Lonely Planet has this week released its list of best counties to travel in for next year. According to the company, these destinations represent not only amazing slices of cultural, historical and natural interest; they’re also interested in how sustainable the region’s tourist trade is, and what impact it has on the natural environment.
Let’s take a look at some of the high-ranking countries featuring on the list.
This landlocked nation in South Asia is among the world’s smallest, with a population of less than a million. It holds the distinction of being the world’s only carbon-negative economy, and is on course to become fully organic next year. One of the most notable government measures on this front concerns the tourist industry: those travelling to Bhutan must contribute a daily fee toward conservation efforts. Consequently, those that do manage to gain entry are allowed to wander through the Buddhist temples and pine forests in near isolation. It’s an unforgettable experience – for those who can afford it. To get the most from your visit to Bhutan, it’s worth going with an experienced tour operator like Jules Verne, who’ll ensure that you don’t miss a thing!
It might surprise many natives of the UK that England should reach second place. After all, we’re so familiar with the charms this country has to offer, that we often fail to be suitably impressed by them. The Lonely Planet roundup identifies Britain’s coastline as a major draw, with the opening of the compete England Coast Path in 2020 sure to be of interest to hikers from around the world. Once complete, it’ll be the world’s longest managed coastal path – so if you’re looking to take in the seaside, it’s probably the best way to do it.
Claiming third place in the list is a country which has undergone considerable change over the past few years. A dispute with neighbouring Greece was finally resolved in 2018, and Macedonia became known as ‘North Macedonia’.
What hasn’t changed is the tourist-friendly attractions and gastronomy on offer. In 2020, new routes to the tiny St. Paul the Apostle Airport on the shores of Lake Ohrid opened up, making it easier than ever to pay a visit to this tiny, beautiful slice of the Balkans. Experienced hikers will want to make this country just one stop on a longer trip across Europe. The High Scardus Trail was established more than two thousand years ago by Roman pioneers, and it offers stunning views across neighbouring Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. The Slavic term ‘shara’, meaning colourful, is derived from ‘scardus’. The changing colour of the grasslands makes it obvious why this is the case!
Tips for Celebrating Christmas While Travelling
Christmas is a wonderful time of year to spend with those closest to you and showing them how much you care. However, it can be really tough if you’re travelling away from home. Whether you’re backpacking and hostel hopping or living away in another country -Christmas doesn’t quite feel the same if you’re not at home. However, there’s plenty of things you can do to get into the spirit of things and enjoy your own celebrations.
One of the most valuable things you can do if you’re away from your loved ones is to call them on Christmas Day. Make sure you establish a time which will work for the both of you as you will have to factor in the time differences. Even though you won’t be in the same country a video call means you can still spend part of the day celebrating together. You can use whichever app works for you.
Just because you’re not in the same country over the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t send one another gifts. You could send your family and friends festive parcels. They could send you things you miss from home, and you could send them trinkets from the country you’re in. Photos and personalised cards are also a great addition to make the gift even more thoughtful. It’s important you use a reliable courier system – like Parcel2Go so your packages get there safely and in time for Christmas.
Embrace the Experience
If you’re travelling to new places over Christmas, it gives you a great opportunity to do something different. You won’t get to do the normal family traditions so why try something completely new? This could be particularly special if you’re somewhere warm. You could spend Christmas Day on the beach, having a barbecue or swim in the ocean. There’ll be plenty more times with your family and loved ones. Embrace the adventure and see where the day takes you.
No-one wants to be alone on Christmas. If you’re solo travelling, the thought of spending the whole day alone can be daunting. However, the wonderful thing about solo travel is you’re rarely by yourself. Get talking with people in the hostel, or whatever place you’re staying. You could arrange to do something together. Or, why not research the place you’ll be in beforehand and see what events are being hosted? You could see what the locals are up to. There are so many possibilities and people waiting for you.
Just because you’re away from home for Christmas, doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun celebrating it. Whatever you end up doing, you’re bound to create some unique memories for yourself. Do you have plans for Christmas celebrations while travelling?
Finding Culture in the Tourist Hotspot of Benidorm
Benidorm is a popular holiday destination with UK families and it is easy to see why because it is an easy and affordable way to have a sun, sea and sand holiday. This does mean that Benidorm doesn’t have the best reputation if you are looking for culture, but there is another side to this sunny Spanish seaside resort which will give you an authentic Spanish experience.
Here are a few of the best things to do in Benidorm that will allow you to escape the crowd and find the hidden gems.
Placa del Castell
The beautiful Placa del Castell is situated at the point of the promontory between the two beaches and it is perhaps the prettiest area in the resort. Featuring checkerboard tales and white balustrades, this is where Benidorm Castle previously sat but is now an idyllic spot with beautiful views and plenty of surroundings bars.
Benidorm’s quaint Old Town feels almost like stepping back in time and can be a refreshing change of pace from the chaotic beaches. With twisting backstreets, whitewashed buildings and impressive architecture, Old Town is a charming place to explore on foot with plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars to visit along the way for an authentic Spanish experience.
Leading on from this, in the heart of Old Town is a small, covered alley called Calle Santo Domingo which is lined with inviting tapas bars. This is the best place to sample authentic Spanish cuisine in Benidorm and a chance to see how the locals live – try sampling some wine and tapas and sitting on the tables out in the alley where you can mingle and people watch.
This long Parkin neoclassical style separates the newer parts of Benidorm from the old and can be a nice place to visit if you are looking to relax and recharge. In addition to the lovely green areas, the park also features two amphitheaters which host a range of cultural shows to check out.
These are a few of the best cultural activities in Benidorm which will allow you to escape the hordes of families. Keep in mind that as such a busy place with tourists, it can be hard to get around which is why it is a good idea to book your transport in advance, including Benidorm transfers from the airport.
Benidorm has a reputation as being somewhere cheap and cheerful for Brits to enjoy a sun, sea and sand holiday. While there certainly is this side of the Spanish seaside resort, there is also a more cultural, authentic and enjoyable side beneath the surface which is not to be missed and somewhere that allows you to see the real heart and soul of Benidorm.
Essential Things to Equip Yourself for the Perfect Camping Trip
Camping has always been a popular way to take a trip. It can be done in so many ways from a family excursion with all the associated things you need to keep everyone, including children, happy to a solo trek going hiking and climbing in rough and remote terrain. But no matter what form of camping you are getting involved in you need some essential kit that’s important for everyone.
Well, you need somewhere to sleep. So no matter what happens a tent is an essential part of the trip. So firstly it needs to be waterproof, and windproof. So although you can indeed pick up a cheap pop-up tent for a few dollars it’s likely that it won’t be up to the task. If you are taking the family then you can get large tents with several rooms and even a living area.
Sleeping Bag & Mattress
Next up you are going to need something to sleep in. So a sleeping bag is the first thing to consider. Sleeping bags are rated in two ways, by seasons, as in a four-season bag that will be suitable for spring, summer, autumn, and winter. They are also given a temperature rating, this is done via two values, a comfort value and a survival value, so the first temp, if it is 6 degrees you should be nice and comfortable at that level and then if it has a survival rating of -2 degrees you will survive but it wouldn’t be fun. Also, you will need a sleeping mat or a camping mattress as well.
You may be hiking and in that case, then you are your own transport. But if you are driving then you need to consider how to transport everything. Often the more space the better but there will always be decisions to be made so try and keep everything to essentially what is useful. You can even think about converting an old vehicle to turn it into a camping van, check out parkedinparadise.com for some great info and guides on how to achieve this.
Hungry? Of course you are! So we’re going to need cooking equipment. Camping stoves come in a variety of sizes, from a small single burner to a double burner with grill and even bigger barbecues, etc. You also will want to consider camp cookware rather than traditional pots, pans, and plates as the size and weight of the camping versions are designed to be as small and light as possible.
You are going to want to sit down and relax, so there is a whole range of camping furniture available these days. You can get everything from normal camp chairs to full inflatable sofas, armchairs and you can get camp kitchens and stores. You can get a fold-away picnic table and even separate pop-rooms to use away from the tents as well.
So no matter how you do it be sure to enjoy your trip, make sure you have a checklist and bring everything as well.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
New on Four Jandals
- Tips for Celebrating Christmas While Travelling December 7, 2019
- Finding Culture in the Tourist Hotspot of Benidorm December 6, 2019
- Essential Things to Equip Yourself for the Perfect Camping Trip December 6, 2019
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