3 January 2013 by Luke McCormick
As we predict what will be hot in the world of travel in 2013, we decided to take a look back at what you found most popular in 2012. From the sparkle of the Northern Lights and road tripping across the USA to lazing on beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and Croatia to enjoying the old-world charm of the globe's great railways, it's quite a list.
A short break holiday to northern Scandinavia, Iceland or western Greenland to view nature's celestial spectacle the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) is an increasingly popular choice for travellers. Sightings can never be guaranteed, but you can bolster your chances by knowing when and where to go, and 2012 promises some of the best Northern Lights viewing for many years as the sun moves into a Solar Maximum phase in which sunspot activity is at its height. With so many great destinations and amazing excursions on offer, Northern Lights holidays are fast becoming an essential part of the travel calendar.
There are more than four million miles of highway in the USA, making it prime territory to explore on a self-drive holiday, especially if you've been inspired by one of the great literary road trips. Online Editor Alex Stewart rounds up the classic routes and describes how to explore the country, go beyond the big cities and embrace your inner Kerouac on a road trip, one of America's archetypal experiences.
The Caribbean is synonymous with beach holidays and there are exceptional examples of pure white sand and crystal clear waters throughout the region, meaning that wherever you touch down, you'll be able to find space on which to kick off your shoes and throw down your towel.
With over a thousand islands offering everything from sailing and sun worshipping to culture and culinary indulgence, Croatia is a summer paradise right on the Eurozone's doorstep. Here's our pick of Croatia's best islands.
Ever wondered what it would be like to spend New Year's Eve somewhere abroad? If last year, as you battled to the bar of your local, you decided to make those resolutions stick and to do New Year properly next time, use our round-up of how other countries celebrate December 31 to plan something different.
Tucked away in a Soho backstreet, POLPO is one of London's hottest restaurants.
Critics and foodies have been flocking to this understated bàcaro where Russell Norman serves up delicious plates of food inspired by Venice's bustling wine bars. Norman has recently released the book Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of sorts), inspired by his love of the 'unfussy, innovative and exuberantly delicious' food of some of Venice's best restaurants. "These backstreet bars, know locally as bàcari, serve small plates of authentic Venetian tidbits, known as cichèti, and are places where locals meet, drink, eat, argue and gossip," says Norman.
Bond is back. The release of Skyfall sees 007 back in action with some familiar trademarks. Guns? Check. Car chases? Check. Creepy villain? Check. Cool gadgets and glamorous girls? Check and check. There's also the obligatory tourism and country-hopping we've become accustomed to.
Whether it's the old world charm, luxurious surroundings and service or the incredible sense of place that comes with train travel, the option remains one of the most sophisticated and sought after modes of travel around.
Australia may seem a long way to go for a two-week holiday, but the quickest flights to Perth take less than 19 hours - not much longer than some indirect flights to South East Asia - and Western Australia shares the same time zone as Singapore and Malaysia. All of which makes a two-week holiday to Western Australia perfectly feasible, says David Warne, Commercial Director of Wexas. Here he recounts his recent trip to some of Western Australia's iconic attractions.
Wexas Channel Editor Luke McCormick takes a look at some of Europe's lesser-known Christmas markets, as well as a few favourites.