Top places to go and things to do before…

Published on: Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Top places to go and things to do before… - feature


Whether looking for romantic evenings, buzzing nightlife or family-friendly activities, it can be tricky deciding what, with so many sights to see and treks to tread, should be top of the list when planning a memorable trip.

To help you decide what experiences to include in your trip, especially with time ticking away faster than you can say ‘budget flights to the moon’, here is our pick of travel treats not to be missed, whatever your situation.

… you settle down

Dance at the Rio Carnival
The annual carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of the wildest urban extravaganzas on the planet. The main party scene in the Cidade Nova district comes alive with a riot of colour, outlandish floats and throngs of gyrating dancers; all shaking to intoxicating samba rhythms.

Sip cocktails in Las Vegas
Sheer excess and decadence is the name of the game along Las Vegas‘ infamous Strip. Whilst still footloose and fancy free, make the most of Sin City’s endless playground of neon lights, casinos, live entertainment and raucous nightlife.

Party in Ibiza
Nowhere in the world does nightlife like Ibiza. The clubbing haven for grown-up clubbers and style icons alike attracts world-famous DJs and celebrities every year as well as an increasing number of bands at the Ibiza Rocks line-up.

… you need creature comforts

Go trekking in Nepal
Nepal‘s 800km (500-mile) stretch of undulating peaks and breathtaking views is one of the world’s prime destinations for those wanting to tackle a mountainous challenge. Strap on your backpack and get trekking.

Try festivalling in the desert
For a unique festival experience, catch bands from around the globe play up a storm at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, set in the heavy heat of the Colorado Desert.

Explore the Amazon
Covering nine South American nations, the Amazon rainforest is the most diverse spread of tropical forest in the world. Sign up to a volunteer programme, join a jungle trek or try your hand at white-water rafting.

… you have kids

See the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu
One of the world’s most famous and sacred mountain treks, Peru‘s spectacular Inca Trail to the lost city of Machu Picchu passes through snow-capped mountains, a cloud forest and a string of 12 Inca ceremonial centres.

Cruise the Nile
Few places on earth conjure up the magic and mystique of Egypt‘s world-famous river. Taking a cruise on the Nile is the most romantic way to visit the Pharaohs’ temples of Luxor and Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, and the sole survivors of the world’s seven wonders: the Pyramids.

Sleep in a Kyoto temple
Embrace Japan‘s Zen culture and spend the night in a temple. Rise early, pray with monks, eat a traditional fish breakfast and take in the beautiful surrounding scenery before any tourist crowds get in the way.

… your kids grow up

Relish an ice cream factory tour
Celebrate USA’s National Ice Cream Month (July) with a tour – and free flavour samples – of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory in Vermont. If your taste buds haven’t had enough, the Scoop Shop outside features all of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet flavours.

Let go at Florida
‘s theme parks
Your kids will love you for it and so will you. Orlando and Tampa in Florida, USA, offer some of the world’s best theme parks, from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios to Busch Gardens.

Visit Singapore Night Safari
For discovery, adventure and wide-eyed amazement, zoos tick all the boxes when it comes to entertaining the kids. Singapore Night Safari is one of the world’s best zoos and offers ample opportunity for you and your young ones to be blown away by impressive creatures.