As you all know by now that 2016 is the year of long and extended weekends, we thought of making a checklist of your upcoming travel plans. After all, advance planning is all about grabbing pre-purchased rates, early bird offers and advance booking discounts. The year has already kick-started, so hurry up, check out these trending international holiday destinations, promotional air-fares, classy hotels and of course, let your boss know in advance. Be it your old favourites or some place offbeat, travelling is always fun, and here is our exclusive list of international cities to explore in 2016.
Gold Coast, Australia
Gold Coast is all about sun, surf and sand dotting. The coastal city in the southeastern part of Australia is a beach lover’s paradise. Kissed by subtropical climate, serene beaches, water sports and dominating skyline, a beach holiday in Gold Coast has every reason to be included in your 2016 travel kitty.
Things to do: Rainforest walks in Tamborine Mountain, whale watching, visit to Surfers Paradise, visit to Q1, world’s tallest residential tower and only beach-side observation deck in Australia.
Saving Tips: Stay outside Surfers Paradise to avoid a deep hole in your pocket and look for budget stays in Coolangatta. Hire bikes to explore the coastline and look for discounted tickets of Gold Coast Theme Park.
Sentosa Island- Singapore
Sentosa Island has been ranked as an year round tourist destination for many consecutive years. Be it a relaxed beach side afternoon or thrills and spills, this bustling island has numerous attractions to content you. Loaded with sightseeing spots, hotels, restaurants, an exhilarating skyline and gorgeous sea views, Sentosa is the place to visit in 2016.
Things to do: Visit Marine Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa, soak up the sun on Sentosa’s southern shoreline, try golf at Sentosa Golf Club and relish on delicious Asian and international cuisine.
Saving Tips: To burn calories, walk or jog via Sentosa Boardwalk. To save cash, take the public MRT system that connects the main Singapore city to Sentosa Island and check out for budget eateries at the waterfront.
Splendid beaches, old treasures, languid villages, glitzy cities – Crete, the largest and the most populous Greek island is going to make you fall in love with it. Rugged canyons, incredible pink-sand beaches and snow-dabbed mountains lend a perfect laid-back yet luxuriant vacation look to Crete. Its mighty fortresses, renaissance mansions and Turkish bathhouses intermingle with local spirited people who flaunt their timeless culture and customs. Book your flight for the most mesmerising 2016 holiday!
Things to do: Visit Palace of Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Hike in the White Mountains and trek along Samaria Gorge and Imbros Gorge. Take a gourmet trail to savour Greek and Mediterranean cuisines made from locally produced meat, cheese, olive oil, raki, wine and herbs.
Saving Tips: Plan a trip to Crete around a local festival, look for accommodations on western side of the island as the beach is long, sweeping and safe. Also avail the efficient and cost-effective public buses for moving in and around Crete.
The political, historical, architectural and business epicentre, Moscow dwells in ancient and modern developments of Russia. If any offbeat international destination is going to make to your travel list, then be it Russia.
Things to do: Head for a tour to St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, KGB Museum, Kremlin and Red Square. For indulgence in contemporary art and theatre, visit Garage Gallery and Praktika Theater.
Saving Tips: Book affordable accommodations like private hostel rooms and rented apartments. Many luxury hotels of Moscow offer great deals too. So do check those out. Take a guide along while visiting historical attractions of the city for a richer experience.
Switzerland is definitely beyond ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ and also way ahead of Zurich and Interlaken. The old fashioned car-free village of Zermatt, dotted with brown chalets and winding alleys and protected by white snow-dabbed mountains resemble a fairy-tale town, worth to be explored.
Things to do: Definitely visit The Gornergrat Railway, Klein Matterhorn and Glacier Paradise. Ride electric vehicles and horse-drawn cabs, ski at “Matterhorn glacier paradise”, Europe’s largest and highest summer skiing region and embark on a hiking trail from Mont Blanc to Zermatt.
Saving Tips: Stick to Swiss cuisine, avail ski passes from tourist office on Bahnhofplatz and try to get around the village by foot.
With an astounding array of baths, from traditional Turkish pools to modern spa, Budapest is weaved in luxury. The city is speckled with Roman structures, European buildings and Ottomon architecture, all of which treat the eyes with an unmatched experience. The city is no less than a postcard and is an absolute delight for photo enthusiasts.
Things to do: Visit Chain Bridge, Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Trinity Square St. Stephen’s Basilica and UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Danube embankments and Buda Castle. Embark on a cultural tour to Budapest History Museum.
Saving Tips: Practice your bargaining skills while shopping in Budapest, eat goulash soup, fried flat-bread and spicy sausage from food stalls at the teeming Central Market. Have grapefruit vodka shot or Dreher beer at the unique “ruin” bars of Budapest and dine like a local over Hungarian dishes at Restaurant 21 (17) near Vienna Gate.
It is water, land, wind, it is history, art, culture, and, again it is passion, joy and longing. With more than 300 hot springs, Galicia is the richest and best preserved thermal spa destinations in the world. An exotic range of fish and sea-food delicacies topped with fine wines make it a paradise for food lovers. Include Galicia in your list of favourite international holiday destinations.
Things to do: Galicia is a World heritage city and a vacation here is incomplete without a visit to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Head for a bicycle tour around the glorious city and to admire its cultural side. Galician centre of Contemporary Art is a must visit.
Saving Tips: Soak in the sun at Riazor beach, satiate your tummies with seafood delicacies and locally produced fruits and veggies. Rent a holiday villa, apartment or country home to stay like a local.
Prague, Czech Republic
Who does not want to know Prague in person? The winding alleys of Jewish Quarter, the Palace Gardens tucked away from chaos of the city, the Old Town Hall flaunting the Prague Astronomical Clock and many enticing cafes offering local drinks and deserts, make Prague a highly admirable destination for foreign travellers. Prague has a mixed characteristic – stylish, ancient, charming and romantic. Lets hit the city in 2016.
Things to do: Drink home brewed Czech beers, hop in to art galleries to treat your eyes with Bohemian and Gothic art and visit attractions like Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Prague Beer Museum and Old Town Hall.
Saving Tips: Save some bucks by taking a bicycle tour of the city. There are numerous hotels, so be smart in choosing one and keep some cash ready for tipping in pubs and restaurants and while availing taxis.
It is time you unwrap those age-old fantasies and actually hit the roads this year to capture the unrivaled luxury and unparalleled beauty of the vivid world.