It can hit at any time, without warning. Sometimes, it’s a photo on social media that sparks it. Other times, a story told by a friend just back from holiday. Books can do it. Films can do it. What is this strange phenomenon? Wanderlust? Envy? Holiday blues? A little of each… It’s… time to plan a trip! Remember – there’s only one cure for travel-envy. You only live once – grab an opportunity and don’t let go!
Icelandic winter? YOLO!
Don’t be fooled by the name. There’s so much more to Iceland than arctic temperatures, the northern lights, the geysers, the glaciers. You may think you’ve seen it all, but until you’ve set foot here, you’re seriously missing out.
Come in the summer to explore the volcanoes, lava fields and fjords. Or, for the real deal, make your trip in winter, to see the icy kingdom in all its frozen majesty – a sight few ‘southern folk’ ever get to experience. If you want to amaze your friends with your stories and photos, this is the way to go. Don’t be scared – if you freeze, the saunas are always there to help thaw you out. The only catch – once you visit Iceland, normal life will never seem the same again.
Belize may be tiny, but if you’re looking for a Caribbean holiday, instead of taking an easy option, why not try something a bit more special? There is a brace of reasons why you should: for one thing, unlike the rest of Central America, Belize’s official language is English, which makes trip planning a breeze.
For another, the country’s small size (think Wales in the tropics) makes it manageable to visit – and once you’re there, the breadth of sights, both natural and human-made, will take your breath away. From Mayan temples to rainforests, waterfalls, and mysterious caves, you’ll be living your very own Indiana Jones adventure. Oh, did we mention you can go cave tubing in the caves? No? Well, you can go cave tubing in the caves.
One last thing – do not, under any circumstances, miss out on the Blue Holes. These underwater caves are a secret paradise all their own. Dive in, and like Alice, you’ll enter a wonderland – leaving your friends back home looking like Tweedledum and dumber.
“Last night I dreamt I went to Mandalay…” – sound familiar? While just ten years ago, this dream may have seemed impossible, now it’s within your reach. Myanmar’s evolution from closed country to travel hotspot in just a few years is remarkable. From under 200,000 foreign visitors a decade ago to 5 million last year, the winds of change are blowing here, and they’re bringing freedom, prosperity, and liberty along with them. Let yourself be swept up in the breeze – you won’t regret it.
Amongst the many changes that have occurred in the country recently: longer visas, better internet coverage, and many more cashpoints – all of which add up to a smoother travelling experience. And as well as the major tourist attractions (the bustling capital Yangon, with its golden pagodas and exotic fruit stands, the monkeys and floating markets of Inle Lake and of course, Mandalay), you’ll now be able to escape from the crowds and see some truly unique sights – ones that are sure to amaze you as well as impress your friends back at home. Ever see a Burmese python? Now’s your chance!
Vietnam is experiencing something of a travel explosion. With 10 million visitors in 2016 alone, it would be hard to call it a secret spot, but if you act quickly, you’re still sure to see something special.
The most important tip we can give for visiting Vietnam is, don’t try to do it all at once. Do a bit of research first, see what interests you the most, and then zoom in on one area: either the north (say from Hanoi to Da Nang) or the south (Da Nang to the Mekong Delta).
Tip 2: Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much advance planning – be spontaneous! There is simply so much in Vietnam worth visiting. No matter where you go, you’re guaranteed to see something amazing, so rather than wear yourself out with schedules and itineraries, go on impulse. That’s how you’ll surprise yourself and uncover something truly special.
Tip 3: Don’t wait! For all its unique beauty, it’s clear that things are changing quickly in Vietnam. As the country becomes more global, some of the more traditional sights, like its floating markets are becoming a thing of the past. Even traditional Vietnamese cuisine is now harder to find – in the tourist areas, fast food is quickly taking over where authentic cooking once predominated. If you want to see the real Vietnam, there’s no time to waste.
What’s long, thin, and incredibly dry? If you’re thinking of Chile, you’re absolutely right! (and if you’re not, we don’t want to know.) Stretching over nine lines of latitude along the South American Pacific coast, Chile, and its Atacama Desert, in particular, is an absolute must for anyone’s bucket list (see here for proof).
You’ll start in San Pedro, a village oasis (pop. 2000) in the desert. From here, you can take guided horse-mounted tours into the sun-baked wilds of the desert. Now, don’t let the term ‘desert’ fool you. Far from empty, the terrain is stunning, from sand dunes to rivers, steep gorges and windswept salt flats. Intense and unforgettable, photos don’t do it justice – it must be lived to be believed.
Hang with the hippies in San Pedro, then head into the wilderness. What tempts you? A trip to the lost lagoon of Tuyacto? The outstretched majesty of Atacama’s salt lake? Paragliding over the immense sand dunes outside Iquique? In Chile, it’s all possible.
Red, barren, and baking hot, it might surprise you that anyone would choose to take their holidays in the vast wastelands of Australia’s interior. ’50 degree heat?’, you might be thinking. ‘I’ll pass.’ But passing is exactly what you should NOT do. Take the road less taken – and you’ll see why.
With 80% of Australia’s territory, but less than 1% of its population, the Outback is one place you can go and truly feel like you’re somewhere special. A desert the size of Europe may sound daunting, but if you treat it with the respect it deserves, it will repay you in awe-inspiring experiences.
Head straight for the centre – the Red Center, that is. Dunes here can reach 15 metres high and up to 10 kilometres long. Hire an all-terrain vehicle and set off on your own Mad Max adventure – there’s nothing to stop you. Of course, it’s not all sand and dirt – once you see the mystical wonder of Uluru rising up from the desert, you’ll know all those miles were worth it.
Note: These rates are based on search queries made on KAYAK.co.uk on 07.02.2017. Flight prices are quoted in GBP and are based on results for a return economy flight search. Prices are subject to change, may vary or no longer be available. Prices may change at any time and are subject to certain offers may no longer be available.