Travel Calendar: Where to go When
Published 28 November 2016
Not everyone knows where they want to travel next. Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, South Africa, India, South America… the bucket list is never-ending, and sometimes even a bit daunting. Which one is better, which should you do first; what place is right for you? The answer is a little tricky, especially as they are so many incredible places to see and things to do. But if you can deal with making one tough decision – when to go – then we can definitely help you with the rest. Here’s our world travel calendar to help you choose where to go, when.
Cruise South Africa’s Garden Route in January and you’ll not only avoid the inflated prices of Christmas and New Year, but you’ll also arrive in the height of the southern hemisphere’s summer. Expect 11 hours of sunshine per day as well as hot and dry temperatures.
You could also try… South America – including Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
New Zealand weather in February is gloriously mild – regardless of whether you’re visiting the North Island, South Island, or both. This month is full of things to do too, from soaking up the history around the country’s founding documents on Waitangi Day, to sampling the best produce NZ has to offer at the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival.
You could also try... Tanzania, Quebec (Canada), Tasmania (Aus), Hokkaido (Japan).
Vietnam is a tough one to call – the weather changes so rapidly from north to south that it can be impossible to know when to go. That said, if you’re going to visit the country at any time, March is it. Spring offers the most temperate climate, particularly if you want to incorporate Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City into your itinerary.
You could also try… Chichen Itza (Mexico), Adelaide, India (Holi festival).
It’d be remiss to visit Thailand – especially northern Thailand – and not go in April. This month is host to the iconic Songkran festival, a New Year celebration where everything and everyone (especially tourists!) is drenched in water. Chiang Mai is renowned for showcasing the best of the festivities, while Bangkok follows enthusiastically behind.
You could also try… Hawaii, Galapagos Islands, Death Valley (USA).
You may have missed the majority of Japan’s cherry blossom season when you go in May (after the touristy Golden Week, that is), but this month is still one of the best times to visit. Temperatures are comfortable, the icons are relatively uncrowded and vegetation is lushly emerald, as verdant as it gets. Bear in mind though that early May to mid-June is rainy season in Okinawa.
You could also try… New York City, Ningaloo Reef (Aus), Grand Canyon (USA).
Beat the crowds by heading for Machu Picchu in June. Peru boasts good weather this month and you won’t have to worry about getting your Inca Trail passes quite as early as you would if you were going in the busier periods of July and August.
You could also try… Alaska (USA), Iceland (midnight sun), Northern Territory (Aus).
Happy July 4th! Independence Day is one of the best times to visit the USA – especially if a nationwide knees up is your idea of travel bliss. Enjoy the spectacular fireworks over Brooklyn Bridge or in the nation’s capital, Washington DC; re-enact history in Philadelphia; or meet the States’ most famous presidents at Mount Rushmore.
You could also try… Calgary (Canada, for the stampede), Argentina, Borneo, Costa Rica.
Experience one of nature’s greatest displays in the Tanzania’s Serengeti this month – the great wildebeest migration. Over two million wildebeest, zebras and Thomson’s gazelle will move through the national park in search of greener pastures. It really is one of the most impressive sights any wildlife lover could hope for, and just one of many amazing wildlife encounters in southern Africa.
You could also try… Sri Lanka (Esala Perahera festival), Nevada (USA, Burning Man), Seychelles.
In September you’ve beaten the worst of the crowds in Western Canada and the weather is still mild enough for you to catch some sun in Vancouver, as well as drive Alberta’s renowned Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Banff, via Lake Louise. Keep your eyes peeled for black bears, bighorn sheep and mountain goats as you cruise Highway 93.
You could also try… Okavango Delta, Shanghai, Laos (Boun Khao Salak festival).
Visiting India is a bit of a balancing act, but October is undoubtedly one of the best times to go if you’re planning to cover a range of destinations. Rajasthan and Central India is cooler; Mumbai is rain-free; Delhi and Agra are mostly dry, without the early fog that sometimes plagues the Taj between November and Feb; and you avoid the extremes of the Himalayas, which are coldest in December and January and wet between June and September.
You could also try… Germany (Oktoberfest), Phuket (Thailand), Venezuela (Catatumbo lightning).
Being such a vast country, it’s hard to pick a best time to visit Australia. That being said, November is the perfect time to visit Queensland for a spot of diving and beach lazing. This time of year the sunshine is still in great supply, but you don’t have to contend with the forthcoming Christmas. The marine life that lives along the Great Barrier Reef is incredibly rich in November.
You could also try… Oaxaca (Mexico, Day of the Dead), USA (Thanksgiving), Antarctica, Egypt.
December marks the end of the hurricane season in Belize, so there are few better times to dive the majestic blue hole. This plunging 124-metre drop sits in the middle of an otherwise shallow reef, and is home to a plethora of marine life.
You could also try… Chicago and Denver (USA, for Christmas markets), Sri Lanka, Atacama Desert (Chile).