Give Your Road Trip Plans a Refresh
There’s not denying that the lingering chill in the air has me daydreaming of this summer’s getaways. VW camper vans parked on sunset-bathed beachfronts, mountains rising dramatically into view along cross-country highways, and pit stops in quirky small towns along the way serve as endless inspiration for open-road adventures. When it comes to road trips, getting there is arguably more than half the fun. But let’s be honest. There’s a bit of a been there, done that about your average four-wheeled excursion. To help you up your game, I’ve selected three unconventional road trips that will inspire you to make your next vacation the most memorable one yet.
1. Self-Drive Safari through Namibia
Leopards and cheetahs and elephants, oh my! There’s no doubt about the animal-spotting appeal of a classic Safari, but competing with 20 other Land Rovers to get to the same watering hole? Not so much. That’s where Safari Drive leaves other safari trips in the dust. The company offers personalized self-driving itineraries across continental Africa, Oman and Argentina. All of the itineraries are tailor made, so whether it’s luxury, adventure or a mix of the two, Safari Drive will create an itinerary that fits.
The founders recommend making your first self-driving safari a Namibian road trip. It’s arguably the best way to see the country in a two week period and is also a very good route for first time road trippers in Africa. Apparently elephants may pop up at the side of the road on this less-than-average country drive. Like that’s a bad thing.
Prices start from £1,984 per person, based on four sharing a vehicle, including accommodation, a fully equipped Land Rover or Toyota Land Cruiser (with tent on top), and full briefing when you arrive in Namibia. International flights are excluded, but can be booked through Safari Drive. All travellers are provided with a satellite phone to keep in touch with Safari Drive’s ground handlers throughout the journey.
2. Yoga + Yachting in Italy
Picture this: Spending a week sailing on a beautiful catamaran and doing yoga twice a day, on deck and on secluded sandy beaches in the Maddalena Archipelago in Sardinia, Italy. That’s exactly what you’d get with London-based travel startup, Yacht and Yoga. The company has taken the concept of the road trip and turned it on its head by taking you out to sea for most of it. What’s not to love from a holiday that combines nautical excursions with the ultimate relaxation of a yoga retreat.
You can expect to start the day with a 30-minute gentle flow yoga session in the morning to wake up (not too early – you are on holiday after all.) Following a healthy breakfast on deck, Yacht + Yoga sets sail for the islands where you’ll snorkel, swim, dive, go for a hike on the rugged coast, or just soak up the sun. After a day of spotting dolphins, sunbathing and relaxing, guests are taken to a secluded beach for the blissful experience of yoga at sunset. Dinner is served on board or head ashore to discover local Italian restaurants.
It costs about £1,499 per person for 7 nights accommodation in double sized bed cabins on a sharing basis, as well as all yoga sessions,food (except for 3 dinners which you’ll have to pay for at local restaurants), and all sailing related costs (fuel, mooring fees, and cleaning). Massages and Reiki sessions are offered on board for £60/hour. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. ‘Surfari’ in Portugal
Can there be a better way to find your natural balance than surfing? The rhythm of the waves and physical engagement of every muscle as you ride your board – or at least surrendering to the sea. Now, get ready to ride the best waves across some of some of Europe’s best beaches.
With surfing continuing to gain new fans at beaches around Europe, the founders of Topdeck have figured out a way for you to try out some of the best ones. They’ve launched a ‘Surfari’ in Portugal that enables travellers to explore the idyllic beaches of Lagos and Ericeira, where you will have the chance to immerse yourself in carefree beach life with surf, sun and yoga.
Running from April to September, this 8-day excursion includes lessons for newbie surfers and guided city tours along the way. Prices range from £725 – £970 and include just about everything you’ll need: most meals, surfboard and wetsuit rental, surfing and yoga lessons, and, as they put it, and “awesome trip leader.” Hang ten.