There’s still plenty of time to book that holiday for the end of the year. With world travel opening up, here’s what’s trending.
As the Covid pandemic begins to settle and the world returns to some sense of times gone by, our dream holiday plans which were put on hold for the past two years can now become a reality.
Judging by recent travel trends, holidays in destinations which offer many outdoor activities – with the beach, sea, sand, and adventure being a big attraction – are at the top of everyone’s list.
“Slow Tourism” is seeing people take longer trips with fewer stops and simpler itineraries. And with remote working being the new norm, setting up shop on the sandy shores of an exotic beach somewhere is so 2022 “bleisure” and makes barefoot workations possible.
Naturally, it is important to be mindful of the pandemic situation in the travel destination you choose and likewise to consider the case numbers in your home community before booking your trip.
Here are our top three destinations which should be on your December holiday bucket list.
1. Krabi, Thailand
Krabi, located on the south-west coast of Thailand, is the most relaxing part to be in, in all of Thailand. It is a province with the most stunning scenery imaginable, beautiful white beaches that stretch on for miles, gorgeous limestone mounds, aqua blue waters, a jungle and over 200 islands just off the coast.
It covers quite a large area so many of the attractions require some travelling, but the magnificent beauty will make it worthwhile.
Railay Beach is potentially the most attractive beach in Thailand, accessible only by boat due to the large cliffs on each side cutting it off from the mainland. Here you will find stunning white sand, breathtaking views and fantastic limestone cliffs. Due to its remote location, you will not find any roads or cars, just a few long-tail boats and a couple of bars to spend your evenings in. Looking to really escape from the world this might just be as good as it gets.
Rent a boat and take a guided tour of the many islands sitting just off the Krabi coastline. Some are small rocks jutting out of the sea, some are quite a lot larger but still remain uninhabited, and some are large islands with many inhabitants living a normal life.
Take a quick speedboat trip to Phi-Phi Island, about 45 minutes from Krabi mainland. It is well known for its turquoise waters, and is famous for its party vibe, day and night.
Phra Nang Beach has been voted one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world and is a place you’ll not want to miss. Only 20 minutes by long boat from Ao Nang it has amazing scenery and is a beautiful place to swim.
2. Tulum, Mexico
The best time to visit Tulum is November and December, as it is post hurricane season, the temperature is not too hot, and it’s a little less crowded with tourists.
This boho beach paradise is located on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and is well known for its beaches and well-preserved ruins of an ancient Mayan port city. The main building is a large stone structure called El Castillo, perched on a rocky cliff above the white sand beaches and turquoise sea.
With a rustic vibe and relaxed resorts along the beach, Tulum is a laid-back alternative to the nearby tourist hubs of Playa del Carmen and Cancun.
While in Tulum, be sure to book a trip to the iconic archaeological wonder, the Maya ruins, perched on bluffs above the sea. Then follow the trail to the base of the bluffs where you can take a dip in the Caribbean. After relaxing on the beach or snorkelling, head into downtown Tulum for an authentic Mexican or traditional Maya lunch and browse for Mexican and Maya crafts in local shops.
Then venture into the interior of the Riviera Maya. Making use of a bicycle tour will allow you to head off-road to explore parts of the region you can’t see from a car or tour bus, experiencing wildlife sanctuaries and local villages.
The Cenote trail is an inspiring journey through the high forest on the outskirts of Tulum, allowing you to discover the variety of caves, caverns, and cenotes that are hidden underneath the jungle of the Yucatan. Explore secluded cenotes by bike, far from the crowds. These freshwater sinkholes are alive with lush plants and marine life and are worthy of your entire afternoon or day. You can swim and snorkel in several unique ecosystems on a cenote-hopping tour, or scuba dive in massive caverns and narrow underground rivers.
Finally, explore more of the surrounding region with a tour to Coba, where you can climb an ancient Maya pyramid in the heart of the jungle, or visit the impressive structures at Chichen Itza – one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Each December planet earth crosses the orbital path of an asteroid that gets close enough to the sun so that its rocky body begins to crumble, resulting in what is known as the Geminids Meteor Shower. The astral debris vaporises on contact with the upper atmosphere and from earth it appears as streams of coloured light tracing a path across the sky.
The Moroccan Sahara is one of the best places to witness this phenomenon with no light pollution and expansive vistas.
Become star struck by getting off the beaten track and discovering a lesser-known side to Morocco. Venture out of Marrakech on a camel trek into a palm-fringed oasis and sweeping deserts. From the ancient kasbahs of Skoura to the history of Zagora, there is plenty to discover.
But there is also an opportunity to disconnect as you head out into the untouched dunes of Erg Chigaga for a night in the desert with only the stars above you for company. Away from the crowds and embedded deep within Moroccan culture, it’s an adventure worth taking.
Ensure you book your desert trip over December 14 and 15, 2022, as this is when the meteor shower will take place.