a pool with arches and a city in the background

We’re not in the business of disappoint. We’re in the travel business and unless you’re on an oversold United flight, they’re totally different. One of the most joyous parts of writing about travel is sharing the magical places it can take you. We’re talking about the places which make any flight worth it, leave you with more pictures than hard drive space and a smile to take back to the office. But in 2018, not every place – no matter how desirable, will be at its very best. Here’s where not to go with your 2018 travels and why…

a city skyline with tall buildings and a body of waterDoha, Qatar

At the moment Doha is kind of like pulling the curtain back during an operation. In a few years, it will be a delightful beach and relaxation destination – but for now it’s a large bulldozer sight, without any genuine tourist attractions to keep anyone busy for beyond two hours. Come 2020 it may be one of the hottest destinations on the planet with no pun intended – but for 2018, give it a pass.

a blue car parked on a street with buildings and peopleCuba

If you were hoping to get there before it all started to get ruined, you’re already a bit late. This is especially true for Americans who find heavy restrictions on where they may go and what they may do while on the island. Big business is hoping to turn Cuba into the next Bahamas and much of the charm is already on it’s way out. If you’re not a U.S. citizen, go ASAP if you must.

a large building with a pool of water with Taj Mahal in the backgroundDelhi, India

Delhi is a place of never ending enchantment, offering rich culture, delectable food and an exciting if not dizzying pace. But it’s smog issues have created genuine health risk. In addition, construction on the Taj Mahal from January onward makes the trek to this Golden Triangle city less worthwhile – if only for a brief moment in time. If you’re going, you’ll be fine, it’s just taking a breather in 2018.

a large group of buildings with towers and treesMyanmar

Myanmar has long been a jewel of Asia, delighting those seeking to avoid the touristy areas of Thailand and Vietnam in favor of an awe inspiring cultural haven. While the landscape has not changed, political instability has. The UN has condemned Myanmar for human rights violations, and we can’t in good conscience suggest this destination for the near future.

a colorful buildings on a cliff by the water with Cinque Terre in the backgroundCinque Terre, Italy

The Cinque Terre’s absolutely stunning villages have brought the destination into pop culture mania, and now cruise ships and other mass market tourism flood the once manageable crowds. This is one of our favorite places on earth, but even Italy is trying to limit tourism to the area. Let all the snap happy pop culture junkies come through in 2018, and hope it calms down again in 2019 and beyond.

a group of rocks in the waterLos Cabos, Mexico

We love Mexico. While many destinations such as Mexico City are beginning to experience a cultural renaissance, and we highly suggest going – Los Cabos is not one of those places. A wave of violence and unrest in the area is becoming increasingly public and venturing closer and closer to the gorgeous resorts which lime the area. Come back next year, or head further South.

a group of rocks in the water with Phi Phi Islands in the backgroundPhuket, Thailand

There are some phenomenal resorts – but years of overcrowding and hyper tourism is absolutely ruining this once idyllic place. Phuket’s storied beaches have become littered with trash and unfortunately, so have many of its bars and nightlife destinations. The good news – Thailand has countless gorgeous islands, many of which are less exposed. So if you’re searching for a true Thai oasis, look for another beautiful island.

a large stone sphinx and pyramids with Great Sphinx of Giza in the backgroundCairo, Egypt

Egypt is an exotic destination best indulged at least once in life – but perhaps not in 2018. Religious unrest in the area has lead to more civilian danger than recent years past. While more remote areas such as Sharm El Sheikh remain safe and popular destinations we’d personally wait until things settle in Cairo just a bit. Perhaps look again in 2019.

Anywhere you’d add?

Inspiration: Fodors

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Hmmmm – I appreciate that you are American but I can’t agree with you about Cuba. I’d say to anyone else get there while you can and enjoy what there is left before it’s completely ruined by exposure to the US. I’d also partially disagree about Phuket – there are still beautiful unspoiled beaches and fantastic hotels. You maybe just have to know where to look. I would completely avoid Mexico – well the “Mayan Riviera” at least. I think the premise of this article is very useful however.

  2. Stay out of Camden Jersey, sure they have an awesome Aquarium but the violence and unrest had hit an all-time high but the city does have a super sweet trolley, I would avoid this city in 2018 and probably in 2019 also

  3. I’d add Iceland to this list. While a fun place to visit it has become overcrowded with instagram tourist. I’m also questioning Sweden right now with high cost to visit and uptick in violence.

  4. Hi, this is a great blog that I try to check daily. I thank you for the love and effort you put into it.

    Despite English not being my language (or maybe because of it) I have noticed in the past that you tend to make the same grammar error again and again. Since in today’s entry you make it twice, I’m gonna take the opportunity to bring it to your attention.

    The error I am talking about is to write “it’s” instead of “its”. The two instances where you did that today are:
    -“But it’s smog issues have created”
    -“so have many of it’s bars and nightlife destinations”

    Again, thanks for all the valuable information you provide on an almost daily basis.


  5. Ref Qatar – “it’s a large bulldozer sight”. Presume you mean ‘site’ rather than ‘sight’?

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