Monday, 12 October 2015

Top 8 Travel Itineraries

So, you have two to three weeks spare for a big annual holiday and you don't want to spend the whole time sitting in an all inclusive beach resort. I have shared my top eight "travel" holidays into one blog post for some inspiration. Please note many of these are only possible with internal flights, although these are very reasonable in many destinations and some require hiring a car!

1. Thailand:
  • 2 nights in Bangkok - try dining at Cabbages & Condoms and Above 11, wander the Khao san road and spend a day temple hopping including the Grand Palace
  • 3 nights in Chiang Mai - fly from Bangkok! Check out the night markets, spend a day with the elephants, take a cookery school or a jungle trek, white water raft or see the temples! You can easily fill three days here
  • 3-4 nights in Khao Lak - enjoy the beaches and Thai cuisine, take a day trip to the James Bond Islands and the Similian Islands
  • 4-5 nights in Phuket - time for some pure relaxation and spa
Alternatives would be to add Krabi instead of Khao Lak or Phuket, a day trip to the Phi Phi Islands or try a combination of Krabi / Phuket and Kho Samui.

2. Malaysia:
  • 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur - experience the shopping malls and night markets, head up to the top of the Petronas Towers and spend an afternoon with the monkeys at Batu Caves
  • 2 nights in Penang - take a luxury bus in 4-5 hours to the coastal city of Penang. See the butterfly farm, spice garden and religious sites and eat like a local at the various food markets
  • 5-7 nights in Langkawi - take a short flight to the island and spend plenty of time relaxing on the white sand beaches with a jungle back drop. Split your time between Pantai Cenang and a quieter part of the island such as Datai Bay
  • 2 nights in Singapore - why not end your trip with a flight into Singapore for a weekend, experience the clean metropolis and it's various attractions
You could also include a trip to Cameron Highlands to see the tea plantations.

3. Kenya / Tanzania:
  • 1-2 nights in Nairobi or Dar es Salaam. In Nairobi visit the David Sheldon elephant sanctuary, the giraffe sanctuary and the Karen Blixen house. In Dar head to the beach or the colourful markets
  • For safari you could then try 4-5 nights in the Masai Mara in Kenya or for Tanzania try 1 night in Lake Manyara, 2-3 nights in the Serengeti and 1 night in Ngorongoro Crater
  • Then head to the beach to relax, either fly to Zanzibar or head up to Mombasa

4. Croatia:
  • 2-3 nights in Dubrovnik, check out the castle walls and sea kayak around the islands. You can also head into Montenegro for a day trip
  • 1 night in Split after an incredible day of coastal driving
  • 5-7 nights on the islands, I would recommend Hvar with a day trip to Brac and the Blue & Green caves as well as hire a motor boat and whiz around the Pakleni Islands or split your time between Hvar and Korcula
  • 1 night in Plitvice Lakes visitng Krka Falls on route
  • 1 night in Zagreb - take a Segway tour!
  • 2 nights in Cavtat just for a little bit more coastal relaxation before returning home

5. Borneo & Bali:
  • Fly into Kuala Lumpur and head on for 2 nights in Sepilok to see the Orangutans and a half day cruise up the Kinabatangan River
  • 3 nights in Kota Kinabalu checking out the night markets, beaches and mountain
  • 2 nights on Gaya Island for some soft sand luxury
  • Journey to Bali for 3 nights in a jungle resort in Ubud
  • Followed by 4 nights at a beach resort in Seminyak before flying home via Kuala Lumpur or Singapore
Alternatives would be to try some of the islands off the coast of Sandakan or head into the jungle staying at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge. You could also climb Mt. Kinabalu. In Bali you could try Nusa Dua, Lombok or the Gili Islands.

6. South Africa:
  • 5 nights in Cape Town - go shark cage diving, take a trip up table mountain, visit Robben Island, drive to the Cape of Good Hope etc etc
  • 2-3 nights in Stellenbosch for wine tasting
  • For longer stays why not consider the garden route or a safari, equally you could take a flight to Mauritius for a week of beach relaxation

7. New Zealand:
  • 1 night in Auckland - just to get your bearings
  • 3 nights in Queenstown - try skiing, bungee jumping, wine tasting or a Lord of the Rings horseback tour - make sure you party at World Bar and eat a FergBurger
  • 2 nights in Franz Joseph - this should give you enough time to hike the glacier
  • 2 nights in Nelson - sky dive over Abel Tasman National Park
  • 1 night in Wellington - just to get a small feel for the city
  • 2 nights in Rotorua - for white water rafting and natural hot springs
  • 2 nights in Waitomo - for black water rafting
You could add on Christchurch to your visit or some more time in the North exploring the area of Coromandel. Equally you could head to Fiji for beach relaxation post your adventure holiday.

8. California:
  • 2 -3 nights in San Francisco - explore the bay, check out a baseball game, see the Golden Gate Bridge and experience Alcatraz
  • 2 nights in Yosemite - lots of hiking and hunting for bears!
  • 2-4 nights in Las Vegas - check out a show and marvel at the incredible hotels as well as day trip to the Grand Canyon
  • 4-7 nights in Los Angeles - take a day trip to Malibu, Laguna Beach or the OC. Have a bonfire on Huntingdon Beach, experience Disneyland, Universal or the Warner Bros. Studios. See the Hollywood Walk of Fame and take a trip around the stars houses. Check out muscle beach and the Santa Monica pier
For longer time add on a trip down Pacific Highway One from San Diego - Santa Barbara - Carmel by the Sea - Santa Cruz - San Jose and the Big Sur in between. Or head north to Napa Valley for some wine tasting.

I am currently writing another two itineraries, one around the Rockies of Canada and another road trip from Seattle to San Francisco exploring all of the national parks in between. I always like having future ideas in the pipeline!

Happy Holiday Planning!