Valentine's Schmalentine's: Top Holiday Spots To Escape Cupid

13 February 2015

Can you feel that? Love is in the air. (Everywhere I look around).

Hallmark is doing a fast trade, roses are sprouting up on every street-corner florist and don't even get me started on all the teddy bears. Enter Valentine's Day.

These days, it's not uncommon for fairytales and happily ever afters to blossom on the internet, but for some, their love story is yet to begin. It might be too late to escape Love Fest 2015, but here's some holiday inspiration for next year should you find yourself still swiping left. Thanks, Tinder.
.........................................................................................................................................................

For The Ladies

.........................................................................................................................................................

 The Langham, Melbourne's rooftop (credit: The Langham, Melbourne)

Firstly, happy Galentine's Day! Coined by Leslie Knope from TV's Parks and Recreation, February 13 is reserved for the ladies – single, married or otherwise – to get together and celebrate their friendship. Why not take it a step further than crushed soda-bottle mosaics of your girlfriends' faces by spoiling each other with a luxurious backyard break?

  • Pamper yourselves silly with a suite, fine-dining and signature Chuan Spa treatments at The Langham Melbourne.
  • Bring an empty suitcase for a weekend of shopping in Sydney. Hit the boutiques of Paddington and high street chain stores along Pitt Street, before checking into an ultra-plush suite at the deluxe InterContinental Sydney Double Bay.
  • Pack the car and head west in Queensland to Granite Belt Wine Country. Think three days of wine tasting, cheese platters, crackling fires and simply getting back to nature. Bliss!

.........................................................................................................................................................

The Boys' Trip

.........................................................................................................................................................

 Tubular, man (credit: Getty Images)

It's sun, surf and sand – sans babes – for the lads. Destination: Bali.

Forget a week of debauchery in Kuta, head out of the party hub to embark on the surf trip of a lifetime. As you master Bali's most popular surf breaks including The Peak and Racetracks, lay back in the lap of affordable luxury in one of the cliff-side luxury resorts at Uluwatu. Toast the surf gods who've blessed you with killer barrels by downing some beers at sunset.

Now you've mastered the waves of Uluwatu, head east to a private villa with all the embellishments in Keramas, Bali's best-kept surfing secret. Go easy on the Bintang the night before though; you'll want to be up nice and early for the best waves. Shaka, brah.


Check out Bali's best surf spots.

How to spend 48 hours in Byron Bay.

Keen to get nekkid anyway? These are the best places to get your kit off


.........................................................................................................................................................

Solo Travel

.........................................................................................................................................................


Setting off on a solo adventure is no longer taboo. Solo travel awards you the freedom to do whatever you please, whenever you please. Not to mention, you're guaranteed to meet twice as many people along the way as you would travelling with a friend or in a group.

Maybe you're looking to escape everyday life, maybe you're getting over a break-up, or maybe you're looking to find yourself a la Eat, Pray, Love. Whatever the reason, there's a whole world out there just waiting to be explored on your own terms.

  • Find your centre and bliss out at a yoga retreat in Ubud, Bali.
  • Embark on a soul-stirring spiritual quest to one of India's famed ashrams.
  • Make an instant set of friends with an adventure tour through the rugged, snow-sprinkled landscape of Alberta's Rocky Mountains.

.........................................................................................................................................................

All In For A Good Time

.........................................................................................................................................................

 This could be you and your mates frolicking in the Faro surf (credit: Getty Images)

Looking to party? Gather your nearest and dearest single pals and book the next flight out. Keep things close to home with a long weekend in Byron Bay, or take the festivities abroad.

Steer clear of perennially popular (and expensive) Ibiza. For a similar resort town feel, with a cheaper price tag, consider taking your wolf pack to Faro in Portugal. A large student population guarantees a happening nightlife, and there's no shortage of beaches to work on your tan. Faro isn't all party and no substance though; take some time-out from the cocktails to unearth the beautifully preserved Medieval treasures in the Old City.

Anna Howard

Give me street food over Michelin stars, cellar doors over wine bars and small towns and wide open spaces over big cities any day. Travel for me means ticking off the 'to eat and drink' list one regional flavour and wine bottle at a time.