With summer almost upon us and the thoughts of holidays to far flung places beginning to creep into your mind, you might be wondering just how best to spend those lazy summer days and where the perfect getaway destination is. Travelling far and wide is so much more accessible these days and as a result more and more people are choosing to head to exotic international locales to spend a week or two lazing in hammocks drinking Mai Tais and whiling away the hours on some of the most pristine sand on the planet. Sure, this sounds great, doesn’t it, but where are the top holiday destinations that you can head to this year without breaking the bank? Here is a roundup of our favourite destinations that you need to check out now.
The Maldives is a string of beautiful islands on coral atolls south west of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. Graced with some of the most stunning beaches in the world along with perfect temperatures year round makes this one of the most idyllic and sought after locations for romantic or family getaways. In an effort to create a sustainable environment there are 110 islands with resorts – only one per island – to ensure no island is ever too overcrowded or inundated with travellers that it can’t handle. The result is an experience of having an island seemingly all to yourself in some cases unless you join excursions or go for pre-planned meals. If you have kids don’t worry, there are a number of islands that cater to families. For more information and to book your perfect escape to paradise, check out www.neoscapesmaldives.com and get your bags packed now.
Sri Lanka is a fair sized, unique country off the south east coast of India. With an extensive written history, hundreds of miles of coastline and some unique inland mountainous regions to explore, it’s easy to say that Sri Lanka has a little something for everyone and for all ages too. From visiting wildlife sanctuaries and elephant riding, going on boating trips to see sea life like dolphins and whales or even trying out a bit of light mountain climbing by climbing the famed Sigiriya or Pidurangala Rock for some commanding views around the area. Adam’s Peak. also known as Sri Pada is one of the most sacred places in Sri Lanka where it’s said a footprint has been left belonging to Buddha, Shiva or Adam depending on the religious background of the person telling the story. Regardless, it’s interesting to see and draws crowds from all religious backgrounds. The view from the top is staggeringly beautiful as well as is the town from which you climb to the top, Maskeliya.
This island region of South East Asia is shared by Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. Not only is it the largest island in Asia, but it’s the third largest in the world. Featuring significant swathes of rainforest, gorgeous coastline and beaches and the opportunities to see some of the world’s most unique forms of wildlife in the Bornean Orangutan which can be visited at sanctuaries both near Kuching as well as Sabah. For the serious explorer, Mount Kinabalu offers a climb that you won’t soon forget as well as impressive vistas from the summit as well as bragging rights. The beaches of Borneo can sometimes be deserted and leave you feeling as though you have the whole island do yourself. For world music lovers be sure to stick around for the Rainforest Music Festival – a three day event that brings musicians from all over the planet together for a jam session in the rainforest. For shoppers and those who love the city life, don’t miss Kuching, also known as Cat City and their numerous statues of cats everywhere, including in temples.
History buffs get ready because Vietnam is a huge draw for people of all ages and with an interest in the Vietnam war or not. With so much to see and do in one country you will have a hard time picking things to add to your itinerary if you’re pressed for time. Both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are great starting points and fabulous introductions into the Vietnamese culture, food and activities, and with many international flight connections they are both easy to get to from almost anywhere in the world. Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is home to the Cu Chi Tunnels, a former Vietnam War era network of tunnels, now tourist attraction, which allows you to experience the tunnel life of the Viet Cong for yourself. Da Lat, a small town north east of Ho Chi Minh City is a gorgeous locale set amid mountains and greenery which is also home to the ‘Crazy House’, a huge, life sized art project turned guesthouse. Hoi An on the coast is a must see for those who want to kick back and relax for a couple of days while having the beach on their doorstep. Hoi An has become somewhat of a backpacker’s paradise and so is home to cute shops, cafes and more. Overall there is a number of cities and towns to experience in Vietnam and with excellent bus services linking them together, it’s easy to see why more and more people are choosing this exotic destination for their holidays.
We could talk about Cuba for ages, honestly, as there is such an air of excitement and wonder nestled in the cobbled back streets and corners of the Casa Particulares throughout the country. If going, consider staying in one of these homestays that offer a true cultural experience for often less than resorts. Likewise all around Cuba it’s the law to pick up hitchhikers. While this may not seem ideal for many people who want to come to Cuba to just chill out beach side for a week or two, it’s a fantastic experience for adventurers who want to experience the country and its people. Resorts in Cuba are plentiful and as are resort based activities such as cultural shows, dining, excursions and more and many are family friendly. The beaches are pristine and host white sand and turquoise seas, essentially everything you could possibly want from a Caribbean vacation all rolled into one welcoming, exciting and unusual island. Given its history with much of the western world and American based brands, you won’t find many shops, restaurants or hotels here that are “big names” in the States, a rather refreshing experience for those who usually go to other mainstream places for their getaways.
So if you’re wondering just how to get away and get away in style this year, consider one of these destinations for a truly unique and wonderful holiday experience. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed with any of these picks!