For my part, I've already contributed an MSN travel lookahead based on big-name events, globetrotter buzz, recent recognition and so on. But based on personal experience, here are my Top 18 recommendations for 2018:
FONTEVRAUD L’HÔTEL, LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE: I can think of no better place to savour the pungent aromas of a ridiculous cheese tray than this re-purposed abbey building. Read more here.
PARK CITY, UTAH: The ski area runs right into its historic namesake town, with a ski run and chairlift carrying schussers straight to Main Street. Down a side street there's some Plexiglas-covered Banksy graffiti, one of three works that appeared alongside the 2010 Sundance Film Fest premiere of the British street artist's compelling Exit Through the Gift Shop documentary. Read more here.
SEA TO SKY GONDOLA, B.C.: From the enormous sunset-facing patio, one of three panoramic viewing platforms, I gaze up at Sky Pilot Mountain’s horn-shaped peak as it tears clouds to shreds, while Howe Sound glitters in the forested fjord nearly a kilometre below. Read more here.
PALAFITOS AT EL DORADO MAROMA, PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO: Exhausted from celebrating a huge lottery win? These over-ocean glass-floored bungalows should do the trick. Read more here.
POWDER HIGHWAY, B.C.: Some of the best skiing on Earth meets jaw-dropping scenery, innovative food an drink, and welcoming mountain towns where the apres-ski scene eschews noisy Nickelback and Coors Light. Read more here and here.
LUANG PRABANG, LAOS: Standing on the balcony of the guesthouse, we watch as a line of Buddhist monks, dressed in orange robes, walk from house to house, collecting their sustenance for the day. With the sun rising above the hills and bird calls piercing the chilly air, it's an indelible image that clears our minds and fortifies our spirits. Read more here.
KINGSTON, ONT.: The dazzling Lumina Borealis multimedia installation in the Fort Henry National Historic Site celebrates the magic of winter, while tours of Kingston Penitentiary reveal beauty amid brutality. Read more here and here.
WICKER PARK AND BUCKTOWN, CHICAGO: These adjacent neighbourhoods already offered just about every urban amenity one could want – from vintage fashion boutiques and record shops to taco stands, cocktail bars and even a landscaped rail path – years before the Robey and Hollander hotels opened in late 2016. Read more here.
MOUNT NORQUAY VIA FERRATA, BANFF: From where I'm hanging, on a sheer cliff face some 700 metres above the Bow Valley floor, it's clear that my scaling skills are about to be tested like never before. Read more here.
NICOYA PENINSULA, COSTA RICA: Watch sea turtles lay hundreds of glistening eggs, high five Bruce Willis, it's all good. Read more here and here.
OLD MONTREAL: I grab a Moscow Mule from the buzzing bar and make my way out onto the enormous glass-walled outdoor patio to conclude the evening with head-spinning views of the glittering Montreal skyline. Then, in my mind’s ear, I hear it... Read more here.
NIMMO BAY, B.C.: Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” reverberates through my headset as our soundtrack-equipped helicopter soars over the bluest lake I've ever seen. At that moment, the lips in question belong to the awestruck passenger next to me. But it’s easy to see what she’s saying: “Wow!” Read more here.
COL DE LA JOUX VERTE, FRANCE: So this is what a 14-per-cent gradient feels like on a bike. Oh dear. If I can just focus on that pretty waterfall up ahead I’ll make it up this climb and…WHAT!?! That was the first of what I fear will be several switchbacks. And they’re getting steeper. Do they have Uber up here? Read more here.
SPORTFISHING IN LAKE ONTARIO: Lulls in the action are few and far between — we throw back more than we keep — and just as the sun is setting spectacularly behind the distant CN Tower we reach our 15-fish limit. Read more here.
THOMPSON-SHUSWAP WINERIES, B.C.: Having just arrived from winter-weary Toronto, I pull an abrupt double-take when three sleeveless Kamloopsians stroll into view in early April. They too seem surprised, but not by my woolly sweater. It’s my ride – Tastefull Excursions’ new wine-touring van – that turns their heads. Read more here.
VAGABOND HOTEL, MIAMI: I must have set some kind of land-speed record for hotel tours while researching my Globe Travel story on Miami Beach. Thing is, my personal favourite of the lot isn't actually in Miami Beach. Read more here.
PROVIDENTIALES, TURKS & CAICOS: There are few places on Earth where the "beach gravity" - the allure of sand and sea - is as inexorable as it is on Grace Bay. Read more here.
BIG WHITE SKI RESORT, B.C.: A decade after embarking on the first of umpteen family ski trips, arranging the "Door-to-Ski Shuttle Service" represents the pinnacle of my vacation-planning powers. Read more here.