How To Spend Your Extra 24 Hours In 2016

29 February 2016
Read Time: 2.4 mins

The inevitable leap year has a way of splitting the optimists from the pessimists. Do we gain a holiday or another day of work once every four years.

I'd attest it's a gift, a somewhat subtle reminder after three years of sitting on the couch that life isn't infinite and, hey, here's an extra day because we've wasted too many already.

So, you've got yourself a shiny new set of 24 hours to play with. If you're not content with sleeping, sitting or streaming through it, here are six ways to ensure your extra day and night last a lifetime.

1. Park Yourself In NYC

Central Park rowboat Cruise around Central Park's Lake in a rowboat (Image: Getty)

Morning - Hire a bike to explore Central Park, making sure you stop off at Strawberry Fields (Lennon memorial), the Lake, Great Lawn and Shakespeare Garden.

Afternoon - Catch the ferry across to Staten Island to see the Statue of Liberty and visit Historic Richmond Town.

Night - Start with a Broadway show – The Lion King, Aladdin or Wicked will suffice – and kick on to the Meatpacking District for late-night boozing at college bars, dance clubs, rooftop lounges and biergartens.

2. Touch The Glitter In Dubai

Dubai desert camping The Arabian Desert provides a different campground to any you could find in Australia (Image: Getty)

Morning - Outflank the crowds by getting to Burj Khalifa (world's tallest building) early and taking in the city-wide views from the 80th floor.

Afternoon - At the behemoth Mall of the Emirates shopping takes a backseat to the indoor snow park, 150-metre-long zip line and state-of-the-art arcade. There are still 560-plus stores if you're set on retail therapy.

Night - Spend the evening under the stars in the Arabian Desert at a 5-star glamping site with sand skiing, dune bashing, bar, sunset photography and more inclusions.

3. Say 'Mahalo' To Honolulu

Hawaii surfing A sunset surfer on Waikiki Beach (Image: Getty)

Morning - Take off over the islands for a bird's-eye view of Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head and the Jurassic Falls on Kauai, famous as the setting of Jurassic Park.

Afternoon - Grab some shaved ice and head down to Waikiki Beach to watch the surfers tame the breaks. Get on a board yourself, with help from one of the surf schools if you're a beginner.

Night - Embrace traditional Hawaiian culture with a luau, fresh buffet and nightly show at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

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4. Thai Yourself Out In Bangkok

Thai massage Heal your body with a traditional Thai massage (Image: Getty)

Morning - Wander down Chinatown's one-kilometre-long strip of market stalls, traditional restaurants and wooden-shop houses selling quirky goods alongside treasured souvenirs.

Afternoon - Treat your body and mind to a traditional Thai massage. The expert masseuses know how to stretch and massage deep tissue to remove all kinks.

Night - The evening is wild and ever-changing in Bangkok. Rooftop cocktails, flamboyant go-go bars, night markets, cultural shows and untamed nightclubs all keep the night rocking and rolling until sunrise.

5. Waltz With The Queen In London

London cruise Spot sights in style on a River Thames cruise (Image: Getty)

Morning - Take a self-guided or guided walking tour around the city, ticking off Buckingham Palace (time it for the Changing of the Guard), Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Tower of London.

Afternoon - Wine and dine on champagne and canapes during a sunset cruise down the River Thames accompanied by live music.

Night - Few places close early in London, so you can still sightsee (London Eye, Ripley's Believe it or Not!) until dinner, indulge in a melting pot of world-wide cuisine, then unwind at the bars in Shoreditch.

6. Sling Yourself Into Singapore

Singapore Sling Knock back a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel (Image: Getty)

Morning - Jump across to Sentosa Island for beach fun, a round of golf, war history at Fort Siloso or thrill rides at Universal Studios Singapore.

Afternoon - Enjoy some sundowners at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel, the birthplace of the Singapore Sling. Book a night at one of the 5-star hotel's luxurious suites if you're feeling particularly fancy.

Night - Find yourself face-to-face with Singapore's creatures of the dark at the Night Safari, the world's first nocturnal zoo.

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals.

Ben Stower

I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.