Cheaper air fares mean that the world has definitely shrunk and people are travelling further and further afield for their annual holiday. This can take many forms, but does not necessarily mean spending time on the beach. How about trying something a little different?
There is so much choice on the market with holidays to suit every pocket and interest and a great focus on more adventurous holidays, so why not check out one of these active tours?
Excitement for All
For the ultimate adrenaline rush a trekking trip in Bhutan in Nepal must surely be top of the list. This Himalayan adventure includes a day at Chomolhari Base Camp and with only a very small group of trekkers it is an opportunity to witness the lifestyle of the local population.
Continuing on the Himalayan theme and only for the toughest is a climb to Everest's North Col. This has been organised to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay's successful ascent of the mighty Chomolungma in 1953.
This is surely the challenge of a lifetime as several days are spent acclimatising at Base Camp before climbing up to the North Col at 7066 metres. It's an amazing experience and something to tell the kids.
If you are not interested in climbing, consider a gentler trip to India and follow the Ganges from its source to the delta.
This trip enables the visitor to appreciate the diverse countryside and vibrant lifestyle of India, starting at the foothills of the Himalayas and continuing down to the Ganges delta.
Riverside villages, temples and perhaps the occasional tiger can all be seen. Travel is by boat and train and there is ample opportunity to try some rafting and indulge in sightseeing.
Two Wheels Are Better Than Four
Cycling is enjoying an incredible revival at the moment. Not only does it help to improve levels of fitness, it also provides a fabulous opportunity for sightseeing en route.
Mountain bikes are, as their name suggests, excellent on rugged terrain and are used on more rugged routes in the mountain regions of places like Bosnia on cycling holidays abroad. The routes are challenging but also provide the cyclist with opportunities to visit Sarajevo and Mostar. The countryside is beautiful and filled with waterfalls and lakes and there are isolated villages to experience where people live at a slower pace.
Many cyclists like to do their own thing and for them an independent trip is ideal. Here the accommodation is booked ahead and maps and routes are provided. From then on it is up to the individual how fast they want to go, so a gentle meander along the Loire Valley visiting vineyards and chateaux may be just the thing.
Perhaps the most beautiful city in the world, Venice, is the start of a fascinating ride round the Adriatic coast to Porec in Croatia. The scenery on this route is fabulous and there is much to see, from mountains and castles to the local wildlife.
Holidays need not be spent just lying on a beach in the sun. There is an amazing variety of locations worldwide offering unforgettable experiences which can sometimes prove to be life changing and are surely life enhancing. The choices are almost endless.
David Kite writes regularly on adventure holidays and cycling holidays abroad for a range of travel websites and blogs. He is an experienced cyclist and climber and lives in Snowdonia