In the cut and thrust of today’s high-speed world, our leisure time is becoming more and more valuable to us. As a result, when holidays were once just an opportunity to kick back and enjoy the rare gift of doing nothing at all, we now seek to fill our holidays with enriching experiences. Often these experiences involve learning a new skill or taking time out to practice an old one, allowing us to make the most of our free time and end our holiday feeling not just relaxed and rested, but fulfilled and satisfied.
In their 2019 Worldwide Travel Report, Kuoni gave an insight into our favourite holiday learning activities and some more surprising options that could see a rise in popularity this year.
Yoga has seen a huge spike in popularity in recent years and since 2016, new studios and dedicated retreats have been popping up all the way from the Maldives to the Caribbean. Try Galley Bay in Antigua, where Kuoni have created a tropical yoga retreat in collaboration with Fat Buddha Yoga founder, Jessica Skye.
With Kuoni’s Images of Russia and Images of Japan itineraries selling out for the past two years, it’s clear that dedicated photography tours like this are still in high demand. On these exclusive small-group escorted tours, guests benefit from the expert tutelage of award-winning travel photographer, Neil Buchan Grant, to help them hone their skills.
Swimming among the bright and beautiful fishes is all well and good, but now we want to know more about the colourful creatures we encounter under the sea. At Kuramathi in the Maldives, the resort’s eco-centre provides information about marine life through visual and microscopic presentations.
Since the dawn of time, human beings have always looked to the stars and now, more and more travellers are opting to observe the night sky. One of the best places to count constellations is the Canary Islands, where clear skies (protected from light and other air pollution by the aptly named Sky Act) make for incredible stargazing.
Whereas in the past we might have visited other countries simply to observe cultural differences, now we are more interested in sharing experiences that can really help us understand local communities. With Kuoni’s Thailand Explorer tour, you can get stuck in at an organic rice farm; planting, picking and even ploughing the paddies with water buffalo!
Snorkelling and diving have always been popular holiday options, but PETER is a new kind of diving, in which your air supply is filtered directly from the surface. This unique style of diving made its debut at Faarufushi in the Maldives in February this year and is a perfect choice for diving beginners who want to build their confidence under the water.
Singing is a joyful experience, but not something that we Brits always do well. Our natural reserve can hold us back and we’ll mumble along to the odd church hymn, or else belt out a banger on karaoke – but only after a stiff helping of Dutch courage! On holiday it’s easier to shed our inhibitions and Kuoni have found that their five-day “Caribbean Choir” workshops, led by expert vocal coach, Mike King, are selling out fast.
Yes, you read that correctly – chess! Board games, it would seem, are back as evidenced by their ever-increasing appearances on pub shelves over recent years. Chess is the ultimate board game and a real test of mental skill and agility. A new chess academy, run by Russian Chess World Champion, Anatolij Karpov for beginners and experts alike, will be held at the Forte Village Resort in Sardinia.
If you want to know more about any of these experiences, speak to our personal travel experts on 0191 285 9321, email email@example.com or visit our store on Gosforth High Street.