To help you plan your next adventure, we asked five travel gurus to share their very best travel stories. These are the trips and experiences that you need to book now and we’ve got the top tips to help you make them a reality…
“Visiting Turkey was one of the most memorable experiences of my life”
“My friends and I recently travelled to Turkey, stopping in Istanbul for a few days to visit the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar, then carrying on to Göreme via Kayseri Airport. Göreme is the most surreal place I have ever visited, with boutique cave hotels, beautiful Turkish lamp and tapestry shops, skies filled with hot-air balloons, and it’s very own fairy chimneys, all packed into one charming little village. From 6am you can hear the flames firing outside your room – the sky is full of these huge beautiful hot-air balloons floating above. My friends and I were booked in for a ride the following day and I can honestly say that floating through the sky watching the sun rise over this beautiful landscape will stay with me forever. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.”
Our top travel tip:
Get your hot-air balloon fix from April to June or September to October for the calmest conditions. Book a sunrise flight to see the dramatic landscape at its best – this may come with a higher price tag but the experience will be greater than any amount of Turkish lira.
“While travelling solo in Norway, I experienced all four seasons in one trip”
Sim Cabasang (@psymerslacker) set off on a solo adventure to Norway and found the best way to discover the whole country in one trip.
“It was in November 2013 when I was trying to find a travel destination one week before my birthday. I went onto the Skyscanner website and probably unintentionally selected ‘everywhere’ as a destination. After doing a little research, the next thing I know, I was booking a flight to Bergen, Norway. And off I went!
“Everything I saw in that part of Norway during November was just amazing! I went on a Norway in a Nutshell cruise, and I felt like I experienced all four seasons in that one trip. I didn’t mind spending my birthday alone; that travel experience in Norway was enough to make my birthday a happy one. It was definitely one of the most amazing long weekend trips I’ve had.”
Our top travel tip:
There are lots of different ways to experience the Norway in a Nutshell cruise, but wherever you choose to start your journey from (Oslo, Bergen, Voss or Flåm), we recommend opting for the extended adventure and making stops en route. Stop off in Flåm and book a safari through the UNESCO protected fjords, in an open boat. A local guide will tell you all about the small surrounding villages and waterfalls.
“We booked two tickets to Bali and never looked back”
Jack and Becky (@twotickets.toanywhere) have been travelling the world for more than 15 months and have visited 35 countries together. They picked a cheap long-haul flight and have made their best memories exploring and island hopping.
“We knew we wanted to go to South East Asia and the cheapest flights to the region from the UK were to the island of Bali, so that was that, we booked our flights to Bali and off we went! We spent the next four weeks there, exploring beautiful beaches in Uluwatu, climbing a volcano and watching our favourite sunrise to date, over the famous Mount Agung, as well as visiting wondrous waterfalls and lush green rice terraces in Ubud.
“After an amazing time in Bali, we took the speedboat over to the neighbouring Gili Islands to see what else Indonesia had to offer. We took advantage of the beautiful white sandy beaches, went snorkelling with turtles in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoyed some of our most incredible sunsets with a cold cocktail in hand. Next on our agenda was the island of Lombok. We spent our last few days discovering its jungle and secluded beaches, taking surfing lessons and really experiencing the Indonesian way of life.”
Our top travel tip:
As Southeast Asia sits along the equator, whichever island you visit, you’re pretty much guaranteed warm weather, so plan your trip around the rainfall levels instead. January to March and June to September will give you drier days, so you can pack in all those activities and leave the umbrella at home.
“I ended up touring Europe after searching for flights ‘everywhere’ on Skyscanner“
Jessica Rooks (@travelwithmeko) booked a bucket-list tour of Europe, combining days on the beach with city tours. She made her best travel memories ticking off the sights of Greece, Italy and Morocco… all while pregnant.
“Taking a boat tour to snorkel on the island of Mykonos was the best way to start exploring these crystal clear Mediterranean waters. Then, in Santorini, we witnessed some of the most amazing sunsets and blue churches on the side of the hill. Wanting to experience city life in Greece, too, we ended up in the historical city of Athens. We hiked all the way up to the top of the Parthenon in 30-degree heat with no shade. We took lots of breaks, but nothing could stop us from seeing that mythical structured building.
“Then my pregnancy cravings were calling for something else – authentic Italian food! Italy is one of our favourite countries and it stole our hearts. It was such an exciting feeling to run through the city of Rome showing off the Roman ruins and Colosseum to our daughter. Then, in Marrakech, we quickly learnt a new meaning of “hustle and bustle” in the Jemaa el-Fnaa market. We witnessed snake and monkey performers, women giving henna tattoos, rug and clothes sellers, as well as Moroccan oils being sold. Each stall had its own unique way of inviting buyers in. Later, we even went on a wild adventure trotting through the desert on a 6-foot camel – while I was 26 weeks pregnant, and with a toddler! And we immersed ourselves in Moroccan culture, dressed like the locals and even sipped Moroccan tea with them.”
Our top travel tip:
When you get to Mykonos, hire a moped to help you get around the winding roads and back streets. Then to get to those harder-to-reach secluded spots, catch a kaiki (a small boat), which will ferry you to Platis Yialos, a beach that remains relatively quiet in comparison to the other beaches, even in peak season. The clear calm waters there are great for water sports too.
Ready to create your own travel stories? Search ‘everywhere’ below and get exploring.
All flight and prices mentioned in this article are estimates of the cheapest prices based on Skyscanner’s flight search tools. These are subject to change and were correct at time of writing on 15 April 2019.