Yes and yes. You’ll definitely be able to get a good taste of the Big Apple in a day, but if you want to “do it properly” book some extra time in New York and really get to know this incredible city.
In a day, here’s what I’d recommend: take the metro to Time Square – you’ve already ticked off two New York landmarks there. Yes, the metro counts!
In Time Square take the obligatory picture of the building that makes more money being empty and covered in billboards than it ever did when it was inhabited. Then pop into the M&M shop to discover what color M&M you are – very important to know.
Don’t waste any time though, because now you’ve got to check out Macy’s on 151 West 34th Street. Buy something. Anything. Just make sure you get the bag. Throw away whatever you bought. Keep the bag.
Keep moving. Next we’re going to the Empire State Building for the classic climb. Or, if you want the Empire State Building in your skyline pictures, choose the Rockefeller Center instead. Choose one, climb it, take some pictures.
Time for lunch. Eat like a local, grab and go. You’ve only got a day. You’re in as much of a rush as the natives.
In the afternoon take the metro to visit Ground Zero. It’s a moving memorial to the victims of 9/11. You might want to slow down a little here to contemplate this. Then turn your head up towards the new Freedom Tower and feel your spirits be lifted by New York’s strength of spirit.
Finally, it’s not a day in New York without rambling through Central Park and pretending it’s Christmas and you’re Kevin from Home Alone. If you’ve got enough time, take a boat out on the lake. If not, leave the park and catch your plane.
It’s doable in a day. But if that’s what you can do in one day, just imagine what day two and three would be like… book for longer!
Safaris are thrilling for sure. You never know how an animal is going to perform, or where you’re going to spot them… or if they’re going to spot you.
Botswana is consistently rated as one of Africa’s safest countries, so certainly one to have high on your list of options. The most popular safari destination in Botswana is Chobe National Park, with a huge population of wild game.
You’re guaranteed to see magnificent elephants on a Botswana safari trip as the Chobe National Park is home to over 50,000 monumental creatures.
Other African countries that offer a safe safari experience include Tanzania (Serengeti National Park), Namibia (Etosha National Park), and Zambia (Zambezi National Park and Victoria Falls).
Road tripping in America is one of the most liberating holiday experiences you’ll ever have. Obviously, there’s the world-famous Route 66, but what about some of the lesser-known trips that will leave your friends back home drooling over your Insta stories?
Highway 1 to Big Sur in California is a standout option if you love the coast. The route is full of thrilling drops and tight turns that will keep both hands gripping the steering wheel. If you want to feel like you’re driving in a movie – this is it.
Over to the East Coast, Florida’s Overseas Highway features Seven Mile Bridge – one of the longest bridges in the world (any guesses how long it is?) – and stretches 113 miles from Key Largo to Key West. It’s a gorgeous, sun-drenched route.
Alternatively, for monumental landscapes and to be left awestruck by mother nature, check out the Olympic Peninsula Loop in Washington’s Olympic National Park. It’s 330 miles of swooping like a bird as you swirl your way freely through the park’s diverse landscapes.
K-Pop is huge in South Korea, so you’ll have an incredible experience there. South Korea is a country of many facets – it’s extremely high-tech in the cities and it’s humbly traditional in the villages. It’s richly decorated with Buddhist temples, and its coastline is scattered with charming fishing villages. You’re spoilt for choice.
You must visit the capital city of Seoul. The city offers a scintillating mesh of the old and the new. For the former, visit Gyeongbukgung – a stunning, grand palace and one of the city’s five ancient sites. For the modern, head to Lotte World – the world’s largest indoor theme park – for a good laugh.
I hesitate to suggest this, but as it’s just you and your girlfriend, you might want to visit Loveland on Jeju island. This bizarre destination is sure to turn you both into a couple of giggling teenagers, with its eclectic selection of explicit statues. This is culture so go for it!
If you need to walk off the excitement of Loveland and Lotte World, why not hike in Seoraksan National Park, the home of South Korea’s highest mountain. The National Park is near to Seoul so really easy to get to for a nature-filled day trip.
Wow, Alaska is simply an incredible State to visit. You’re going to have an amazing time.
The best time to visit Alaska is in the late spring to early autumn. The temperatures aren’t hot but comfortably rest around the high teens. So, bring a light jacket and you’ll be perfectly dressed.
If you’re looking to visit by cruise to Alaska, the season starts in May and ends in September. Cruising is one of the most popular ways to visit Alaska.
If you’re not visiting on a cruise, it can be worth avoiding the cruise port areas on ship days as they become very busy with thousands of passengers on a strict time limit… so manners and patience can sometimes be forgotten in the rush to experience everything in a day.
The driest months are May to June, whereas it becomes much wetter in August and September. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time outside, and you’ve every reason to be in Alaska, then I’d prioritize the peak months of May or June.
However, tempting discounts are always available if you’re happy to forgo the “best” weather and book a trip in the shoulder seasons on either side of the peak summer run.
Backpacking in Asia is something of a rite of passage these days and your daughter will be in excellent company as she completes her travels.
It’s also easier than ever to keep in touch with home whilst in the Asia Pacific region – pretty much every hostel she might stay in will have WiFi or an internet café to use.
In fact, there are some Asian countries with the internet that put the UK to shame. For the very best internet in the region, she’ll need to visit South Korea. Thailand’s got reliable internet, as do Vietnam and Malaysia (albeit slightly slower than what we’re used to in Britain).
The Philippines is probably the country with the weakest internet in the region, however, if your daughter is traveling to the tourist hotspots, she’s unlikely to have any issues staying connected and sending through pictures (or even videos) from her trip.
She’ll even have enough bandwidth to video call you, but maybe she doesn’t want you to know that!
Yes, absolutely. Argentina is one of the safest countries in South America for tourists. This one’s definitely worth having on your itinerary.
Argentina has fewer tourists than neighboring Brazil and is less hectic thanks to that.
Most tourists experience no issues on their trip to Argentina, however, if something were to happen, it’s likely to be petty theft, pickpocketing, or bag snatching.
There are ways to protect yourself against these types of crimes, and the guidance is the same wherever you are, at home or abroad.
Be aware of your surroundings, and don’t leave valuables unattended. It’s best to carry only small amounts of cash and leave the rest locked up in your hotel or hostel.
Outdoor restaurants and bus stops are popular hotspots for these sorts of crimes, so keep your wits about you and you’ll have a great time in a magnificent country.
Despite the high upfront cost of a cruise, they are surprisingly good value and you’ll often spend less overall on a cruise holiday than the equivalent time away on land.
This is because pretty much everything is included in the price of the cruise – your stateroom (of course), three meals a day (plus all the snacks in between), incredible entertainment for the whole family, and travel to and from a mind-blowing array of destinations. That’s a pretty good all-inclusive package!
There are extras to consider depending on the cruise line. The major additional cost on most cruise lines is the tip (or gratuity) for the crew. This is calculated on a daily rate per passenger and is divided between the housekeeping and dining room crew who serve you during your voyage. Some cruise lines include this in the fare, whilst others don’t – so check in advance to be sure.
Most cruise lines charge for WiFi. This is very different from most land-based holidays nowadays, where free internet is a standard amenity. If you don’t want to pay for the WiFi, there are always internet hotspots in the ports you can use to keep in touch with friends and family back home.
Other extras you might consider paying for onboard include specialty dining, shore excursions, the casino, and photo packages. Most ships also have an onboard shop for souvenirs.
Here’s a little tip for when you book: remember to ask if you can get any “onboard credit” as part of your booking – this is essentially free money to spend on board, and well worth seeing if a deal is currently on.
If you love Disneyland Paris, then Europe has some other real gems to offer.
The largest theme park in Europe has nothing to do with an oversized mouse… in fact, it’s Europa-Park in South-West Germany. Get yourself tickets here for twelve rollercoasters if you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
For exciting rides, head to Tarragona (just South of Barcelona). PortAventura is the biggest theme park in the South of Europe, and is built around six themed areas, based around historic civilizations… and Sesame Street!
If it’s the magical world of Disney that excites you, then you’ll definitely enjoy a trip to Efteling in the Netherlands. This Park is a full-sized fairy tale featuring fairies and trolls, and the biggest water show in Europe.
It’s not yet been built, but plans are in the works for a massive new theme park along the River Thames, just south of London… so soon enough we’ll have our very own Disneyland contender to experience.