Sizzling summer travel spots
Destinations for the intrepid traveler
Despite our current weather predicament, spring will eventually bring the prospect of April showers that will lead to May flowers.
Clichés aside, it also signifies end-of-term crunch times, exams and the inevitable question of: what the heck am I going to do this summer?
Working is all good and dandy, but don’t forget to take time for you — and nothing says “you” time like a little vacation away from the pressures of school and work. Whether graduating or just on a break before school rears its ugly head again, a long vacation or a quick trip is a sure-fire way to recharge your batteries.
With bills to pay and the prospect of paying tuition in September a wee bit of a downer, there are ways to circumnavigate the expense and have a memorable trip without the hefty expense to weigh you down. Below are some ideas to get the wheels a turning and to soak up some culture on a shoestring.
The land of Wats offers a cheap and cheerful vacation for those looking for a chill out vibe with plenty of beaches and opportunities to laze in a hammock. Once you get over the initial shock of the ticket price (a quick google search for May shows around $1000 round trip) one can live pretty well for fairly cheap. April to June is not considered peak tourist times, so you can score guesthouses and hostels at a discounted price.
Both the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand offer plenty of beaches to suit your fancy. Koh Phangan, home to the infamous full moon parties, offers a bit more of a night life but one can still escape the party on the island and find a little retreat to recover from all those Thai buckets.
If you are looking to budget beach hop, consider the Andaman Sea side — avoid touristy Phuket and Phi Phi in favour of laid back Koh Lanta. To have your own personal castaway experience, you can easily get to the secluded island of Koh Rok Nok from Koh Lanta. You can rent tents for a bargain price and fill your days with island life in its most primitive form. Be warned, the island does not have any essentials so make sure to go prepared.
To read more about Thailand check out Rough Guides blog on Thailand: hwww.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/thailand/where-to-go/
Faregeek is also a great website to score some cheap international flights but make sure to shop around.
Don’t have too long to take off and go on a big adventure? No problem! The Oregon Coast can be a quick road trip with your pals this summer. Who doesn’t love a road trip? The roar of the pacific and beautiful scenery will make your roadie that much more enjoyable.
Historical Astoria boasts Victorian charm with Scandinavian roots peppered with miles and miles of beautiful beaches. It surely will entice you to pull over and spend a night or two.
Cannon Beach is another place that can’t be missed with its lush forest, pristine beaches and natural beauty. Even National Geographic, in its June 2013 issue, voted Cannon Beach as “One of the World’s 100 Most Beautiful Places.”
Our neighbour to the south can get a bit pricy, so check out camping options and quaint bed and breakfasts that dot the coast to save a penny or two. To scope out some campsites and get some great advice check out the following link: www.beachconnection.net/oregon_coast/62107oregon_coast_camping.php
Ah Europe — the history, the old world charm, the expense. If crossing the pond is an idea that floats your boat this summer, consider going east instead of west. If your looking for an adventure that is unique and relatively untrodden — consider Latvia as an off the beaten path, cheaper alternative to the more expensive, established west.
Once under Soviet rule, Latvia has a rich history and has made leaps and bounds in the last 20 years to establish itself as a nation on the cusp of becoming a tourist mecca. Latvia was voted as a top place to travel in 2014 by National Geographic, while Lonely Planet dubs it a “sizzling Baltic sexpot”. Fly into the capital of Riga and walk the cobblestone streets, take notice of the mishmash of architecture birthed from their sordid history, sip lattes and immerse yourself in the art and culture (Baryshnikov got his start there) of a city on the brink of stardom.
When city life bores you in Riga, Latvia offers the serene country life with castles yet to be discovered and a blue Baltic sea to laze beside. The best time to travel this summer is between May and June when tourism is relatively low. To check out more about what to see and do in Latvia visit Lonely Planet’s website: www.lonelyplanet.com/latvia
The world is your oyster my friends — now go find yourself a pearl.