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5 Travel Ideas for Chinese New Year / February Half Term

Looking to take the kids away for Chinese New Year / February half term?  If so, get booking asap. Flights to popular destinations maybe already be scarce so check with your travel agent and sites such as Zuji, Skyscanner, Agoda and Openroomz for available flights/hotels.

Now on to my top 5 tips on where to go!  Small disclaimer – I’m not a travel agent, nor am I affiliated to any of the organisations/destinations listed below.  These options are based on personal experience and/or aimless internet surfing whilst I should have been working.

Fun in the snow – Naeba, Japan

Whilst it might be too late to hop on a direct flight to Niseko (powder heaven on island of Hokkaido), you can always find flights to Tokyo.  From there, you can find a huge range of mountains to take your pick from.  One of the best and most accessible is Naeba.  Take the bullet train from Tokyo to Eichigo-Yuzawa (90 mins).  Then hop on another bus to Naeba (under 50 mins).
Naeba skiing

The Naeba Prince Hotel is enormous and set right at the foot of the slopes.  For a more charming option, go for a Japanese style pension although beware, English may be limited.

Ski/snowboard lessons in English are available and there’s even a huge kids fun adventure zone.  For more information, Powderhounds has an extremely useful site and you can also book accommodation through them.

A sidenote – if you love powder, get organised and book your Niseko snow trip for 2015, you won’t be disappointed!

Delicious beach break – Koh Phi Phi

Whilst getting to Phuket is easy (plenty of direct flights from Thai Airways to HK Express), why stop there when you can head out to the azure seas and limestone cliffs of Koh Phi Phi.  The ferry from Phuket Rassada Pier takes approx. 1 hour and there are several boats per day.

Zeavola

Spend your days enjoying the beautiful beaches, snorkelling and exploring nearby islands on a longtail boat.  Zeavola offers boutique luxury with fabulous looking pool villa suites.  For a cheaper option, check out the Holiday Inn on Lam Tong Beach.

Culture Vultures – Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish Airlines global expansion means that Istanbul is more easy to access than ever!  It’s long been a dream of mine to potter the souks of Istanbul and bargain for a carpet I don’t need.  There’s so much for the kids to do from the open air miniature park Miniaturk to a boat cruise on the Bosphorus.  Check out this brilliant article on 10 fun activities for children in Istanbul.

A big city like Istanbul offers a huge variety of accommodation options from the uber luxe Four Seasons (built on a portion of the Great Palace) to the more wallet friendly Osman Han Hotel, walking distance from the Blue Mosque.

Outdoor Adventure – New Zealand

January/February is the perfect time to visit New Zealand as it’s their summer.  With a week, you can take your pick from a road trip around the South Island (think glaciers, lakes and vineyards) to a road trip around the North Island (think hot springs, Maori culture and beaches).  Both will offer up a perfect trip!

I visited the South Island on my honeymoon and we are headed to the North Island next February.  On the itinerary is Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, North Havelock and Wellington.  Beware, direct flights to New Zealand from Hong Kong are heavily booked up, we are flying Qantas via Melbourne.

Reliving your backpacker days – Luang Prabang, Laos

The best hub for getting into and out of Laos is Bangkok.  Getting to Bangkok is easy but heading onwards to Laos might have limited ability so book those tickets fast!  Try to fly into Luang Prabang, one of my favourite places in Asia (see Bangkok Airways).  This enchanting town in Northern Laos blends the colonial with traditional.  Wander around the town temples, shop the local markets, climb Mount Phousi, learn about the local tribes at the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre and take a boat trip to the Pak Ou caves.

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a great destination for a 5 day/4 night break.  If you’re travelling with kids, make sure to pick a hotel with a pool.  Lots of options from the high-end Hotel de La Paix and Satri House to the more reasonable Le Sen and Villa Santi Resort & Spa.  However, if you’ve got cash to splurge, the Residence Phou Vao looks phenomenal!

 

Wherever you travel, you know I’d love a trip report!  Contact me if you’d like to contribute your story to Jetlag & Mayhem

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