Home Horizon Fly & flop? No thanks – give me an adventure any day…

Fly & flop? No thanks – give me an adventure any day…

by LaurettaCWright

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be off exploring when you go on holiday – trying new activities, finding out where the locals go to eat and sourcing little-known hideouts to explore.

Yes, the beach has its appeal for the kids, but I’m easily bored and I need adventure in my life.

Plus I like to try and instil an adventurous streak in the kids as I think it widens their cultural, social and historical awareness of destinations. A bit of education never did anyone any harm…

Helping to fuel the appetite for adventure, the nice guys at STA Travel have come up with their top ten tips for 2016 escapes…and if you’re over the age of 30-ish, let this be some travel inspiration for you to create your own special must-sees.

  1. Go on an adventure cruise
    Think cruising is pretty dull and staid? Think again! Adventure cruising is one of the very best ways to see multiple destinations in a new light, for a great-value price.Popular destinations for ocean and river cruising include Cambodia, Vietnam, India and the Maldives.
  1. Check out Bhutan
    This isolated, mountainous country is still pretty unknown, making it intriguing for travellers looking to go somewhere truly off-the-beaten-track. What it is known for though, is its expensive visitor tariff of US$250 minimum per day, making it out of the price bracket of many.Lucky for some, STA Travel offers a 21-day overland adventure from £2,510 that starts in Kolkata and finishes in Kathmandu, and includes 10 days in the mystical kingdom of Bhutan.
  1. Explore Indonesia beyond Bali
    Everyone knows Bali, the paradise island for yoga and meditation – with a side-order of nightlife and neon. However it's just one of thousands of islands that make up Indonesia, why limit yourself to just Bali?Go forth and explore this incredible country. A 16-day island hopping ‘Best of Sumatra and Java’ with the company starts from £1,499 and includes the chance to explore coffee plantations, search for orang-utans and marvel at landscapes from volcanoes to rainforest.
  1. Help look after pandas in China
    Giant panda bear in treeThere’s a new ‘voluntour’ option for 2016 – looking after pandas in China, which has got to be an experience to remember. The 11-day trip starts in Chengdu and ends in Beijing, and includes 5 days in Dujiangyan Panda Research Centre helping to care for pandas.Other highlights include a Kung Fu lesson from Shaolin Masters, and hiking and camping on the Great Wall of China, with prices start from £1,045.
  1. Go on tour in Hawaii
    Go beyond the beaches in Hawaii (if you can peel yourself away from topping up your tan) and get active by checking out the wildlife. STA Travel's new tour, the only one specifically for young travellers aged between 18 and 38, kicks off in April 2016. The eight-day tour starts in Kailuna, ends in Kona, and starts from £774.Highlights include snorkelling with sea turtles, kayak tours to see wild dolphins, camping on the water's edge and cool hiking trails – take me there!
  1. Luxury camping in Airstream campers on the Bolivian Salt Flats
    We all love a bit of camping (or glamping) and the incredible Bolivian Salt Flats are on most travellers' must-see lists. However, for 2016 STA Travel is bringing a touch of luxury to this other-worldly landscape where you can spend three days in a cool retro Airstream camper-van as you travel across the salt flats. Each has a double bed, bathroom with hot shower, air-conditioning/heating, iPod dock and fully-stocked mini-bar. Each camper is towed by a 4×4 vehicle which is driven by a guide and, on top of all this, there's a chef serving up delicious meals, including cocktails at sunset. Prices start from £1,640. Bring on the #roadtrip!
  1. Discover Lady Elliott Island
    Situated on the very southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, Lady Elliott Island is a tiny island with world-class diving and snorkeling and amazing wildlife.For the first time in 2016, STA Travel is offering a ‘Lady Elliot Island and Fraser Island Experience' which includes two nights in either an eco-hut or en-suite room on Lady Elliot Island, one night in Hervey Bay and 1 night on Fraser Island.It also includes flights from Hervey Bay to Lady Elliot Island and 4WD bus to Fraser Island. Prices from £640 per person and you don’t necessarily have to be a lady to go visit. I’m sold!
  1. Book an adventure in the Philippines
    Philippines
    The Philippines has been the company’s fastest growing destination for 2015, and its popularity shows no sign of abating.The great news for explorers is that it's still relatively unknown. STA has five adventure tours for 2016, plus a selection of ‘mini-adventures' of around five days, ideal to incorporate into a round-the-world itinerary.
  1. Head to Costa Rica as it becomes more accessible
    From May 2016, British Airways is introducing new direct flights from Gatwick to Costa Rica, meaning that this fascinating country has never been more accessible from the UK.STA offers a range of adventure tours, from budget options to more luxurious options, taking in the highlights of this diverse country: volcanoes, wildlife, rainforests and beaches. Must-do highlights include zip-lining through Monteverde cloud forest, soaking in the hot springs of La Fortuna, trekking volcano El Arenal, checking out the Caribbean vibes of Puerto Viejo, watching turtles hatch at Tortuguero and catching a wave on the Pacific coast.
  1. Tailor your own Colombia itinerary
    Colombia
    Last but not least, the number of flights from the UK to Colombia has increased in the past couple of years so it's now easier to create your own bespoke Colombian adventure.Thanks to the new airlift, more and more boutique hotels have opened throughout Colombia, such as hillside bungalows overlooking lush countryside and beaches in Tayrona National Park.Why not go beyond Bogota and Cartegena and check out the coffee region from Manizales, take part in The Lost City trek – which has been dubbed the ‘new Inca Trail' – and enjoy Caribbean beaches?

25 comments

Zena's Suitcase 10th March 2018 - 8:43 pm

I would really hate to just stay on the beach, I would find it dull too. You’ve shared so many places I want to visit I’d struggle to pick a favourite trip here
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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 9:02 pm

Thanks Zena – it’s a tricky one isn’t it? I don’t mind a day on the beach (for the kids), but then I start getting itchy feet and need to start exploring again!

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Steph 10th March 2018 - 2:04 pm

I like the sound of Costa Rica and the adventures there is on offer. I love having a explore of new places when we go away

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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 2:44 pm

Plenty of adventures in Costa Rica I think Steph- thanks!

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Kira 10th March 2018 - 9:18 am

We have never been on a cruise but my uncle goes on one every year – not jealous 🙂

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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 2:46 pm

I think all my family have been on a cruise except me. I’m planning one for this year or next hopefully!

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fashionandstylepolice 8th March 2018 - 6:01 pm

I would love to go on a cruise adventure one day. Maybe when the kids are older.

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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 2:45 pm

Yay – you and me both! It’s firmly on my bucket this – if not this year, then next!

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Anosa 8th March 2018 - 2:04 pm

I would very much love to go to Hawaii and explore Indonesia beyond Bali and Philippines.
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Kara 8th March 2018 - 10:39 am

I would love to go on another cruise and exploring Hawaii – well that would be amazing

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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 2:39 pm

Wow – Hawaii sounds awesome. What I wouldn’t give to check out that destination. And of course – take a cruise!

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Newcastle Family Life 8th March 2018 - 9:44 am

What a great selection of adventures, my brother works in travel and has been to some amazing places. I really want to explore the world more now my children are getting a bit bigger, the idea of travelling somewhere and just staying in the hotel for a fortnight does not appeal to me at all x

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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 2:41 pm

Twin-centre holidays or multi-centre stays are all the rage apparently – as well as immersing yourself in experiences and meeting the locals. As the kids get older this becomes easier to do.

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Sonia Cave 8th March 2018 - 9:17 am

These look great and I am usually with you on taking an adventure. However, we adventure a lot around Sweden, and where the weather has been so cold this winter we are looking forward to taking a “flop” holiday this summer and enjoying some down time with a pool and a villa to keep the crazy trio occupied and happy, as then we will be relaxed and happy. One or 2 days we will venture into Barcelona to explore but no more wild plans 🙂

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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 2:38 pm

Sometimes we just need days where we just do nothing and I don’t blame you! Enjoy! 🙂

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Joanna Bayford 7th March 2018 - 10:16 pm

These adventures sound amazing. I love relaxing on a beach but get bored easily so find when we go away we have to do some exploring and go on excursions.
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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 2:34 pm

I’m the same Joanna – I’m easily bored and need to be exploring and discovering!

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Jess Howliston 7th March 2018 - 10:12 pm

WOW all of these adventures sound amazing. We aren’t really a sit on the beach family as we all get bored so easily so we are always looking for places to explore. I absolutely LOVE the sound of looking after Panda’s too!
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LaurettaCWright 7th March 2018 - 10:30 pm

I bet it’s a totally magical experience….thanks Jess!

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Laura - Dear Bear and Beany 7th March 2018 - 9:55 pm

I used to be a fly and flop girl, I would take so many books on holiday and just lie to read. But no chance of doing that now I have children and I want to enjoy it with them!

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LaurettaCWright 7th March 2018 - 10:30 pm

I think that’s it – once you have kids you need eyes in the back of your head!

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Laura Dove 7th March 2018 - 8:35 pm

I used to love just lounging by the pool for two weeks but since we had the kids I am all about the adventure! There’s no point trying to relax with my four!

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LaurettaCWright 7th March 2018 - 9:23 pm

They need to burn off some of that energy maybe!

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Talya 7th March 2018 - 1:42 pm

I am definitely not a fly and flop girl and love an adventure. I didn’t know you could help look after Pandas in China that would be so amazing!

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LaurettaCWright 7th March 2018 - 3:03 pm

You’re definitely on my wavelength for adventure Talya! 🙂

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