Forget New Year’s resolutions that are often unrealistic, half-hearted and unsustainable and put your energy into creating that once-in-a-lifetime trip instead. We all know the idiom, ‘life is short’, so in 2024 why not put your plans in motion and do those bucket-list things that have been sitting on the back burner of your mind for some time now? With over 50 years of creating incredible adventures, we know a thing or two about what it takes to make a trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, read on as we cover four unique adventures that take you further afield and firmly away from the everyday.
1. Cycle through Rajasthan
Cycling through the enchanting landscapes of Rajasthan is arguably one of the best and most immersive ways to explore the largest state of India. Following mostly backroads, this Level 3 (moderate) route offers a mixture of rolling hills and flat plains that take you towards some of the country’s finest forts and palaces – a big bucket list experience for many.
On our Cycling through Rajasthan trip, you’ll start your ride in Jodhpur and visit the Mehrangarh Fort before heading to Udaipur to see the splendid 15th-century Jain temple, Tiger Lake and the impressive City Palace. One of the City Palace’s key highlights is the Mor Chowk which is adorned with vivid mosaics of peacocks crafted in glass and ceramic tiles. The Zenana Mahal, known as the “Women’s Palace”, also houses a museum displaying an array of fascinating artefacts and royal memorabilia. You can also take in the stunning panoramic views of Lake Pichola, Jag Niwas (Lake Palace), and the surrounding Aravalli Hills. After visiting the fort of Kumbhalgarh and the Hindu pilgrimage town of Pushkar, you’ll have a full day of sightseeing in the spectacular Pink City of Jaipur.
On day 11, you’ll enjoy some quality time off the saddle by going on thrilling game drives in Sariska in the hopes of spotting leopards, antelopes and hyenas. While on day 12, you’ll explore Bharatpur National Park, a place renowned for its bird sanctuary, which you can explore by car and by bike, to see Siberian cranes, colourful painted storks and even eastern imperial eagles. As your trip comes to a close, a huge once-in-a-lifetime experience for most is witnessing the sunset over the Taj Mahal, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
2. Namibia & Botswana: Dunes & Delta
If you’re looking to head out on a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience, Namibia and Botswana are two African countries that should be on the top of your list. But why? In Namibia, Etosha National Park is renowned for its vast salt pans and abundant waterholes, that create a haven for diverse wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes and rare species like the black rhinoceros. The ethereal beauty of the Namib Desert and the otherworldly landscapes of Sossusvlei only further establish Namibia as “trip of a lifetime” material.
Botswana, on the other hand, is home to the mighty Okavango Delta, one of the world’s largest inland deltas that provide a unique ecosystem for wildlife like the African buffalo, hippo, lion, Nile crocodile, blue wildebeest and more. This incredible river basin is so vast, that it can be seen even from space! And on our Namibia & Botswana: Dunes & Delta you get to experience the best of both worlds, with an expert local wildlife guide by your side.
Explore these two premier wildlife viewing destinations on this 15-day trip, which allows you to discover the Okavango Delta on a dugout canoe and take game drives through Etosha National Park. The trip is enhanced even further, with a morning climb up towering dunes in Sossusvlei, visits to see the famous White Lady rock painting in Brandberg and an unforgettable walk with the indigenous San people that takes you deep into the Kalahari Desert, so you can learn more about their tribal history and day-to-day life.
3. Manaslu Lodge Circuit, Nepal
Our Manaslu Lodge Circuit takes you on a thrilling journey around the eighth-highest mountain in the world – Manaslu (28,258ft/8,163m). Often considered a worthy alternative to the popular Annapurna Circuit, this trek offers a spectacularly remote, and less-crowded experience for those looking to explore the Himalayan terrain of Nepal off-the-beaten-track. With 14 full days of point-to-point walking and full porterage en route, our adventure takes you through beautifully diverse landscapes, terraced fields, subtropical forests, mountain villages, and high-altitude alpine meadows. So, if you’re looking for a rewarding challenge that allows you to switch off and get back to nature in 2024, our Manaslu circuit ticks a lot of boxes.
One key highlight for many happens on day 11 when you make the challenging cross at Larkya La Pass, reaching an elevation of 17,769 feet (5,416 meters). From here, you’ll see prayer flags and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Cheo Himal, Hindu Peak, Larkya Peak, and on clear days, the tip of Annapurna 2 in the distance. During your descent that same day, you’ll also see the turquoise-blue Pongkar Lake, set amidst three glaciers. On day eight, you’ll also get the chance to visit the charming Tibetan village of Samagaon. Not only is it strategically one of the best places for trekkers to acclimatise, but it also has a beautiful monastery, Gomba Samba, an important spiritual site, filled with statues, intricate murals and religious artefacts. While you’re there, you and your group will also get the chance to visit Birendra Tal, a glacial lake, in the afternoon.
Another great thing about this trip is that we stay in traditional tea houses and homestays en route, which allows you the unique opportunity to interact with the local residents, learn about their traditions and customs, and enjoy Nepali mountain delicacies.
4. Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday
If you’re looking for a trip that effortlessly blends time between bustling cities and rural landscapes, our Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday may be just the adventure you’re looking for. Perfect for kids and adults alike, this action-packed itinerary that follows nearly the length of Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, allows you to explore the “land of the ascending dragon” to the fullest!
After your first day of mastering chopstick skills in Hanoi, you and your family will spend the next day out on a thrilling cyclo tour (bicycle taxi) around the city’s historic Old Quarter and enjoy a water puppet show come evening. Next, it’s time to grab your oars for a kayaking excursion in Halong Bay, before taking a flight to the vibrant, lantern-lined streets of Hoi An, where you’ll have the opportunity to create spring rolls from scratch during a cooking class. On day nine, you’ll dawn flippers for a snorkelling trip off the coast of Whale Island, a place so beautiful it inspired the famous Jacques-Yves Cousteau! Other highlights include crawling through the Cu Chi Tunnels outside Ho Chi Minh City, a Mekong River boat tour and an optional visit to the Dam Sen Water Park – the perfect way to round off this incredible family adventure.
If these holidays have inspired you to book that once-in-a-lifetime trip in one of our long-haul destinations, view our full collection of trips here.