We’re big believers in adventurous family holidays, but also advocates for (just occasionally) leaving the children behind and enjoying some true R&R! This has probably never felt more needed and Original Travel has compiled a list of sunny destinations that are at their very best in January and February. And with the children back to school after Christmas, this might just be the perfect time to jet off, guilt-free, to sunnier climes.
Nile Cruise in Egypt
Discover Egypt aboard the Steam Ship Sudan, drifting down the Nile River from Luxor to Aswan and stopping off to explore ancient sites along the way. This historic steamship, built in 1885, is owned by Voyageurs du Monde, Original Travel’s parent company, and was Agatha Christie’s inspiration for Death on the Nile, after she stayed on the boat in 1933. Stops along the way include The Valley of the Kings, Philae Temple, and Abydos, one of the oldest cities in ancient Egypt. While on board, you can sit on the deck, drink in hand, and take in the views of the Nile river banks, without a single cry of ‘Mummy, I’m bored’ to disturb you…
Image by © Olivier Romano
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula
If you’re looking for the perfect balance of culture, adventure and relaxation, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is the perfect pick. Discover the ruins of ancient Mayan cities such as Chichen Itza – the most famous archaeological site on the Yucatan Peninsula; relax on white sand beaches and swim in the turquoise Caribbean sea on the Riviera Maya; and experience life in a traditional hacienda near the village of Tixkokob.
Temple Touring in Cambodia
As of January 2022, fully-vaccinated travellers will be able to enter Siem Reap in Cambodia with a negative PCR test as long as they ‘quarantine’ for at least five nights in an approved hotel (fear not, these hotels will be a little more luxe than the UK’s quarantine hotels…). During this ‘quarantine’ period, you’ll be able to explore the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat, which should be blissfully quiet post-pandemic.
Make the most of being child-free and take your time exploring the temples, without having to worry about children getting bored along the way. Round off the trip by heading down to the coast for a few nights’ R&R in a luxurious overwater villa at Song Saa.
Peace & Quiet in the Caribbean
If it’s pure relaxation (and the chance to actually read more than a page of your book for once) that you’re after, then head to the Caribbean, which is at it’s very best during our dreary winter months. Head to one of our favourite adult-only hotels, either Jade Mountain in St Lucia or Hermitage Bay in Antigua, for the ultimate peace and quiet. If you get restless, there’s also plenty to keep you busy, with snorkelling and hiking around the Pitons in St Lucia and watersports galore in Antigua, including fantastic sailing.
Green Season in Botswana
Botswana’s green season, which runs from the end of October until March, is a highly underrated time to visit. It gets its name because this is traditionally when the most rain falls, which transforms the dusty arid land to lush green grassland, meaning plant life flourishes, birds flock to the waterways of the Okavango Delta and antelope give birth to their offspring in the bush. To experience the very best of this wonderful season in Botswana, combine time in the Okavango Delta and either the Nxai or Makgadikgadi Pans. You may also be lucky enough to witness the longest land migration in the world, as zebras move between the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans in search of water.
Diving in The Maldives
If one or both of you are divers but you haven’t taken the plunge and taught your children to dive quite yet, this could be the perfect opportunity to indulge in a long-forgotten hobby and the Maldives could be just the place to do it. The diving and snorkelling here is pretty spectacular and there are some lovely properties dotted around. We particularly love Six Senses Laamu, partly because of their eco-credentials (there are three NGO’s based here who champion ocean conservation) and also thanks to their suitably luxurious beach-side spa and the opportunity for romantic sunset dinners on deserted islands.
Please note that at the time of writing, these countries are all open to UK travellers (or will be by January 2022), but this is dependent on whether travel regulations change. Original Travel’s consultants will be able to advise you on the latest travel advice at the time of booking.