End-of-summer time can be very unforgiving. There’s a nip in the air that no one is ready for. The wardrobe suddenly begs for a makeover, which also no one is ready for. The overall mood is sadness dot com.
Studies have proven that if you’re blaming weather for reduced motivation or low levels of productivity, then you need to take a holiday. Do it for the sake of your mental wellbeing.
Here are seven wanderlust-inducing destinations to visit before you have to take your cashmere out of the bed box.
Can’t get enough of those rolling panda videos on Facebook? Chengdu has been one of China’s most popular cities thanks to these monochrome cuties. Oh and did we mention that thanks to the food, this city has been named as a UNESCO city of gastronomy?
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is where you can get up close with the black and white animals. It’s open for educational tours, and home to more than 80 percent of the world’s giant pandas. The best time to visit is September to November.
Vino lovers, this one is for you. If the crowds in south of France scare you, then October and November is the best time to visit the wine country of Bordeaux in France. This region is home to some of the world’s most prestigious vineyards and luxury châteaux.
There’s not much to do around here apart from chugging oysters, eating fresh bagels and drinking a lot of wine. French travel writer Emmanuelle Eyles beautifully puts it: “Paris is trapped in this commuter cycle — we call it “metro boulot dodo” (metro, work, sleep); so the south of France is seen as this repository of old French charms; good wine, good food and good friends”.
If you’re planning on chasing summer, look at destinations below the Equator. Australia is far away, but a top destination to cure every traveller’s needs. It has the vineyards, ocean, ski tops, hiking, scuba diving, surfing, and country-side living.
Start with Sydney, a busy cosmopolitan which might remind you of London with its prices, but they do coffee better than us. The country’s foodie capital is Melbourne, south of the country, so book a cheap local flight to the cultural city if macarons, avocado on toast and pork ribs is on your mind.
Want to go somewhere in Thailand which is still unexplored, traditional and Instagram-able? Head to the northeast region known as Isaan. It’s the area that gave the world sticky rice and papaya salad, so foodies are going to love it here.
There are also ancient Khmer ruins outside Buriram, mountainous national parks in Loei and Bronze Age artefacts in the UNESCO-listed Ban Chiang Archeological Site. If you’re tired of Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, then Isaan needs to be on your to do list. And while you’re there, check out these must-have buys from Thai duty free.
The mix of hipster cafes and art galleries puts this Oregon city above another other American city. It has a fair share of quirky art galleries, creative pop-ups, and delicious craft breweries.
People in Portland take their ethical living and sustainable environment very seriously, so if you’re into reducing your carbon footprints and caring a little more about the planet we live in, visit Portland in its crisp autumn months.
Costa Brava, Spain
Now that the kids are back in school and the sun worshippers are sulking at their desk jobs, the most delicious coastline in Spain has become dramatically cheap. Crystal blue waters and 28C days makes Costa Brava a major spot to visit during September and October.
If you find the water temperature too cold for comfort, then there are many unexplored caves to peruse and sunset hikes to go on.
From Albufeira’s world-famous nightlife to charming towns like Lagos, the Algarve area in Portugal is a local favourite because of how cheap it is and it gets the best of the European sunshine. The beaches here are incredible, and seafood dining options aplenty.
Want something more historic? Take a train up north to Lisbon and Porto to enjoy some of the best custard tarts and cheap wine.