Unique Summer Travel Ideas
Summer is a time when we should all be getting out and about to explore this wonderful world we call home. In summer, nature is in full bloom and temperatures can be lovely in many temperate climate destinations. Not to mention, if you are a mother like myself, you may lose your sanity staying indoors for two months. Trust me, I know! Many people will jet off for beach vacations, or city breaks around the world. But beach resorts and cities are not the only places for a wonderful summer vacation. For a more sustainable and educational stay, and something more interesting and different, here are some unique summer travel ideas for individuals or couples:
Most travelers follow the sun in summer and head straight for warmer, sunnier climes. But summer is also often a great time to explore more northerly destinations. In many northern regions, summer is the best time to head into the hills, and enjoy some backcountry explorations. Many regions become accessible during the summer that are not accessed so easily during the colder months. So why not consider heading northwards for some wilderness or backcountry adventures? For example, how about:
- Camping and hiking in National Parks in Canada or the Northern US.
- A dream of ice and fire exploring the glaciers and volcanos of Iceland
- Off the beaten track adventure in the Norwegian Fjords.
- Quiet and serenity in Northern Sweden or Finland’s forests.
- Hiking and forest bathing in the northern regions of Japan.
When we think of summer vacations, many of us think about blissful foreign beaches, soaking up the sun and swimming in warm ocean waters. But water-based adventures do not have to be coastal. Warmer summer temperatures also make it possible to enjoy a range of outward-bound water-based trips across temperate zones. For example, you could consider:
- Kayaking in Alaska, the Yukon or other wild and remote regions largely inaccessible by road.
- Wild swimming in the canyons and pristine pools of Croatia, or other countries in Southern Europe.
- A sailing holiday to less well-known islands and idyllic coves in the Mediterranean.
- Canoeing on Ireland’s Shannon River.
- Or a relaxing canal boat tour through northern England.
Cycle Tour Suggestions
Sustainable travel is often about finding the road less traveled by. And a cycle tour can be the perfect way to seek out backroads and tracks through some of the world’s most beautiful regions. There are many marvelous places to travel by bike. For example, how about:
- Cycling around the lanes and backroads of New England on a tour of antique stores and historic sights.
- A mountain biking adventure in the Rocky Mountains.
- A cycle tour around the many historic castles of Wales.
- A wine-tasting tour around one of France’s premier wine regions.
- Cycling the sustainable plantations of Costa Rica.
- Exploring the northern mountains of Vietnam.
Fabulous Flowers & Gardens
Summer is also a great time to enjoy flowers in bloom. Summer is a time of great natural beauty, and flowers are always better seen growing wild than stuck in vases. There are plenty of places you can go to enjoy blooming beauty at its very best. For example:
- Visit the commercial flower fields of the US.
- Take a tour of some of Western Europe’s grand palatial estates, with their fabulous historic gardens inspired by France’s Palace of Versailles.
- Marvel at the quaint cottage gardens of England’s Cotswolds region.
- See the rolling lavender fields of southern Europe.
- Enjoy orchids in Indonesia.
Sustainable Home Stays
One of the best ways to get to know an off-the-beaten-track summer vacation destination is to seek advice from locals about the best things to see and do. Sustainable homestays can provide plenty of opportunities to get to known the local community and discover what a place is really like for the people who actually live there. There is a wide range of options for those who want authentic travel options. For example, how about:
- A homestay on a rural, remote homestead in the Pacific Northwest.
- Visiting remote communities of Scotland’s Western Isles.
- Staying at an agro-tourism site in the verdant hills of Portugal.
- Visiting a Berber village in the Atlas mountains of Morocco.
- Staying with indigenous groups in the Amazon rainforest of Peru.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and Other Volunteering
Finally, it is worthwhile thinking not only about how you can have an amazing summer vacation but also about how you might be able to use your time to do good. Another amazing way to spend a summer vacation is by giving back. By volunteering your time and energy, you can have a wonderful summer break while also making our world a better place. One interesting option is to forgo the beach and head for a farm instead. You can take up one of the worldwide opportunities on organic farms. By doing so, you can contribute to solving our climate crisis, and learn sustainable skills that you might be able to take home and employ in your daily life.
There are also plenty of other volunteering options out there if organic growth is not your thing. Help build homes, wells, or schools. Volunteer your time on a range of wildlife and habitat conservation projects, ecosystem restoration projects or re-wilding schemes. For example:
- Plant trees around the globe.
- Help fight ocean plastic.
- Take care of endangered creatures.
- Support sustainable communities in a range of ways.
- Provide funds for conservation through eco-travel tours.
There is a whole world of options out there. So don’t limit yourself to the same old choices. Avoid mega beach resorts and big cities, and opt for a different and more quirky sort of vacation this summer. Head out there to explore and enjoy the natural world, and bring home unique memories that can last a lifetime.