With the rise of social media as a tool for planning travel, it seems more and more difficult to find a destination that’s not flooded with tourists: no matter where you look, you find the same destinations popping up on every single website.
So if you’re tired of being the last one to know, read on for five activities your friends probably don’t know about yet.
1. Go for a microlight flight over Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia
Take to the air in a microlight aircraft as you learn to fly what is, essentially, a motorcycle with wings.
The nature of a microlight allows you to fly low and offers the best views of the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, as you cruise over Exmouth Gulf and the Northwest Cape.
Watch for humpback whales, whale sharks, and manta rays as you pass over Turquoise Bay; consistently named one of Australia’s top 3 beaches, you'll be seeing it from a very different perspective than most travelers.
2. Join the Courageous Cooking School at Julia Child's summer home in Provence
The chef, author, and TV personality was responsible for making French cooking accessible to an American audience and she’s left a little of her magic in the walls of her summer home, La Pitchoune.
Spend a week at the Courageous Cooking school and learn to make boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, and steak tartare in Julia’s iconic kitchen.
Julia herself said: “You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Provence is the best place to find fresh ingredients and the Courageous Cooking School offers a new, recipe-free approach to cooking in the French style. You may just discover your own inner chef!
3. Visit a herd of reindeer in Scotland's Cairngorms National Park
I always thought reindeer lived exclusively in the arctic, so I was surprised to find that a herd of reindeer has called Scotland’s Cairngorm Mountains home since 1952.
Every day, the Reindeer Centre leads Hill Trips into the mountains to visit and feed the reindeer. Follow the reindeer herder to the UK’s coldest, wildest, snowiest plateau and feel the reindeer’s soft, velvet nose as they take food from your hand.
If you’re feeling generous, you can even adopt a reindeer. It’s the perfect opportunity to get on Santa’s good list.
4. Snorkel with humpback whales in Tonga
Every year from July to October, the humpback whales arrive in Tonga after a long journey north from Antarctica. It’s in these warm waters that the whales give birth to their young.
Tonga is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with whales, and the experience is one for the bucket list. Listen to them sing, and feel your body vibrate with the strength of their song. Although enormous, the humpbacks move effortlessly and gracefully through the water.
5. Relive your childhood at London's ball pit cocktail bar
If you're from the USA then you'll remember the good old days when an outing to Chuck E. Cheese could right any wrong; when playing in the ball pit was the ultimate party destination.
I thought those days were long gone, but Ballie Ballerson is intent on recreating amazing memories - with a glass of bubbly in hand.
With one million balls spread over three ball pits, this is a cocktail bar that ensures you’ll have some fun!
Brittany Kulick is the chief wanderer and dessert eater at The Sweet Wanderlust, a blog for people with a sweet tooth and a taste for adventure. She has visited 54 countries and is passionate about sharing unique activities, delicious desserts, and epic itineraries as she travels the world.