It’s that time of the year again. Well, yes, Christmas is fast approaching; less than forty days in fact. But we were talking about the growing number of articles that travel magazines that are publishing giving their predicted ‘hot’ travel lists for 2018. These are now nearly as ritualistic as wearing appalling Christmas jumpers or giving wildly inappropriate presents in office secret Santa parties.
Of all the travel titles that publish these articles (and watch out, there will be many) we do have a sneaking regard for Wanderlust, one of the best travel magazines around and which always contains impressive photography as well as usually contains several articles that leave you thinking ‘I want to go there. Now’.
Their ‘travel hot list 2018’, which has just been published, is no exception. Of the eighteen destinations tipped by the magazine’s writers as worth visiting next year – and given that this team regularly travels all over the world – four are in Europe, including somewhere very close to home; Scotland.
The travel writers included Scotland because its ‘wild west is within easier reach’ now pointing out that the renovation of the Caledonian Sleeper now puts London in touch with Scotland’s northerly tips including Fort Williams, Inverness and Aberdeen.
We’re delighted to see the Royal Family’s favourite holiday destination rubbing shoulders with the likes of more exotic places such as the Patagonia region in Chile or New Zealand’s South Island, which also both made it into the list.
We’re also delighted to see Portugal get a mention. Why is it hot? ‘Moorish marvels, river escapes and the end of the world minus the crowds’. Although as the article does point out 7.1 million people visited Portugal last year so the only truly crowd-free area to visit is Cape St Vincent, on the very south-west tip of Europe.
The Continent with the greatest number of destinations is South America (with four of the eighteen), including Buenos Aires in Argentina, which was tipped largely because the imminent arrival of low-cost long-haul carriers such as Norwegian Air means that tourists can actually get there and so ‘discover barrios on a budget’.
Clearly, Patagonia aside, tipping destinations as being hot but impossible to get to makes no sense. So we were equally heartened to see the Baltics make it (‘Why it’s hot…Celebrate 100 years of the Baltic States!’).
No doubt believing, like Henry Ford, that ’history is bunk’, none of these publications ever seem to go back to check whether the destinations they tipped last year as hot remained hot or just, well, cooled down as they failed to live up to the hyperbole.