Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Ideas for where to go on holiday this year

Vale do Lobo, The Algarve
Vale do Lobo, The Algarve
As I sit here typing, it's dark and cold outside, the heating is right up and I'm in my PJ's already. To keep our spirits up I thought I would do a post on some of the places I've been on holiday, in case you're thinking about planning your holiday and need a little inspiration.
I'm by no means a travel expert at all but over the years I've done the young family holiday right through to the entertain a teen holiday and now the tag along with the rest of the family holiday (my favourite).

Long Haul
A flight of 6 hours or more is classified as long haul and so in this category I have:

  • Dubai - probably my favourite long haul destination and at just a little over 6 hours flight time, it isn't too painful at all to get to. I've done Dubai as a family of 3 and also in a large group of friends. Dubai is an adult's Disney World. Yes it's over the top, yes its glamorous and ostentatious but it is absolute luxury. No where else have I been do I think you really get what you pay for. You get truly spoilt the whole time you are in Dubai. The hotels are beautiful and I have never slept as well as on a Dubai hotel bed. The beaches are pristine, the lemon ice lollies to die for and extra big towels for your sun lounger! I've stayed a few times at the Al Qasr (part of the Jumeriah Madinet), Dar Al Masyaf (which are the private villas within the Al Qasr complex-stunning and you get your own butler), the Jumeriah Beach Hotel (now a little tired and very busy with mostly families staying), the Atlantis (actually I wasn't that keen but when I visited it had only recently opened so I am sure things are working perfectly now. Has an on site water park). 
  • Orlando - I haven't been back to Orlando since my daughter was 5. She's now 19! Orlando gives you everything from perfect weather, fun, shopping, great hotels and food. We also explored further afield going to Clearwater and Sarasota. I'd love to go back to the Florida Keys.
  • Las Vegas, San Francisco and Hawaii - Vegas I would love to go back to. San Fran was much colder than I expected but the day trip to Alcatraz made up for it. Hawaii was nice but I have to say I've been to nicer Caribbean islands and Hawaii is a very long haul.
Short Haul
  • Spain - I've been to mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands and love them all. I love Spanish people, the culture and the food. I am crazy about flamenco dancing. Spain is so family friendly and depending on where you go, you can totally immerse yourself in to traditional spain or one of the lovely resorts. I really want to go back to Majorca. And Lanzarote will always be a firm favourite of mine.
  • Greece - Apart from a teenage holiday to Corfu, I only returned back to Greece 2 years ago with my family to the beautiful Elounda in Crete. We stayed in a stunning villa on a hill side and apart from the mosquitoes who are very sneaky and persistent, we had some memorable adventures like scaling down a practically sheer bank and jumping in to the sea - something I've never done before and something I will never forget. And we're going to Rhodes later this year, so I'm really looking forward to that. And as recommended by Sali Hughes I've ordered 2 bottles of Avon's So Soft Dry Oil, which is apparently brilliant to ward off mozzies.
  • Portugal - last year we went to the Algarve and I did a post all about the resort we stayed at, so here's the LINK.
City Breaks
  • New York - You know the saying "Paris is always a good idea"? I think this should read "New York is always a good idea". I absolutely love New York. There's just a feeling you get in your heart when you're there. Granted this feeling has to start after the very long wait to get through immigration at JFK.. Fun things to do in NYC apart from shopping are: a Harlem Tour, watch a gospel choir, ferry to Brooklyn, a poignant but important visit to the One World Trade Centre and a visit to Cake Boss's cafe. Ellen's Stardust Diner in Times Square is a really fun diner where the waiting staff also sing show tunes whilst serving.
New York
New York
  • Dubrovnik - I went to Dubrovnik last year with my daughter, and you can read all about our trip HERE. Loved it and want to go back and explore other parts of Croatia.
  • Barcelona - My sisters and I took my daughter to Barcelona for her 18th birthday weekend and we had such a fab time. I'd been to Barcelona for a day years ago and didn't realise that Barcelona has a long, clean, beautiful beach making this destination more than just a weekend trip. We saw a brilliant Flamenco show one night and just had a great time.
  • Caribbean - I have only been on one Caribbean cruise and it was a while ago but oh man, if you want to see as many parts of the Caribbean as you can, eat like a king, and stay on a floating 5 star hotel and generally feel very special, then this is for you. If you haven't been on a cruise ship before and are put off with being on a ship at sea for days on end and feeling cramped, let me tell you these ships are huge, you will not feel cramped. The routes also only give you a few days at sea and actually those days are really fun as there's lots going on - you choose whether you want to get involved or not. You don't even have to get off when the ship docks and if you don't fancy the location you're in for the day. You'll have the ship to yourself which is nice. And cruises are great and so well catered for young children/teens.
  • Mediterranean - I think I've been on 3 med cruises. To be honest the first one went from Southampton, which was nice and close but going through the Bay of Biscay was an experience as it was particularly choppy. The next 2 cruises we flew to Barcelona and got on the ship there, so avoiding the Bay of Biscay but I know people that have gone through it and not even noticed. I've cruised with 3 different companies and by far my favourite was P&O but that was a while ago. The average age now of a cruise passenger is 46, so it is not just for the blue rinse brigade anymore.
And of course we are blessed to be on a lovely green island and surrounded by stunning coastline, countryside and mountains. I've been to Cornwall, Devon and Dorset quite a lot and all of these counties offer their own uniqueness and beauty. I want to go back to the Lake District again and really want to explore Scotland.

I hope this little insight has whet your appetite and taken your mind off the gloomy winter and got you thinking about summer holidays...



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