Flight Network names World’s Best Journeys List for 2018

Road trip

As we head into summer (or winter, depending on your hemisphere), we can allow ourselves a respite from the usual to recharge body and soul.

They say that travel broadens the mind, and the most rewarding travel in my experience is through the trips themselves – hiking, biking, road trips, and boat rides, and whatever else that takes your fancy to get from A to B.

It’s one reason why digital nomads do what they do; you can either work from an office, or mix things up a little and do what you have to do while island-hopping across the Andaman.

Of course, some trips are better than others – anti-clockwise on the M25 isn’t the most inspiring journey in the world – which is why the FlightNetwork and more than 500 travel journalists, agencies, bloggers and editors came together to create the World’s Best Journeys list for 2018.

I consider myself a reasonably well-travelled person, but looking at the list of 50 journeys from around the world, I have a lot of catching up to do. Cruise to Alaska, yep – done that, and it’s a hai to the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo, but I have only completed bits and pieces from the others listed.

It’s tempting to say these are timeless trips. They are not. The world is changing quickly, and destinations such as Greenland, Alaska, Antarctica and Mont Blanc will not be the same with ice in retreat. Better to travel sooner rather than later – other things in life can wait.

Here are FlightNetwork‘s top 20:

  1. Expedition to Antarctica
  2. Cruise the Galapagos Islands
  3. Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway
  4. Trek to Machu Picchu
  5. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway
  6. Drive Iceland’s Ring Road
  7. Cruise to Alaska
  8. Camino de Santiago
  9. Sail the Greek Islands
  10. Drive the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia
  11. Road Trip on Route 66
  12. Fjord Cruise in Norway
  13. Amazon River Cruise
  14. Explore the Italian Countryside
  15. Travel the Silk Road
  16. Drive the Amalfi Coast
  17. French Polynesia Coast
  18. Safari in Kruger National Park
  19. Drive the Great Ocean Road
  20. Hike along Cinque Terre

As for my own favourite journeys, it’s the usual smorgasbord of landscapes and experiences that were more personal than anything.

They included the road trip from Madrid to Almeria when I was a 20 year old student, joining others in drinking red wine as olive groves led to high mountain sierra; driving through the ember-hued Scottish Highlands during twilight having just scaled Ben Nevis; and seeing the jungle-clad Perhentian islands come into view as my buttocks collided repeatedly with the speedboat; among others.

FlightNetwork‘s list of top 50 journeys, that includes galleries and info on how to get to destinations (at the end of the day, FlightNetwork is an online travel agency), can be seen here.

Angkor Wat is world’s top travel destination, says Lonely Planet

Backpacker favourite Lonely Planet has just unveiled its top 500 travel destinations. The extraordinary Angkor complex near Siem Reap in Cambodia is the world’s best, with the full top 20 as follows (drum roll):

  1. Angkor ruins, Cambodia
  2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  3. Machu Picchu, Peru
  4. Great Wall of China
  5. Taj Mahal, India
  6. Grand Canyon National Park, USA
  7. Colosseum, Italy
  8. Iguacu Falls, Argentina/Brazil (or is it Brazil/Argentina?)
  9. Alhambra, Spain
  10. Ayasofya, Turkey
  11. Fez Medina, Morocco
  12. Twelve Apostles, Australia
  13. Petra, Jordan
  14. Tikal, Guatemala
  15. British Museum, UK
  16. Sagrada Familia, Spain
  17. Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
  18. Santorini, Greece
  19. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
  20. Museum of Old & New Art, Australia

The “Ultimate Travelist” was created by a team of Lonely Planet experts and authors to form a new book.

Do you agree with the experts? Which is top of your bucket list?

Popular 2015-16 “gap year” destinations revealed

Iconic backpacker destination Thailand has slipped down the rankings among “gap year” countries popular with young British travellers, according to UK travel industry association ABTA, with English-speaking Australia, NZ and the US occupying the top three spots this year. Vietnam has risen from eighth to fifth in popularity. “Gap year” students are also reportedly looking for work experience and volunteering opportunities. Here’s the new top 10:

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. USA
  4. Peru
  5. Vietnam
  6. Thailand
  7. Canada
  8. Brazil
  9. Argentina
  10. India

The “gap year” is a major undertaking not to be taken lightly, so here are different points of view dredged from Twitter: