If you’re starting to think about all the amazing and wonderful places you’d love to visit and send postcards from, make sure you include these top five places!
If you enjoy the great outdoors, epic scenery, hotdogs, peace, quiet and horses, then a road trip around Iceland has to be on your bucket list! You can’t ever predict the weather in Iceland – a tiny island in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean is prone to serious cold snaps and rather windy weather.
But as a guide, if you go in the summer you will miss the snow and be confronted with lush fields between the mountains where wild horses graze, but beware of the midges at this time of year. If winter looks too cold for you, I suggest autumn (Aug-Oct). The crisp, cool air can still sting but you may just be lucky to catch the northern lights providing the clouds stay away.
Top tip: The best way to see Iceland is by van as you will likely get bored (and broke) staying in the city. Happy Campers are a great van rental company to use.
But the big question is: North Island or South Island?
North Island is full of tourist hot spots like the hot water beaches of the Coromandel, the luge in Rotorua, 90 Mile Beach, and Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings set). You also have the two major cities of Auckland and Wellington, if you fancy a spot of shopping.
Whereas in the South Island you have about a million people spread out on an island the size of England and Wales combined!* Vast open roads that link pleasant rural and skiing towns such as Arrowtown, Queenstown and the Edinburgh-esk city of Dunedin. If you love the countryside, mountains, lakes and a place to ski (or walk in the summer), then rent a camper van and get going!
*England and Wales is populated by about 56 million people on 151,040km² of land, and the South Island is populated by one million on 151,215 km² of land!
If you’re coming to England, I suggest skipping London and coming straight to Dorset! Home of the Jurassic Coast, and the cliffs made famous by Broadchurch. Plus, the beautiful beaches of the Purbecks, the shopping district of Bournemouth and the grand New Forest. There is so much to do here! Just be aware that Dorset is far from being an undiscovered holiday destination, so it may be best to come outside of the school holidays to avoid enjoying the view from inside a stationary vehicle on a gridlocked road.
Stereotypical, I know, but Paris is a place of expression and stunning sites. Parisians are as brusque and confident as they are elegant and indulgent. Guilt from eating good food doesn’t seem to be common place here as it is in the UK, and quite frankly, I loved this attitude! Eat good food, get inspired by the architecture and art, wear elegant clothes, walk, talk and express yourself confidently. If you go to Paris, get ready to immerse yourself into the culture of simply enjoying life at a slower pace without the guilt.
The arty heart of Australia found on the Southern coastline. A broad city of trams and cafes, with streets populated by painters, graffiti artists, performers and musicians. Melbourne is colourful, vibrant and youthful with a distinct character fuelled by independent companies that sell vinyl records and skewered burgers. The coffee-drinking and brunch-eating culture is an important part of life here – a perfect place to shop or to sit in a brick-walled, back-alley cafe and write that zombie romance novel you always meant to.