My top 3 holiday destinations // Jamaica, USA & Australia

**This is a collaborative post

With all the snow that’s around this week, I am dreaming of a holiday in the sun more than ever! We’re lucky enough to have a holiday to France booked this summer – we’re staying in a gite with my parents and I can’t wait. But as much as I love France I wouldn’t really say it was one of my dream holiday destinations. So I thought I’d share the three places I’d love to visit, if money (and kids!) were no object!

Jamaica

Jamaica is just one of those picture perfect Caribbean islands that looks like it would be an amazing place to go on holiday. There are literally thousands of places to stay on the island but seeing as we are talking dream holidays here I would have to go for one of the these luxury rentals in Jamaica! Can you imagine having a private villa with your own chef, housekeeping staff, laundry service and even access to your own private beach!

Luxury Retreats villa in Jamaica

Of course Jamaica isn’t all about the beautiful white sandy beaches and sunshine. It is the fourth largest island nation in the Caribbean with a population of 2.9 million people, and it is the third most populous English-speaking nation in the Americas after the USA and Canada. Jamaica has a rich history – it came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494, was conquered by the English in 1655 and finally achieved independence from the UK in 1962.

With such a vibrant culture and heritage there is so much to see and do in Jamaica – from the Bob Marley museum in the capital city of Kingston to snorkel tours in Montego Bay, and from Rum tours in the Nassau Valley to sampling the amazing Jamaican cuisine there really is something for everyone.

With a flight time of just under 10 hours from the UK I think a trip to Jamaica is one we would save until our boys are a little bit older. Although having said that it’s only the same length as a flight to Florida, and less than the flight time to California and plenty of people take those flights with children all the time. It’s certainly a destination that would make for a fantastic holiday, whether you are taking children with you or not!

The Deep South, USA

My second dream holiday destination is the Deep South of the USA – there actually seems to be a little debate as to what actually constitutes the Deep South but it is the area of America that includes the states of Georgia, the Carolinas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

I have already been on two road trips in America and for me they are without a doubt the best way to see the country. My first (solo) road trip took in San Francisco, Highway 1 along the Pacific Coast to Los Angeles, a drive inland to take in Palm Springs and Arizona, before heading north to see the Grand Canyon and visit Las Vegas. The second road trip was also my honeymoon and for that trip we swapped to the east coast and after flying into Boston we headed north through New Hampshire to Vermont (so we could go to the Ben & Jerry’s factory!), down through New York state, through Amish country to Philadelphia (via a history lesson or two in Gettysburg), a trip down the New Jersey coast through Atlantic City and brief stay in the middle of nowhere in Maryland before heading to the US capital Washington D.C.

Cowboy boots in the deep south

Photo credit

Both trips were amazing but there is so much more of America that I want to see. I love country music so visiting Nashville and Memphis are high on my list – I would love to go to Dollywood, the theme park owned by Dolly Parton, and of course visit The Grand Ole Opry. And then of course you couldn’t visit the Deep South without going to New Orleans with its amazing music, food and wonderful history.

I think a road trip is a great way to see a country with children too – you can set your own pace, stop when you want and where you want, and you can choose accommodation, food and an itinerary that works for you. I would love to take my boys to Florida or California and do the whole theme parks and Disney thing one day too, but there is so much more to America and it’s amazing what you come across if you head just a little bit off the beaten track.

Australia (& New Zealand)

OK, so I know this is technically two destinations but they are both in roughly the same part of the world at least. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia – probably since Neighbours first came on our screens in 1986 when I was 8 years old. I don’t watch Neighbours anymore but I do watch Home & Away and I would absolutely love to visit Palm Beach just north of Sydney where the show is filmed.

Palm Beach, Sydney Australia

Photo credit

Of course Sydney itself has so much to see and do as well – who wouldn’t want to go to the world famous Opera House and climb the Sydney harbour bridge? Australia is a great place to visit with children too (apart from the very long flight from the UK!) and everything is so family friendly.

I would love to visit New Zealand one day too – and although it’s around a three hour flight from Australia to New Zealand I still think it would be easier to visit both countries in one long trip rather than have two separate holidays down under.

New Zealand is a relatively small country, but with its two islands there’s no shortage of things to see and do. I couldn’t go to New Zealand without visiting some of the locations from the Lord of the Rings films – the Hobbiton set is all still there so you can go on a tour and even stay on a local farm to get the full immersive experience!

 

So there you have it – my top three dream holiday destinations. There are so many other places I would like to go on holiday too – from Denmark to Peru, from Mauritius to Tanzania and there are plenty of places I’ve been before that I would like to go back to. For now though I’m looking forward to our holiday in France this summer and maybe in the not too distant future we can take our boys somewhere a bit further afield!

Where would you take your dream holiday? Have you ever been to Jamaica or either of my other favourites?

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