Once in a lifetime
Whether it’s a luxury upgrade to celebrate a milestone or ticking off that bucket list trip, everyone should have a travel adventure at least once in their life. Blow the kids’ inheritance…
Take off to Tahiti
Who hasn’t daydreamed about leaving the cold and rain behind and heading for a South Sea island idyll? All those swaying palm trees and sandy beaches seem to call out at this time of year. How about snorkelling or diving in the Marquesas Islands? The group is one of the most remote in the world and part of French Polynesia, with the entire population numbering under 10,000.
Getting there is a bit of a hassle, unless you happen to have your own yacht. The flight to Tahiti takes over two days and involves at least two stops, so plan on exploring various destinations en route. Once you arrive in Tahiti, board the Aranui 5, a hybrid cruise and cargo ship that visits the Marquesas around 15 times a year. The journey takes 13 days, so book plenty of time off. Air Tahiti does fly to the islands, but services can be disrupted by weather issues.
Once you arrive, you can look forward to jungle treks, wandering the beaches, visiting the Paul Gaugin Cultural Centre, witnessing
traditional dance or learning to make tapa cloth from hand-processed bark.
Certified divers can head to Hiva Oa where Marquises Diving will offer you the chance to explore the reefs which attract tiger sharks and marble rays.
Round the world
There’s a round the world option for just about every budget, from backpacking or cycling to epic rail journeys and round the world flights that could see you on five continents in a fortnight. If you have the time and want something that combines luxury with laziness, consider a round the world cruise. P&O’s 99 night world cruise takes in the USA, Caribbean, Panama Canal, Central America, Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and Spain. It costs from just under £10,000 per person, but you’ll pay more for a balcony cabin. Alternatively, you can book several regional cruises back to back for more flexibility.
Stay on a private island
If doing as little as possible while lying in the sun while your chef rustles up dinner and someone brings you a cocktail is more your thing, then a private island may be your ideal once in a lifetime trip. Opt for the Seychelles, Cambodia’s Song Saa Island or perhaps rent Necker, Sir Richard Branson’s Caribbean haven. Necker can accommodate up to forty adults and six kids, so it’s ideal for a family celebration.
Horseback riding in Mongolia
Mongolia not only gives you the chance to explore nature and a different culture, but it also confers serious bragging rights. Intrepid Travel offer an itinerary that combines visiting the traditional Naadam Festival with wrestling, archery and horse racing, a stay in a horse breeder’s camp, and visits to some of the country’s most stunning natural landscapes. You could fly in to Ulaanbaatar, but for style points, consider taking the train from London to Moscow, then the legendary Trans-Siberia Express to Mongolia’s concrete capital.