I typically dread the end-of-year heralder. You know the one. Before Halloween has even passed, they’re already smugly declaring the “did you know” festive season countdown. Reminding us just how quickly another entire year has managed to escape us.
This year is different. Although the challenges and uncertainty of 2020 aren’t going to miraculously disappear at 00h00 on January 1st, there’s certainly a global eagerness to officially close the gloomy book of 2020 and move forward.
How will you choose to celebrate the end of 2020? Many are keeping a close eye on border reopenings in the hopes of escaping on a last-minute, end-of-year adventure to make up for this year’s lost travel time. If that’s you, here are 10 festive season travel ideas for your
night (flight) before Christmas.
Oh Christmas Tree(house)
10 festive season travel ideas to celebrate the end of 2020…
While many others, for whatever reason (be it second wave lockdowns, closed borders, tightened purse strings and/or personal comfort levels and risk aversion), are opting for a cosy, at-home festive season. If that’s you, here are 10 gift ideas for the travel addicts on your list that don’t actually require travel. May they help keep the dream of long-lost travel alive until it resumes with renewed vigour.
1. A ranger in your living room
In the midst of lockdown, we joined forces with WildEarth to deliver twice-daily, three-hour safaris straight to your living room. So, hunker down over the holidays with your loved ones (and a morning mocha choca rula or afternoon gin and tonic) and enjoy some action-packed couch safaris.
Taking it an exciting and informative step further, we have the perfect gift for the wildlife-loving safari addicts in your life. Why not book them some additional face-to-(virtual)-face time with one of our expert guides after their live safari to ask questions and relive the safari moments together? And the best part? Proceeds from this private ranger time help fund much-needed conservation initiatives.
2. Exclusive access to conservation and marine experts
In addition to some private one-on-one time with an &Beyond guide, you can also gift the animal (and ocean) lovers in your life with a private virtual session with one of our highly respected conservation and marine experts.
Choose from a selection of topical initiatives, from rhino conservation, pangolin rehabilitation and the protection of the oceans’ Hope Spots, to wildlife monitoring and dispelling the (unfair) myths about the misunderstood hyena. This is a wonderfully memorable and educational way to surprise loved ones and contribute to the ongoing protection of our planet’s endangered species and threatened oceans.
3. A real ‘tweet’ for birders
Here’s one for all the beloved ‘bird nerds’ on your list: a virtual and interactive birding masterclass with your choice of leading birding specialists Daryl Dell (in South Africa) or Surya Ramachandran (in India). It’s all about planning, and this private virtual session gives birders a chance to share their life lists, discuss the best equipment and seek expert advice before their next birding adventure.
4. Thyme to get cooking
Encourage the foodies in your life to cook up a delicious, festive storm, virtually, with our executive chefs Damián Fernández Dupouy (in Chile) or Murray Weakley (in Botswana). Great fun for the (disconnected) family, or for a company year-end celebration, these virtual cooking masterclasses will have everyone cooking, laughing and reconnecting in the kitchen.
5. A safari-themed children’s party
With lockdowns, home schooling and the (at-home) holidays looming, what exhausted parents-in-quarantine need are some new ideas to keep young minds busy, educated and entertained. Make your child the class hero for a day with a safari-themed virtual WILDchild party, which gives little ones private access to one of our WILDchild guides who will answer all of their questions and host an unforgettable online safari party.
6. The gift of (forest) meditation
An intense year of stress and uncertainty calls for self-care, quiet meditation and Mother Nature. Inspire the workaholics on your list to slow down to appreciate the wisdom of the woods and learn the ancient, restorative and meditative art of forest therapy. This guided virtual session with certified nature and forest therapy guide, Giovanna Raineri Blanco, in Chile’s Lake District can be enjoyed from the quiet comfort of your own garden, yoga mat or sofa.
7. Namaste at home for the holidays
Another great way to stay fit and remain stress-free during the holidays is yoga. Surprise your friends and family with some festive season Zen with professional yoga instructor, homeopath and health enthusiast, Solveig Gevers. Food for the mind, body and soul, Solveig will guide you on a virtual journey of mindful movement, meditation, breath work and soul-restoring yoga poses.
8. Dance it out
Spice up the festive season with a private virtual Tango lesson. Persuade your partner to slap on some dancing shoes and dance your 2020 troubles away, Argentina-style, with professional Tango dancer, Luciana Rial, who will connect with you live from bustling Buenos Aires.
9. African gifts that give back
Opt for some online retail therapy this festive season and secure some authentic African handicrafts and luxury accessories for the travel-deprived safari addicts on your list. Bring the memory of an African safari to life for them by way of quirky wildlife sculptures, dreamy fine art photography, vintage travel poster-prints, designer scarves, African jewellery, custom Thule luggage, Swarovski Optik binoculars and more. A portion of the proceeds from each sale help fund crucial conservation and community initiatives.
10. Gift now to travel later
The gift of travel never disappoints. If you are unable to escape on a long-awaited and well-deserved journey this year, give the gift of future travel to that special someone in your travel tribe. Travel is the gift that keeps on giving and this voucher embodies your commitment to share an unforgettable adventure together in the (near) future. We could all use something to look forward to.
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