TRAVEL SEASON GUIDE: WHEN TO VISIT OUR FAVOURITE DESTINATIONS
Travel. It’s all in the timing. If you’ve managed to narrow down your ideal destination from the endless possibilities on offer (and if you have, could you please tell us how you did it?), the next question is: when do you go? For some countries it’s easy. Just avoid the monsoon/endless night/sub-zero temperatures/tourist hoards. For other destinations, there really isn’t a bad time.
So how do you narrow it down? Enter our handy travel season guide. These are our favourite times to visit some of our favourite destinations. Good weather, cool local festivals or a blissful lack of crowds: you’ll find them all in the suggestions below.
JAPAN – April
Why April: Cherry Blossom season, it is the most popular and busiest time to travel to Japan but if you can stand the crowds the beauty of the blossoms trees are well worth it. Even if you’re not big on nature, this is something you’ve got to see. Hanami (花見?, lit. “flower viewing”) is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers. Japan is a beautiful country regardless, but during cherry blossom it doubles in beauty, watch cities disappear under canopies of colour and national parks transform into spaces so surreal, you’ll think last night’s sake got the better of you. Typically, the blossoms bloom somewhere between late March and early May. Part of their magic is that they’re only in bloom for a week or two – less if there are strong winds or heavy rain. For a short magical period the cherry blossoms are everywhere.
BORNEO – August
Why August: Borneo’s climate is typical for a tropical region: generally hot and humid all year-round. Temperatures are usually in the high 20s for most of the year, dropping back to the low 20s at night. Rainfall tends to be in short, heavy bursts followed by glorious sunshine. Generally August and September are considered the best time to visit, with the east coast getting wetter in October, while the lands around Kota Kinabalu get drier. The trees fruit at this time too, which means orangutans can be seen grazing closer to the ground. Always a bonus.
CUBA – December
Why December: When it comes to Cuba, our advice is simple: go as soon as you can. Cuba has been in a time capsule: when Castro pressed pause on economic progress in the 60s, he also inadvertently pressed pause on Cuba. Visiting Cuba has been like stepping back in time – there’s almost no internet and ancient Chevrolets driving down cobblestone streets. All that is changing quickly with new American travel laws, and that’s why Cuba it’s best to get there as soon as possible. In December, the weather will be at its very best, too.
SRI LANKA – January
January is the busiest time for our best-selling trip – Circle Sri Lanka. It’s the best time to visit the south and south west beaches as well as the hill country. Dry, sunny, and not too humid. Sri Lanka is a hot destination in more ways than one. Due to rising demand, last year we launched a Real Food Adventure in Sri Lanka, and this year we launched Sensational Sri Lanka, which goes to Jaffna in the north of the country. It’s the first time we’ve visited this area of the country since the civil war.