2018 Travel Hotspots - United Hub

5 travel hotspots you don't want to miss in 2018

By Bob Cooper

Even seasoned travelers can rattle off countless places they still want to go. But there are only so many trips you can take each year—so where should you go in 2018? Here are a few of the best choices. Even if you've been to some of these cities, like Chicago and New Orleans, there are good reasons why you should go back in the coming year.

Church in Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

Don't go to Chile in 2018 just because it's the bicentennial of the country's declaration of independence from Spain. Go for all the other reasons why it's one of the best destinations in the Americas. There's a hotel boom in bustling Santiago—and it's within a 90-minute drive of world-class wine regions (notably the Casablanca and Maipo Valleys), several great beaches, the culturally dazzling city of Valparaiso (where the historic quarter is a World Heritage Site), one of Chile's many observatories (Pailalen) and Andes foothills hikes. Plus, Chile's stable democracy makes it one of the hemisphere's safest and most prosperous countries. But don't forget that our winter is Chile's summer—so it's best to go soon.

Traffic in Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Illinois also celebrates its bicentennial year in 2018, with events planned all year in Chicago and statewide that climax with a celebrity-studded bash at Chicago's United Center on December 3. Another reason to visit is the red-hot cultural scene, which has heated up even further with the 2017 opening of the American Writers Museum and performances of “Hamilton" at the CIBC Theatre through April 2018. The Chicago Riverwalk and 26-mile-long Lakefront Trail have both been newly expanded for the outdoors crowd. And it's never too early to get Cubs tickets, with Wrigley Field sellouts as routine as the winds that whip in from Lake Michigan.

Belfast city hall in North Ireland

Belfast, North Ireland

Belfast and the nearby Causeway Coast were named best region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet, and there are many reasons. A city tormented by violence for decades during “The Troubles" (tours that trace this history are now offered) has become a safe and satisfying tourist destination. The Titanic Belfast museum is the main attraction in The Titanic Quarter, Northern Ireland's biggest attraction, where you can now stay at the new Titanic-themed Titanic Hotel. As for the Causeway Coast to the north—where visitors can tour the Old Bushmills Distillery—viewers of “Game of Thrones" will feel right at home. Many scenes were filmed there, with “Game of Thrones" tours—by bus, van, bike and boat—a popular diversion.

Balcony with plants in New Orleans French Quarter

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Southern city that knows how to party has one more excuse in 2018: the 300th anniversary of the founding of New Orleans by the French. Count on even more celebrating than usual during Mardi Gras (February 2-13), but also throughout the year at dozens of events. They kick off with Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve Countdown to Tricentennial, the only event in a Central Time Zone city to be featured in the Ryan Seacrest-hosted telecast, with a major concert at Jackson Square and fireworks over the Mississippi River. But it will also be “Big Easy" to take in other tricentennial events during the year, ranging from ballets and a “burlesque opera" to special art exhibits and jazz concerts.

Aerial view of Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan

In Taiwan, you can see nearly all of the kinds of places one might find in China, but it's small enough that you can drive the length of the island country in a day—though that wouldn't allow time to stop at any of the dozens of beaches that line both coasts, or to explore the volcanic mountains, lakes or national parks in the island's lightly populated interior. In the main city of Taipei are attractions that include Tapei 101 (a 101-story tower topped by a viewing platform), countless temples, and at Liberty Square, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, the National Theatre and the National Concert Hall.

If you go

United Airlines offers nonstop flights from U.S. cities to all of these hotspots with the exception of Belfast which you can reach via Dublin. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan a trip.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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