With the recent news that a number of the large holiday companies are scrapping their brochures, we will be even more reliant on the internet to find our summer holiday.
But, just like any kind of online shopping, finding a holiday online can be an overwhelming experience, even with all the price comparison search engines and comparison sites out there. Nothing beats personal experience or a ‘been there, tried the sunbeds’ recommendation which is why we love our independent travel advisor Laura Featonby.
Like many of us, Laura is a busy working mum who now runs concierge travel business The Travel Village in order to give her clients a truly bespoke and personal travel service, finding them the best possible trip to suit their passions and pockets. From budget European weekends away to luxury cruises, Laura has sent thousands of holiday makers packing!
So if you’re struggling with ideas of where to jet off to this year, take a look at some of Laura’s top recommendations for 2016 and beyond:
A fantastic destination for families and couples alike, Cuba is vibrant and lively. It has an intoxicating feel and a visit will leave you bursting with historical knowledge and fantastic memories as well as being a friendly and beautiful place to take children of all ages. There’s excitement, cultural enrichment and education, plus it has some of the best beaches in Latin America. Havana has just been named ‘world’s best destination’ according to Wanderlust readers and rightly so. Cuba is how holidays should be and whilst they have great holidays it is usually not all ‘mod cons’ which really adds to the charm as far as I’m concerned!
Croatia appeals to all ages and little wonder with the gorgeous white sand beaches of Bol and Brela, and family fun in Istria. I’d recommend that you try a self-drive from Zadar up to the Istria – evening driving over to Slovenia for a night or two. Northern Dalmatia is a great base for trips to the Kornati Islands, and Roman architecture in the cities of Pula, Zadar and Split. Inland the scenery is lovely, and cheaper than staying by the coast. Istria has lots for families, such as lessons at the Valley of Horses Riding school, the Parenzana (an old railway track turned into a hiking and cycling route) and nine lighthouses to visit. The Makarska coast offers 60km of beaches, and, although they’re mainly pebbly, the water is clear, warm and perfect for little ones. Krk Island has a good reputation for family beaches.
A firm family favourite, Florida really does have something for everyone. Always popular with families are twin centres – I’d suggest seven to ten days visiting the parks then to take a drive down the coast to St Pete’s, Clearwater or Sarasota. Sarasota offers visitors an eclectic blend of culture and fine dining, circus thrills and pristine beaches, and again is brilliant for shopping.
With Games of Thrones being filmed here, Iceland is becoming increasing popular with travelers of all ages with city breaks in particular proving popular in both the summer and winter months. From mid-May to mid-August, it’s effectively daylight 24/7. But, in mid-winter, you generally only get four or five hours of light and it’s best described as ethereal.
You can self-drive, take in a city break or take a guided tour across Iceland taking in some of the country’s spectacular sights including around 130 volcanoes! The Blue Lagoon is one of the main attractions and is a geothermal spa in the middle of a lava field. So you basically can go and have a bath and there is even a bar!
Waterfalls are in abundance with the most famous being Gullfoss, a 32m waterfall that plunges in two stages at right angles to each other, so arcing rainbows are pretty commonplace.
And not forgetting of course the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, which makes a trip to Iceland a real once-in-a-lifetime experience.
One of my personal favourites, beautiful Rhodes is the largest of the Dodeese Islands and has beaches, wooded valleys and ancient history galore. Whether you arrive in search of buzzing nightlife, languid sun worshipping, or diving in crystal-clear waters, or to take a culture-vulture journey through past civilisations, it’s all here. The atmospheric Old Town of Rhodes is a maze of cobbled streets that will spirit you back to the days of the Byzantine Empire and beyond. Further south is the picture-perfect town of Lindos, a magical vision of sugar-cube houses spilling down to a turquoise bay. Once bitten by the Rhodes bug you will understand why!
The Dreaded Post Holiday Laundry…whatever holiday destination you choose, you can set off with the reassurance that, when you get home, you don’t have to struggle with the dreaded suitcases full of dirty clothes. Just give us a call and we can take care of it for you; washing, ironing and even putting away all your holiday clothes – and we do it all on site for you so you don’t pay per item.