If you’re a beach bunny and you love nothing more than the feel of the sun on your skin and the sand between your toes, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a spot to lay down your towel and soak up the rays. Planet Earth is blessed with some truly incredible locations that are ripe for recharging your batteries and escaping it all.
Mexico is a vibrant country that offers something for every traveler. You can immerse yourself in cultural experiences, visit ancient monuments and discover incredible cuisine here, but you can also while away the hours on powdery sands with nothing but rolling waves and swaying palms for company. If you’re after a sedate break, steer clear of the bustling beaches of Cancun and head for Tulum. A historical region adorned with stone statues, Tulum is also a haven for sun-seekers. The beaches are pristine, the scenery is beautiful, and you won’t have to contend with crowds. Cabo is another destination worth considering, especially if you’re keen to treat yourself and live in the lap of luxury. The golden beaches are flanked by bright blue waters, and there’s a stunning collection of opulent hotels and exclusive bars, beach clubs and restaurants on offer.
Barbados is a breathtaking island, which offers the chance to embrace laid-back living and enjoy a serene break in paradise. Although the major towns and resorts like St Lawrence Gap are lively, there are plenty of secluded sandy spots too. Barbados is a small island, and it’s worth hiring a car and driving around the coastline to find the best beaches. Highlights include Gibbes Beach, Accra Beach, Silver Sands and Enterprise Beach. Crane Beach, which boasts pink sand, is also a must for tourists.
When it comes to beach holidays, Belize isn’t always the first destination on every list but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be! As one of the lesser known Caribbean countries, you can experience the pristine beaches without the hordes of tourists. Whatever your budget or taste, Belize really does have something for everyone. If you want luxury, at Placencia Belize Luxury Resort you can enjoy a view of the ocean from the hotel pool. For budget travelers, head to one of the many backpacker hostels which line the beautiful beaches.
Thailand’s islands have long been a haven for gap year backpackers, but they are becoming increasingly appealing to travelers of all ages. Hostels and affordable guesthouses can be found next to luxury hotels and sprawling resorts, and it’s not hard to see why everyone wants a slice of island life. The most popular destinations include the islands of Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui on the east coast and the islands of Phi Phi and Koh Lanta in the Andaman Sea. Whichever coast you choose, you’ll be greeted with white sand and vivid turquoise waters. The islands of Koh Samui and Phi Phi tend to be busier, but it’s very easy to hop around and explore more secluded spots via traditional Thai long boats.
The city sejour
City breaks are a fantastic way to discover new cultures and tick famous attractions off your bucket list. When it comes to choosing destinations, there’s a plethora of options on offer.
Rome is a city steeped in history, and you’ll feel like you’ve been catapulted back in time as you meander through the cobbled streets and marvel at monuments that have stood for centuries. When in Rome, indulge your inner culture vulture, see the sights and enjoy the food and drink. Take a guided tour of the Coliseum, explore the Pantheon and admire the beauty of the Trevi Fountain. Wander through the ruins of the Forum, walk up the Spanish Steps, visit the Vatican and reward yourself with a sumptuous bowl of pasta and traditional gelato at the end of the day. If you’re booking a hotel in Rome, it’s worth looking for a central location, as most of the main attractions are clustered together. If you want to save money, consider investigating hostels or apartments that are located slightly further afield, as you can travel into the city on the bus.
Singapore is one of the most intriguing cities on the planet. A modern metropolis, which leads the way when it comes to innovative architecture and design, this is a city that delivers all kinds of unique experiences for tourists. Animal lovers will adore the expansive, open safaris on offer at Singapore Zoo while fans of art, gardening and architecture will be enthralled by the Gardens by the Bay exhibit. Sentosa Island is a fun day out for families, couples and solo travelers and a ride on the Singapore Flyer guarantees incredible views. There’s an abundance of modern hotels on offer, but you’re staying for a while or you’re traveling with friends, it’s a good idea to consider renting a Singapore apartment. Singapore is often a stop-off for those moving on to Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Bali or Dubai, but there’s a huge amount to see and do so take the chance to explore.
Lisbon is hotly-tipped to rival stalwarts like Paris and Barcelona in the popularity stakes in 2018. The Portuguese capital is making waves, and visitor numbers are increasing year on year. It’s no surprise given the city’s beauty and the array of attractions on offer. Lisbon is a visual treat, but it also enjoys an enviable coastal location, which makes it an ideal option for those hoping to combine sightseeing with sunbathing. There’s a host of sights to tick off your list including Belem Tower, Sao Jorge Castle, Rossio Square and Jeronimos Monastery. The charming hillside suburb of Alfama is a must for history enthusiasts while foodies will love the local tapas and of course, the famous pasteis de nata. If you do fancy a day trip, head to the seaside and chill out in Cascais or take the train to nearby Sintra. The colorful, tiled wonderland of Pena Palace is a veritable feast for the senses, and it offers incredible views.
Do you fancy testing your mettle or exploring the great outdoors on your next vacation? If so, there are some incredible locations out there.
Iceland is growing in stature in the tourism stakes, but it remains unspoiled. A world away from the traditional package holiday, this remote island is packed with mind-blowing natural wonders. If you like to push yourself or you’re keen to enjoy life-changing experiences, there are numerous activities available. Scale a glacier, navigate your way around floating icebergs in a sea kayak or get your pulse racing with a snowmobile safari. You can hike, climb and cycle here, you can ski and snowboard and you can even explore volcanoes. After a long day, unwind in a thermal pool or join a cruise and search for the Northern Lights.
Even if you’re a US native, you’d have to cover some serious miles to enjoy all the action-packed adventures the many national parks have to offer. The US is blessed with a long list of breathtaking parks that are ripe for exploration. From the glaciers of Alaska to the clear, starry skies of Big Bend, there are rivers, canyons, lakes, mountain ranges and dusty desert plains to discover. Camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors, and it’s also a cheap way to see more of the world. The most popular national parks in America include Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains.
If you have time on your road trip to the national parks, it's also worthwhile to make stops in some of the best small towns along your travel route, and experience the charming local culture these places offer.
If you thrive on a rush of adrenaline or you like to spend your vacations on the go, New Zealand is the perfect place for you. The scenery is reminiscent of a film set and there’s a plethora of activities on offer that is guaranteed to get your heart racing. You can bungee jump, skydive and hike to your heart’s content, you can try winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and luging and you can also scale glaciers and negotiate the winding subterranean passages of caves and caverns. Queenstown is the place to be if you’re interested in activities, but it’s well worth hiring a car and traveling around, as this is a place where a new adventure awaits you around every corner. Highlights include Milford Sound, Lake Taupo and the Bay of Islands.
If you’re a globetrotter, your thoughts are probably never too far away from your next trip. If you’re looking for ideas or inspiration, hopefully, this guide has got you thinking. Whether you long to laze on a golden beach, escape it all and embrace tranquility for a while, you’re keen to explore urban labyrinths or you’re after an action-packed adventure in the outdoors, there’s a whole host of incredible options to choose from. From deserted paradise islands to concrete jungles and snow-capped mountain ranges, the world is your oyster, so why not have a look around, do some research, get some tips and start planning your next break?
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