With the year ahead of us, now is a good time to research holiday destinations and seek out opportunities to unleash your wanderlust. Whether you’re looking for somewhere dreamy to forget your troubles, an exploration of epic proportions, the chance to discover new routes or experiences - knowing where to drop your pin on the map can make all the difference and here are some ideas.
Dream about Cancún
Cancún plays host to a ritzy hotel zone with the famous white-sand beaches and unabashed party scene.
While Cancún has a lot more to offer than just beaches, it is the ocean-lapped stretches of sand that attracts visitors to these shores. One of Cancún’s largest, Playa Delfines, enjoys some of the brightest blue water in the city. With jet skiers and parasailers taking to the water, it’s regarded by travellers as the quintessential escapist’s beach.
Close by is the Golden Shores and Crown Paradise Club (2459), an RCI Silver Crown resort. The complex includes four pools, spacious bars and lounges, as well as fantastic live entertainment each night. It’s really all you need for a holiday in one place. Opportunities to escape reality and soak up the holiday of your dreams are few and far between - but you're in one of the best places to do just that in Cancún.
Just across the bay lies Isla Mujeres, which translates as the Island of Women. Known locally as a tranquil paradise where time passes slowly, Isla Mujeres captures the beauty of the Caribbean, the heritage of the Mayans, and the easy-going charm of the diverse local community. Zoetry Villa Rolandie (D827) is a secluded retreat on the west side of the island. The resort is home to 35 oceanfront rooms, a luxurious spa and complimentary yacht services. If you’re looking for pampering beyond your wildest dreams, then you’ll find it here.
While Isla Mujeres might be renowned for its tranquil ambiance, you won’t be short of things to do. At Tortuga Granja you’ll come face-to-face with sea turtles in this aquatic sanctuary. Or visit the MUSA Underwater Museum and see things that most can only dream of.
Although Tenerife is a small island, it comes with big contrasts. To the south you’ll find the warm African climate nicely compliments the beaches, bars and spaghetti western country. Costa Adeje on the coast is a surprising discovery for many, with its mix of luxury villas, designer shopping and waterfront restaurants. It even has its own waterfall.
Welcoming guests with newly refurbished apartments, Apartamentos Tropical Park (2403) in Adeje is a great base camp for your island travels. With plenty of food offerings, great service and unrivalled views over the Atlantic Ocean, it’s the perfect place to rest up and regroup after a long day.
While the vibes suggest laidback sophistication and easy living, a walk along the cliffs will bring you to the lively Playa de las Américas. If that’s not enough for you to discover, Los Cristianos, one of Tenerife’s oldest and best-known resorts is just a 10-minute drive away. It’s a great opportunity to take a boat trip out to see whales and dolphins up close, before heading back inland to one of the cosy restaurants with live music in abundance.
Meanwhile in the north, you’ll find a gentler pace of life and discover the more traditional Spain. With authentic dishes and the best tapas on offer, it’s worth taking the time to discover, if only for the contrast. The best part about visiting Tenerife is that you can easily drive around the entire island comfortably in just one day - and get back to your resort in time for dinner.
Mount Teide sits as the centrepiece of the island within the Teide National Park. Best access to the park is on the North side of the island and you’ll be transported to another world on ascent. A cable car to the top will whisk you through the clouds, allowing you to embrace the vast contrast of a colder mountainous expedition, while only actually being off the coast of Africa.
Explore Portugal's Algarve
Whether you’re looking for a sightseeing holiday, stress-free getaway or something on the adventurous side, Portugal has something to offer for everyone. From the steep cobbled streets and grand palaces of city capital Lisbon - to the volcanic and culture-filled islands of Madeira - intrepid explorers need look no further.
In the southernmost region of Portugal lies the Algarve. It’s known for Mediterranean beaches and golf resorts - but there’s a whole lot more for you to explore. Traditional fishing villages are scattered across the rugged coastline that overlook the miles of sandy coves and limestone caves. Albufeira is the largest and most energetic of the resort towns on the Algarve. It’s a mix of stunning beaches, a pleasant climate and plenty of buzz. What was once a peaceful fishing village has been transformed into one of the most popular holiday destinations in this part of the globe.
Ideal for families, Hotel Ap. Vila Gale Atlantico (2172) is located just 274 metres from the renowned Gale Beach outside of Albufeira. It’s an ideal resort for families, with ample fishing, scuba diving and water skiing on your doorstep. As an RCI Gold Crown resort, the resort is popular with explorers looking to soak up local culture while also planning excursions outside of the tourist hubs. Car-hire is a great asset for this if you’re really looking to cover more ground during your stay.
After a long day you’ll have built up an appetite. With cuisine from all over the world, your taste buds will explore the world right from the comfort of the local restaurants. As a fishing town, the fish is undoubtedly the freshest and will appeal even to those who aren’t lovers of seafood.
Florida is often regarded as the first stop for adrenalin junkies and sun seekers alike. With it’s world-famous theme parks including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, as well as the iconic beaches of Miami and Key West. However, Florida has a winning hand of experiences in any holiday-goers wish list.
One of the boldest ways to immerse yourself in Floridian culture is by airboat. Gators, snakes, raccoons and even the rare Florida Panther are all within reach (at a safe distance) along the Everglades. As the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, it stretches from coast to coast in South Florida. Tours are a popular way to experience these natural delights without ever putting an ore in the water. You’ll find plenty of guides and operators geared up for magical tours of the 'River of Grass'. You might even get to hold a baby gator.
If you’re looking for a different kind of experience, why not immerse yourself in American culture in the Tampa Bay area. It’s a place known for food, drink and entertainment. Geared more towards adult travellers, you can sample the mouth-watering fare at the modern Hall on Franklin or try local craft brewing and hand-rolled cigars on one of the city's Brew Buses.
A lesser considered but jam-packed holiday destination is Daytona. The name likely rings a bell. It is home to the famous Daytona Speedway and beach. Opportunities to pack in a range of fun-filled activities in Daytona are endless, the only limit is your imagination. Catalina Beach Club (2060), an RCI Silver Crown resort, offers the ocean views and Floridian customs you’d expect, all while being on the doorstep of the best of Daytona. From horseback riding and the Adventure Landing water park, to the infamous local ghost tours and eight-metre rock wall at Daytona Lagoon - look no further for an experience holiday of a lifetime.
With RCI, how you holiday is your choice. Your membership gives you access to more than 4,300 affiliated resorts in over 100 countries. No matter whether you're looking to dream, explore, discover or experience - you'll find endless possibilities and have the whole world in your hands. Make your holiday dreams a reality, it's all up to you.