SUMMER! Ok, I know it’s a bit early to be talking about summer holidays. BUT, so many people book in advance nowadays that you need to start thinking about it early. I have friends who already have their summer 2018 holidays booked and paid for. In fact, I already have a trip booked for the summer myself. So where should you go this summer? I couldn’t include everywhere, but hopefully I’ll give you a few ideas.
Summer Travel Ideas for 2018
Wildlife Watching in South Africa
South Africa is a great place to rub shoulder with some of the most incredible wildlife on the planet. Go on safari and you can see majestic creatures like elephants, lions, leopards, wild buffalo, rhinos and more. There’s also an array of summer volunteering opportunities, including great conservation projects where you can help out with preserving the habitat of the wildlife. You can look after the elephants that are staying in the elephant sanctuary. You can help plant trees, plants, and remove invasive species that don’t belong. You can help build homes for the wild animals. You can also help with wild game drives to move the animals to new areas. If conservation is something you are passionate about then South Africa is definitely the place for you.
Enjoy Picnics in England
There’s nothing like an English summer picnic. Fresh strawberries, sandwiches and PLENTY of Pimms with the photo-perfect gingham picnic blanket = HEAVEN! England has no shortage of wonderful picnic spots. If you want to picnic in the city you can head to Hyde Park, St. James Park, or even sit on the stairs of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Head to Wiltshire, about 45 minutes outside of London and you can have a picnic with Stonehenge in the background. Drive to the Cotwolds (where Kate Winslet has her cottage in the movie The Holiday!), less than 2 hours from London, and you can enjoy a picnic in a picturesque town square, a forest setting, or eat your lunch with Roman Ruins in the background. If you’re planning a summer holiday for a group, then why not rent a large holiday home in the countryside, then you’ll have plenty of space and a kitchen where you can prep all your picnic supplies. It usually works out much cheaper than booking several hotel/B&B rooms. Devon and Cornwall are absolutely stunning parts of England and have plenty of great picnic spots by the sea. Just don’t forget the Pimms!
Experience Whale Watching in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is one of my favourite countries and it is a fabulous place to go whale watching. Mirissa is the best place to start from and you can travel down the coast to Dondra Point on the south coast. You can see many different species including humpback whales and rare sightings of blue whales. And whale watching isn’t the only thing to do in Sri Lanka. The food is absolutely incredible there and perfect for vegetarians, so gorge yourself on street food or take a food tour. Go on a safari and try to spot the illusive Sri Lankan leopard. And if culture is more your thing then there are plenty of holy and religious sites to visit in Sri Lanka. Check out Polonnaruwa or Sigiriya. Plus, the Maldives are only a short (fairly cheap) flight from Sri Lanka, so, you know, that’s an option too for a little side trip!
Surf and Turf in Portugal
Portugal is an amazing country and I have SO many memories from my travels there. The Algarve is in the southern region and it is famous for its fabulous beaches, moderate climate, and great golf courses (if you’re into that). Head to Lagos to learn how to surf and do a bit of yoga by the sea. I spent a week in Lagos learning to surf, eating incredible fresh food, meeting new friends and having the time of my life. There are also some great yoga camps in the area. I’ve also tried a kite surfing camp while I was in the area, which was a crazy experience. Portugal is reasonably priced, has great weather and is easy to reach from Ireland/the UK. I’d highly recommend a visit if you’ve never been!
Cycle in the Loire Valley
Cycling in the beautiful countryside of France is a great way to indulge in fabulous cheese, chocolate, and wine without worrying about gaining any weight. The Loire Valley is filled with beautiful rivers, orchards, castles, and vineyards. There are flat routes, routes filled with gentle rolling hills, and you can find many areas without a lot of traffic. The valleys of Touraine and L’Anjou are known for their fabulous wine and you can stop at wineries and indulge when you are passing through. Château de Chambord is the largest castle in the valley and it is a stunning blend of classical Italian and medieval architecture. I’m not a big cycling fan, I’d probably be on a horse or in a car beside you, but cycling tourism just gets more and more popular so I had to include something on the list.
Personally, I already have trips to Glasgow, London, Colorado and Belfast planned for 2018.