As we start what will hopefully be a brighter year for all, it remains a little hard to predict what lies ahead but one thing is certain, we desperately want to spend some time on holiday!
January is historically a busy time in the travel world with many folk seeking recommendations for their holiday adventures to come.
I spend the year researching, reading, asking and experiencing all things travel to stay informed and be able to find those perfect suggestions and solutions for my clients.
The continuing influence of the pandemic has increased interest in types of holidays where tourists can find space and seek quality hotels with a good track record of handling Covid.
Here are a few tips about destinations, experiences and hotels that excite me and may inspire consideration for the year ahead:
Family Holidays & Experiences
With caution, ease of travel and safety very much at the forefront of priorities, countries where rules and testing are straightforward are understandably in demand.
Lots of family groups are wanting to spend quality time together in the sunshine with great facilities and great food.
Closer to home, the Greek islands are a sure-fire winner with Kos and Halkidiki popular choices and the stylish Ikos have added their first Andalusian resort to their sought-after portfolio.
The Balearics and in particular Mallorca and Menorca, are in high summer demand with a range of resorts catering for all budgets, and Turkey remains great value with superb all-inclusive family options.
With many having missed milestone birthdays and special anniversaries, I am seeing lots of multi-generational family groups wanting to all travel together to celebrate. Villa holidays for extended family groups are ideal, especially in less commercialised and more remote areas, and there are some wonderful properties in Greece, Portugal, Italy, Croatia and the Balearics.
A little further afield, Dubai and the Emirates have incredible family-friendly hotels with impeccable service, and in the Caribbean, Blue Waters in Antigua or the 007 inspired GoldenEye in Jamaica make memorable chilled-out choices.
Florida, of course, provides perfect family memories and a mixture of beach and family fun. Universal’s Hard Rock, Disney’s Riviera Villas and my favourite, Breakers Palm Beach, are all dependable and if you prefer less park rides and crowds and more adventure, wonderful wildlife and sustainability then consider Canada or Costa Rica.
Inspired by my work with Edinburgh Wedding Directory, I have pieced together a separate feature on some of the types of honeymoons and destination weddings that I am recommending for 2022/ 2023.
Each holiday with a loved one or best friend is of course special and, in the post-pandemic era, seeking out some indulgence for that getting-away-from-it-all experience is high on many a wish list.
Being isolated on a paradise Indian Ocean or Caribbean island has always had its appeal, but perhaps even more so now. Mauritius has fantastic options including the Royal Palm or the just opened Lux Grand Baie Resort & Residences, if you are looking for something extremely special to make up for those missed holidays.
Many have already booked the Maldives and there are two exciting new resorts from the wonderful OBLU SELECT opening shortly at Ailafushi and Lobigili.
If a little more adventure, wildlife, exotic food and hospitable hosts are your cup of tea, then I guarantee Sri Lanka and Japan will provide memories to last a lifetime; and if a long-haul holiday is not for you just yet, there are some exquisite destinations closer to home.
You may, like me, have been gripped by the latest series of the BBC’s Amazing Hotels programme and suitably inspired to add Madeira or the stunning Istrian Riviera region of Croatia to your list.
Longer duration and 'bucket list' holidays
Another of the issues raised by the last couple of Covid years has been the desire to bring forward plans for the very special once-in-a-lifetime type of experience.
These often involve extended periods of time and wanting to see multiple places in one trip.
A Latin American journey, including a great rail adventure across Peru and a Galapagos Island cruise, is a great example of contrasting landscapes and multiple travel experiences, and you can even add an Antarctic expedition to your itinerary.
Silversea Cruises offer incredible multi-destination voyages across the world’s seas, and with increasing awareness of sustainable travel in addition to wanting to avoid busy airports, great rail experiences present endless possibilities and stylish trains including iconic journeys across Canada, South Africa and India as well as of course Belmond’s Orient Express in Europe.
Small group escorted tours can provide a fabulous multi-layered Asian adventure and with much of the Far East, Australia and New Zealand having been off limits for some time, I anticipate high demand for later in the year and into 2023.
Wherever you would like to head in 2022, I am keeping on top of any regulation changes and offer security and peace of mind that can only be provided by an experienced travel expert.
Please contact me for a chat to discuss your plans.