#JanuaryJoy – Plan a trip

Last year was Pete’s 30th and as part of that I planned a weekend away at the end of January to The Drawing Room in the Elan Valley (just click the links to read more.) I’ve heard people say in the past that having something to look forward to in January helps you to get through the month and last year it was such a pick me up that we’ve decided to do the same again.

Even if you don’t go away in January, just looking for and planning a trip is fun and helps take your mind off the dreary weather. As we’re heading into mid January now and even I am feeling a trace of the blues, it’s definitely time to start planning and bring back the #JanuaryJoy!


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I was going to tell you about one of my recent trips today, but thought I would save that for February. Instead I’m going to share my travel plans for the year and who knows, I might be reflecting back on that in another 12 months. This New Year’s eve, Pete pulled out a dog-eared bit of paper he had found on which we had written our travel plans for 2012. We had listed the months and filled in all the things we already had planned, like friends weddings and then pencilled in a few trips we wanted to take. Our plans included the trip we took to The Drawing Room, Yosemite and Vegas, and skiing, all of which we managed. We were dreaming big and also listed trips to Mexico to see the ruins, a South Africa/Safari trip and a mini break in Madrid that didn’t get done. It was fun to look back and see what we did but I also felt a bit disappointed that we hadn’t planned those bigger trips.

So this year we have our annual ski-ing trip planned, and the getaway I mentioned at the end of the month. We have a family trip planned in Cornwall in August and the potential for a trip to Spain in May. That’s three weeks holiday gone already and I’m no closer to planning a life-list trip. Right now I’m all about the trips that children in future may make difficult (if only for the short term.) I’ve been enthralled by Africa on TV this last week and always wanted to see big cats up close, so this year’s goal is to plan a trip to Africa. I want to see South Africa, go on safari and explore what looks like a naturally stunning country. I’d love to hear any tips or recommendations you have?

So, what are your travel plans this year and are you planning any trips right now? Do you have a fail safe January pick-me-up?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS If you are looking for a recommended weekend break closer to home…

67 thoughts on “#JanuaryJoy – Plan a trip

  1. I am, poetically enough, going to this blog’s namesake (Florence!) in March which I am supremely excited about. Big holidays aren’t something we ever do, but we still had money in our Trailfinders account from after the wedding and we just decided to blow the lot! I’ve been to Italy for a couple of days once before, years ago, and always wanted to go back, so I’m super excited. Not sure how I’ll cope with taking a vegan, but I’m thinking I’ll just get him drunk and feed him olives.

    Px

  2. We’re going to London and Brighton soon ! (End of January). Any tips?
    We’ve made a long list of places that we want to go to this year (I just shared it as part of #January Joy).
    You should definitely go to Mexico (if you do plan that trip, I can definitely give you some tips).
    Also, I don’t want to sound like a commercial but KLM has its annual World week deals going on and they have some good prices for overseas flights.

  3. We spent most of last January planning a trip… and we’ve just got back from that and are in the throes of planning the next one! We went to Mexico, Belize and Guatemala for 3 weeks, and it was AMAZING. The mix of nature, amazing archaeological sites and beach time was just perfect…. so go, go go!

    I totally agree that January is the time to plan travel for the year(s) ahead- we are thinking either Australia to watch the Ashes down under or a mahoosive African safari. We went to Malawi a few years ago (fabulous country and lovely people who really appreciate tourists- and a gorgeous lake to swim in!) but didn’t do the whole safari thing properly- one day in an Elephant Reserve doth not a safari make.

    Whatever we (and you) do decide to do, the planning is definitely half the fun! xxx

  4. We’re just about to book a week in a village by Lake Annecy in June (perfect for cycling, walking, relaxing and eating!).

    And to break up the time between now and then, we’re booking a week off work in March, to chill out at home and explore some potential wedding venues, probably with a hotel stay in the Cotswolds one night as a treat (not sure where but preferably somewhere with a spa!).

    Lots to look forward to!

    Love your blog. x

  5. OMG! That will be amazing. We went to South Africa on our honeymoon and, although i was resistant to the idea of 4am starts on what was meant to be a relaxing break, i can honestly say it was the BEST decision i have ever (reluctantly) made. We stayed in a gorgeous apartment on the V&A marina in Cape Town, then went on safari in Kruger National Park. We were originally booked in to Lion Sands, but after an ALMIGHTY c*ck up at the airport and spending 15hours in a tent on the floor on the Tarmac (they were renovating for the world cup!) our local travel agent had us upgraded to Ulusaba (http://www.ulusaba.virgin.com/) it was breathtaking. So, so amazing. I tried to change our flights after a day to cut out the Mauritius part of the trip and also genuinely enquirer about a short term position at the lodge so I could take a sabbatical from work (they declined – they have a CSR policy and hire only from local villages).

    SA and safari was so amazing that it almost ruined a trip to India six months later, as I kept comparing everything back (#spoiltbrat #firstworldproblem) to how much I loved SA.

    I would love to go back. Hubby’s father was born and grew up in various African countries until he was about 15 and they talk about it all the time, and it actually makes my heart ache to think about that trip. Sigh…….

    • P.s. all my travel plans this year involve other people’s weddings. I have used up ten days of annual leave and nearly all my savings on hen dos and weddings. No big holibobs for me! #MoreSpoiltBrattinessOnItsWay

    • Africa just GETS you I think, the second you step of that plan and see the sky – there is no sky in the world that’s beats the Blie sky’s of Africa. It’s a place like no other on the planet, you just feel it and fall in love. If we didn’t have our 2 girls I have no doubt we would be living there now.

  6. Well recommendation wise, this post is right up my street! Long before I met my South African husband I fell on love with South Africa! I worked as a volunteer on a Game reserve in the Eastern Cape and I cannot reccomend it enough, I think it will be right up your street Rebecca! It’s called Shamwari Private Game Reserve and has won lots of tourism & conservation awards (and is malaria free) you only need a few days on safari so I would then suggest the Garden Route to
    Cape Town finishing with a wine tour! Or you could go the other way and head for tropical Durban and take in the rugged beauty of the Transsky. Either way I promise you South Africa won’t dissapoint!
    We are hoping to visit family at the end of March, we haven’t been for 2 years and and I cannot wait! (Email me if you want more info, as I don’t want to write a complete essay comment!)

  7. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks planning a road trip in South Africa (Jo’Burg – Durban – Wild Coast – Garden Route – Safari – Winelands – Cape Town all in 2 weeks (eek!)) for this year and have been blown away by every photograph of every part of the country. I can’t wait!

  8. Here’s a question for you all… how safe is Africa?

    I know any place is as safe as the decisions you make and you don’t do silly things like driving into deprived areas wearing all your jewellery, but I worry about driving the garden route for example, or being off the beaten track.

    I’s love to hear you thoughts/experiences as Pete is really put off by it. I really want to see it all, but he just thinks he would rather be alive! Extreme I know…

    • I think the countries in Northern Africa (I am thinking Egypt, Morocco) along with South Africa are quite safe, but I can only assume you really have to research a bit.
      My cousin is working in Zanzibar and he says it’s beautiful: if you snorkel or dive, it is an ideal location.

    • Well, I worked for a south African hedge fund for a while and not a day went past without a family member calling the office about being the victim of crime. So when I was there, albeit briefly and in a privileged setting, I was hyper aware of my safety and ever vigilant. I have to say I felt a bit silly, as I saw nothing of the sort and felt welcomed and comfortable at all times. Although, when we had a night in Jo’burg, the staff did warn us off leaving the compound. We were only there for a few hours for an early morning flight, but ever the cynic, I maintain they said it to get us to use the on-site restaurant.

      I felt safe at all times and I just kept my London head on – be vigilant and don’t make stupid decisions.

      My biggest issue was a few race rows I got in to in utterly unbelievable circumstances. But let’s not go there on this lovely post.

      • Rebecca I used to live with a South African girl who could never understand why the British got so wound up about security in SA, however she did come from a privileged background and while she was living with us I recall her boyfriend calling her to say he’d been ‘smash and grabbed’. So I’m not sure really. My boyfriend worked in Jo’Burg for the World Cup 2010 and said he thought the security briefing they were given before they left a bit over the top (in a nutshell – if you leave the compound unaccompanied you WILL be attacked), but then admits he spent most of the time in a television studio and only managed one or two day trips, so maybe his isn’t the best example!
        I’d love to go, but I think I would probably stay to guided tours, which is VERY against my usual travel ethics!

        • Interestingly my cousin worked in SA for a while and he always told me if he didn’t know where his keys were at night he couldn’t sleep. He kept them by the pillow in case of robbery and I assumed he meant to hand them over but he correct me when I asked and said ‘no, to run!’ He’s into extreme sports, lived in a gated house and not the nervous type so scared me a bit.

    • We spent just under a month in South Africa on our honeymoon and drove from the very northeastern tip (by the border with Mozambique) all the way to Cape Town (stopping off loads on the way, of course!). We did it all independently (even the booking part) and had no problems at all – like other people have said, it’s just a case of using your common sense, just as you would in certain parts of London and not being flashy with your cash and belongings.
      The Garden Route is a really touristy part of the country, so you’ve little to worry about there – it’s just important to remember that it’s still a developing country and that there’s still big problems to do with race and poverty, among other things. We found the most difficult thing about travelling so extensively in South Africa was just how apparent the divide between rich and poor was – it’s quite disgusting to see huge huge mansions and then just down the road flimsy little shacks where whole families are crammed in. Really makes you think.
      If you want any info, do drop me a line, as we covered a huge amount of ground while we were there! We’d also been there with my family a few years before that and spent just two weeks in Cape Town and Hermanus, so I’ve experienced two very different holidays! It’s an amazing country, though, and arguably makes the “easiest” introduction to the continent, especially if you spend some time in Cape Town, which is a fabulous city.

    • I travelled the garden route twice once at 18 once at 20 and never felt unsafe or threatened, it’s a pretty well trod route to be honest and IF you do feel unsafe dont stop the car. TBH the bulk of horror stories come from the big cities – Joburg mainly but like you said common sense goes a long way in any major city worldwide.
      The garden route really is incredible, simply beautiful. You won’t regret it promise!

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Being from SA I highly recommend that you go. I am bias of course but it is SUCH a beautiful country with so much to offer. I’m going back in August to Durban (my home town) & Wilderness to see family and friends.

      There are many horror stories and unfortunately we know a lot of people who have been affected but it is a part of life out there. It is so sad that so many people get put off by this and I really wouldn’t let it. There is a lot you can do, the first is to remain vigilant. Don’t have any valuable items on display when coming to a stop at traffic lights and rent a car with air con so you don’t leave your windows down while at a stop. There are a lot of opportunists… Also I wouldn’t recommend walking around at night alone and keep the ‘bling’ to a minimum.

      My husband is from the Wilderness (Garden Route) and it is still very safe there.

      Recommendations: we usually do self drive safaris in Hluhluwe but for a really special treat this place comes highly recommended, I haven’t been but would love to http://www.phinda.com/ I can also recommend the Wilderness, Cape Town and Drakensburg which is breath taking. If in Durban and looking for a 5* hotel try Oyster Box, recently had a refurb http://www.oysterboxhotel.com/?gclid=CJrlg5iD4LQCFW_KtAod0T8AhQ

      I don’t know if you have read the Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony? We are going to Thula Thula in August for a couple of nights and I cannot wait!

      In terms of how safe is Africa as a whole? Botswana is apparently safe and the safaris are excellent, as well as Namibia (these are on our to do list). I personally would not feel comfortable going to places such as the congo etc but people may say otherwise.

      Hope this helps.. I’m feeling really homesick now ;)

      Rx

  9. This post is so timely for me – Mr P and I were up until the early hours of the morning discussing holiday plans!

    We also had a list of everything that we did in 2012 and to be honest, holiday/trip-wise 2013 isn’t living up to our old list in the slightest!! However, I must remember – we have just bought a new house and I REALLY can’t have it all (well, maybe not this year anyway ;-) ).

    We’re passing on skiing for this year, but will be booking a wedding anniversary weekend break somewhere in the UK (we’ve got at least a night’s free stay through our Mr & Mrs Smith points) and would like to holiday in either Santorini or Ibiza for a week… I think!

    If anyone has any recommendations for places to stay (that won’t break the bank!) in either of the above, then I’m all ears :-)

    xoxo

    • Went to Santorini in 2011 and it was beautiful. You won’t be disappointed. We stayed just outside Firastefani and, with my extended family, we hired these three Mirabo Villas http://www.mirabo.gr/ for a week. Would highly recommend it for a week of relaxing, with not a “full English for a fiver” or “fishbowl for ten euro” type place in sight… bliss!

      Lots of recommendations for Ibiza as well, but that’s a very different holiday! :-)

    • We are in a pretty similar boat to you Kate. In the process of buying a house so holidays will be few and far between.

      We are also looking for somewhere nice in the UK for our first wedding anniversary weekend break in April and it’s the hubby’s 30th in September so would love to go away for that too. Any recommendations for the UK weekend break would be great!

      • We were in the same situation last year and went on a few UK breaks. I always love the Cotswolds and not only because of all the yummies at Daylesford farm shop :) We stayed in Northleach with friends last year and visited this gorgeous pub regularly http://www.cotswoldswheatsheaf.com/ The rooms look lush too!

        Or The Hand and Flowers in Marlow! That’s on my wish list for our wedding anniversary this year :)

        • Oh! I’ve been there! Two separate close family friends stayed their for their weddings (great for the getting ready pictures!)and had a small gathering in the courtyard the morning after. It was beautiful. The lavender and the sunshine made me feel like I was in the Med somewhere!

        • The Hand and Flowers is our “local” – 15 minutes up the road – and having eaten there a couple of times can highly recommend it! Gorgeous food and a relaxed atmosphere. Truely wonderful!

  10. Argh! I have too much to say I don’t know where to start!

    Africa is definitely my favorite continent – hands down. I visited Senegal and Tanzania as a child, SCUBA dived in Egypt and then went on a long trip around Southern Africa with my now husband when we were students. Every place I have been has stunned me with it’s beauty and the variation in the landscape is incredible. In terms of safety – I think that as with anywhere else as long as you have some common sense about you then you have no need to worry. I wouldn’t walk through my local park in east London at night and I wouldn’t do this in Cape Town either!

    As part of our Southern African trip we spent a month in South Africa with a hire car and a tent that we picked up there and made our way from Cape Town to Jo’burg and I couldn’t recommend it enough (although I do think that for safari Tanzania was much better). We went wine tasting, kayaking with whales, cage diving with great whites, sky diving, trekking in the mountains, SCUBA diving, safari-ing – email me if you want any specifics :)

    And as for this year, we are rolling with the Africa theme and have just booked flights to Morocco in May and then to Uganda in September. Every time I think about our trips I squeal and do a little happy dance – it really is helping me get through the doom and gloom of January!

    I am loving hearing everyone’s plans – inspiration for 2014…!

  11. Love these posts!! We are contemplating New York and Miami in May (Hubs has never done New York and we have been saying for ages we are going to do it!) and then probably somewhere in Europe late September and then a short weekend break in the UK in Feb. (funds depending!)

    As husband is from SA – we have done it a few times and I would totally reccomend it. (Cape town, Safari in Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve, Durban and Drakensberg Mountains) I completely loved safari and desparate to go again but also absolutely loved Cape Town. Its such a vibrant place with an amazing vibe. Definitely understand your concerns with regard to safety however Cape town is very international and I never felt unsafe there even driving around (we did the cape point drive which is gorgeous) and I think if you went to Kruger you would find the same thing… Understand your concerns though but never had any problems xx

  12. Just last night we booked a very spontaneous trip to Paris to see a gig, tickets about 16 euros, rest of trip much more :S but loving our sense of adventure! We’re also trying without success to plan a summer holiday in June. I’d like maybe somewhere like Victoria suggested above, Santorini, other options are Spain (I’ve never been) or a return to Italy, which we love. I’m not a package holiday fan and prefer to explore and find somewhere for ourselves. I’ve found great (and cheap!) places to stay in both Sicily and Sardinia on holidaylettings.com if you fancy hiring somewhere rather than staying in a hotel.

  13. My family lived in Zimbabwe for 10 years so as a child we visited alot. I feel very lucky looking back. We went on safari, visited Victoria falls, which were beautiful. I was so dissapointed to see Niagra Falls on TV to be in such a built up area.
    Africa is beautiful and I would love to return with hubby but to be honest, Im to scared to. I know I wouldnt feel safe. What we see on TV just touched the surface of the trouble in Zimbabwe . Maybe later in life I will go back. Wild at heart and David Attenborough’s Africa doesnt help, it makes me want to go!!
    We are going away for the weekend at the end of this month. We have been together a whole 10 years!! Our first year anniversary we went to the Turnberry Resort and although its only a 20 min drive, we are returning and I cant wait just to get away.
    We are venturing to Turkey in the Summer with my sister and my niece. Ive never been and Im quiet skeptical about it after hearing horror stories. We are going to a nice hotel nowhere near the party area so who knows!

    Then a week in October to a log cabin in the highlands, not being to much of an outdoor girl this is becoming an annual holiday since our mini moon that I really look forward to – must be my age!
    2014 we are hoping to do San Fran, route 1 to LA, Ive seen a few of you have done this to may annoy you for ideas!

  14. I preferred Zambia to SA but that might have been partly due to staying with friends who were working with NGO’s there so I felt I knew a tiny little more about it rather than just having my 3 week tourist eyes. I travelled by myself at times, went on an amazing canoe safari & also saw Victoria Falls from the Zambian side.
    Closer to home we’ve just booked two nights at a Hotel du Vin for February half term.

  15. Aha, a very timely post for me! I am flying out TONIGHT on what I am (perhaps a tad dramatically!) calling my ‘trip of a lifetime’ to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I’ve never been to that part of the world and always wanted to go so when I discovered my contract was ending in early January I decided that rather than head straight back into locuming (which I easily could have) I’d take some time to do something I’ve always wanted to. 6 weeks is also the longest time I’ve ever had off work (the last time I went away for that long was when I went to Australia as a student nearly 10 years ago!) so all in all very exciting. I know nowadays Thailand is a bit passé but it’s exciting for me ;)

    Next on my list is South America (hopefully later this year) and I too want to do Africa at some point although that probably won’t be soon. Less exotically (well, sort of) I want to go and see my family on the east coast of the US which includes family in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. The best thing (IMHO) about not having to worry about saving to afford a family is being able to blow that money on travel ;)

  16. By boyfriend (actually fiance) have always made sure we use up our holiday with trips to Italy, or skiing etc but this year we are taking it to the extreme. We are taking three months unpaid off work and travelling around the Far East, taking in China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Borneo. Like you Rebecca, we think this is a trip that may not happen if we wait too long (little ones and/or work committments increasing) so have decided to bite the bullet and do it in 2013!! It is definitely helping me cope with the January blues…..that and #Januaryjoy of course!

  17. As me and hubby didn’t get a holiday together last year (I went to Barbados, Milan and Ibiza – he went on a roadtrip from Dallas to Vegas) I have insisted this year we only holiday together! We both had our 30th birthdays this week so we have already had a spa break at Alexander House in Sussex which was heaven, and are off to Rome on Saturday!

    Does anyone have any suggestions for Rome? I’m so excited and don’t want to waste loads of time queueing for tickets at the main attractions. Also for dinner as I’d love to avoid the touristy places!

    • We went to Rome last January and believe me when I say you won’t have to queue for anything!! The Vatican was so quiet, we just walked straight in. The whole time we were there, we just kept saying, “Imagine what this must be like in July” – it’s a perfect time of year to go. All of the advice about queueing times etc just isn’t relevant at this time of year, and the tourist spots truly are spectacular so don’t discount them just because they’re popular – they’re popular for a reason. The Sistine chapel is just… wow. And fortunately since it’s winter you won’t need to worry about bare arms/legs (but it really wasn’t that cold when we were there either).

      If you like churches, then Santa Maria de Trastevere is beautiful. There are a mind-boggling number of chuches in Rome and frankly you could walk into any one of them and be blown away.

      Have a fantastic time – wish we were going back!

  18. I’m really glad I found your blog and I’m loving #JanuaryJoy! I’ve been planning trips like mad since January began – Bruges and Brussels in February and Lisbon and Brighton in April so far. Still undecided about destinations the summer, but having fun researching! I’m thinking Croatia, or maybe back to my beloved Greece…

    • My hubby and I did Croatia a couple of years ago, it’s super beautiful. you could easily do a little 10 day-2 week trip taking in Split, a couple of islands (Hvar and Korcula are lovely) and Dubrovnik. Have fun planning!

  19. The other half and I are not going anywhere as exotic as the ones above but I’ve just booked our break in June for a week in Yorkshire near where we got married. I cannot wait to go back! Having a few things scheduled for 2013 really makes the dark mornings and evenings bearable.

  20. Ooh this post is getting me really excited about holidays! As we’re in the midst of saving for a wedding/finishing PhDs C and I didn’t manage to get any further than an extremely budget weekend in Dublin last summer and have no plans for going away this summer either… However, plans are underway for a wee adventure next January/February! We are hoping to take a trip to the Galapagos islands! The current plan is to fly to Quinto in Ecuador – explore the city (carefully!) for a day or two and then cruise around the islands. I’m also hoping we’ll be able to fit in a stopover on the way home in New York or Boston… Won’t be cheap, but I think we’ll have justified it as a delayed honeymoon/first proper holiday in 3 years! Can’t wait until we can get booking! x

    • I read a book years ago called ‘Reality is the bug that bit me in the Galapagos’ Think it was about someone travelling there but the title was so inviting I’ve not forgotten it.

  21. Hooray for holidays! There’s nothing like planning your trips in January to cheer you up during the winter months!
    Living in France, I have just booked 2 trips to England in the next couple of months, one to see my parents and one to celebrate my birthday/enjoy a mini-moon in Brighton at the Hotel du Vin ( we got a voucher as a lovely wedding present from some special friends) and then we’re heading up to the mountains soon for a long weekend to go skiing (tho’ that’s not really a holiday as it’s only 1.5 hours away from where we live)
    Farther afield, we are planning to hit New York and Florida this year and possibly Vegas too depending on time/money.
    I would love to go back to Africa this year too but my husband has just come back from a trip to the Congo for work and is reluctant to head that way again so it might get postponed til next year I think!
    Happy Travels to all!

  22. It’s been a number of years now since I went on a luxury holiday, mainly a consequence of having a baby and toddler to contend with. The children are getting a little bit older now (3.5 yrs and nearly 2 yrs) but I still reckon a holiday abroad would be far from a relaxing break! Plus, I’m now a solo parent so I would need to find a willing friend to accompany me as I definitely couldn’t manage 2 toddlers on my own in a foreign place! Here’s my post for today… http://glasgowmummy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/january-joy-10th-jan.html

  23. We’re going to Paris in March for my 30th, then the big one in May/June – LA, HAWAIIIIIIIIIIIII (that was me squealing) and San Fran for our honeymoon. To say I’m excited is perhaps an understatement.

  24. We’ve been talking about taking a backpacking holiday to satisfy our never-took-a-gap-year selves, and we’re hoping to fly to Bangkok, travel through Malaysia and then fly home from Singapore. I’ve put up a wee post about where our plans are up to (i.e. not very far along at all)! We’ve not been to any of these places, so any tips would be great to get!

  25. Oh Oh Oh – someone in the office just reminded me that we’re considering a jaunt to the Azores. Some family are sailing there and invited us to join… uh no thanks… but we have toyed with the idea of flying there to wave them in and off and fly home again.

    It’s a location i’ve never really considered or researched and there’s not much out there… anyone been? If so, is it worth it, bearing in mind we are both cash and time poor after all the lay out for weddings/hens/stags? Any tips?

  26. Rebecca – you must go to South Africa! It is the most incredible country. If you stick to the tourist areas (there is no need to go off the beaten track to get a dose of culture) you shouldn’t have any problems at all.
    I also doubt I will ever have such beautiful food and wine again. Gemma – We safaried at Shamwari! What a truly amazing place. So much more intimate that I’ve heard Kruger to be. Our highlight was spending an hour watching two lionesses with no-one but our guide. I could go literally go on and on about SA! x

      • Whoops! I meant to say YAYE! A nice comment about SA.
        Seriously check out Shamwari, if I had the money I would go back in a heart beat and stay in either the luxury tents (baythe) Eagles Cragg or Lobengula Lodge just amazing.
        There is also a Born Free sanctuary on the reserve (in the memory of Julie Ward) which is very close to my heart and well worth a mention/visit.

  27. Making travel plans really does beat the January blues! This week Mr K and I have booked our flights to California for our summer road trip. Can’t wait, we keep staying up way past our bedtime as the hours slip by on tripadvisor researching accommodation and planning our route. Have re read all your posts about your California/Nevada trip and getting very giddy now! X

  28. Instead of SA, try Namibia. It’s beautiful and you can go on safari there too. I lived and worked there for a year in my early twenties and a lot of Namibia was featured on the first episode of Africa on the BBC. There aren’t words to describe the scenery.

  29. Thanks for this post Rebecca – so timely for me too as for lots of other readers. I’ve wanted to go to SA ever since we did Kenya & Tanzania for our honeymoon a few years ago. Being a total sun-worshipper/beach bum of a holiday person, the idea of going on safari was utterly unappealing to me but it was the only thing my husband put his foot down on from the moment we got engaged and I’m SO glad he did. It blew my mind!
    Since then I’ve always wanted to go back to Africa so am looking in to doing Cape Town/Winelands/Garden Route/few days of safari. Our only problem is the pregnancy/baby issue – we start IVF in a few months and have been advised not to book any holidays which for me is like torture!!!! I’d love to do this trip in November but hopefully by then we’ll have had some good news (which I’m sure will overshadow the lack of holiday) BUT at the moment it feels like cruelty not being able to plan anything beyond a long weekend away!
    Please do keep us posted on what you decide and I’m already making a note of the some of the suggestions of other readers above. Brilliant post, thank you!

    xxx

  30. You mentioned Mexico, Rebecca, and noone’s really said much about it. I’ve done SA and Mexico, and had excellent holidays in both.
    Mexico probably cheaper, would recommend charter flights (Thomas Cook or similar) to Cancun- we didn’t spend any time there but took a bus to an island off the coast- Isla Mujeres, where there are the most amazing boutique style hotels, and beach in my top 5 anywhere in the world. Spent a few days there chilling, then headed into the interior of Mexico with a hop on/off bus (Wayak bus), which worked brilliantly. We managed to get properly off the beaten track and experience some ‘real’ Mexico, and see some of the jungles and Mayan ruins. We then splashed out on 3 days at the end chilling further down the coast at Tulum in a beautiful all inclusive resort.
    I could go on about SA too, but it would mainly be to second most of the comments above, including the recommendation of Namibia. I spent my elective there, though I would say there’s huge distances involved in travelling there, which can get v expensive.

  31. PS, for another amazing part of a holiday in Thailand/Malaysia area do try Langkawi- just stunning, and a brilliant add on chill out section to an active/travelling holiday.

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six + 2 =

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