Where to Look for Your Next Big Trip
The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in, and the temperature is dropping at an alarming rate. It can all be a bit much, the winter. That’s why now is the perfect time to inject some sunshine into your life, start looking forward to the new year and plan your next big trip. So, here is some inspiration for where to go, what to do and how to do it. Who knows, these dreary winter days might just be the thing your travel bug needs.
Let’s take this continent by continent to give a real flavour of the world. Starting with Europe, home of the Eiffel Tower, ancient Roman history and majestic fjords. There is a lot to cover on this continent so, as it’s the first suggestion, if you’re going to make this your big trip for the year you should make it bigger. The luxury that Europeans have over the rest of the world is they have a wide range of cultures and beauty spots across a wide range of countries all accessible by train, road or ferry. This article by Kayak gives you a solid breakdown of how to travel to ten (ten!) countries in one month, meaning you could be sipping tea in London on Monday, sampling paella in Barcelona on Friday, and letting the sea wash over you a few days later in Malta.
Maybe that sounds like a lot of work. The itinerary is too big and you want to explore somewhere with the rich culture of a European city but with less travelling around. The Caribbean might be the one for you. But, we’re not looking at the sun, sea and sandals Caribbean, no this recommendation comes with the opportunity to explore and learn.
Cuba, more specifically Havana. A country so different from the rest of the world, as soon as you book your flight to its capital, you will be met with the same comment ‘oh, I want to go there before it changes.’ Well, as any place does, it is changing but it’s evolving and now is as good a time as any to visit. For the first time since the revolution at the end of the 1950s, Cuba is no longer led by a Castro brother making this an intriguing time in the country’s history. While there you can sample the bars frequented by Ernest Hemingway, you’ll dance to the ever-present rhythms of the city and stroll along the Malecon as the sun sets. Yes, the cars are vintage and the politics are different but there is so much more to Cuba than first meets the eye that you’ll be wanting to go back every year.
But what if you’re not looking for the culture of a city, this year you want a nature escape, to be one with the planet. Well, look no further than Canada. A trip out west to Vancouver will see you surrounded by mountains, wildlife and hiking trails until your heart’s content. One recommendation is a delightful cycle around the 8km sea wall that will take you through the famous Stanley Park where you’ll see the First Nation totem poles and a range of beautiful gardens.
Sticking with the nature theme, there is a whole other world out there for travelers to explore and thanks to careful online research and booking you can now do it cheaper than ever. The animal kingdom awaits your visit over in Africa and for this particular suggestion, we’re looking at Tanzania. Home of the Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti, you’ll find all manner of wildlife on a safari trail here from lions who can climb trees to elephants wandering the landscape. As these travelers can attest, if it is animals you’re after then here animals you will get. There are few things more exhilarating in this world than seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. One additional bonus is to get to the nature reserves you have to travel through the country, so not only do you get the wildlife but you’ll have just a taste of Earth’s third-biggest continent, Africa.
Speaking of large continents, how about two for one? If you choose to head to Australia next year be sure to use the stopover to get out and see one of the many countries that airlines give you the opportunity to. Singapore has multiple islands to get around and a world famous night zoo, Dubai is home to the tallest building in the world and Hong Kong is a fascinating glimpse into one aspect of Asian culture. And all the while that you’re in those places you have the land down under to look forward to with its heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest that meet in Queensland.
If all that isn’t enough, South America is just waiting for you to discover it. There are trails galore which will take you country to country and give you the opportunity to see natural wonders like Iguaza Falls or the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil. Maybe steak and red wine are more your things and for that Argentina is waiting with open arms.
Finally, the practicalities. So we’ve talked about where to go and what to do when you’re there but the issue of getting there and where to set up camp - so to speak - hasn’t been arranged. First of all flights, the number one piece of advice is shop around and make sure you’re paying a fair price. Using the tools outlined in this post, you should be able to secure a flight for an amount that won’t make you reconsider the whole plan. As for accommodation, make sure you shop around, hotels aren’t always ideal so exploring options like AirBnB to ensure your rest stop meets your expectations, requirements and price.
Your options are limitless so don’t let the winter get you down, get preparing and dreaming of the travels to come!