It’s so easy to get stuck in a holiday rut. Perhaps you keep booking the same holiday every year - travelling to an identical tropical Island, lazing about the pool or beach with a good book and soaking up the sun. Ever wondered what’s beyond the beach, book and cocktails? It might be time to look for a new destination where you can improve on a hobby, learn a new skill or possibly help the community you’re visiting in some way. If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve collected a few life-changing experiences that can safely take your holiday to the next level!
Become a master chef
If you love cooking (and eating!) and want an authentic cultural experience, why not combine the two? How about trying a cooking and wine class in beautiful Tuscany, the Chianti region of Italy, or olive harvesting in Greece to make your own olive oil? You could even take a trip to Vietnam’s amazing floating markets to search for exotic South East Asian ingredients. Who knows, this could lead to a great new career writing about your journey - from burning toast to becoming the next master chef!
If cooking isn’t your thing, but eating is, you could plan your holiday around experiencing fine dining at some of the world’s top restaurants.
According to La Liste, the 2015 best restaurant in the world was Restaurant de I’Hotel de Ville in Switzerland, which also hosts some breathtaking mountain vistas and lake towns. The top 100 also featured restaurants from countries such as Japan, Italy, France, Spain and Belgium, so you can feed your wanderlust as well as your appetite.
If you really want to share your experiences, why not become a “critic!”. You could take the first step by sharing your thoughts on Instagram or Facebook, or even starting a blog. Remember, with celebrity comes risk. For safety we would recommend keeping your personal details private, especially while you’re away from home.
If volunteering while on holiday time seems a bit much, there are places where you can simply holiday knowing that the money you spend is contributing to helping the animals you love. You could visit a multitude of sanctuaries around the world dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating animals like orang-utans in Borneo, sloths in Costa Rica and turtles in Hawaii.
Ever wanted to become a Panda keeper? Travel to China and visit one of the Panda breeding bases in Chengdu. You will be able to meet a panda, feed them and see the breeding and research programme.
Elephant orphanages are becoming popular tourist destinations, too. Countries like Sri Lanka and Nairobi offer you the chance to visit a sanctuary where you can see elephants that are being nursed and protected.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to follow your dreams and go pro doing the sport you love. Why don’t you take it to the next level and choose a holiday destination where the best coaching in the world is on offer to help you improve your skills?
Whatever your passion, there are plenty of courses you can incorporate into your holiday that can take you to the next level. You could pick up surfing tips from pro surfer Kai Sallas in Hawaii and become the next Kelly Slater. You could even base your trip around visiting different surf beaches or golf courses to perfect your skills.
3, 2, 1 blast off
There are few things that compare to the raw power of a rocket launch. There’s the deafening sound from the engines that you can feel in your bones and the awe that comes from knowing you’re watching something leave our planet.
For a long time being an astronaut was one of the top 10 jobs for most kids. So why not rekindle that dream with the experience of a live rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force base? Organising your trip around the launch dates will be well worth it. There’s plenty to do around the area too, like a visit to the amazing Kennedy Space Center. They have a rocket garden with real rockets from the past and a launch simulator where you get to feel the rush of lift of. If you time it right, you could even meet an actual astronaut!
Deep blue sea
If you’ve mastered the hobie cats at the resort, take it to the next level with a sailing course. The Whitsunday Islands and the Mediterranean coast of Croatia are famous destinations packed with great sailing schools. Soak up the beautiful turquoise waters and local cultures while getting your sea legs. Your next holiday could even be spent sailing the tropics with you as the captain! Just be aware that if you are ocean yachting in remote areas, or 22.2kms away from populated land, you won’t be covered under the TravelCare policy. Feel free to contact us if you would like to clarify what you may or may not be covered for when travelling.
All of the lights
One of nature’s most spectacular light shows is free, as long as you know where to go. The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis can be viewed from Norway to Northern Canada between November and March. This is when solar particles collide with atmospheric gasses to create hypnotic dancing clouds of colour. It’s easy to see why some of these places are designated World Heritage sites. The journey can be worth it just to experience the incredible starry skies unspoiled by light pollution.
Hang in there
You may not think staying at a hotel could become a life changing experience, but it is when it involves sleeping strapped to a cliff in a clear capsule! Imagine waking to the sun working its way up the valley. This incredible view is usually reserved for eagles! The Skylodge in Peru is not for the faint hearted and climbing up a steep mountain on iron rungs is the only way you will get there, but the views and the experience are outstanding. Although you have to climb to get there, training is provided and the programme is run by licenced operators, so you know your policy can cover you.
Instead of lying on the beach watching the world go by, it might be time to try something different this holiday. Whether it’s to learn a new skill, venture beyond your comfort zone or just see something incredible, try making your next holiday a life changing experience.