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“Retreat” sounds more in tune with Presidents and the more spiritually inclined. But thanks to the scorcher that is the summer, we all hightail it and quite literally head for the hills when it comes around. Thanks to easy rentals, trip planning websites, and our own wandering spirits, going on a summer retreat is an annual ritual for most. You can use it for some quiet time and to rejuvenate your family or your organization.
We might not have our own Camp David, but the world’s the oyster. You can literally take your pick of summer retreats as global travel goes on the upswing. Finding the best places to search for summer retreats is also easy as there are a host of travel websites vying for your bucks. But here is a mix-n-match of eight websites you can consider for finding unforgettable summer retreats around the world.
Lonely Planet is more than a backpacker’s favorite guide. It is one of the more comprehensive and definitive travel guides on the web. The BBC owned company has travel blogs, Facebook group, rating and recommendations, a trip planner tool, and the very informative Thorn Tree forum for travellers. Why would you go anywhere else? Read their ‘Best in Travel’ series for the first idea of where to go for a summer retreat. Each place covered on Lonely Planet has a ‘When to go & Weather’ information. Alternatively, you can do a search with “summer retreat” and browse through the results. Go to the left and filter it by Type. You will get a host of suggestions from the website and the forum.
One of the lesser known sites, but it could very easily become your favorite destination for planning getaways during the summer. The site’s inspiration is on great escapes with your other half. The site features boutique hotels from Amsterdam to Zambia, all with anonymous reviews. You can use the Hotel Search or browse through the Collections (screen above). The mix is quite tempting, from spas to wildlife lodges.
If you have ever read the magazine, travelling to spots that the iconic magazine covers should be on your wish list. Be a National Geographic traveller and go to some of the most exotic locales around the world. Each year, National Geographic and its Traveller section covers top 10 destinations for the year. You can read last year’s 10 Best Trips of Summer 2011, Top 10 Classic Summer Lodges, Best Spring Trips 2012, and more.
Very few not in the know would land on New York Times website to search for tips on summer trips and retreats. I would because NYT has bytes on 1000+ destinations plus tips and tricks for the practical traveller. Use the search engine on the Travel page and check out the results. Some articles are bound to be dated, but the good thing about travel information is that unless it’s about deals and rentals, it’s not a big deal. We are after great summer locations for a retreat and that’s what we can get with a bit of search. So, is it going to be the Hamptons this year or a New Zealand farm?
Another newspaper and another good source of quality articles on travel. The Guardian is one of U.K’s prominent newspapers and has a well-reported travel section. Do a search with keywords like ‘summer’ or ‘summer retreat’ and you are bound to hit some Alpine destinations or a Buddhist monastery. For example this article from the Guardian archives should still hold good for cool retreat ideas.
Fancy a summer getaway in a wigwam or a treehouse? This site has it all. You book an experience via this site whether it is a wild one or a romantic one for the missus and you. The very attractive site definitely can give you some different ideas for a summer retreat.
Seek Answers On Travel Q&A Websites
Finally, you can tap into the wisdom of the crowds to find the best summer retreats. Apart from the forums on some of the travel sites, there are dedicated question-answer related travel sites (apart from the general ones like Quora and Yahoo Answers). A few come to mind:
YouTube isn’t the first thing that would strike you when you are searching for summer retreats. Land on YouTube and search for summer retreats. The results are all online videos, but you can pick up lots of hints to construct your perfect summer escape plan.
Summer retreats are opportunities to break free from the strain of our everyday existence and just reboot ourselves with rest and relaxation. Everybody’s idea for a perfect summer retreat differs. For instance, a geek can pick up any from the ones mentioned here. What about you? Try out these eight websites to find summer retreats that suit you, or jump into our huge archive of travel related posts for some more cues. Here, I have tried not to duplicate the sites covered earlier. Either way, tell us about the best summer retreat you have been to, in the comments.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons