A holiday is a time for trying new things, flinging off the constraints of everyday life and immersing yourself in a whole new culture. However, too many of us find ourselves sticking to the same old patterns while on holiday and return relaxed, but having done nothing out of the ordinary.
If this is the case with you, why not make 2012 the year you step away from your holiday routine and try out a whole range of new activities? Not only will you come away with plenty of stories to tell, you’ll also learn new skills. Read on for our top 10 things you should try this year, and see what inspires you.
1) Before booking, do some research into your destination. Many places have annual festivals that offer a fascinating glimpse into the area’s culture. For example, la Tomatina (the Tomato Fight) in Spain is well worth a visit.
2) If you’re visiting a place with particularly beautiful scenery or landmarks, a helicopter ride is a unique way of seeing the sights without having to walk around all day.
3) All-inclusive deals are great for anyone looking for a stress-free time on holiday, but why not go one step further and ask the resort’s chefs and bar-tenders for some cookery and cocktail lessons? They’ll be delighted to show off their skills, and you’ll come away with the ability to host a sensational dinner party for family and friends.
4) To really get a feel for a place, you need to live like a local, so ask the staff at the hotel where they’d recommend for a day out. Locals tend to avoid tourist traps, meaning you’ll stumble across some hidden gems wherever you are.
5) If you’re staying beachside, give paddling a break and try something more daring. Water sport instructors are commonplace in most beach resorts and every skill level is catered for. Try diving for a gentle start, or for a bigger thrill, give jet-skiing a whirl!
6) For something totally different to traditional summer breaks, why not try skiing? With stunning scenery, fabulous food and excellent nightlife all as a given, it’s perfect for all ages.
7) Find a traditional restaurant and spend an evening sampling the local delicacies. Even if you don’t discover your new favourite food, you’ll still enjoy the experiencing the new tastes and textures - it will certainly give you something to talk about.
8) Spain holidays and other Mediterranean destinations are guaranteed to be sun-drenched, but instead of just hitting the beach, make the most of the weather in a more active way. Hikes, cycling and even pony rides are all great ways to explore your destination and best of all, you’ll still get a tan!
9) Not for the faint-hearted, but if you’re looking to try something completely crazy then bungee jumping could be perfect for you. A few resorts offer this to tourists and you don’t need to undertake specialist training beforehand.
10) If you’re looking to save money, ditch the tour guide and get exploring on your own. You’ll see a side to the country you would otherwise have missed and it’s a lot more fun, too! There are plenty of cheap holidays to Majorca and the Balearic Islands at the moment, so choose wisely to maximise your savings.
Wherever you choose to go on holiday this year, keep your eyes peeled for unusual activities and excursions. Most resorts will have something fun and unique to try - just remember to take lots of pictures to remind yourself of how much fun you had!