru.
8. Try an activity you've never tried before
Whoever said partaking in a comfort zone-breaking activity was only reserved for extreme sports fans got it all wrong. You don't have to jump out of an aeroplane, swim with sharks or coast down white-water rapids to say you tried your hand at something new in 2018. While something that gets your heart pumping could be right up your street, extreme sports aren't for everyone. And for those that prefer to keep their adrenalin levels steady, the aforementioned new activity could be signing up for a cooking class while visiting the Barossa Valley; learning to surf when travelling the Great Ocean Road or venturing out on a multi-day hike or expedition in the Blue Mountains.
9. Get festive
Planning your getaways around any festivals or traditions unique to a destination is one of the best ways to make sure your experience is one to remember. A little bit of research is all it takes to discover events and celebrations that have you raising an eyebrow in interest. Of course, you don't have to stop at just visiting; if you can, get involved! Think stomping grapes at the annual Apple & Grape Harvest Festival in Stanthorpe, Queensland; watching Darwin's Beer Can Regatta; perfecting your jail house rock at the Elvis Festival in Parkes, NSW; or heading to Hobart for the Mona Festival of Music and Art (Mofo). One word of advice however: if you are going to time your visit to match up with an event or celebration, be sure to get in early and book your luxury accommodation well in advance.
10. Document your travels
Be it a journal, an album of photos or a series of short videos; keeping track of your 2018 travels will be one of the best things you do when you want to look back this time next year. You can share these memories with your friends and family, and help them out with any tips and intel if they decide to follow in your travel footsteps. Someone's got to go first.