Enjoy a spit braai overlooking the vast expanse of the Karoo

In the olden days, say ten years ago, travelling on a plane was viewed as an exotic part of a holiday. With more people flying from here to there (or being able to use online platforms), the world has shrunk. What hasn’t shrunk, is our hunger to experience unusual, exotic, exciting places, and that’s what’s overwhelmingly taking over travel for 2018.

Here are some you can add to (and then tick off) your holiday bucket list:

Art like a local

The big galleries and museums still carry their weight as attractions, but the past few months have seen a dramatic shift: visitors to a destination want to get up close and personal with contemporary art and its creators. From street art to open homes belonging to artists, this is an experience that takes you out of the tour bus and into the environment where art is made, inspired by the sights and sounds around you. 

You can chat to local artists and hear their stories rather than having to guess what installations are all about. Vibrant and representative of many cultures, this is a holiday experience you won’t forget, ideal for boosting your Instagram follower count.

Around the world in eighty plates

Food and drink tourism isn’t just an addendum to tourism in general, it’s become an adventure of its own. International visitors will circumnavigate the globe in search of the perfect local dish, cut of steak or pizza interpretation. How much more so when paired with wines that bottle the scents of their natural surroundings, from mountain fynbos to rose gardens and fruit orchards. Our exchange rate makes a cuisine trip that much more attractive, since international visitors can enjoy five-star luxury meals for the cost of a street snack at home.

It’s not all about white linen dining, but cuisine tourism can have you enjoying a smiley (sheep’s head) at a market (The country's informal fast-food market is estimated to be worth R10 billion) or a spit braai overlooking the vast expanse of the Karoo. If you’re travelling, it’s an unwritten rule that you have to try everything once, and South Africa has food offerings representing the globe. Cape Town, in particular, was voted Best City in the World for Restaurants and Bars for 2017. You know what to do…

Planes, trains and automobiles

Why not see how many transport option experiences you could enjoy in one stay? You could explore by rented bicycle one day, and then on the back of a Harley another. Never jumped out of a plane or soared in a hot air balloon? How about driven on a race track in a muscle car? There’s even a hankering from visitors to head out to the winelands via steam train. 

A speedboat, kayak, yacht, surfboard or dinghy can take you within a whisker of seals, dolphins and whales. A hop onto the eponymous minibus taxis you see will introduce you to a locals-eye-view you won’t forget. Finally, on foot you’ll find the details you’d miss by travelling any other way.

Team holiday

Is your favourite cricket, soccer or rugby team travelling abroad? They’d love to have their super fans accompany them. Find out what fixtures are happening and make sure you’re in the same city at the same time, in a stadium with fellow sport-lovers for a vibe that’s loaded with electricity as your team, hopefully, surges to victory. For tournaments, there are often special deals on packages that include flights and accommodation at hotels.

Tune out, turn off, relax

An unplugged holiday is appealing to more travellers: there’s the Out of Office reply on the email, and you mean business about going on holiday. No Wi-Fi, no worry. This kind of holiday could include a yoga retreat, meditation, healthy eating, getting back to nature – you name it, it’s whatever you want it to be.

We all know how easily the year can run away from us, so be sure to choose your holiday bucket list options early in 2018, and take your down-time as seriously as you do your work.

See you on the beach!