The best thing about 2015 is the long weekends ahead – hip, hip, hooray! Most of Indonesia’s public holidays this year fall on a Monday or a Friday (aren’t we lucky?), and we have our heads in the clouds, fantasising about all sorts of globetrotting adventures. To help us get started on our travel plans, we got our friends at Lightfoot Travel to throw us some cool ideas – which we’re pretty sure you’ll find them useful, too!
Imlek (19 February 2015)
Short haul: For a mix of culture, wildlife and beach, Sri Lanka ticks all the boxes. Go to the tea country or the southern coast in Galle Fort. If you’re short of time and not looking to take more days off, escape to one of the country’s most beautiful beach resorts.
Long haul: Take three more days off the Chinese New Year weekend to explore New Zealand in the peak of summer. Queenstown’s turquoise blue Lake Wakatipu is dazzling under a clear blue sky – perfect for wine tasting, sky diving, horseback riding, or whatever you may feel like doing.
Cape Town, South Africa
Good Friday (3 April 2015)
Short haul: April’s the perfect time to discover Japan, and if you’re lucky you may arrive right on time for the cherry blossom season. Apply for a few more days off if you wish to get in your last ski fix for the year in Niseko.
Long haul: South Africa is our go-to destination for April – for the great weather and omnipresent wildlife. Wine aficionados, head to the country’s winelands and embark on the longest wine route in the world!
Labour Day (1 May 2015)
Short haul: Shaped like a teardrop, Siargao Island tops our list for off-the-beaten-track destinations in the Philippines. This beach paradise is laid back, with lots of cultural experiences and excellent surf to be had. It is also home to one of our favourite properties in our portfolio.
Long haul: Summer in the South of France can sweltering, so it’s best to visit the coast in before summer kicks in, and the throngs of tourists invade the region. May is the ideal month to relax on the famed Cote d’Azur or marvel at the French countryside in Provence.
Vesak Day (1 June 2015)
Short haul: If you haven’t ticked the Maldives off your bucket-list, June’s your chance to visit. Not only is it a diver’s paradise with regular whale shark and manta ray sightings and pristine beaches, there are ideal conditions for budding and seasoned surfers alike. At the end of the day, indulge in a massage at your hotel’s spa.
This is also a great time to go before the summer holiday (to avoid the crowds from Europe), and resorts have settled into shoulder season prices with bonus night offers available on selected ones.
Long haul: North West Argentina draws travellers in for its geographical and cultural diversity. The rolling hills and vineyards of Cafayate, Andean villages in Purmamarca, sands dunes, and blue holes will keep you intrigued and wanting to come back.
Asecention Day (14 May 2015)
Short haul: No place in the world does trekking quite like Nepal, home to also no less than seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley if you need a cultural break.
Long haul: Inhabited by spectacular creatures such as the sea lion, turtles, flamingos, and the blue-footed booby amongst others, get up close to these creatures when you visit the Galapagos Islands.
Idul Fitri (17-18 July 2015)
Short haul: Far removed from the metropolis of Tokyo, Hokkaido is a haven of tranquillity with beautiful scenery, wildlife and mountains. It provides a lovely change of pace from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Long haul: Beautiful beaches can also be found on Turkey’s long stretch of coast, baptised the Turkish Riviera. In addition to turquoise waters, the region is culturally rich with the largest number of Roman ruins outside of Pompeii.
Independence Day (17 August 2015)
Short haul: Keen on getting some face time with orangutans? Head straight to Borneo where sanctuaries are aplenty. The region also has some great beaches where you can relax after your trekking and wildlife excursions.
Long haul: Filled with ancient wonders, Peru truly epitomises Latin America, from Pacific beaches and the Amazon Rainforest to Inca trails and Machu Picchu. This country well and truly has it all.
Idul Adha (24 September 2015)
Short haul: Southeast Asia’s only landlocked country, Laos, makes up for its lack of beaches with an abundance of charm, colonial heritage and natural landscapes.
Long haul: With the tallest mountain range in Africa, the world’s longest river and the continent’s largest lake, it’s easy to see that Uganda is appealing as an adventure destination. The country’s most famous residents are the amazing mountain gorillas.
Christmas (25 December 2015)
Short haul: There nothing quite like a ski holiday during Christmastime to feel the festive spirit. Singapore Airlines’ seasonal Singapore-to-Chitose direct route was such a success, and we hope they bring it back next season because we can’t wait to head back to Niseko!
Top image: New Zealand; Lightfoot Travel
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