Are you dreaming of an all-inclusive luxury holiday at an exotic resort? Or perhaps postcard-worthy glamorous city breaks are more your thing? Or how about jungle landscapes and rustic faraway villages? Whether you're after turquoise waters and soft sands or spa treatments in remote mountain retreats, an exciting and exotic long-haul holiday might be precisely what you need.
But if you're planning a family holiday with the grandchildren to some far-flung beach getaway with great waterparks, you'll need to keep school holiday dates in mind. Unfortunately, this usually means you're constrained to the summer months. Still, you'll find plenty of great-value destinations where you can have the exotic white sandy beach break you're dreaming about.
Whether planning to travel to the Americas, Asia, or Africa, exotic long-haul holidays are a great way to make lifelong memories with the grandkids. Here are some of the best long-haul destinations to fly to in 2023.
Indonesia for a popular long-haul beach holiday
Consider Indonesia if you want to get away from the grey British skies and head somewhere exotic. Summer is peak season in Indonesia, offering the best of both worlds - sun and sea combined with a vibrant culture and stunning landscapes.
Java, Sumatra and Bali are some of the most popular spots in Indonesia for travellers looking for a bit of everything. Java offers many attractions, including ancient temples, colourful villages, and spectacular volcanoes.
Travel back in time as you explore its many historical sites, such as Borobudur Temple – one of the largest Buddhist monuments in the world. Indulge your taste buds with Javanese cuisine, including the scrumptious lapis legit layer cake, or take a dip in one of its mesmerising lakes.
Then, there's Bali, a paradise for long-haul beach holiday lovers. From black sand beaches to crystal clear waters coupled with vibrant nightlife scenes – Bali has it all! It's also known for being more affordable than some of its neighbouring countries. So if you're looking for a laidback exotic destination on a budget, it's worth considering. Indonesia is a fantastic summer destination whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation – there's something here for everyone.
Botswana for a luxurious long-haul destination
If you fancy a change from the typical European getaways, try Botswana. It'll undoubtedly be a change from your usual sandy beach holiday. But, for the adventurers at heart, nothing beats a Botswana safari. Botswana offers captivating landscapes that are a treat to the senses. Each location presents its unique natural wonders, such as the sprawling Okavango Delta: one of the largest inland deltas in the world.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is mesmerising during the dry season, lasting from May through October. As odd as it sounds, water levels actually reach their peak during the dry winter months in Botswana. Visiting between June and August is best for exploring the channels and waterways that make the Okavango Delta an oasis for the countless species of birds, fish, mammals, and flora. A safari through this paradise enables you to venture into nature's heart and witness the breathtaking circle of life in action.
What would a long-haul holiday adventure be without the joy of immersing yourself in the local culture and succulent cuisine? Botswana is a melting pot of tribal cultures, offering a golden opportunity to learn about the captivating heritage of groups such as the San and the Tswana people. A cultural tour will provide a fascinating glimpse into time-honoured customs and their unwavering connection with nature.
And remember to treat your taste buds to the mouth-watering flavours of Botswana. Satisfy your cravings with culinary delights such as seswaa, a delectable pulled beef dish, or dive into a plate of mogodu, a flavoursome tripe-based treat.
Madagascar for a unique family holiday
Madagascar offers breathtaking landscapes, captivating wildlife, and cultural riches that will make this summer holiday one you won't forget. Lemurs, the island's charismatic ambassadors, are one of the most significant attractions in Madagascar. A trip to Madagascar would not be complete without exploring the island's national parks, such as Ranomafana, famed for its hot springs, or Andasibe-Mantadia, where you might catch a glimpse of lemurs frolicking in their natural habitat.
The otherworldly Avenue of the Baobabs will leave you speechless. These ancient trees, some as old as 800 years, create an eerie, awe-inspiring scene that has become a symbol of the island. Channel your inner David Attenborough as you marvel at these botanical wonders and capture that perfect photo to show your friends back home.
But if you're travelling in search of a great range of beaches, then Madagascar has you covered too. So forget the Maldives and head to Madagascar's coastal resorts. They reside along some of the most beautiful stretches of white-sand beaches, providing the ultimate haven to relax and recharge before returning home.
Suggesting an alternative African destination, Nancy Roberts from Map and Family says: "Cape Town in South Africa is a great year round destination as it has a mild climate. It will be rainier during the UK summer - which is winter in the southern hemisphere - but flights and hotels are cheaper than in peak season. June to October is also the perfect time for whale watching on the False Bay coastline as well as exploring the city's vibrant food scene. Not forgetting the region's many picturesque wine estates - September, the first month of Spring, is a great time for wine-tasting before the busiest season."
Peru for a faraway adventure in the Amazon
Popular long-haul stops like Cancun and the Dominican Republic are better left for the year's cooler months. But if crossing the Atlantic is on your radar, Peru is an excellent option for a holiday further afield.
Peru's dry season lasts from May to October, making it the perfect long-haul summer destination. Long, sun-kissed days and crisp azure skies make for a sublime landscape in the soaring Andes. Be enthralled by the ancient mysteries and breathtaking panoramas of Machu Picchu or indulge in idle strolls around Cusco's cobbled streets, awash with rich history and vibrant culture.
Peru is one of the cheaper South American destinations for those seeking great value deals. You can find affordable accommodation, tempting local cuisine and exceptional experiences at a fraction of the price you'd find elsewhere.
But those with a penchant for pampering need not despair, as Peru boasts plenty of outstanding luxury offerings. Taste your way through a delicious pisco sour masterclass, feast on gourmet Peruvian cuisine in a stylish Lima restaurant, or retreat to a luxurious eco-lodge deep in the heart of the Amazon, complete with on-call spa treatments and private outdoor showers.
Barbados for a cheap long-haul holiday deal on the Caribbean coast
The stunning Caribbean isn't always a top choice for travellers during summer. But, destinations around the Caribbean, like Barbados, are an excellent opportunity to find cheap all-inclusive long-haul trips during the school holidays.
When it comes to weather, Barbados rarely disappoints - even during its rainy season! Unlike the notoriously fickle British summer, Barbados's summer promises consistently high temperatures, averaging around 30°C, providing dollops of sunshine and warm sea breezes to lull you into a state of complete relaxation.
Summer also coincides with the island's off-peak season, meaning lower prices, fewer crowds, and increased availability for those coveted spots on the beaches or top attractions. Also, popular travel companies like Tui offer ATOL-protected, flight-inclusive package holidays for the budget conscious. Who wouldn't want a slice of paradise to themselves?
Top long-haul holiday destinations for your next holiday
Fancy an exotic escape beyond your classic Spanish retreat? Embrace the exotic Indonesian archipelago, dive into the colourful culture of Barbados, trek the Inca trails in Peru, marvel at Botswanan wildlife, or explore the biodiverse wonderland of Madagascar. With a world so rich in unique experiences, the only dilemma for sophisticated globetrotters is choosing which captivating destination to conquer next.