We've all agreed that 2020 can do one. It's been a rubbish year for socialising, eating out and holidays - basically all of our favourite things. But with a vaccine approved (yay) we’re feeling hopeful that we’ll be travelling again soon, and this time we’re keen to make it count. In fact, we’re keen to take this to the next level and go all out for a big bucket list trip, preferably without a big price tag to match. Here's some once-in-a-lifetime trips to actually consider...
See the northern lights
Check out the new Arctic bubble cabins in Kalix in Swedish Lapland. With windows in the walls and roof, you have more than a fair chance to seeing the green and yellows swirls of aurora borealis and maybe a passing reindeer too. And when you’re not lying in bed gazing at the sky, there’s ice fishin, snowshoe hiking, husky sledding and ice carving to have a go at. From £150pn
Visit a turtle sanctuary in Sri Lanka
You’ll get the opportunity to visit the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Centre and see baby turtles released back into the wild as part of Contiki’s new four-day Ayurveda Wellness Retreat in Sri Lanka. The trip by the guided tour company for 18-35s also includes a cooking class, morning beach yoga and a full day of Ayurveda treatments too. From £366pp
Sleep in a treehouse in Cornwall
Atlantic Treehouse in Cornwall is top of our fave UK treehouses list, and believe us that list is long. Not only is there an actual tree trunk growing in the middle of it, there’s also an al fresco shower, terrace with a barbecue and beanbags for slouching on. And don’t get us started on the glass roof above the bed for star-gazing. Perfect for either a romantic break or a solo mission, the rest of the camp site has a farm shop, pods for surfers and a path to Bude Beach. Two nights from £178.
Take a road trip around Iceland
We’re all over the Diamond Circle, a new touring route in northern Iceland, connecting some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. The 250km loop takes in five key attractions in some of the remotest parts of Iceland including the luna-like blue and green landscape of Lake Mývatn, Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, crescent-shaped wonder Ásbyrgi canyon and Húsavík. A three-day Diamond Circle Adventure Tour from £1110pp including accommodation, transport, private guide and food; or go for the day on a nine-hour tour. From £145pp.
Go glamping in a bubble in Madeira
An actual bubble hotel on the tiny island of Madeira off the Portuguese coast. Soul Glamping is in keeping with the times, offering just five remote, private geodesic domes with wood floors, mini kitchen, massive bed and a Jacuzzi on the terrace overlooking the sea, countryside and mountains. This is a really good place to be sitting at sunset #blessed. When you’re not in your bubble, there’s wild swimming, canyoning, hiking and e-biking to try. From £109pn.
Stay in a safari tent in Slovenia
Check out these glamorous tents set on a vineyard in Slovenia’s wild wine region, Styria. Each safari canvas comes with its own hot tub, which is totally private and open year-round so you can steam away even when it’s snowing. Obviously wine tasting is high on the list of things to do here - there’s a Chateau on site with a vast cellar stocked with Pinot Gris, Muscat and Sauvignon calling your name. And when you’re not soaked in water or wine, there’s the beautiful city of Maribor close by to explore or, back at base, enjoy a massage with grape oils - that’s basically more wine - outside cinema, bonfire by the pond and small bar. Breakfast’s included and there’s a delish vegan option. Tents sleeping from 2-5 people, from £125pn.
Sit in a hot tub in France
We’re calling it: La Cabane des Figuiers has the best treehouse hot tub in France. Six metres up, you can soak up the bubbles and views on the deck of a truly extraordinary escape for two built around an ancient oak tree in the Dordogne. You don’t even need to leave this haven to get food in the morning: your breakfast’s thoughtfully placed in a basket at ground level which you haul up on a rope. Inside, the decor’s all rustic chic, with limestone basins, wood-clad bedroom and cute dining area. There’s no kitchen but you can order a three-course dinner, delivered by basket the same way as your brekkie, fire up the barbecue or walk into the nearby village to try the local restaurants. From £186pn.
Swim in a rooftop pool in Dubai
Sunny stretches of flawless man-made white sand beaches, futuristic architecture dotting the skyline, and more fancy hotels and rooftop bars than you can you can shake a cocktail at - Dubai radiates luxury. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune while you’re there - check into the Rove Downtown Hotel which is a mere £38pn! That’s right, go for a long weekend and you can be swimming in the rooftop pool, watching a film in mini cinema and hitting The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s biggest malls with more than 1000 stores and its own annual festival.
Whale watch in Dominican Republic
From mid-January to the end of March around 10,000 humpback whales travel to the Caribbean island’s Samana Peninsula, near to La Romana. Huge colonies come to breed and use the bath-warm waters as a nursery and you can see the amazing spectacle by boat - getting almost close enough to touch them. Stay at gorgeous Bahia Principe Grand Punta Cana with Tui and you’ll get your flight, transfers and all food and drinks for seven nights, from £932pp.
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