Among the top travel trends for 2018 is what travel experts are calling “last-chance tourism,” in which many travelers are rushing to visit places that may soon be gone for good. Thanks to climate change, many attractions around the world are fading and in danger of disappearing forever. As luck would have it, not only do these spots tend to be some of the most breathtaking in the world, they’re also some of the most recognizable.
It’s not just melting ice caps and rising sea levels that are endangering beloved tourist spots, however. Deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, urban development, and erosion due to pollution, and tourist traffic are all factors putting some great destinations at risk. Even air travel itself is a factor — according to Myclimate.org, a round-trip economy class flight from New York City to the Maldives for just one person releases nearly 6 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
If that doesn’t dissuade you from flying and you’re not sure where to travel this year, we suggest you consider prioritizing the places where you may one day no longer be able to visit. The Grand Canyon isn’t going anywhere, but some of the famous snowy mountains you’ve been dreaming of trekking might not be such a white wonderland once you get there if you wait too long. To make sure you don’t miss out, check out these famous places you need to visit before they disappear.