Well, it has been a while since we have been able to write one of these posts. Travel has been so disrupted since the pandemic began that it has felt silly to plan ahead. However, here we are with renewed confidence, a diary with proper plans and properly booked flights for the year!
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Our first trip abroad this year is to a new country, Tunisia. This North African country used to be a darling of British package holidaymakers but the Arab Spring and a beachfront attack on tourists put people on edge. Then along came a worldwide pandemic and it feels like this is Tunisia’s time to come back. Hopefully, the tourist industry can return stronger than ever and with more cultural tourism as well as the fly and flop contingent. The trip is going to be a quick one, just four nights but we are going to see the coast, the city and the desert in that short time. I might have to watch Star Wars again for my homework.
They say that the third time’s the charm! However, we have been to Iceland twice before and loved it on both occasions so it seems like the first, second and third times are the charm. On this trip, we are going to be taking a series of tours to some incredible natural spots around the Golden Circle, along the South Coast and in between two tectonic plates!
Italy – Pesto Championships
You may or may not have seen that I sort of won a pesto championship in London. As well as being a crazy night, it also entitles me to travel to Italy and take part in the finals. So we find ourselves booking to travel to Genoa in Italy. The finalists are all put up in a hotel for two nights and fight it out with a pestle and mortar during the day. It is a wonderful reason to revisit Genoa and we are going to add on two days to zip through Cinque Terre and Pisa. I know that’s not nearly long enough but you do what you can…
Spain – The Canaries +
I think we might be cruise people now. When Windstar was offering cruises to bloggers I jumped at the chance. Windstar has small ships, designed to feel like large luxury yachts. Ours, for example, is only going to have 312 guests maximum. This particular cruise is going to be taking us to some new destinations (for me) and a couple of familiar spots. We get to start in the Spanish Canary Islands. Mr Fluskey has been on a few family holidays here but I have never visited and I can’t wait to see the volcanic beaches of Tenerife. We will be hopping between three islands, before heading up to the Portuguese island of Madeira which we visited for a friend’s pre-wedding celebration. We never got to try the cray downhill wicker toboggans so that will be stop number one. Plus, it is going to be during the flower festival so hopefully, the town will be in full bloom. The cruise is finishing up in Lisbon so I guess we will scoff a few pasteis de nata and then roll onto the plane home.
Spain – Costa Del Sol
Returning to Spain again rather quickly, we are going back to the south of the country for a family holiday with the Fluskeys. They are going to be in a holiday apartment for a couple of weeks and we need to work out the logistics of getting there too. When I say a family holiday, I mean the WHOLE family. This means we are going to be travelling in the school holidays and flights direct to Malaga are wildly expensive. We are looking at some fun train and bus options via Seville and Madrid. Bring on the sun, swimming pool and sangria.
In December, I won a raffle. I never win raffles so I was in shock. The prize was five nights at the Melia in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria and I thought what a super excuse to travel to another new country! The dates are a little tricky but we are trying to work out a way to go, it would be heartbreaking to lose it. Ideally, we would have used it as a jumping-off point for a longer trip across Bulgaria but it will probably be those five nights plus one day in Sofia but we are still working on it!
This one isn’t confirmed but it is a maybe so let’s pop it on here anyway. This would be our third year at the epic Camp Wildfire. Camp Wildfire is a summer camp for adults. Everyone camps (or glamps) for three nights. In the day there are loads and loads of activities that you can try. We have done some really cool things:
- Space science
- Ariel bungee
- Nerf wars
- Tai chi
- Afrobeats dance
- Rifle shooting
- etc etc etc
Once the activities end, there are some fun group games. Then it is time for the entertainment. This consists of a clubbing tent, a talks and comedy tent and a live music tent. It is crazy fun.
After a week travelling around Switzerland last year during our Interrail trip, i found a new love. The Swiss train system is wonderful and the special trains are all worth the trip. This time we are going to be hopping on the Bernina Express from Italy to St Moritz and then taking the iconic Glacier Express all the way to Zermatt. It takes around 8 hours and is known as the “slowest express train in the world2. ots of time to relax, take in the views and maybe have a sneaky nap. Then, we continue around the country for another 6 days, jumping on and off trains and enjoying a few gorgeous vistas. Apart from the prices which are eyewatering sometimes, this is going to be fabulous.
We are going to be taking our first river cruise in late September (coming straight on the back of the Swiss trip). It leaves from Lyon, somewhere we have never been and sails the Rhone down to the Med and back up again. The ship looks really elegant and the food looks fantastic. I would say pair that with local wine but it seems to be a lot of scary, grown up red wine so we might make idiots of ourselves. Ah well, slipping through the French countryside with small, pretty towns to explore is going to be so lush. I am looking forward to the laidback feel of a river cruise. They can park right up in the centre of town so you just hop off, take a stroll and you are back on board again without any stress.
Final Thoughts on Our 2024 Plans
Planning these trips, Mr Fluskey isn’t too happy that we are spending quite a bit of time in Europe. In one respect, I agree. I work for a long-haul airline and it would be a sin to end the year with cheap tickets left. It looks like we will just have to think of something for the end of the year which is a little further afield. We are also visiting many places we have been before but the plan is to see as many new spots within those places as we can…at least, that is what I am going to try to work out. Let the itinerary planning commence!