One of the things I learned from travelling through eastern and southern Africa, was that there are so many different types of travel experiences I’d like to incorporate into my future trips.
Have you ever been a bit indifferent about skiing – but actually loved it? Have you ever been a bit hesitant to go off-grid but it’s actually led you to a new and more interesting path? Personally, I find it so refreshing when you try out something new and it completely changes your outlook on travel.
Here are 11 types of travel that either made my recent trip all the more enriching, or are simply something I want to do way more of in 2017. Either way, they will all be things I consider when I’m making my future travel plans.
1. Active Travel
Hiking, biking and kayaking are just some of the ways I got active in Africa. There’s something so satisfying about hiking a really huge mountain and admiring the views from the top. I felt on top of the world when we hiked Mt Longonot in Kenya and Robberg Nature Reserve in South Africa. We also hiked some beautiful forests along South Africa’s garden route and kayaked to some spectacular waterfalls. When I’m active and around nature, I’m happy. Eco-adventures and active holidays are just some of the types of travel I want to do more of in the future.
2. Road Trips
As I prefer being active to sitting still for hours, I didn’t think road trips really did it for me. But when you get to cruise somewhere as spectacular as the Swartberg Pass between Oudtshoorn and Prince Albert across the Little Karoo in the Western Cape of South Africa, your whole outlook on road trips could change! These mountain passes are a little hairy at times, but look-out points, and the views of the mountains as they tower over your car are magical.
3. City Breaks
I think sometimes I forget how easy it is to fly (or drive) somewhere for a couple of nights and make the most of your weekend. It’s a great feeling when you start your working week having spent the last two days exploring a new corner of the world. A weekend break is one of the types of travel that can of course, be suprisingly expensive. So I’ll be looking to plan some weekend breaks well in advance to get the best deals, and pushing myself to see my own city in a different light. I’ll be sharing my 2017 travel wishlist this week, which features many different types of travel, but has a strong focus on UK and city breaks.
4. Travel that focuses on the Hotel or Accommodation
Our travels in Africa really opened my eyes to the incredible variety of hotels and accommodation you have to choose from when you go on holiday. Sausage Tree and Anabezi safari camps were prime examples of the ultimate safari luxury, while Gibb’s farm had a wholesome quality to it that felt completely unique.
Meanwhile, in the Cape Winelands I stayed in hotel ‘cottages’ at The Leeu Estates, a luxe guest suite on The Jordan’s Estate winery and an incredible farm hotel, otherwise known as Babylonstoren. Sometimes it’s the hotel that makes your travel experience, not just the destination. I’m looking forward to incorporating more innovative, eco-friendly, quirky accommodation into my future travel plans, as well as hotels which simply have the wow-factor.
5. Travel that includes AirBnB stays
I don’t think we could have got through our Africa travels without Airbnb. Or if we had, it would have been a very different experience. By travelling with locals, we picked up so many tips and knowledge about the countries we were in, which I really don’t think we’d have done quite so well if we’d stayed in a hotel. Admittedly, not every Airbnb experience meets your expectactions, but on the whole, I’m in support of the sharing economy and types of travel that introduce you to new people, allow you to feel independent and encourage you to see a place from a local’s perspective.
6. Travel that includes Walking Tours
I learnt so much about South Africa thanks to the walking tours we took in Johannesburg and Cape Town. This includes a paid-for street art tour we took in Woodstock, Cape Town (which I’ll be writing about soon), and free walking tours we took in Johannesburg and Cape Town with Nielson Tours. Free walking tours can be a little bit contentious as participants pay the guides in tips and some people believe this is not giving anything back to the destination you’re in. Do I agree? Yes and no. I agree it’s important for travellers to give back to a destination. But I also feel that you can do that in all sorts of ways and it’s our responsibility to make sure we do that (however that may be). These free walking tours were highly professional, entertaining and offered an important insight into SA’s social history. I was so impressed, I’ll be checking out free walking tours much more in the future, even on my doorstep in London.
7. Travelling to explore my own City
On that note, there’s one place I’m going to see more of with my tourist hat on and that’s London. I’ve harked on about this before, but sometimes, it’s important to go beyond our usual paths that we take by sheer habit, and see your neighbourhood or city from a different perspective. This year, I’ll be exploring London with a fresh pair of eyes.
8. Glamping, or maybe camping trips
I’ve never been one to enjoy camping, but when we reached Naivasha in Kenya, I felt completely high on the great outdoors. I realised that sometimes, it’s good to put yourself right in the middle of nature, even if that means forgoing a hot shower for a night or two. We stayed in a caravan-style banda and while it was a little bit too cold and damp for my liking (!), there was something quite liberating about waking up to nature and being a bit more carefree. I’m not rushing to book my next camping trip, but I am definitely going to consider more travel experiences where the location comes before the creature comforts.
9. Multi-centre Travel
Multi-centre travel – ie incorporating more than one destination in one trip – is one of the most economically savvy ways to travel. I’d love to do island hopping across the Med or the Caribbean (because there are so many islands I’d like to see). And we did the classic safari and beach multi-centre in both Kenya and Tanzania which were great ways of seeing two very different sides of a country.
10. Travel that goes beyond the ‘obvious’
Travelling with a curious mind and going beyond the obvious sights is a natural thing for many people to do. And I certainly make it my mission to do this – besides being my job, it’s really rewarding when you discover something totally offbeat and unexpected. Going beyond the obvious during our travels through Africa led to eating a super cheap but very delicious meal in a cafe besides some Maasai tribesmen, finding a unique view over Mombasa and being introduced to a Rasta House in the middle of the Cape Winelands. Go beyond the obvious sights and you’re guaranteed to have a more enriching travel experience.
11. Wellbeing Travel
The wellbeing travel industry has rocketed in recent years and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. During our travels in Africa, we were often able to experience a slower kind of travel, where we weren’t on the go the whole time which I really benefited from. I was able to reflect on what we’d covered so far, feel like a local and take time out to relax, go running and meditate. I’d like to take slow travel one step further by experiencing a well-being trip, which incorporates yoga, exercise, meditation, spas or some other wellbeing focus. I haven’t done it yet and I think it might be time!
Is there anything you’ve learned about the types of travel you prefer which now influences your future trips? Drop me a note and let me know – you’re welcome to leave a comment!