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Top Highlights of the World

20th October 2020

Each of our Travel Advisers here at Travel Associates has spent their fair share of time exploring the wonders of the world! Having passionately travelled the world and explored its many corners, they bring their world, expert knowledge to you when booking! With so many destinations to choose from (195 countries to be exact) and countless cities, villages and photo-worthy spots available also, we asked a few of our Advisers what they believe are some of the top highlights in the world!

“O'hau is a fabulous place which really has it all. In 2019, I spent a week there with my family and had to actually schedule in the time for relaxing, as there was just so much to do!   

We went out to Kualoa Ranch, which is great for families with many activities on offer. There was a Hollywood Movies sites tour, most famous for Jurassic Park, but there have been many other movies and TV shows filmed at this location over the years. They had packages for quad biking, horse riding, zip lining, farm tours and more, so something for everyone. They have transfers daily out there from Waikiki, or you can drive yourself there (roughly 45 mins from Waikiki).

We went on a North Shore day tour, which included a visit to world famous surf beaches, the Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay. There was kayaking and paddle boarding on the Anahulu river and a trip to the Dole Plantation for a Dole Whip (like an ice-cream, but made of only pineapple). On the way home we spent a few hours snorkeling in the beautiful Marine Reserve of Hanauma Bay. It was such a special day for our whole family, with a lot of ground covered in just one day.

We took a walk up Diamond Head Crater to take in the amazing views of Waikiki and the coastline. It only took about 30 mins up, and less than that on the way down.  Go early to beat the heat and the crowds. Pearl Harbor and the battleship USS Missouri is a must.  Book a tour to really make the most of your day, and soak up as much history about the events of World War 2 as possible. A Luau at Paradise Cove is also a must, if you are wanting to learn more about Hawaiian Culture and History and enjoy a meal which includes traditionally prepared meat in the under-ground oven, called an Imu. 

On a previous trip I also spent time on Maui, which is perfect for relaxation as it is very relaxed. Hire a car for some independence to explore the island. The snorkeling here is the best, and plenty of opportunities to view marine life right off the rocks."

“Bali is a destination for everyone, from families to girls or boys trips to couples and honeymooners.  The best time to go is between April and September, when the weather is dryer and it is a great value for money destination.

I have been to Bali 6 times and love that you can experience something different every time. I normally go for about 10 days and aim to stay in 2 or 3 different areas in Bali: Ubud, Seminyak and Nusa Dua. It ends up being like having 3 mini holidays in one!

Ubud is usually a little cooler as it's up in the mountains and you’ll find each village has different crafters making all sorts of arts and crafts. This is also the area for body and mind retreats, as it's comfortably away from all the hustle and bustle.

Seminyak is great for cool boutique shops and funky cafes, bars and restaurants.

Ku De Ta, The W, Potato Head, Motel Mexicola, Revolver Cafe and Sea Circus to name a few.

Nusa Dua is your area if you like luxury hotels, resorts and water sports. You can do Balinese cooking classes, go to day spas and just relax and unwind before heading home.”

"Shimla is the capital of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, in the Himalayan foothills. Once the summer capital of British India.

Nice town to stroll around , feels like being in an old English town until you look down and see the houses suspended from the steep hills .. Get up close and personal with the monkeys at the Lord Hanuman Temple .. hold on to your hats and glasses, they are quick !

At the center of its walled old town, the gilded Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) is the holiest gurdwara (religious complex) of the Sikh religion. 

Walking around the complex, surrounded by Pilgrims from all around India and the World, also home to the worlds largest free kitchen, serving free hot meals to anyone who wishes to eat ,(upwards of 100000 per day) staffed by a multitude of volunteers, where Chapatis, dal and aloo are made. Walking around the kitchens and the eating halls was mind blowing, from the men stirring the monstrous pots of steaming goodness to the hundreds washing the plates, and the queues of people patiently waiting to eat. 

A trip to India should definitely include time exploring the Ajanta and Ellora Caves / The Ajanta Caves are 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state of India. 

Ellora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India. It is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world, featuring Jain, Buddhist and Hindu, monuments, and artwork, dating from the 600–1000 CE period."

"Buenos Aires is a Foodie Heaven!

On my first trip to BA, I did not know what to expect. I had heard all the usuals - Steak, Evita and Tango but wow does it have SO much more to offer!

Our first night there, we were tired and decided to try a little local place just down the road from Patio Bullrich - a high end mall - offering Northern Argentinian Cuisine. Now portion sizes are much bigger than expected. We ordered a selection of Empanadas and a Steak. We just barely got through the empanadas when they brought out a steak big enough for 4 people. One thing to note is that steak usually comes just as steak without sauces or sides, so you have to really like the taste of meat! 

The next night we headed to an amazing little collection of restaurants that were all under an underpass of the motorway. Doesn't sound attractive but it would still be one of my best italian meals I have ever had. We had garlic shrimps that were plated at the table and the most amazing pasta dishes - we even went back for seconds another evening.

Now a must do is the Argentine Experience. An amazing foodie experience that will suit everyone. We did the optional Wine/cocktail making extention at the beginning and had a great time with the bar staff making amazing cocktails out of the local wines. Once you have found your favourite, you get to take a jug of your favourite up for the cooking experience. You also get to take a shot at the sommelier test where you attempt to identify 20 smells. Suprisingly, I got 14 out of 20 which is one of their top results as generally you can only get 8-10. After you finish up with the wine, you head upstairs and join the group which are only doing the food experience. You start off by making your own empanadas and have a competition for the most creative shaped one. A New Zealander won it our night with a kiwi shaped Empanada. Unfortunately, when she lifted it up to show everyone, it slipped onto the floor, so we all had a great laugh together. We had a great mix of Kiwis, Australians, British, American and I think we even had a German too. We ended up making friends with a lovely American woman that we are still in touch with today. 

You then move on to the steak. Now you don't cook this part yourself, you just tell them how you would like it cooked. While this is happening, they have a hilarious explanation of how in Argentina you have to communicate with your hands and also some key phrases too. The best was how to order your steak, which is extremely important! Once we received our steak, we finally understood why everyone is always going on about them. This was by far the best rare eye-fillet steak I have EVER had. Cooked perfectly and the most amazing quality of meat. To finish off, you get to try your hand at making Dulce de Leche which is amazing."

"Cruising on a Cunard ship is an experience like on no other cruise line. I cruised on the Queen Victoria and loved it.

The stand out difference on a Cunard ship is the heart of the ship - the formal two storey ballroom.

In it, during the day we would have professional dance lessons with the mature male hosts and in the afternoon, a Cunard highlight - High Tea. In the evening there would be ballroom dancing which was an experience to watch, let alone participate in.

On formal nights, Men must wear black and white which looks so spectacular and creates a ball atmosphere.Everything is a very high standard particularly the food - I remember being so impressed with the buffet even."

"Washington DC (not to be mistaken with Washington State) is a compact city full of history, interesting facts and iconic monuments. Ranging from the World War II Memorial and the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial or even the White House! (Really amazing to see in person!)  There is a huge number of Smithsonian Museums to visit - usually all of them for free too - just hours of interesting things to look at.  I visited the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (can be quite haunting but also feels very important to visit) and the National Museum of the African American History and Culture which had newly opened.

I also checked out about 3 of the other Smithsonian Museums - Air and Travel, Natural History (WOW) and Space & Time. Each one is just packed with amazing things to see, experience and do. It was incredible just how many there are in one city, let alone all on the one strip down from the Capitol.  Everywhere you looked there was an impressive story behind a statue or monument - it's really such a beautiful city.  I'd recommend you spend 2-3 full days there at the very least. I’m counting down the days until I can return for another visit!"