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Some cool climate-hopping holiday ideas South Africans can mix and match

Merge a summer holiday in Dubai (pictured) followed by a chilly, Christmas filled trip to Prague afterwards. Picture: Pexels

Merge a summer holiday in Dubai (pictured) followed by a chilly, Christmas filled trip to Prague afterwards. Picture: Pexels

Published Oct 31, 2021


Choosing between a tropical beach break or a mountain ski holiday can be a difficult decision.

Thankfully, climate-hopping trips will redefine how people travel this year. Climate hopping allows travellers the choice of experiencing many different destinations, both hot and cold climate destinations, in a single trip.

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With many destinations reopening borders, travellers have plenty of options to incorporate multiple trips into their upcoming holiday.

Karen Hoard, a South African travel agency owner, said climate-hopping holidays are ideal for travellers who wanted to take a few weeks to discover new places.

“These kinds of holidays should not be rushed and can get costly. Travellers need to make the most of their time at both destinations.

“And there is no better time than now to book a climate-hopping holiday. The airline fares are exceptional, and there are many places to choose from,” she said.

According to Hoard, travellers should use destinations in an airline hub city (a city or airport where an airline has a strong presence).

“Flying to an airline’s hub city offers travellers a greater choice of destinations and offers convenience for those who don’t want to travel for long periods,” she advised.

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Here are some of her climate-hopping suggestions:

Mombasa and London

Mombasa on the Kenyan coast is fast becoming a destination of choice for those seeking world-class resorts, white sandy beaches and history.

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Mombasa is famed for its dhow cruises and local town tours where you can enjoy spice and curio markets and water sports.

Hoard recommends you spend a week here to soak up the views and relax before heading to London in the UK.

The city is known for its natural beauty, cuisine and fun winter activities. Travellers to London can enjoy ice skating, Christmas markets, high tea with a view, or take a road trip to the Lake District or Edinburgh, Scotland.

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The options are endless. Travellers should stay in London for at least five days to enjoy the full city experience.

Dubai and Prague

Start your trip in Dubai. With world-class shopping, iconic buildings, tantalising cuisine, and a wide array of tourist activities, Dubai doesn’t disappoint on the experience front.

Visit landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa (the tallest tower in the world), Dubai Fountain and the Dubai Frame. The souks are popular, offering a range of items from spices to jewellery. If you are travelling with the family, the city provides a range of child-friendly activities.

And if you have time, make sure you enjoy a tour of the grand hallways and spaces of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The five-star hotel has introduced Inside Burj Al Arab, a hotel tour that takes visitors on a journey inside the celebrated property, with fascinating tales and experiences guaranteed. After a few days in Dubai (5 to 7 days is recommended) head to romantic Prague, famous for its castles, cathedrals, artsy spots and cobblestone streets.

The capital city of the Czech Republic is also known for its Christmas markets. The Prague Christmas Markets take place from November 27 to January 6. Located at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, this winter wonderland allows guests to browse the stalls, take part in Christmas carols, indulge in food and savour the local drinks.

New York and Istanbul

Start your new year in New York. Known as one of the most linguistically diverse cities, New York is home to more than 800 languages. The best part is that winter in New York is a bucket list item for many travellers. While freezing, the city showcases the magic of the holidays, especially the famous Times Square Ball Drop during its New Year’s Eve festivities. Be sure to visit the Empire State Building, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and the Statue of Liberty.

The food scene is equally impressive, with Kochi, Oxomoco and Hell’s Kitchen among the top eateries in the city.

After a chilly New York winter, get some much-needed sun in Istanbul, Turkey. Located in the Marmara region of Turkey, Istanbul is home to culture, a colourful lifestyle and tantalising cuisine. From the Galata Tower and Blue Mosque to the Bosphorus, there’s plenty to see and do. There are many beaches in Istanbul for those who want to soak up the sun, sand and sea. Travellers will need a week or two here.

Thailand and French Alps

Thailand boasts world-class resorts, legendary beaches, sustainable activities and tempting cuisine.

Embark on island-hopping excursions, visit an elephant sanctuary, explore the markets and temples, or go for a Thai massage. Cooking classes and sunrise hikes are also popular.

Take a few weeks to enjoy Thailand’s diverse offerings and food scene (Hoard recommends at least one week per destination in Thailand). After your summer trip, head to the French Alps.

Their European snow season runs from December to April.

The child-friendly destination offers luxury accommodation, ski and non-ski activities, Christmas markets, small villages and stunning views from the cable cars.