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The WOW factor

Your 2016 New Year’s Travel Resolutions - Part 1

Clive Wedderburn December 11, 2015

The older we grow the more set in our ways we become. In travel terms, this equates to the same holidays with much the same experiences. We’re creatures of comfort after all and there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, we are also aware that there are things we have never tried that pique our curiosity, where we find ourselves wondering what it would be like to try something new; to find out what lies over the horizon – to boldly go...

It’s risk versus reward, but as this writer can attest, great things occur when you step outside of your comfort zone. So make 2016 the year that you explore somewhere new.

1) Scuba dive in the Maldives

Every time you watch an underwater nature program on TV you are reminded how you wanted to scuba dive. It’s time to scratch that itch, and head to the location that has it all: I suggest Vilamendhoo; the Maldivian island set in the South Ari Atoll which benefits from having access to crystal clear waters,  incredible dives sites and a house reef just off the beach for those who are new to scuba diving.

With overwater villas and spa, this private escape will ensure that exploring something new comes with added benefits.

2) Witness the Great Annual Migration in Kenya

For many people, standing on the savannahs of the Masai Mara trying to stop the camera lens shaking while a herd of elephants saunters across your path is the epitome of ‘exploring something new’ and exciting.

From July to October the Governor’s Camp, a luxury safari experience set in on the banks of the River Mara, will provide you with exclusive access to the Great Annual Migration. Enjoy a bush dinner by your log fire at night while elephants, wildebeest and lions provide nature’s orchestral manoeuvres in the dark.

3) Drive historic Route 66

Create your own road movie as you cruise down historic Highway 66; just you, your significant other and some top picks on the car stereo. Detour through Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon on the way to California and the Pacific Coast where a date with the Santa Monica pier heralds the end of the road.

Use our handy USA Road trip Recommender app to help you navigate the eight states from the Great Lakes, to the rolling plains of the Midwest. As you criss-cross your way through the states, you will be greeted with some of the greatest scenery in North America. 

4) Island hop in Thailand

Thailand is a fascinating country and its islands are dreamily exotic and tropical.  Each island has its own special atmosphere and signature activity. Where Phi Phi is famed for its iconic rock outcrops, Ko Lanta is renowned for its amazing snorkelling and dive sites, and meanwhile Ko Samui has developed into an exciting foodie destination packed with acclaimed restaurants.

There are romantic island hideaways, and then there are party islands with kaleidoscopic bars to light up your life. Every island is fringed with palm trees and golden beaches lapped by crystal clear waters. So don’t choose one island when it’s so easy to try two or three.

5) Explore Brazil in the year of the Olympics

This summer‘s dream ticket has to be Rio, in July, for the Olympics. One of the world’s most vibrant countries opens its doors to one of the world’s greatest events. Allow Rio, one of the best urban city and beach experiences, to act as a gateway to this fascinating country. 

Use the Olympics as your opportunity to chill out on Copacabana Beach, take a selfie on Sugar Loaf Mountain, then sway to the samba rhythms in Salvador or discover the wonders of the Amazon. Brazil at any time of year is a special place to visit – but during Olympic year, it’s going to be spectacular. 

Visit our Holiday Types pages for further inspiration to explore somewhere new in 2016.