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What is Music Tracker
What is Music Tracker

A modern tracker, such as Re-Noise is truly a DAW. But the early trackers are too far from a DAW. I used different trackers since 1992-1993. In the core a tracker is simply a software sampler. Nothing more. MIDI came later. First trackers I have used are Scream Tracker 2 and little bit of MOD Edit but Scream Tracker was superior because was more convenient to use (and by the way was written and used by the famous demo group Future Crew, but this is another topic). Both of these worked on DOS (operating system long before Windows), but DOS trackers are said they copy the trackers which existed on Amiga computers (since what I’ve read, Amiga had 4 real digital hardware channels, while in the beginning I did not had a sound card! :). Early trackers featured 4 audio channels which were split 2 on the left and 2 on the right usually, loading of small sound files (called samples) in different file formats (WAV files didn’t existed yet) such as VOC and others and were pretty short. The true beauty of sampling was (because of the limitations) to find real short sample, which you could loop perfectly (well almost) so there are at least no clicks when the sample loops. Once samples are loaded (early trackers supported loading of limited number of samples and were 8 bit 22 kHz files) then you use the sequencer screen to sequence them. To simulate notes, each sample was triggered at different frequency. Since first trackers operated in the so called “text mode”, where no graphics could be shown on screen (which was possible on the later versions), notes were not represented as dots on lines. Instead a letter notation was used, being C, D, E, F, G, A, B and “#” used respectively (no bemol thou). Early trackers worked on very old and weak hardware, even supported playing trough the internal PC speaker only! This is how I began – playing the music on 8-12mHz on the PC speaker (don’t ask how it sounds, but it does!). When you sequence, first you create a “pattern” – sheet of programmed music, consisting of 4 channels, each of 64 notes max on the early trackers. Each note were also allowed to have an octave specified with a number, a volume 0-64 and an effect, with effects being things like retrig, tremolo, vibrato and others (depending on which tracker you use). Once you sequence few patterns, you can arrange them in some order, thus making a song. Different trackers saves the songs in different (their own) file format with .MOD, .STM, .S3M, .XM being the most popular ever.
List of Track

  • “Basil” 5:45
  • “River Towns” 6:17
  • “Skydiver” 4:38
  • “Mighty Man” 5:55
  • “Broken Bones” 5:30
  • “Long Cool Girl” 5:06
  • “Lights of Taormina” 6:09
  • “Silver Eagle” 5:02
  • “Beryl”

 

How to expand your music audience?
How to expand your music audience?

YouTube

Posting your original songs up on YouTube is a form of distribution, but the only people who are going to experience that music are already aware of you as an artist. Marketing your music is not just about making your current fans aware of any new releases. This approach is not getting you into growth.

Marketing growth is about finding new people to expose your music to. This may sound elementary to some of you, but I’ll bet you’re not using the tools you currently have in the best way to grow your audience.

I know this because I see it every day with both indie artists and label artists! One slight tweak in your approach on YouTube could change everything.

Why not post a video of you interpreting a cover song that is popular right now? This will generate traffic you would never have gotten posting an original, as a percentage (however small) of people who are looking for the original artist’s video will stumble across your version and watch it. That’s growth.

That means new people watching you as an artist. Not only are they experiencing your spin on a song, since they already know the song, they are focusing on your interpretation. The information that is coming through as they watch is your artistry. Not for nothing, you might discover that people are responding to qualities of yours you weren’t aware you possessed.

If they like it, people will respond. If you ask them, they’ll subscribe. If you’re smart, you’ll give them a free download in exchange for their email address so you own the information.

If they learn to like you as an artist, then they’ll be far more likely to listen to your original music. When they do listen, they’ll have an open mind and an open heart because your cover rendition won them over and they’re prepared to love you.

That’s marketing on YouTube. Always ask yourself, where’s the traffic coming from? This will influence your cover song choices.

Social media

Most indie artists copy their idols’ social media behaviors. They have posts of them doing this or that on stage or behind the scenes, etc.

This method is important but you need to recognize that it only supports the fans who are aware of you as an artist. Think about it, if they don’t know you, how are they going to see a post like that?

Don’t stop doing this sort of social outreach, it’s an important piece of your social media strategy — but only for your current fans. These posts will do little, if anything, to expand your audience. You want to get your content in front of new people who aren’t currently aware of you. This requires a different thought process and execution strategy.

Take off your artist hat and put on your record label executive hat for a minute. Imagine you just signed the greatest unknown act in the world: YOU. In the interest of clear communication, let’s give you a name: MC XFactor. Nobody knows about this new artist, so how are you going to get MC XFactor in front of a new, targeted group of people who are likely to enjoy his music?

Well, let’s say MC XFactor is a rap artist. Right off the bat, we can target tons of rap artists with faithful followers on all sorts of social media platforms.

But let’s drill down some more. What kind of rap artist is MC XFactor? If money and connections were no object, what rap artist would you put MC XFactor on tour with because the headliner’s audience would relate to MC X Factor’s music?

Don’t look now but you are in the process of defining your audience. Once you’ve determined exactly who the audience is, you have to find where they hang out online. This is called targeting.

If MC XFactor would absolutely CRUSH it on tour with Lil’ Wayne because his fans would love your artist’s music, start following people who follow Lil’ Wayne on Twitter and Instagram.

Permission marketing

What are you doing to ensure you own everyone’s contact information after they’ve attended your live show or landed on your website? You could have a million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but you don’t own their contact info — the respective platforms do. You must take your music marketing a step further and convert as many social media followers of yours into contacts you own.

You already know about Facebook and how few people see your posts unless you pay. Get a squeeze page — a landing page that captures opt-in email addresses — and work around that problem. It’s called permission marketing, which works off the idea that the lifetime value of a fan is worth exponentially more than the .99¢ or $10.99 you’re hoping to get for a single or a CD.

You’re supposed to be an entertainer. Find new people every day, entertain them on social media, get them to love you, then capture their info and deepen that relationship.

An artist with tens of thousands of engaged contacts is quite powerful to the industry, brands, and other artists. Once you accept this as the one viable method to grow your brand and expose your artistry, you’ll be on your way to making a living as a music artist.

Post Content Regularly

With so many new acts coming out every day, it can be hard to stay top-of-mind.Yes, someone might hear one of your songs and like what you’re doing, but if you don’t keep giving them more content and keep them entertained in some form of another, there’s a good chance that they may forget you.It’s because of this that you’ll want to take advantage of your website, and employ a good content marketing.
In other words, you want to use your content to get in new fans and to keep existing fans happy.But what kind of content can you publish? Here are some types of content you should be creating:

  • Videos. Another obvious one.
  • Songs. This is the obvious one.
  • Blog posts related to your genre of music. You can get a lot of people finding out about you by publishing content related to your genre as a whole rather than just you as a musician. More on this later.
Type of Music
Type of Music

Electronic Dance Music

Generally referred as EDM, this form of music is produced by DJs who add dozens of tones to a piece to create unique music. You can hear them in clubs or even live, depending upon your accessibility for the same. In the early twenties, electronic dance music was known in the form of Jamaican dub music, the electronic music of Kraftwerk, the disco music of Giorgio Moroder, the Yellow Magic Orchestra and many more.

Rock Music

Originated as “Rock & Roll” in the United States, Rock music has been rocking the world since the 1950s. It is a form of music that started actually around string instruments, but now uses other modern instruments too making it a little difficult to give it an accurate definition. Its loud and strong beats make it popular among the youths. Some of the rock stars who have popularized the culture include Little Richard, Bill Haley and Chuck Berry while rock bands like Pink Floyd, The Doors, Metallica, Nirvana and Megadeth are the modern bands who have taken the culture by storm.

Jazz

Identified with swing and blue notes, Jazz has its roots both in the West African and European culture. It is said that Jazz is “One of America’s original art forms” and boasts a unique combination of creativity, coactions and interactivity. Originating in the late 19th to early 20th century, Jazz has also played an important role in introducing the world to a number of women performers like Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln and Ethel Waters.

Dubstep

The use of instruments attracting music lovers for its bass and rhythm, this falls in the electronic music genre. People consider it to be a darker form of music, but since its birth in the late 1990s, this genre has successfully made its place in the industry.

Rhythm and Blues

Vocalists like Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Usher and the legendary Michael Jackson have all made it huge in the music industry with their love for this form of music. Originated in the 1940s, this African-American music is a combination of hip hop, funk, dance, pop and soul focusing on themes like relationships, sex and freedom.

Techno

You may have listened to a number of techno music while clubbing, but it is Detroit techno that is considered to be the foundation of this form of music. Unlike the days of its emergence, the use of technology today has greatly enhanced the quality of techno style music and popularizing it among people day by day.

Country Music

Another popular genre of American music which originated in the 1920s, Country music has its roots from American folk and western music. It is formed using simple forms of instruments ranging from electric and steel guitars to drums and mandolin or mouth organ. Some very popular country music singers include Shania Twain, Johnny Cash Taylor Swift and Kenny Rogers.

Electro

A perfect blend of hip hop and electronic music, electro or electro-funk uses drum machine, vocoder and talkbox helping it to distinguish itself from another similar form of music, Disco. Notable artists who have been into this form of music include Arthur Baker, Freeez, Man Parrish and Midnight Star.

Indie Rock

Falling in the genre of alternative rock music, Indie Rock originated in the 1980s and has gradually changed the music industry. After a decade, it also gave birth to a couple of sun-genres in related styles such as math rock, emo, noise pop, post rock and lo-fi.

Pop Music

Pop” is a term derived from “Popular” and thus Pop Music is known to be a genre of popular music. With its roots in the rock & roll style, this form can include any form of music ranging from urban and dance to rock, country and Latin. Instruments highly used are electric guitars, synthesizer drums as well as bass and one can listen to this form of music by listening to songs by Britney Spears, Madonna, Beyonce Lady Gaga and of course the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson.

BEST BLOGS FOR MUSICIANS IN 2019
BEST BLOGS FOR MUSICIANS IN 2019

Ditto Music Blog

At Ditto Music, we’re passionate about supporting independent music however and whenever possible. Our blog is regularly updated with useful tips and advice for musicians of all levels, to help them to create sustainable music careers, focussing on marketing, promotion, technology, opportunities and much more.

The Unsigned Guide

The Unsigned Guide is filled with useful info and articles for up-and-coming bands and artists. The site’s free-to-read blogs are filled with lots of great tips and opportunities, but you can also subscribe to view their wide-ranging directory and access the contact details of thousands of industry bods and companies, from labels and studios, to managers, publishers and more.

Pitchfork

Pitchfork is one of the world’s most popular independent music blogs, updated every day with reviews, features, videos and events. More of a news than an advice blog, Pitchfork is the place to go to find out the latest happenings from across the world of indie music.

CMU Insights

The CMU Insights blog is filled with expert articles on all facets of the music industry, offering a fantastic resource for up-and-coming musicians. If you’d like an even more in-depth understanding of music industry subjects, CMU also runs a number of seminars, conferences and masterclasses throughout the year.

Bob Baker’s The Buzz Factor

The Buzz Factor is a fascinating music industry blog from musician, author and ex-music mag editor Bob Baker, providing music marketing advice for musicians, songwriters and bands. Bob’s blog helps musicians learn ways to get exposure and connect with their audience and features articles, videos, courses, podcasts and more.

Hypebot

Hypebot posts daily content for indie musicians and record labels, including blogs about the music business, news and technology. Their posts are usually in-depth and well worth reading, but great tips can often be found in the comments section of their posts too, so remember to scroll down and you might find something interesting.

Tips for Musical Event Planning
Tips for Musical Event Planning

Extend Your Lead Time

Whether you’re planning a benefit concert, showcasing a musician friend or bringing a bunch of bands to the campus quad, you’ll find out quickly that hosting a music event can get complicated.

Arranging for the actual music is often the simplest part of the plan. You may need to get into promotion, equipment rental and venue research. You might discover a scheduling conflict deep into your well-laid plans and have to move the date — and promote all over again. It could turn out you got the wrong permit and have to start navigating the local red tape all over again.So give yourself more time than you think you need. For a small, casual event in your own home, a few weeks lead time might suffice; but for larger events, you’ll probably need months. It’s not always easy to get everything lined up just right.

To Save Money, Think Local

We all want to fly in Adele for a show, but unless you’ve got the budget of a record company, major musicians are probably out of reach for someone just starting out.
The fact is, even a lesser-known act might be tough to swing if getting them to your show would require travel. Travel costs, including transportation and lodging, add significantly to the cost of a performance, so if you’re on a pretty tight budget, your best bet is probably going to be a local act. It will cost you a lot less to book performers who live close by.

Know Your Audience

Just because you’re booking a great act and selling tickets doesn’t mean people are going to buy them.
Something to keep in mind: A band that sold out a small venue two towns over may not be as popular in your area. To put on a successful show, knowing your audience — and using that knowledge to do some precise targeting — is essential. Who’s especially popular in your area? If you’re not sure, check Facebook pages to find out how many of a band’s followers live nearby, or try looking into past shows to find out what sold out quickly (or at all).

Choose an Appropriate Venue

If you’re planning a concert you’ll be selling tickets for, you want it to sell out; short of that, you want it to look sold out; and short of that, you want it to look full.
A half-empty venue is a something of a downer for everyone — the band, the audience, and, of course, you. But if you’re a relative novice at hosting these types of events, or if you choose to feature an act that doesn’t already have a huge following, selling a huge number of tickets can be tough. The easiest way to avoid this type of downer is to book a small venue. Sell out a 200-person show first, and then set your sights higher.

Identify your target audience and define your budget

The first thing to do before launching your project is to identify the target audience you want to reach with your music show. What type of audience would you like to attract? Whether you are targeting children or an adult audience, the permissions that you will need to apply for will vary. Think about the sale of alcohol for instance, or the time of your event – these will be different for an audience of under or over 18.
Define an attendance goal – this will help you define the compensation of the artist, the venue hire, and all related expenses.

5 Ways To Be a Tourist in Your Hometown
5 Ways To Be a Tourist in Your Hometown

Change your perspective

Walking around the city is amazing, but sometimes the best way to see your city is from a different perspective. Find the highest point of your hometown, and enjoy the view from up here. You will definitely fall in love with your city all over again.

Imagine how wonderful it must look now with all the Christmas decorations. You will be mesmerized. Seeing the city from a different perspective will definitely make you feel like a tourist in your hometown.

Participate in local events

You’ve probably heard about some events in your hometown, but chances are you haven’t been a part of all of them. That’s a great thing, because now you get to experience your city from a whole other angle.

Find out what events are being organized in your hometown, and make sure you visit them. Or even become a part of some of them. It does not matter if that is a local acting group organizing a Christmas play or a Christmas football tournament, it will make you feel much closer to your community. But, you’ll still be discovering something new, which will make you feel like a tourist for sure.

If you don’t want to get involved too much and actually participate, you can always be a part of it by cheering the rest of your community on.

No matter how long you’ve lived in your hometown, there’s always something new that will inspire you and make you fall in love with it all over again. These are only some of the ideas which can help you out. Enjoy!

Make a Date

How many times in your daily life do you pass a new place in town and tell yourself that you’ll check it out ‘one day’ only for that day to never come? Without a firm plan in place, we’re talking time and date here people, you’ll never get around to it. So pull out your diary and make a date to check out as many of those new and interesting places as you possibly can.

Explore Those Dark Back Alleys

Contrary to what most people think, street back alleys are not only the places where businesses throw their trash. These twisted locations also often experience some interesting drama unfolding within them.
And since tourism also includes seeking new experiences, I think these out-of-the-way spots also count.On one occasion, I personally witnessed a mafia-like brawl taking place in a back alley between drug addicts. Each accused the other of stealing cocaine from a dealer, who I was shocked to learn was the town constable. In a Nancy Dew like move, I recorded the entire exchange on my mobile phone. This video recording later led to many arrests and the public sacking of the said official.

Ride a rollercoaster.

If you’re a thrill-seeker, why not spend an exciting day screaming down the hills and around the bends of a rollercoaster at your city’s amusement park? Try going on a weekday to avoid long lines, and enjoy acting like a kid again!

10 Reasons to Travel Full Time
10 Reasons to Travel Full Time

Be your Own Boss

In your normal life, you are doing a 9 to 5 job, answerable to people at work, at home, your friends; and your life just circles around them. In all of this, you forget that this is YOUR life and you have the right to live it your way. That’s exactly what travelling full time is going to bring you. You can be your own boss and finally do things your way.

 Become comfortable with yourself

Traveling opens you up to understanding your true personality, how you deal with situations, and ultimately allows you to become comfortable with who you really are. For those who feel comfortable traveling alone, you know it’s a time for some self-reflection and soul-searching

Chase your dreams

When you were young you would say, “I’ll go to Canada to see the Northern Lights one day”. Well now is the opportunity to follow your dreams and travel anywhere you wish.

Learn the History

Textbooks can only teach you so much, the best education is to experience iconic locations for yourself. Every country is rich in culture and tradition, you will learn fun facts along the way, share tips with other travelers, and will ultimately gain new ideas and experiences.

Explore different cultures

The world is full of various cultures that most people do not get to experience, but full time travelers are blessed with the privilege to gain knowledge and explore the traditions of the world. There is no one right way to think, and being open to diverse cultures allows you to explore more about your capacity for acceptance.

Learn Something New

While travelling, you are always bound to learn something new every day. Little things would be an eye opener to you and you might wonder how you dint see it all these years. You will be exposed to a whole new lot of things that you would have never noticed otherwise.

Enjoy the local food

If you’re a traveler, one of the most fulfilling things is enjoying local cuisines that expand your palate. With the diverse cuisines the world has to offer, food lovers have a definite reason to travel full time.

Books Vs Reality

We all have studied about the History of the world. But experiencing first hand always teaches us much beyond what is there in the books. So get on your expedition to explore the world, you never know you might create history the way Vasco da Gama did.

Pursue your Passion

If you are still unsure about travelling full time, you can always pursue your passion to travel full time. You might be either passionate about photography, painting, dancing, sports or any form of art and you can make that as your gateway to live your dream to travel along with your passion.

Be out of the ordinary

Living in a city and working a 9-5 job could have its exciting points, but ultimately it can be repetitive and draining. Being a full time traveler means you’re constantly on the move, learning new things, and challenging yourself.

7 Benefits Of Travelling Alone
7 Benefits Of Travelling Alone

You will get to know yourself better

Once you are out there on the road on your own you will be faced with decisions you need to make, fears you need to overcome and discover your true self and how much you are capable of. Travelling exposes you to raw experiences where you get to know the person inside you, that little kid that always wanted to travel, wander, expand and grow as a human being through exploring different places around the world.

Once you are on your own, you will discover the importance of following and listening to your own heart. You will focus much better and enjoy the experience. You will live and feel now. A destination far away might help you find answers about your true purpose in life and what is it you are really meant to do.

It will get you out of your comfort zone

Going to unknown places and destinations will challenge you to learn how to rely on yourself at difficult times. Being away from the comfortable bubble of your home will challenge you in many different ways and test your patience. Only by putting yourself out there, you will be able to explore this beautiful planet and discover many new and exciting places.

You might be challenged to explain where you are going to a local person or do hiking for hours in the mountains. Both of these experiences will test your ability to overcome obstacles, challenge you and help you grow as an individual.

It is cost effective

When you travel on your own it is much easier to keep up with your budget because you are the one who decides where and what to eat. That also means that it is much easier to save up money for other things such as trying an adventurous sport or travelling to a distant island.

You will make new friends easier

When you are travelling alone you interact with more people rather than when you are travelling with someone. When you are travelling alone there are a lot of reasons why you interact with new people such as sitting at a bar alone is not a good call, so you interact with someone or someone might just come and talk to you and it’s no science that people move forward and help a solo person more than people who are in groups.

You will learn how to rely on yourself

Travelling to other countries in the world will show you the importance of relying on yourself in difficult situations. You are the one and most important person in your life so make sure you learn how to trust your own heart, take decisions and make your own choices. That will help you further in life when it comes to taking an important step in your life because you will realise that it is you who creates the reality around you and it is significant to respect your own needs.

You improve your language skills

When you travel in a group then you really do not have an emergency need to talk to someone native because you can talk to your own friends and enjoy your time but when it comes to the solo travel you are all on your own and obviously, you need to talk and interact. Being a foreigner when you interact with a native person you learn a lot of words and common phrases from their language.If you want to read more stories from our solo holidays to Italy, click here to download our free, singles holidays booklet.

 It is good for your well-being

Each one of us can admit that travelling makes us happy and excited. It can reduce stress, calm your body and mind and also show you one of the most important reasons we live on this planet: to reunite with the natural world and be part of every beautiful place on the Earth.

The 10 Best Places to Travel in 2019
The 10 Best Places to Travel in 2019

The Turquoise Coast, Turkey

If you Google “is Turkey safe”, you’ll get 1.5 billion answers. The real answer, of course, depends on where you want to visit. If it’s Turkey’s beautiful Turquoise Coast, the answer is definitely YES. The coastline is blessed with amazing beaches, fabulous landscapes, sensational food and brilliant hotels. Better still, it’s one of the cheapest summer destinations on the market.

Go with i-escape: For beachside bliss on a budget, the lovely wooden cabins at Azur are surrounded by idyllic gardens, a pool, and stunning views. 4 Reasons is a Med-Zen chill-out hotel near Bodrum, with a lively bistro bar. For groups or families, try the 2 superb villas at Mandarin & Mango in the wilds of seaside Faralya.

Austria

Amazingly, Austria remains Europe’s best-kept secret. Hemmed in by jolly Germany and fancy Italy, you’d think the Austrians would be fed-up of their noisy neighbours, but not a chance. For they have secret wonders – 2 staggeringly beautiful cities, a culture that encourages genius (Mozart, Freud, Wittgenstein) and Europe’s most breathtaking Alpine wonderland. Go now.

Go with i-escape: Our favourite new place in Salzburg is the stylish Hotel & Villa Auersperg close to the historic centre. In the heart of Vienna, try the ultra-spacious rooms of The Guesthouse. For Alpine splendour, you can’t beat the great value of Haus Hirt – voted ‘Best European Hotel 2018’ by our guests

Normandy, France

On 6 June, Normandy dominated the world’s media. The date marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and the famous beaches witnessed a procession of world leaders paying their respects to those who fought, and died, in this decisive allied operation. Yet beyond Omaha and Juno, a quieter Normandy awaits. This is the Normandy of fairytale chateaus, dreamy meadows, fantasy coastlines and Monet’s magical garden. And don’t forget the heavenly cheese and cider!

Go with i-escape: Families will adore the new Manoir de Surville set in peaceful farmlands. Kids will also love the vast grounds of 19th-century chateau Le Castel. Couples should try the romantic gite La Vie de Cocagne or the elegant country retreat La Louviere in southern Normandy (the food is delish).

Alternative Morocco

The whole world fell in love with Morocco over the last decade, with special attention lavished on Marrakech. This year, the real Morocco is being re-discovered. Explore the untouched stretches of the Atlas Mountains, the boho surfing towns on the Atlantic coast, or the secluded sands of the Sahara Desert. Feed your wanderlust.

Go with i-escape: In the High Atlas, the colourful Douar Samra guesthouse promises the most extraordinary arrival of your life. In Essaouira, the astonishing Salut Maroc is a must, as is the fabled Baoussala. For a truly unique experience, venture into the Sahara Desert and sleep below the stars at Camp Adounia.

Oaxaca, Mexico

With better transport links and a generational shift in travellers wanting local culture, Mexico is witnessing a revolution. You can feel the buzz in its vibrant creative capital, Oaxaca – the birthplace of mezcal. The city and surrounding countryside offer truly authentic experiences: outrageous fiestas, fabulous street food, stunning colonial architecture and the jaw-dropping Monte Alban pyramid complex, now a World Heritage site. See it before the crowds arrive.

Go with i-escape: Oaxaca city is blessed with affordable boutique hotels. Our 2 favourites are the stylish Casa Oaxaca, with its excellent cuisine and pool; and the intimate 3-bedroom colonial house La Casa de los Milagros (‘the House of Miracles’) in the heart of the city.

Porto, Portugal

Five years ago, Porto was nowhere. Today, it’s on every hipster’s bucket list. Portugal’s second city is enjoying an amazing renaissance, largely thanks to its young citizens. Last year saw an explosion of new boutique shops, restaurants and lively bars. But the city also boasts Medieval architecture, blue flag beaches and the world’s most beautiful bookstore. And it’s only 2 hours from London!

Go with i-escape: We love these stylish seafront self-catering apartments (for 2-5), just a tram ride from the historic centre. Rosa Et Al Townhouse is a great-value design hotel in Porto’s dynamic arty quarter. Just outside the city, Solar Egas Moniz is a charming new family-run guesthouse with fantastic prices (kids under 12 stay free).

The Balearic Islands for Families

For the first time in a generation, the Balearics will be free of Club 18-30 revellers. The recent demise of the party brand is great news for Ibiza, Menorca and Mallorca, who can now focus on what they do best – providing sun-kissed family holidays with plenty of activities (picnic beaches, jeep safaris, cave tours, zip-lining), along with lots of stylish family hotels.

Go with i-escape: For Ibiza, Agro Can Gall is a relaxed 11-room finca set in beautiful grounds. These 4 family rentals in Cala Carbo have pools and sea views, while Can Talaias, near San Carlo, is a wonderful boho agriturismo. For Mallorca, StayCatalina apartments (for 2-5) are lovely family options, as is Portixol, a super-stylish harbourside hotel near Palma. For Menorca, the small yet family-friendly Casa Alberti hotel has a real soul.

Montenegro

With breathtaking scenery, undiscovered beaches, UNESCO World Heritage towns, a burgeoning wine culture and incredible Southern European cuisine, this country should be on everyone’s radar for 2019. While it used to be considered a stopover that travelers combined with its popular neighboring country, Croatia, this Adriatic paradise has experienced a development boom this past year, making it a perfect country to explore on its own. The legendary Aman Sveti Stefan, a fortified island that dates to the 15th century, is the go-to spot for rest and relaxation with its pink-sand beach and killer spa. In nearby Tivat, the glitzy Regent Porto Montenegro is a prime place for shopping, socializing, beach clubs and boating; a St. Tropez scene, though at a more reasonable price. Meanwhile, the recently opened Chedi Lustica Bay, part of the new Lustica Bay Marina Village, is one of seven hotels to be built in this area, complete with an 18-hole golf course, along with the One & Only Portonovi, due to be finished by the end of next year. With luxury accommodations now able to match its stunning surroundings, Montenegro is a place to put on your horizon in the new year.

Sri Lanka

Here’s a striking thought: Sri Lanka is smaller than Ireland but it contains golden beaches, gorgeous waterfalls, wild elephants, sacred temples, epic mountain ranges, modern cities and probably your last chance to spot a leopard in the wild. And that’s just scratching the surface. Take a stunning train ride, surf the southern coasts, or just relax with the best cup of tea of your life.

Go with i-escape: The Saffron House on the south coast is a stylish staffed villa, perfect for families (sleeps 4-8). On the east coast, new luxury tented resort Karpaha Sands occupies a deserted beach and has a wonderful vibe. Brand-new Rukgala Retreat is a tranquil wellness retreat in the Knuckles Mountains, an hour from Kandy. And chic Serendipity Villa (for 2-5) on a golden beach in Galle was voted ‘Best Long-haul Rental 2018’ by our guests.

Scotland

Suddenly, everybody’s talking about Scotland. Is it the Brexit bounce? Who knows, but the majestic lochs and dramatic glens of bonnie Scotland are the UK’s prime destination this year. With a new high-speed train network, a surging interest in the Highlands, and Edinburgh being voted Britain’s most attractive city, you’d be aff ye heid not to visit.

Go with i-escape: Mhor 84 motel is a fabulous gateway to the Scottish Highlands, with great food and terrific prices. 15 Glasgow is an opulent B&B townhouse near the city centre. In Edinburgh, The Dunstane is a luxurious small hotel in a grand Victorian villa in peaceful Haymarket, while the gorgeous Georgian apartments at The Chester Residence are perfect for weekend breaks.