Yesterday marked #BackToSchool for most kids in South Africa, while #BackToWork started last week already for most adults.
With these popular hashtags comes that well-known melancholy feeling of returning to the grindstone. But, the happy holiday feelings don’t have to end at the school and office doors. The best way to combat the post-holiday blues is to immediately book your next getaway.
To give you some inspiration, travel professionals affiliated with the Association for South African Travel Agents (ASATA) share their favourite holiday destinations as well as some secret inside tips.
A beach, culture and foodie experience in Barcelona - Marieke Tucker, General Manager, Retail Brands for Flight Centre Travel Group
“My favourite holiday destination is Barcelona,” says Marieke Tucker, General Manager, Retail Brands for Flight Centre Travel Group and ASATA member. “There are so many options of things to do and experience while in Barcelona. You get to have a beach, culture and foodie experience all in one.”
The variety of experiences Barcelona offers also makes it an ideal destination for families. “Barcelona’s public transport system is also easy-to-use and makes travelling around with children quite manageable. The destination offers adventure parks, bicycle tours and Funfairs, as well as the CaixaForum Kids’ cinema, which features family-friendly film showings every Saturday morning.”
What are Tucker’s insider tips for Barcelona?
Hotel NH Barcelona Ramblas offers the perfect location because its proximity to las Ramblas, which is the heart of Barcelona with great markets, bars and vibes. “There are so many hidden gems in the side streets of las Ramblas, but my favourite place is Los Caracoles. You’ll recognise the place from the rotisserie in the front window. Only the locals know about the kitchen of Los Caracoles.”
Tucker adds that Gaudi Gardens are also a truly amazing experience. “At the bottom of Gaudi Gardens is a Café which makes the most insane Paella. The Café can only seat about ten people and is definitely not an obvious stop, but it is by far the BEST!”
Learning how to make Port wine in Portugal – Jane Briers Drummond Reservations Manager TTC
“France always used to be my favourite destination, but I recently visited Portugal and Northern Spain and fell in love with these countries. Portugal is also a lot more affordable for South African travellers as compared to France,” says Jane Briers, Reservations Manager TTC.
Jane Briers visited Portugal on a Trafalgar “Best of Portugal” tour recently and was completely blown away. “It was easy, everything was planned for me and I didn’t have to extensively research the destination beforehand. It was perfect,” she says.
For kids Portugal has a lot to offer, according to Brier. “Although Trafalgar offers some kids-focused tours, you don’t have to restrict yourself to that. The destination has so much to offer on regular tours as well.”
What are Jane Briers’ insider tips for Portugal?
Make sure you don’t miss the experience of the centuries-old tradition of local port production at a tasting in a port cellar in Oporto. Or, saddle up for a superb stud farm visit and listen to the tragic story of unrequited love and enjoy a traditional home-cooked lunch with Tiago and Vera in Portugal's beautiful Alentejo.