Going on holiday to a foreign country is always fun – but it can be even more rewarding if you organise your trip around an activity you’re passionate about.

Surfing, cooking, camping…whatever it is, we’ve rounded up five destinations that are best suited to each, so you can plan a travel experience that’s as meaningful as it is memorable. 

Indonesia 

Visit if you love: Surfing

Why go? Bali is a surfer’s paradise, whether you’re a novice or an expert at the sport. The country’s warm weather, warm water and beautiful natural coastline make it a hugely popular destination for surfers all year round – not to mention the island’s numerous other attractions including food, culture and scenery.

Where should you go? A huge number of surfing spots are scattered over the island, including some hidden gems for the intrepid surfer. Uluwatu is one of Bali’s most famous breaks, with huge waves on a dramatic coastline with its famous temple landmark. Nearby, between Bingin and Padang Padang is “Impossibles”, featuring a long reef with challenging surf that appeals to more experienced surfers. Then there’s Nusa Lamboneng, a small island off Southeast Bali known for three main breaks that suit surfers of any ability.

More information: www.bali-indonesia.com, www.inbali.org, www.baliinformationguide.com, www.balisurfingcamp.com

Italy

Visit if you love: Cooking

Why go? Food forms an integral part of Italian culture, so a cooking holiday in Italy is one of the most rewarding trips a food lover can take. Besides learning to cook authentic Italian dishes, you’ll be immersed in Italian culture and a truly beautiful natural setting – what’s not to love?

Where should you go? It’s best to choose a cooking course based on the type of food you’re interested in cooking, which will depend on the region you visit (each region has particular dishes and specialities for which they’re known). On the Amalfi coast, for example, the emphasis is on Mediterranean cuisine, in Emilia Romagna, it’s all about Bolognese and tortellini, while in Northern Italy, you’ll be in the home of risotto, polenta and Osso Buco.

More information:

http://www.italia.it/en/travel-ideas/gastronomy.html,  

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/immerse-yourself-italian-cuisine-180959447/

Botswana 

Visit if you love: Wildlife

Why go? In the heart of Botswana’s Kalahari Desert is the Okavango Delta, a vast network of freshwater wetland that supports an abundance of wildlife in a completely unspoilt setting. The Delta forms part of the Moremi Game Reserve and other wildlife concessions; because it’s protected land, it’s one of the best places to see the Big Five, water-based game as well as rare species of birds and mammals. When it comes to accommodation, the region features some of the most luxurious safari camps on the continent, which makes this a strong contender for a “one in a lifetime” safari trip. 

Where should you go?  Because it’s a wetland, the Delta offers some of the widest range of safari activities you’ll find anywhere, including boating, fishing, birdwatching, mokoro trips, bush walks and game drives. Most visitors fly into Maun and then charter flights from there to various camps owned by companies such as Wilderness Safaris, AndBeyond and Great Plains Conservation.

More information: www.wilderness-safaris.com, www.andbeyond.com, www.greatplainsconservation.com

California, USA 

Visit if you love: Camping

Why go? From deserts and forests to beaches and lakes, California’s natural beauty is as breathtaking as it is varied: swim in the crisp, clear waters of Lake Tahoe, sink into the huge expanse of the Mojave Desert, walk among Giant Redwoods and climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park – all within a manageable driving distance of each other. No matter what your preference, California is superbly kitted out for camping enthusiasts, with literally hundreds of campsites, cabin rental spots and RV campgrounds available. The roads and facilities are good, and you can enjoy all the modern conveniences that you’d expect from a first world country.

Where should you go? This all depends on what you’re looking for in terms of natural scenery and activities. In general, Southern California has warmer, sunnier weather and more of a beach/surfer culture, Central California is more Mediterranean-like, and Northern California is cooler but has a more rugged landscape in terms of rivers, lakes, forests and mountains.

More information:  www.visitcalifornia.com, https://www.reserveamerica.com/outdoors/california-camping.htm

Scotland 

Visit if you love: Golf

Why go? The modern game of golf originated in Scotland, so if you’re a fan of the sport, playing here is something of a pilgrimage. The country is steeped in history, so as well as being able to play a huge range of famous courses, you’re surrounded by incredibly rich history, architecture and lush landscape. 

Where should you go? Choosing which courses to play can be overwhelming – there are over 550 to choose from! For this reason, it’s a good idea to choose one or two regions and stick to courses within those, such as in the Highlands or the Northeast. Or, you could choose to play the most iconic courses, such as St Andrews or Kingsbarns on the East Coast. What sets Scottish golf apart is the abundance of links courses, which are characterised by the rough coastal landscape where you’re exposed to the elements – making this kind of golf a true challenge.

More information:  https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/active/golf/courses/, http://www.scotlandgolf.com/scotlandgolfcourses/


Bitten by the travel bug? Don’t forget to look into what travel rewards your medical aid scheme provides – you might score (or rather, save) big time. There are some such as Sanlam Reality with travel rewards which offer a range of benefits and rewards that you can use before and during your trip, including discounts on flights, car hire, airport transfers and more.