Turn over a new leaf and expand your horizons in 2013 by combining travel into your New Year's resolutions. Escape Travel has compiled a list of top ideas to help travellers reflect on the past and get their bags packed for a holiday of a lifetime this year.
Spend more time with my kids
Treat the little ones to a cruise holiday where they can meet their favourite DreamWorks characters, from movies like Shrek or Madagascar, and zoom down some of the world’s fastest waterslides at sea. Family-friendly cruise ships include Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas or Oasis of the Seas and Carnival Cruise Line’s
Step outside of my comfort zone
Take the plunge on a bungee jump in Queenstown or climb Mount Everest in Nepal for the ultimate challenge. Those looking to do something unique can travel to Santa’s workshop in Finland next year to ride a dog-sled through the snowy mountains or swap a hotel stay to sleep in a capsule in Tokyo.
Be more active
Sign up for a marathon in another country and get your legs sprinting across the finish line. Some popular options include the New York and Paris marathon. Or, suit up in safari gear and jump in a jeep to explore the African plains. There are guided sightseeing trips that take you into the heart of Kenya, Botswana and Namibia to spot lions, giraffes, tigers and more.
Reconnect my mind, body and spirit
Yogis around the world have hailed yoga as one of the most beneficial ways to find inner peace and build core strength, so why not enrol in a yoga and meditation retreat in Bali, Thailand or India. Some luxury resorts in South East Asia offer complimentary daily yoga classes as part of the activities program, so it is worth asking when you book. Closer to home, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast hinterland offers plenty of holistic escapes, from The Byron at Bryon and Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat to the famous Golden Door Health Retreat.
Feed giant pandas in China, teach English at a children’s orphanage in Kenya or work with the turtles on Costa Rica. Giving back to a local community when you travel is rewarding, so a lot of travellers are combining holidays where they can volunteer and explore – this idea is known as Voluntourism. Some of the best volunteer projects are led by experts on one-week, two-week, three-week or four-week placements, so you really can make a difference.
Learn something new
Cooking classes are available in most parts of Europe, whether you are travelling through Italy, island hopping along the coast of San Sebastian in Spain. See how Limoncello is made from real lemons on the Amalfi Coast or learn to make pasta in Tuscany. History buffs can discover the stories of Australia’s war heroes on ANZAC Day on a guided tour that maps out the Battlefields in France and Turkey.
Book your holiday in advance and be prepared for your trip early by doing your research. Enjoy the experience of planning a holiday, without the last-minute rush. When you are decided on where to go, speak to travel experts about different flights and get advice from your friends and family. It’s also helpful to attend travel expos, sign up to deals newsletters, and look at booking an all-inclusive resort with extra bonuses, such as the myTime group of properties through Escape Travel.
Celebrate another culture
Kick off the year with the Chinese New Year celebrations in February, then have fun on St Patrick’s Day in Dublin and guzzle beers with pretzels at the annual Oktoberfest in Munich. Other great options include the Running of the Bulls in Spain, Queens Day in Amsterdam and Hogmanay for New Years Eve in Edinburgh.