Not EU too: 6 alternative city breaks

Going anywhere nice this year? Perhaps you’ve put your travel plans on hold in the face of the UK’s ongoing political uncertainty? If so, you might be in the minority as tour operators are reporting a surge in bookings by British holidaymakers seeking far-flung escapes.

Unsurprisingly searches have soared in recent months for non-EU holidays. Fears surrounding passport and visa costs, exchange rates and flights – EasyJet expects to report half-year losses of £275million thanks to Brexit uncertainty knocking demand for summer holidays – all having their impact on immediate plans to travel to Europe. But Luxury specialist Kuoni has reported that sales to further afield and exotic destinations are up, with 10 long-haul destinations dominating the top 25 performing spots in their Worldwide Travel Report for 2019.

It’s a big world out there. Here are our top picks for city breaks to take around the globe, both near and far.

Tokyo, Japan

flight time 11h40

This bustling metropolis is set to host both the 2019 Rugby World Cup (20 September to 2 November) and the 2020 Summer Olympics. But non-sports fans will have plenty to distract them whenever they choose to visit. Go to marvel at the cherry blossom, sing Karaoke 24/7, sample the world’s finest sushi and pay homage to Manga. This is a city of infinite possibilities and diverse neighbourhoods. It’s not just all neon and skyscrapers, there’s a multitude of parks, temples and gardens too.

Marrakech, Morocco

flight time 3h30

A favourite of celebs from David Beckham to Madonna, Marrakech continues to impress UK holidaymakers, offering an affordable alternative to a European city break. From art galleries and boutiques to cafés, restaurants and gardens, new life has been cropping up around the Red City. Stay in a traditional riad in the thick of the old town Medina – the whole street scene is being revitalised with funds from UNESCO – shop and soak up the culture and sunshine.

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

flight time 10h30

Jay Dash Photography

Thanks to a tech boom and growing contingent of newcomers the Utah city is enjoying a renaissance as America’s unexpected craft cocktail capital with a host of new bars, distilleries and restaurants. Bordered by the Wasatch Mountain range and the great salt lake, the high-elevation city is a Mecca for outdoor activities from skiing to hiking. Dubbed Utah’s urban gateway to the ‘Greatest snow on earth’, Salt Lake City is within in an hour’s drive of nine ski resorts.

Singapore

flight time 13h10

A tropical, cultural melting-pot, Singapore holds a perennial fascination for British travellers. This year the sleek city-state marks the bicentenary of the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles, who established it as a British port. From sipping its eponymous cocktail to sampling its hawker grub, shopping its hip boutiques to wandering the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site there’s a myriad of things to do. Singapore is constantly evolving and full of superlatives, so don’t be surprised to find Southeast Asia’s steepest zip wire, the world’s first nocturnal zoo and most expensive standalone casino property with the largest rooftop infinity pool.

Oslo, Norway

flight time 2h05

Sitting outside of the EU, Oslo is one of Europe’s fastest growing cities and winner of the European Green Capital Award 2019. Its compact centre is easy to explore on foot, by bike or via the efficient public transport system. A diverse, innovative restaurant scene and thriving coffee culture are capped by some of Norway’s most prestigious cultural institutions. Surrounding forests and fjords lend the city a magical ambience.

Cape Town, South Africa

flight time 11h30

With its feet firmly planted in the southern hemisphere but only an hour’s time difference to the UK, Cape Town is the perfect winter sunshine city. Go for its laid-back beach lifestyle and migrating whales, plentiful vineyards and fabulous farm to fork restaurants. There are several game reserves within a short drive of the Mother City too for anyone keen to get their safari fix.

Wherever your travels are set to take you, make sure you’re covered. Contact us for more details and a no-obligation quote.

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