When planning a trip away I really look into what I can do and see in the destination. I look at the holiday experiences I will have over and above the hotel and flights. I know a lot of people happily pick a really good quality hotel on the beach and will sit there and relax for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately that’s just not me I always need more whether it be culture, food, exploring a city or just beautiful scenery.
So when planning a trip depending on which mood I am in these are the top holiday experiences I look for.
#1 City and Beach
What can be better than combining the excitement of exploring a city and its historic sites with the ability to also chill out on the beach. As I said, I couldn’t spend a couple of weeks just lying on a beach but I also couldn’t spend that amount of time in a hot stuffy city either. Therefore beach cities are one of my absolute favourite holiday experiences. I love spending the morning in a good cafe having breakfast whilst wandering the streets of a city trying to get lost before popping to the beach in the afternoon and having a cool dip in the sea. There are obviously loads of great beach cities around the world like Barcelona, Miami and Sydney but if you have done all these then why not think outside the box and try combining places such as the ancient city of Athens with the Peloponnese or the high-rise of Hong Kong with its outer lying islands.
A city and beach holiday experience is the best of both worlds for me and even on extended trips I try to mix up some city time with beach time.
#2 Mountain Air
For me mountains are awe-inspiring, I love them just as much as being on the beach. I love breathing in that mountain air. Obviously there is loads you can do in the mountains from skiing in the winter to rock climbing and hiking in the summer. It’s also fun to go swimming in the fresh water lakes to cool off in the summer or go ice skating on them when they are frozen in winter. Being in the mountains offers so many amazing holiday experiences. I know most people only visit in the winter for skiing holidays but I would urge anyone to go and explore and do some of the amazing activities on offer during the summer months.
My best mountain holiday experience ever has to be hiking the Panorama Trail in Yosemite National Park. I was up really early and one of the first on the trail which meant I passed no one for a few hours and heard nothing but the sounds of nature. Breathing in the mountain air and enjoying the amazing scenery in Yosemite is one of the best experiences I have ever had, so much so that I cant wait to organise another trip and stay there for longer.
#3 Water Fun
A lot of the most amazing holiday experiences I have had have come from messing around in the water. The most obvious experiences would be beach side water sports such as surfing, body boarding or snorkelling and diving. However I have been pretty lucky over the years and have also been able to try other stuff like white water rafting and river kayaking. Then there are the other things you might do on a holiday such as visit a water park or a thermal spa where you can bathe in natural springs. There are also natural water wonders too such as the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
One of the most fun things I ever did was to go on a flow rider at the Wavehouse Hotel in Magaluf. It’s a man-made wave that you ride on a skateboard sized board and was one of the best things I’ve done in years.
Being able to mess about in the water is essential to any trip or holiday I go on!
#4 Food Glorious Food
Personally I think food is the key to scratching under the surface of a country’s culture. Try to eat were the locals do, learn about local dishes and observe how food is important to them. From street food in Asia to aperitivo in Italy, getting involved in food culture is a great way to learn more about a country and its people.
Food and drink is a pretty important experience for me whilst I am travelling. I always try to eat local specialities and try a local beer or spirits, even if I think they are awful at least I gave them a go! Eating out and visiting bars is a great way to get social too, you will meet locals who can give you tips on things to see and do but also meet other travellers or holiday makers who can give recommendations as well.
For me I love the inspiration that other cultures food gives me when I return home. I can never recreate the dish back in my own kitchen but at least I try, and it gives me new ideas and new things to eat when I return from a trip.
#5 Natural Wonders
Seeing the worlds natural wonders is one of the greatest holiday experiences you can ever have. No one ever forgets the first time they visited the Grand Canyon, dived on the Great Barrier Reef, made it to Everest base camp or gazed upon the Aurora Borealis. Seeing the beauty of the planet first hand and becoming one with nature is one of the most breathtaking experiences.
I’ve got to be honest when I was a bit younger and doing some of my first trips I kind of took visiting the Great Barrier reef and other places for granted. These days, If I am visiting an area of natural beauty, I try to stay a lot longer rather than just doing a whistle stop tour and ticking the sight off on my list.