TripAdvisor Reveals 2018's Top Trending Travel Destination & It Looks Incredible

Photo: Zhu Qiu/EyeEm
Japan is already one of the biggest travel hotspots this year, with new cheaper flights set to make it more accessible and the country's government intent on doubling its number of overseas tourists by 202o – and now there's another reason to add it to your bucket list.
TripAdvisor has named one of its little-known islands as its "top trending travel spot" for 2018. Ishigaki, located in the Okinawa Prefecture in southwestern Japan, is a mere three-hour flight from Tokyo and has a population of 48,000, but we'll bet it's about to get a whole lot more heavily populated.
The island tops TripAdvisor's list of "destinations on the rise" in 2018, based on the year-on-year increase in positive ratings and booking interest on the travel site. Ishigaki may mean "stone wall" in Japanese, but its white sandy beaches, luminous blue waters and coral reefs look more like something from a Sandals Resorts ad and would brighten up any Instagram feed.
It's also celebrated for its food, according to TripAdvisor, with foodies appreciating its soba noodles, known as Yaeyama soba, which are made from flour instead of the usual buckwheat and sound, frankly, delicious.
The rest of the year's top destinations are spread across Asia, North America, Africa and Europe, making it easy to pick a holiday befitting your budget. Next up is the small town of Kapaa in Hawaii, beloved of water-sports fans, followed by the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, which boasts a pulsating nightlife as good as its wildlife.
If your pockets aren't deep enough to transport you to the other side of the world, however, don't despair. The city break of a lifetime could be a mere Ryanair or EasyJet flight away. Eastern Europe features heavily among the up-and-coming European destinations on the list, with Gdansk in Poland, Riga in Latvia and Rovinj in Croatia all making the top 10.
“While this year’s results show a broad spread of the world represented, with winners located in five different continents, it’s Eastern Europe which is dominating as a 2018 hotspot," said Hayley Coleman from TripAdvisor. It's especially good news for British travellers because "with Eastern Europe so close, it’s easy to pop over for a weekend trip at pretty low cost," she added. As if those new-year flight sales weren't tempting enough already.

TripAdvisor's top trending destinations in 2018

1. Ishigaki (Japan)
2. Kapaa (Hawaii)
3. Nairobi (Kenya)
4. Halifax (Canada)
5. Gdansk (Poland)
6. San Jose (Costa Rica)
7. Riga (Latvia)
8. Rovinj (Croatia)
9. Nerja (Spain)
10. Casablanca (Morocco)
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