Eat. Pray. List: Build Your Wander List and Make Travel a 2014 Resolution

Cape Town © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

Going on holiday doesn’t have to mean the end of your New Year’s resolutions. In fact, our pledges to eat healthier, get fit, and spend more time with the family have inspired our own ultimate getaway ideas for 2014. 

If you need a few tips for your wander list this January, check our resolution-inspired ideas below. Don’t forget we’re giving away flights to five of your dream destinations in our January competition (so that’s the “travel more” resolution sorted too!):

If your New Year’s resolution is to… get fit:

Vancouver, Canada

Surf in the morning, ski in the afternoon, and, if you still have energy left, party into the night in the city’s many lively clubs and bars.


Vancouver © Adam Laver


Delhi, India

Unleash your inner Bollywood star at the Delhi Dance Academy, where you can learn anything from traditional bharatanatyam dancing to flamenco and even hip-hop.

Learning to dance © Adam Gerrard.jpg

Learning to dance © Adam Gerrard


Cancun, Mexico

Snorkeling, sailing, jet-boating, surfing, speed-boat rides, paragliding, jungle trekking, or swimming with sharks. It’s enough to make Indiana Jones jealous.

Swimming with whale sharks © Visit Mexico.jpg

Cancun © Visit Mexico


Barbados, Caribbean

What better way to work off extra Christmas pounds than by “wukking up” in the island’s many world-class clubs and carnivals? The traditional, sexy Bajan dance will trim your waistline in no time.

Barbados © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

Barbados © Maxine Sheppard


New York, USA

Discovering the city that never sleeps on foot means you’ll smash those 10,000 steps a day in no time. And why heft dumbbells in the gym when you can tone your triceps by loading up with shopping bags on Fifth Avenue? Much more our style!

New York © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

Fifth Avenue, NYC © Maxine Sheppard


If your New Year’s resolution is to”¦  eat healthy:

Tokyo, Japan

The Japanese are renowned for their healthy diets, and in Tokyo every low cal morsel is infused with fantastic flavour so you won’t be missing out. Indulge in fine dining in the city’s many Michelin star restaurants, or head to the street markets to experience authentic, fresh sushi and ramen, prepared right in front of you.

Tokyo  © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

Tokyo © Maxine Sheppard


Sydney, Australia

There’s no such thing as a boring salad in sunny Sydney. Aussies are amazing cooks, and their adventurous fusion cuisine is an experience like no other. Relax and take in the phenomenal harbour views from one of the city’s many exceptional cafes and restaurants.

Sydney © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

Sydney Harbour © Maxine Sheppard


San Francisco, USA

Stunning seafood is San Fran’s speciality, and the city’s chefs take great pride in their fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Lovers of organic, seasonal, or vegetarian cuisine will be thoroughly spoilt for choice.  

San Francisco © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

San Francisco © Maxine Sheppard


Havana, Cuba

With its unforgettable fusion of Spanish, Caribbean and African cuisine, gastronauts will find plenty of inspiration in the Cuban capital’s new paladares. Add a pia colada and you’ll have no trouble getting your five-a-day. (Well, pineapple’s a fruit, isn’t it?)


Dubai, UAE

Whether top notch dining in award-winning restaurants or authentic street food is your thing, Dubai has it all. The palatial shopping malls are home to hundreds of different outlets with food from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Or head into the souqs for sensational shawarma and biryanis.


Dubai spice souk © mckaysavage


If your New Year’s resolution is to”¦  de-stress and relax:

Antigua and Barbuda, Caribbean

Looking for paradise on earth? You may well find it in Antigua and Barbuda. Small but perfectly formed, these two tiny islands offer the ultimate in relaxation. Endless Caribbean sunshine, hundreds of beautiful beaches, diving adventures through shipwrecks, and treks through the rainforest will help you forget all about the office.


Antigua © lam_chihang


Cape Town, South Africa

Sunbathe with penguins, feel free as a bird as you paraglide over the remarkable coastline, or take in the jaw-dropping views of Table Mountain from the cableway.

Table Mountain © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

Table Mountain, Cape Town © Maxine Sheppard


Edinburgh, UK

Edinburgh’s panoramic views, charming parks and indulgent spas and bathhouses will help you unwind in no time. Or laugh your troubles away in the city’s world-famous Fringe festival every August.


Edinburgh © Dimitry B


Montego Bay, Jamaica

Just thinking about the aquamarine seas and deep blue skies of Jamaica and we’re relaxed already. Dive into the crystalline waters of Mo’Bay’s lagoons to wash away your worries, or take a boat ride a mile out to sea for the famous Pelican Bar.

Montego Bay.jpg

Montego Bay © I am real estate


St. Lucia, Caribbean

Although known for its festivals, bars and spirited nightlife, if you fancy getting away from it all you’ll also find miles of sugary white beaches and entrancing rainforest in St. Lucia, all backed by spectacular mountain scenery.

St Lucia © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

St Lucia © Maxine Sheppard


If your New Year’s resolution is to”¦  spend more time with the family:

Orlando, USA

Where better to keep the kids – big and little – entertained than the Theme Park Capital of the World? Ride the city’s cavalcade of rollercoasters, find out what butterbeer really tastes like at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or, if you’re feeling adventurous, head into the Everglades for a close encounter with the local wildlife.

Everglades, Florida © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

Everglades, Florida © Maxine Sheppard


Johannesburg, South Africa

Older children can be tricky to keep entertained on holiday, but a once-in-a-lifetime safari ride into the Hwange and Kruger National Parks on the trail of the Big Five will be a sure winner. If you have younger kids in tow, head to Jo’burg’s Gold Reef City for gold-panning, rides and rollercoasters.

South Africa © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

South African safari © Maxine Sheppard


London, UK

London is full of family-friendly fun, from terrifying entertainment at the London Dungeon and Muggle-dodging at King’s Cross Station’s Platform 9¾, to nose-to-nose encounters with a dinosaur at the Natural History Museum and tree-top adventures at Kew Gardens.

Kings Cross.jpg

Kings Cross © A Princess


Cancun, Mexico

Cancun, with its child-friendly resorts and unforgettable experiences, is fast becoming a favourite for families. Play on unending beaches, or trek to Mayan ruins for an exciting jungle adventure.

Chichen Itza © Visit Mexico.jpg

Chichen Itza © Visit Mexico


Washington D.C., USA

History buffs can tread in the footsteps of presidents and budding scientists will marvel at the wonders of the National Air & Space Museum. For a little excitement, head to Six Flags America for amazing rides to suit all ages.

Washington DC © Maxine Sheppard.jpg

Washington D.C. © Maxine Sheppard


All you have to do is head over to our special wander list page and fill out your list with the five destinations you’d most love to visit – it couldn’t be simpler.

Our competition closes on 31 January and we’ll contact the lucky winner soon after. In the meantime, take a look at all our fantastic sale fares. And good luck!

About 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.
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