If you’re longing for something more from your next holiday then long-haul may be the way to go. If you want a life-affirming break that stands out from the crowd, a longer flight time might be in order, so settle back with a movie or book to arrive at a destination that will exceed your expectations. Here’s our lowdown on the best long-haul hotspots for 2019.
For opulence and glamour, look towards the United Arab Emirates and its crowning jewel, Dubai. Sample the jet-set lifestyle in this glossy destination packed with five-star hotels, marble-clad shopping malls and dazzling beaches. Dubai is all about luxury and it’s here you’ll find the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which has a staggering 163 floors. When the sun sets, you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants offering an international choice of fine-dining experiences. For culture, head to the 2,000-seater Dubai Opera house for a classical concert.
Blending history, spectacular beaches and a vibrant nightlife, Mexico has it all. Head to Cancun for water sports, sunbathing and a party scene, or go for upmarket Riviera Maya for a relaxed couples or family break. When it comes to sightseeing, Yucatán Peninsula holidays also have plenty to offer, with sites such as Chichen Itza, with its mysterious pyramid structure, top of many visitors’ must-see lists. Don’t forget to factor in Mexico departure tax into the cost of your holiday if you’re traveling on a budget.
India is an attractive option for far-flung travel adventures and Goa provides an inviting mix of white-sand beaches, authentic cuisine and colourful street markets. For a lively break, Calangute may fit the bill, offering an international scene with plenty of shopping opportunities, international restaurants and a beautiful beach. Those in search of culture should head to the Mario Gallery which features some great work by cartoonist Mario De Miranda. If you’re after a more tranquil break, Candolim may be more to your taste.
When it comes to long-haul, Thailand continues to rank highly on travellers’ wish lists. Offering a mix of ornate temples, impossibly beautiful islands and the bustling city of Bangkok, this destination truly is a feast for the senses. For peace and tranquillity, Khao Lak offers the ideal venue for a battery recharge with powdery-soft beaches and beautiful landscapes. For a mix of active pursuits and beach fun, lively Phuket is the place to be, plus it has a lively and eclectic nightlife scene for those who want it.
Those in search of an affordable Caribbean getaway should consider the Dominican Republic. Swaying palms, all-inclusive beach resorts and clear waters provide ample opportunity for relaxation, pampering and exploration. Those wanting more than lazing on a lounger can visit Los Haitises National Park which features a large mangrove forest, hills and caves with fascinating petroglyphs and pictograms.
If you’re longing for an island vibe with luxury all-inclusive hotels thrown in for good measure, St Lucia is the place to be. With a lush rainforest interior, strikingly accentuated by the twin Piton Mountains, there’s lots of scope for hiking and walking while discovering the natural beauty of this Caribbean gem. Laze on the beaches or soak up the local culture in the capital Castries with its cathedral, colourful market and historic buildings. If you have time pop into the Mamiku Gardens, a 12-acre botanical garden near the east coast. Active families in search of fun should check out Treetop Adventure Park which offers a selection of adrenalin-inducing canopy tours for thrill seekers.
Offering far more than your average bucket-and-spade break, holidays to Gambia are all about experiences. Aside from some incredible beaches, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in safari tours. With excursions available from Kololi and Banjul you’ll be transported into the bush where if you’re lucky, you’ll see lions, hippos and giraffes. Gambian cuisine offers a mix of spicy meats and seafood in local dishes while also offering a selection of international fare. Craft markets are big in Gambia so this is the place to pick up arts, crafts and souvenirs to take back home.
Fun-packed Florida is a great option for families and adventure lovers. Orlando is packed with world-class theme parks offering character experiences, white-knuckle rollercoasters and dazzling shows. Kids will love the amazing Walt Disney World Resort while adults can enjoy the lively nightlife and golf courses. The incredible beaches of Clearwater, Miami, and St Pete offer the perfect wind-down after a week at the parks which is why many visitors opt for twin-center holidays.
Don’t settle for an uninspiring fly-and-flop beach break – book a long-haul holiday for experiences that will live long in the memory. Faraway shores needn’t cost a fortune if you shop around, so don’t settle for mediocre when it comes to your next escape!