Five Signs It’s Time for a Holiday

By: Maxine Sheppard

January 14, 2014

Pacific Coast Highway © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

With the dark evenings, daunting deadlines and chilly morning commutes, it’s easy to find yourself knee-deep in the January blues without realising. If any of the signs below sound familiar, it’s time to ditch the To Do list and work on your wander list for 2014. After all, winning flights to your five dream destinations would certainly brighten things up!

The coffee cups are stacked sky-high

Caffeine-fuelled evenings in the office and a leaning tower of drained latte cups on your desk? It’s definitely time to unplug. Swap your aquarium screensaver for a snorkel and experience the real thing up close in Grenada.

Here you can get shipwrecked scuba-style by exploring the spectacular “Titantic of the Caribbean” – considered one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. If that sounds a bit too adventurous, Grenada’s serene beaches, awe-inspiring waterfalls and eco wildlife excursions will help you cast away your troubles and get back to nature.


Relax on one of Grenada’s beautiful beaches © Tony Hisgett


You’ve eaten the same sandwich from the same shop five days in a row

Egg mayo again? It’s definitely time to treat your taste buds to a holiday – and few culinary adventures are as exciting as India’s capital, Delhi?

Sample a dazzling variety of Indian delicacies in the frenetic streets of Delhi’s historic Chandi Chowk – a 350-year-old bazaar known as the street food capital of India. Melt-in-the-mouth Butter Chicken was invented here in the 1950s at the marvelous Moti Mahal.

If you fancy a more gourmet gastronomical adventure, dine like a Mughal emperor and experience a phenomenal fusion of flavours from ancient Persia and Afghanistan in the city’s many Mughlai restaurants.

Delhi spice market.jpg

Sample the markets of Delhi © JP Bennett


Running for the bus leaves you out of breath  

Forget gym memberships: give yourself an energy boost that’s better than any espresso shot and head to vibrant Vancouver for a surprising summer break.

Kick off your stay with a ride on the one-mile aerial tramway up to Grouse Mountain. Here you’ll find enough outdoor activities to satisfy the most hardcore adrenaline junkie, from soaring across canyons at 50mph on mountain ziplines to paragliding the 3,300 feet descent to Cleveland Park. But don’t throw away your snowshoes just yet: the peak stays snowy most summers so you can still ski, board, or take a snow-limo tour of the slopes.

Closer to Vancouver, brave the Capilano Suspension Bridge, hike the 27km forest trails through the city’s Stanley Park, or head to the coast for barbecues, volleyball, and sea-kayaking. And if you’re still feeling really adventurous: Japanese hotdog, anyone?

Capilano Suspension Bridge.jpg

Capilano Suspension Bridge © GoToVan


Exploring new horizons means gazing out the window during meetings

Head to Cape Town, South Africa’s second largest city, to enjoy a mix of stunning scenery, lively nightlife (and wildlife) and incredible outback adventures.

Ride the cableway 1000 metres up to Table Mountain for unparalleled views across the city, Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles mountain range. Feeling energetic? The cable car is not the only way to explore Table Mountain: Add a bit of adventure into the mix with some mountain-biking, caving or rock-climbing on the famous landmark. 

Further inland, expand horizons of a different kind by taking a tour of the region’s vineyards. South Africa is world renowned for its wines, and there are plenty of wineries to explore within spitting distance of Cape Town.

Cape Winelands.jpg

The stunning Stellenbosch Winelands © John Hickey-Fry


The office Christmas party antics are still a top topic at the water cooler

What happens at the Christmas party stays at the Christmas party. So give your work mates something new to talk about with tales of your far-flung adventures in intoxicating Hong Kong.

Where else can you stand at the feet of a giant Buddha, watch the nightly Symphony of Lights, indulge in a spot of island hopping, and take in the glittering skyline from a 150-year-old Duk Ling junk?

Hong Kong skyline.jpg

Hong Kong’s skyline © Carl Nenzén Lovén


Feeling suitably inspired? Create your own wander list by 28 January 2014 for a chance to win tickets to your top 5 dream destinations this year. Get started here.


Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.