Spring is finally here! But we still need to endure a few more weeks of mild temperatures before we can bask in the sun, sipping ice-cold margaritas. If you absolutely cannot wait for balmy, lazy days, consider hopping on a plane to one of these perennially warm destinations.
By now, most of Vietnam is already in full-on summer mode. Skies are blue, beaches are full, and there is absolutely no hint of a drop of rain. This exotic and fascinating Southeast Asian nation offers budget-conscious travelers more than just sunshine and beaches. You can visit ancient temples in Hanoi, eat scrumptious street food in Ho Chi Minh City, and find reasonable accommodation throughout the country for around $40 to $50 a day. If that’s not enough to tempt you, all you have to do is head out from the cities for a cruise down the Mekong River past sleepy villages and paddy fields. Vietnam has so much to suit any budget that you will mostly certainly be spoilt for choice while getting a tan.
Love sunshine but not up for too much of a long haul? Think Colombia. In just 5 1/2 hours you could be visiting art galleries, sipping cold craft beer, or filling your evenings with impromptu salsa parties. In fact, the city of Medellin was awarded the honor of world’s most innovative city (2013) by the Urban Land Institute. It’s now a vibrant metropolis surrounded by the natural beauty of the Aburrá Valley. Catch the ski gondola for breathtaking views or simply soak in the rays while you sip what many believe to be the best coffee in the world. How much you want to do or see — you decide!
For the ultimate tropical island getaway, make your way to the friendly little Cook Islands. Sprinkled across a swathe of the South Pacific, these little bits of paradise are luxuriously remote yet conveniently accessible for sun worshippers to visit all year round. While the islands are renowned for their pristine beaches, there’s much more to experience beyond them. Waterfalls, tropical rivers, and lush green forests make up the interiors. You can opt for off-road four-wheeled adventures or choose the more relaxing routes for long hikes with the help of local guides. Whatever you choose to do during the day, don’t forget to enjoy the islands’ delights by night. The Cooks are well known for market dining with stalls selling local seafood, coconut infused sweets, and curries. Enjoy long evenings at Muri Night Market with some the best Polynesian cuisine on the islands.
Can’t make it to summer without a meltdown? We’d love to hear about your favorite hot spots around the world.