Reclaiming summer: travel experts share their plans for the season
Many of us are crossing our fingers for a cheeky getaway this season, and perhaps none more so than professional travel addicts. High Life catches up with a few to see where and what they’re hoping to enjoy this year
Who: Tom Hall, VP of Experience, Lonely Planet
My family and I snuck in a precious few days in a near-deserted Venice last summer and we’re hoping to stretch our legs again. Italy’s hard to resist, and for a different flavour of the country I’m championing Sicily. Having explored the east of the island a few years ago, I have a yearning to finish the job, heading for the west. Here’s brooding Etna, the second city of Catania – whose lively market and bar scene sounds perfect for rumbling stomachs – and ancient Syracuse. If there’s a chance to head over to the mainland on the train ferry and grab a night in Rome then that would top it all off.
Who: Pat Riddell, Editor, National Geographic Traveller UK
Postponed from last summer, a family trip to Turks & Caicos has been on the cards for a while now. But, with the inevitable uncertainty around vaccines, Covid passports and quarantine, we wait to see how the summer shapes up. We’ve spent a lot of time in Suffolk, Norfolk, Devon and Northern Ireland in recent years, and I have a feeling we’ll be returning to one (or all of them) sooner rather than later. Rambling around the coast, cycling trails, sampling the pubs and wondering how we could possibly afford a second home usually occupies most of our time. But Italy is the destination that always has a draw for me – whether it’s skiing in Trentino, wining and dining in Piedmont, or hiking in Abruzzo, I long to tick off the numerous regions I have yet to visit.
Who: Ally Wybrew, Content Editor, High Life
Like many people whose family live abroad, I’ve struggled with not being able to see my mum (who lives in Gozo) during the pandemic. Despite a few hopeful flight bookings between lockdowns, it wasn’t to be. But family ties – and the Mediterranean – are calling me, and I can’t wait to dip my toes in the warm waters of Mġarr ix-Xini bay, hear the clip-clop of racehorses on their dusk training rounds and watch the sunset over the cliffs of San Lawrenz. Most of all, though, I’m looking forward to hearing my mum’s laugh echo through the corridors of her old stone farmhouse. It will be a reunion worth the wait.
Who: Katie Bowman, Editor, Family Traveller
Every summer, we take my daughter – now eight – to Lisbon, Portugal, and then on to the southern beaches around Comporta. Last year, despite missing dozens of exotic work trips (to Brazil, Croatia, Oman and Barbados) because of the pandemic, we managed to make it to Comporta – our one constant in an otherwise crazy year. I cannot wait to get back there and do nothing other than bake in the sun, hunt for shells and eat clams. This summer, I’ll also get to watch my daughter learn to surf!
Who: Helen Whitaker, Editor, High Life Magazine
No matter how many Greek holidays I’ve been on (Kefalonia, Crete, Athens, Syvota, to name just a few), it’s a country I’m always drawn back to, offering (for me) the perfect blend of beach-bumming, ruin-hopping and restaurant-lingering. While I’m determined to make it to Hydra soon, this year I’m also dreaming of Halkidiki. Why? For all the reasons above, but also because, as I now have a five-year-old, the Sani Resort there is high on my holiday wish list for its gold standard family-friendly hospitality. A change of scene without raising the stress levels is exactly the kind of a parent-whispering re-entry into international travel I’m all about this year.
Who: Jane Dunford, Travel Editor, The Guardian
This summer is going to be about kicking back in the UK countryside for me. I’m looking forward to celebrating a friend’s birthday with a camping trip in Dorset in July. It’s posh camping, really, as we’re staying at Green Valley Yurts, so lots of creature comforts. It’s in the Dorset Downs, a really pretty area with villages such as Cerne Abbas to explore, and the ancient Cerne Abbas Giant on the hillside nearby. The Jurassic Coast isn’t far, either – with beautiful Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove. I’m also hoping to go to Snowdonia for a dose of wilderness and to visit some friends in Fife – a trip that’s been postponed so many times over the last year!
Who: Anne Banas, Editor, BBC Travel
While travel plans – and my daily commute into Manhattan – have been on hold, I moved to a small coastal village in Connecticut, where the vibe is redolent of Martha’s Vineyard, with boat-filled inlets, seafood shacks and the soft hills and old-growth trees of Vermont. In a way, it’s as if I’ve been away all along, and have done the thing few travel editors do: explore my own home base. I do have a hotel voucher from a cancelled Slovenia trip, so a journey abroad could be on the horizon. To maximise the trans-Atlantic flight, I’d love to do a stopover over in London to see my colleagues – it’s been way too long.
Who: Nicky Kelvin, The Points Guy UK
I have my sights set on a trip to Iceland this summer. With the island nation making it on to the UK’s green list and the country open to vaccinated tourists (and those who have recovered from Covid) it seems the stars are aligning.
Iceland has been high up on my bucket list for many years. I am particularly attracted by the dramatic volcanic landscape, thermal springs and the ability to find space and distance.
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