Give yourself the gift of travel in 2018 and take your pick from a dazzling line-up of global events. From shopping up a storm in glitzy Dubai to rambling through the bustling call of Venice during Carnival, if there’s a season, there’s a reason to pack your bags and celebrate your love of travel in far-flung destinations.
Kickstart your wanderlust and head Down under to watch the biggest names in world tennis at this year’s Australian Open in Melbourne, the first of the much-anticipated, action-packed Grand Slam tournament series. Or consider indulging in some retail therapy in the desert playground of Dubai at its January shopping festival. The best way to get over the festive season blues is to take a trip somewhere exotic in January.
• New Year’s Day: 1 Jan
• Tennis – Australian Open: 15 – 28 Jan
• School starts: 17 Jan
• Cartagena International Music Festival: 5 – 14 Jan
• Dubai Shopping Festival: 26 Dec 2017 - 28 Jan 2018
• Carnival of Venice: 27 Jan – 13 Feb 2018
With summer in full swing, February sees some of the best weather conditions across South Africa, making it the perfect location to enjoy the banging beats and thumping sets of the internationally acclaimed Ultra Music Festival.
Consider venturing to New Orleans this February for the madness of Mardi Gras, beads, masks, king cakes and massive fun. A literal explosion of sights and sounds, you can look forward to round-the-clock celebrations complete with floats, parades and hearty dose of Creole hospitality.
• Ultra Music Festival: 9 – 10 Feb
• Rio Carnival: 9 – 14 Feb
• New Orleans Mardi Gras: 13 Feb
• Valentine’s Day: 14 Feb
• Chinese New Year: 16 Feb
• New York Fashion Week: 8 – 16 Feb
• London Fashion Week: 16 – 20 Feb
• Milan Fashion Week: 21 – 27 Feb
A riot of colours awaits if you find yourself in India during the spectacular Hindu Holi Festival. Clouds of pinks, purples, yellows and greens abound in this ‘festival of colour’ where eager crowds throw colour water and dust over each other to ‘wash away’ their differences for the day.in India sees locals come together to throw colour water and dust on each other as a means to unify them and wash away their differences for the day.
Another day of riotous fun, St. Patricks Day is celebrated across the globe and the luck of the Irish takes centre stage for a day. Think four-leaf clovers, dancing leprechauns and gallons of Guinness. Where better to celebrate St. Paddy’s than the home of Guinness itself….Dublin!
• Holi Colour Festival – India: 1 – 2 Mar
• Lantern Festival – Taiwan: 2 Mar
• St. Patrick’s Day: 17 Mar
• Human Right’s Day: 21 Mar
• F1 Grand Prix Australia: 25 Mar
• Schools close: 28 Mar
In 2018 Coachella returns to the expanded Empire Polo Club in California. With Beyoncѐ headlining this world-famous California music festival will attract thousands of fans from across the globe and you could make your own memories in the desert air if you decide to attend.
Hit the sweet spot with a visit to the USA Golf Masters in Augusta, Georgia this April. The 2018 Masters Tournament is the first major event on the golfing calendar. This unforgettable tournament is the first major event on the golfing calendar and the perfect opportunity for golf enthusiasts to witness their favourite pros in action.
• Easter weekend: 30 Mar – 2 Apr
• USA Golf Masters: 5 – 8 Apr
• F1 Grand Prix China: 8 Apr
• California Coachella Music Festival: 13 – 15 Apr
• Songkran – Thailand: 13 – 15 Apr
• Koningsday – Netherlands: 27 Apr
• Freedom Day: 27 Apr
• Cherry Blossom Festival – Japan: Apr
Celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States, Cinco De Mayo gives revellers an opportunity to immerse themselves in Mexican culture and heritage as they join in the celebrations to commemorate Mexico’s unlikely victory of the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican war.
Considered the playground of the rich and famous, Monaco’s sophistication and style continues to draw visitors who want to experience the finer things in life. What better way to experience all the opulence than visiting the principality during the Grand Prix. After all, Princess Charlene’s a fan.
• Workers Day: 1 May
• Cinco De Mayo: 5 May
• F1 Grand Prix Spain: 11 May
• FA Cup Final: 19 May
• F1 Grand Prix Monaco: 24 – 27 May
• UEFA Champions League Final: 26 May
• The French Open: 27 May - 10 Jun
Go local this June and to the literary centre of Grahamstown for its annual arts festival. For a riveting line-up of theatrics and creativity, unbeatable entertainment and some good old South African gees, Grahamstown is pretty hard to beat.
The annual Midnight Sun Film Festival allows movie buffs to enjoy uninterrupted round-the-clock footage of contemporary Finnish films together with a number of critically acclaimed cinema classics at a time of year when Finland is basked in sunlight for days on end.
• Midnight Sun Film Festival Finland: 13 – 17 Jun
• Golf – US Open: 14 – 17 Jun
• Youth Day: 16 Jun
• Schools close: 22 Jun
• Eid: 14 Jun
• National Arts Festival Grahamstown: 28 Jun to 8 Jul
No need to stay on the couch this July. Head to quiet cobbled country roads and epic alpine landscapes of France for the 2018 Tour de France cycling race. Shift into gear for a picture-perfect ex
As reigning champions of the 2017 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament, this year South African fans can catch all the action at the home of baseball legends the Giants in San Francisco.
• Tour de France: 7 – 29 Jul
• Wimbledon: 2 – 15 Jul
• USA Independence Day: 4 Jul
• Golf – British Open: 19 – 22 Jul
• Rugby World Cup Sevens: 20 – 22 Jul
• Running of the Bulls: 6 – 14 Jul
Tap your inner hippy and head to the desolate landscapes of Black Rock Desert in Nevada for Burning Man. Guided by 10 overriding principles, this unique life experience allows visitors the freedom to express themselves in whatever way they choose.
It’s the only time of year you don’t mind being pelted with ripe tomatoes. Held on the last Wednesday of August each year, La Tomatina festival attracts thousands of visitors from across the globe. Take to the streets of Bunol in Spain and put your throwing arm to good use in this unforgettable food fight.
• Golf – USA PGA: 6 – 12 Aug
• Women’s Day: 9 Aug
• F1 Belgian Grand Prix: 24 – 26 Aug
• Burning Man Nevada: 26 Aug – 3 Sep
• Tennis – US Open: 27 Aug – 3 Sep
• La Tomatina Festival: 29 Aug
Dust off your lederhosen and get ready to oompah with the best at this year’s Oktoberfest in Munich. Here visitors can experience authentic Bavarian fare, true German hospitality and beer by the gallon.
Witness the gentle giants of the sea at the Hermanus Whale Festival. Pick a spot in the town’s harbour for delicious fish and chips and see if you can spot the visitors breaching and jump in the bay. Book early to ensure you get a spot.
• F1 Grand Prix Italy: 31 Aug – 2 Sep
• Oktoberfest Germany: 22 Sep – 7 Oct
• Heritage Day: 24 Sep
• Schools close: 28 Sep
• Hermanus Whale Festival: Last week of Sep
Celebrated by Mexicans to commemorate deceased ancestors, friends and family members, the Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico City is a colourful spectacle to behold, as people dress-up in colourful costumes and masques.
• F1 Grand Prix USA: 19 – 21 Oct
• World Creole Music Festival: 27 – 29 Oct
• Day of the Dead Festival – Mexico: 31 Oct – 2 Nov
• Halloween: 31 Oct
New beginnings and the triumph of good over evil are celebrated during Diwali, a five-day festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. Expect fireworks, literally and figuratively during this epic celebration that is held all over the world.
Join the pomp and ceremony at one of the world’s biggest horse races, Melbourne Cup Day. On this day high society meets man on the street as everyone comes together to celebrate race day at the track at Flemington Racecourse, or at restaurants and other venues across Australia.
• Diwali Festival of lights: 7 Nov
• F1 Grand Prix Brazil: 9 – 11 Nov
• F1 Grand Prix Abu Dhabi: 23 – 25 Nov
• Melbourne Cup Day: 6 Nov
• Thanksgiving Day USA: 22 Nov
It’s the festive season! The final stretch of the year deserves to be celebrated with a holiday, don’t you think? Go local, go long-haul – the choices are endless. The whole world is in holiday-mode and you should be too.
Ring in the New Year at one of these epic international party spots: Times Square, New York; Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney; V&A Waterfront, Cape Town or the Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
• Schools close: 12 Dec
• Day of Reconciliation: 16 Dec
• Christmas Day: 25 Dec
• Day of Good Will: 26 Dec
• New Year’s Eve: 31 Dec