When you reach for your passport this summer, think of Europe. Whether you’re longing for a beach break, keen for some culture, or searching for a city celebration, this continent has got it all.
‘Summer holiday’, to many people, means baking on hot sand, cavorting in waves and tucking into a sizzling barbecue at dusk. If this is you, then Portugal is the place. Try Lisbon for its bustle, or the Algarve for serenity, but either way, you will be promised sunshine, sea, and sardines over the charcoal.
If you’re looking for a laugh (maybe a holiday with some mates?) then Edinburgh is unbeatable at August. The Fringe Festival comes to town, so you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to comedy, theatre, music and dance. Be warned that accommodation goes quickly and can cost a heap if you book late, so be prepared! You can also save money by enjoying a whole host of the city’s free offerings: The National Museum of Scotland, The National Gallery of Modern Art, or a stroll along the scenic Water of Leith are all brilliant ways to pass the time.
People looking for a ‘home-from-home’ vibe will love Majorca, a Spanish resort with a high population of British expats and tourists. While you get the benefit of glorious weather, thrilling water-parks and cheap cocktails, you’ll have the convenience of being able to speak English in most places. You’ll also be able to pick up lots of British favourites in local supermarkets, just in case you can’t do a week without Marmite! You’ll be able to holiday here on a budget: there is a range of accommodation at great prices, and most hotels and apartments have their own outdoor pool, saving you time and money if you’re after a splash and a tan!
When romance is the watchword, tradition knows best: either Paris or Venice would be a beautiful spot for some summer loving. The Eiffel Tower is a favourite spot for marriage proposals, with its spectacular views over the city; go in the evening, so that the twinkle of lights matches the sparkle of the diamond. Venice is equally special, and the magic of the canals is like nowhere else. You could spend an entire day just walking around the city and soaking in the breathtaking architecture. Once the soles of your feet are worn out from trekking over all those picturesque bridges, take a dream-like trip in a gondola. These are memories you will treasure forever.
At this point, it’s worth noting that for any trip, you should purchase good cover; even cheap travel insurance can be a lifesaver if anything goes wrong (if Venice has a particularly heavy rainfall, you might decide to cancel your trip because St. Mark’s Square is knee-high with water!)
So wherever you decide to go: pack a good book, change your currency in advance (it’s always more expensive at the airport), and buy insurance.