Make the trip
As unrestricted travel to Costa Rica returns, so do British Airways’ direct Gatwick-San Jose flights, relaunching this month. Those with spare time might consider Pura Aventura’s Ultimate Costa Rica: A Month of Wonders, taking travelers ziplining through the rainforest canopy and snorkeling with turtles. Grandchildren will never believe you. From £6,990 pp, including 28 nights B&B, plenty of lunches and dinners, 4×4 hire, guides, activities and domestic flights, with Pura Aventura (pura-aventura.com)
7. …and go it alone
Solo travel has never been so popular. This might come as a surprise, given all the isolation – but in fact, it inspired us to strike out on our own and book the trip we’ve always dreamed of. And it’s not just young people on a gap year. Wild Frontiers founder Jonny Bealby says the bookings they receive are largely from solo travelers aged 45 to 50+, and mostly women. Partners, parents, especially mothers, make time for them, whether on wellness retreats, learning breaks like surfing, or more intrepid adventures.
“A lot of times it’s not that they’re single – it’s that they want to go say, Peru, but their partner won’t,” says James Treacy of Cox & Kings, nearly half of whose recent bookings are for solo travellers. “So rather than going completely solo, they’re joining a group tour with other like-minded people.”
Others embrace solitude positively. “It’s about escaping the routine. Set challenges and push your comfort zone,” says Tom Marchant, founder of Black Tomato, who arranged for a lonely adventurer to travel alone in Mongolia, helping nomadic herders move their winter camp, hunting with eagles and horseback riding through the mountains.
Make the trip
The hit Cox & Kings Treasures of Peru small-group solo tour costs from £2,595 pp for nine nights including flights; coxandkings.co.uk. Black Tomato’s Boundary-Breaking Expedition Become a True Explorer in Mongolia costs from £6,300 for nine nights (blacktomato.com)
8. Unique is chic
A home away from home isn’t enough in 2022. We’re all tired of our homes, frankly – on vacation, we want a special, unique, extraordinary vacation out of this world. We want to sleep in trailers and floating cabins and party mansions with underground karaoke rooms. In a UK holiday rental market that has gone wild – bookings have soared 400% – it’s the quirky things that are snapping up the fastest.
“Travellers are looking for unique stays,” says Amanda Cupples, Airbnb’s managing director Europe, who reports that the number of searches for “unique homes” on Airbnb has increased by 94% compared to 2019. Her Top 20 British holidaymakers favorites include a converted 1940s boat, an old airship, two treehouses and, in the foreground, a luxury ‘pig pen’ outside Winchester. The most popular Canopy & Stars properties for 2022 are the Bowcombe Boathouse in Devon and the Sky Den in Kielder Forest in Northumberland. Not to be outdone, hotels are creating their own quirky, self-contained hideaways; in 2022, if you want to move forward, get yourself a tree house.