You’ve got to feel a little sorry for those people who live in New Zealand. It’s a fascinating country, without doubt, but it’s just that little bit too remote. If you want to visit another country, then you need to be prepared to spend a lot of cash and travel far! This is not the case in the UK, which has so many amazing countries within easy reaching distance. You can pack a bag, jump on a flight, and in no time, be in a place that’s much different from the UK. Below, we take a look at eight of our favourite destinations that you can visit, even if you only have three or four days.
OK, so the costs of visiting Norway can be expensive, if you want to stay in nice hotels and have a beer, that is. However, if you can live without these things, then you’ll find that it suddenly becomes much more affordable. Virtually all of Norway is a delight, but there’s something extra magical about the Northern region, where whales, seals, and Northern Lights can be found. If you’ve got an eye on the bank balance, then go during the summer (when the sun doesn’t set), and camp. It’s a spectacular region to explore, and the flight time is similar to what it takes to get to Spain.
New York, New York
If it were anywhere else, we’d say that a 6-hour flight and a five hour time difference isn’t really “within easy reaching distance,” but we think we can make an exception for New York. If you’ve got a long weekend, it’s more than possible to take a flight, spend a few days soaking up the vibe of the Big Apple, and then return home. If you’ve never been to the city before, we’ll just: it will not disappoint. And if you have, you already know just how special it is. Winter, spring, summer, or autumn, there’s always much to see and do in New York, New York.
From one continent to another. Africa is huge, and it can take a long time to reach the more southern parts, but the north? It takes about the same time to get there as it does the south of Portugal, and it’s well worth the time — it’s like stepping into another world. While there are a few countries in North Africa worth visiting, the most popular is probably Morocco. There, you can experience the madness of the markets, spend a night in the desert, and try their delicious food and drink. To get the most out of your trip, take a read of a Morocco travel guide before you go. There are plenty of local highlights and must=do experiences that you won’t want to miss out on.
Living the Good Life
Sometimes, we just want a little bit of sun and sand. While there are plenty of beaches around Europe, the best beach holiday getaway is probably the Algarve, especially if you have children. This is a region that fully caters to people looking for a happy and relaxing few days. The beaches are plentiful and spacious, the accommodation is cheap, and there’s something like 300 days of sunshine, too. If you’re beginning to feel the effects of a long winter come March or April, book a weekend trip to the Algarve, and get your Vitamin D top-up. Flights to and from the UK are plentiful and can be extraordinarily cheap, if you’re flexible with the time you can go.
Sun and Fun
One reason why some people don’t like to go on purely beach holidays is that they get, well, a little bored. And that’s fair enough: a couple of hours on the beach is enough for some people. If you’re one of these people, then you may want to consider visiting a place that offers a beach, but also more stuff to do. For this, you’ll want to look at Barcelona. It has beaches in the city itself, and many more just a short train ride away, and yet it’s also a cosmopolitan city. You could quite easily spend a morning in an art gallery, an afternoon on the beach, and then see a concert in the evening. You get the best of all worlds!
Let’s leave the beaches for a moment, and look at the best cosmopolitan cities. Outside of any that you’ll find in the UK, the best has to be Paris. This has all the museums, history, art, literature, cafes, and restaurants we associate with the finer things in life. It’s the place to be for people who want to see just how good human life can be. And what’s more is that it’s so close; it’s even possible to go for a day, if you were so inclined. To travel in style, look at taking the Eurostar. You’ll begin in London and arrive in the heart of Paris a few hours later — lovely.
The Croatian Coast
Of all the destinations easily reached from the UK, none are quite as underrated as Croatia. It’s weirdly under-visited by UK people. It has a coastline to die for, beautiful old cities, a friendly population, it’s safe, affordable, the list goes on. If you’re looking for a break and also want to somewhere that’s a little off the beaten path, then Croatia could be the spot for you. Anywhere along the coast will do, but especially Split and Dubrovnik.
Around the UK
Finally, what about the UK itself? You don’t always need to look overseas. Some people know more about other countries than they do the UK. If you like nature, head to the Lake District, or up into the Scottish Highlands. If you’re more of a city person, then London, Liverpool, Bristol, and Manchester will give you whatever it is you’re looking for. Then there’s all the small towns, rustic coastlines, and so on. So much to see, so give it a go!