As the southern hemisphere transitions from hot to less hot and occasionally cold, the traveller in every antipode begins to jealously look to the north where flowers are blooming, jackets are being shed in favour of lighter layers, and the inevitable number of people you know in London are glamourously sipping Pimm’s at the polo.
Winter is coming, and now is the time to organise your escape to the north if you haven’t done so already.
We’ve put together five suggestions to help point you in a more specific northerly direction.
If you want to party
Summer in the northern hemisphere sees a spike in the frequency of festivals and events as residents celebrate the brief shining period of warmer months, which makes it a great time of year for those who want to party their way through a trip.
Throughout Europe, the US and Canada you can find thousands of events, from cheap one-day events to more serious multi-day commitments like Glastonbury Festival. If music isn’t your thing then events like Sail Croatia, involving travelling the sparkling waters off the coast of the Balkan country, swimming, eating, drinking and doing little else, might be ideal.
If you want sun and the outdoors
There are certain European countries that experience extreme opposites between seasons. Places like Norway and Iceland endure impossibly short, dark, depressing days in winter, but are rewarded with long hours of sunlight during summer, which the locals take full advantage of in a way not often seen in places where clear blue skies are a norm.
Nordic countries are at their best at this time of year and the long days offer seemingly limitless opportunities for fun in the sunshine, whether you want to take in spectacular natural beauty hiking Norway’s fjords or swimming in Iceland’s hot springs, or wander a city with colourful buildings, some of the cleanest streets you can imagine and impeccably on-time transport.
If you want to escape the daily grind with nothing but a backpack
South-east Asia is a good bet if you’re looking for a real change of pace, where you can swap your office attire to wear flip flops 24/7, eat cheap but delicious food, and plan spontaneously. With only emergency warm clothing required, minimal savings needed and the knowledge that you will find all sorts of travellers on the road, this part of the world is an ideal destination as a last-minute option, whether you want to meet others or soak up the fascinating culture solo.
As an additional bonus, Asia is the closest continent to the lands down under, and is therefore generally the cheapest and easiest to reach.
Be careful where you go however, as the dates of the wet season vary and certain places are too hot to be bearable in the middle of the year. For example, Koh Samui is perfect from April to September while Bangkok is not, so research wisely.
If you want to lie on a beach with a book
If you’re a beach bunny who cannot stand the idea of waiting until September to don your bathing suit and bask in the sun for hours again, then you may like to consider a relaxing getaway on an exotic beach geared toward luxury holidays.
Parts of the world that offer pristine beaches with resort-style living available at reasonable rates include Mexico and Indonesia, where you will find pleasant temperatures around 30 degrees, cheap, tasty food, and miles of beach just waiting for your beach towel. Best of all, both are ideal in the middle few months of the year, when Mexico experiences lower numbers of tourists and Indonesia is at its driest.
Get out of Mexico quick come August however, as September is the heart of the Central American nation’s hurricane season.
If you want a European summer
Europe is by no means a creative destination from which to escape winter in the southern hemisphere, but those who live on the continent experience the season a little differently than visitors. Travellers from outside Europe tend to destination hop during summer, taking the standard Eiffel Tower and Colosseum photos, and fueling their efficient travel between cities with Nutella crepes.
Holidaying like a European during summer is different. Naturally it depends if your priority is to see as much as possible or relax and slow down, but for a more laid-back European summer adventure you could try adopting an approach more akin to the British, Dutch, Scandinavians, Germans and Russians who make their way south to beachfront resorts, hotels or camping grounds in a kind of mass temporary migration and stay put, getting to know that particular area. Places like Bodrum in Turkey, various towns along the Spanish and Italian coasts, and the French Riviera are popular options where you will find plenty of all-inclusive resorts and towns catered largely to ensuring a relaxing holiday for tourists.
Dreaming of escaping the impending winter? Search for your perfect tour here
Author’s Bio: Courtney Gahan is a serial expat, traveller and freelance writer who has bartered with Moroccan marketeers, seen the sun rise at Angkor Wat and elbowed her way through crowds on NYE in NYC.