Shanghai is having a moment. “I’m seeing renewed interest in Shanghai. With the opening of the Amanyangyun as well as the Middle House by Swire properties, Shanghai now offers a place of tranquility and relaxation in the middle of urban bustle. Of course, Shanghai always offers the most vibrant cosmopolitan living, with great restaurants and art galleries tucked away in narrow alleyways. I can see people extending their Shanghai visit from two nights to four-five nights.” —Mei Zhang, WildChina.
Get to southern Italy before everyone else does. “I’d recommend getting away from the increasingly overcrowded big art cities of central and northern Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan) and focusing instead on much lesser-known areas of southern Italy. The Aeolian Islands in Sicily, for example, provide an easily accessible destination that feels remote, uncrowded and very exotic—there are significant travel rewards for making the small extra logistical effort required to reach them. The city of Matera in Basilicata, with its astonishing sassi caves, will have a big upswing in visitors in 2019 when it becomes the European Capital of Culture for the year. So I’d strongly recommend getting to Matera and Basilicata in 2018, ahead of the curve and the crowds that will soon follow.” —Rudston Steward, Trufflepig
For quiet beaches, visit Menorca. “Not so well-known as Mallorca, nor as glitzy as Ibiza, guests should head to the Balearic island of Menorca before it becomes too popular. The island, which is bookended by two very interesting cities—Ciutadella and the capital, Mahon—offers a very relaxed way of life and is extremely easy to travel around, with lots of good restaurants. Although there are, of course, some parts of the island that do feature larger, more touristy hotels, there are plenty of quieter, more secluded parts that are still ripe for exploration with lovely coves and beaches that genuinely rival those in the Caribbean.” —Adam Coats, Red Savannah
Go over-the-top in Africa. “South Africa has gone prime time and become the destination du jour for multi-generational families looking for the perfect blend of beach, adventure, and safari. And with the price of the Rand still about 40 percent below its peak 2 years ago, there is no better time to supersize your budget on an over-the-top safari.”
“From the new Bisate Lodge to One & Only’s debut with not one but two distinctive nature retreats, Rwanda is ready for its close up. After years of turmoil a new government has not only brought stability but progress and reform as noted in the cool capital of Kigali. There has never been a more luxe way to go gorilla trekking.” —Jack Ezon, Ovation Vacations
See these Peruvian ruins before your friends do. “Do the Choquequirao trek in Peru—they say the teleferico (aerial lift) from Aguas Calientes will be built in the next three years, so this is your last chance to discoverer undiscovered ruins larger than Machu Picchu before the less adventurous crowds can gain access by a short gondola (currently, it’s a multi-day trek).” —Jordan Harvey, Knowmad Adventures.