Long Stay Travel Trends
The Covid travel restrictions are all but over around the world and now is the time to catch up on travel plans that have been gathering dust!
The best news is that you will save a substantial amount on Covid tests that are no longer required especially if you’re travelling as a family. These savings are further supplemented if you were planning to catch additional flights during your holiday and visit multiple countries – each demanding new tests. Not to mention the unexpected costs of forced quarantine if you tested positive for Covid prior to your homeward flights.
The even better news is that there are even more ways to save money and have a relaxed long stay holiday. Longer stay holidays are now trending and if carefully planned, you can extend your stay at a fraction of the cost. To counter higher airfares you could combine two destinations in one itinerary and tick off two complimentary destinations with one flight. Longer stays at hotels can also bring reductions in daily rate – all the better to book your holiday now!
Here are a couple of suggestions on extending your holiday into a stay-for-long vacation and in some cases you won't need an additional flight.
Stay in a well-appointed self-catering apartment and kick off your holiday with a bit of a detox, long swims in the warm ocean and jogging on the beach. To save on car hire there is a regular bus service that will get you to nearby villages as well as Grand Bay and Port Louis with its bustling market and lively waterfront. Then move on to a luxury beach resort and chill out with your feet in the sand with watersports, fine dining and music till late.
Jet into frenetic Bangkok where the city never sleeps and catch up on some retail therapy, bejeweled palaces and temples, floating markets and a dinner river cruise as you pass the twinkling lights of the city. The street food is excellent and fresh and really inexpensive, and you save by travelling in tuk-tuk taxis or even scooter bike taxis for one passenger. Sure beats the Bangkok traffic! Then take a short flight to a sunny island – Phuket or Koh Samui are popular for a week-long stay of relaxing and visiting the attractions in the area (tuk-tuk again – such open air fun). The night markets have an air of excitement about them and yield up great bargains.
Once you have your multiple entry Schengen visa in place you can visit more than one country and travel by train between them. Even better, buy a train pass and see a few of the beautiful European capitals. The sleeper trains will even save you a nights accommodation! Enquire about the Thompsons Holidays Italy by Rail package to Rome, Florence and Venice and then explore the Cinque Terre, the five colourful towns tumbling down the cliffs to little working harbours and miles of elevated paved walks with panoramic views joining the towns.
Fly into Athens for a cruise around the Aegean to some of the most beautiful islands in Greece with ample time to visit the port towns like Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. Then park off on a small island for a few days of relaxed bliss with simple salads and grilled octopus for lunch and late night suppers of lamb kofta followed by music, dancing and the ubiquitous plate smashing. On your way home spend a few nights in Athens, packed with antiquities and outdoor museums and of course the famous Plaka for more grilled seafood, music, dancing...by now you know the drill.
Southern Africa Long Stay Travel
Victoria Falls, on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, draws visitors from around the world to this unique UNESCO site. Besides the dramatic display of gushing water there are many other activities like white water rafting, canoeing, bungy jumping, fox lines, helicopter and microlight flights, sunset cruises with game watching or a grand high tea on the veranda of the Victoria Falls Hotel overlooking the smoke that thunders. After all this activity take a short road transfer to Chobe in Botswana and spend a few relaxing days at a hotel on the river. There are game drives in the National Park and game cruises to watch the large herds of animals come down to quench their thirst on the river banks. Push out the boat (excuse the pun) and splurge on a river cruise on the Chobe Princess or the Zambezi Queen Safari Boats with luxury accommodation and dining under the stars on the deck.
Travelling down to the KZN coast for a good rest and some refreshing sea air? Pile the kids in the car and make your first stop in the Drakensberg, with its dramatic mountains and deep gorges featuring a variety of walking and hiking trails. There is plenty to do, including pony rides and children's programs as well as sporting opportunities including golf. The pace is slow and the scenery envelops you. On cool nights there will be a roaring fire in the dining room to add an alpine atmosphere.
Then continue down through the Midlands Meander on the old winding road through charming towns like Balgowan with many distractions along the way, from craft galleries to gastro pubs and breweries.
At last you will make it to the coast and start your planned beach holiday already refreshed by the mountain air and rolling countryside views.
Thompsons has a team of experts who will assist you with planning your stay-for-long holiday without breaking your budget - and there are special long stay holidays for pensioners who wish to travel out of season.