Up and Coming Travel Destinations for 2016

T he January Blues are real and they are here. Across campus, faces look downright depressed – hardly surprising since the hard work has begun and most of us are so cold that we cannot even feel our face to know what expression we are making.
Here is the good news though, all things considered: the summer holidays start in June and the end of term is closer than ever. And, if you ask me, from now on it is perfectly acceptable to start planning summer holidays.
Each year the prices and popularity of various holiday hotspots vary greatly, so in order to give a helping hand when it comes to getting the best deal for your money, here are a few ideas of places you are going to want to visit in summer 2016. The phrase ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ comes to mind concerning the Greek economic crisis. Whilst the effects in Greece are dismal, for us in the UK it means the prices of holidays have dropped considerably. The biggest difference in cost is seen in the lesser-known islands like Skiathos and Kefalonia, which are impeccably good value for money. Sure, they might not quite stand up to the all-night madness of Kavos, but they certainly are beautiful. It is the combination of golden sand, crystal clear waters, traditional towns and the inexpensive lifestyle that will make you fall in love with these islands.
For UK residents, when it comes to city breaks, the obvious choice has to be one of the many spectacular cities that Europe has to offer. From Paris, to Berlin, to Stockholm, the range of atmospheres, activities and adventures to seek is wondrous and it is no wonder that Europe is a popular choice. Nevertheless, you can still save yourself a bit of money by choosing a particular city, as some are much more expensive than others. Ranking at the top of the Cheapest European City Breaks in 2016 (according to the City Cost Barometer) was Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. It is an incredible city, decked in brightly coloured buildings, intriguing alleyways and enchanting churches; combined with buzzing night life and cosy bars, it is a city like no other. And if that is not astounding enough for you, head north to the Hill Of Crosses to be truly mystified.
Or perhaps you are looking for a holiday destination, from which everyone is going to want to see the photo album. If that is the case then look no further than Panama. With 2500km of white sandy beaches bordering both the Pacific and Caribbean Sea, this place could give the Maldives some competition. Unlike many other Caribbean destinations that have already been discovered and damaged by tourists, Panama remains unspoilt, peaceful and most importantly: dirt cheap. And it is not just beaches it has to brag about. Head inland to Casco Viejo – a culture capital that offers ancient architecture from 500 years ago, and explore the history.
Even if you did not take a gap year, it does not mean you have missed the chance to have a backpacking experience. Take a trip to Cambodia and you can make amazing memories on a ridiculously small budget. There are hostels that will put you up for less than a fiver per night. And if that is the price of a bed for the night, then think of the price of the food. Top backpacking ideas in Cambodia include watching the sunset rise over Ankhor Watt Temple – the largest religious monument in the world – visiting the night markets in the capital to buy locally made souvenirs and taking a jungle trekking tour through Bokor National Park, where you might just bump into a tiger…

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