Where Heather will be travelling in Spring 2013?

With 2012 behind us it’s time to look forward to exciting travel plans for 2013 – doesn’t everyone like to have something to look forward to? I want to share with you where I’ll be heading this spring and if you’ve visited these destinations and have any tips for me I’d love to hear from you.

Children are given new clothes in India Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Children are given new clothes in India

January – A charity visit to Andhra Pradesh, India

What’s it all about? Through my local church I have connections with a rural parish near Kurnool, India and am trustee of a charity to support the education of children and other community projects there. My last visit to India for this charity was a few years ago when I spent a few days in a rural Indian village, meeting sponsored children, visiting a school and orphanage and visiting the stone quarries where many of the local people work, and I’m expecting that this visit will be very similar. Read about my experience Meeting my Indian sponsor child on my last visit.

What my travel plans? I’ll be flying in and out of Hyderabad where my hotel at Mercure Abids has been kindly provided by AsiaRooms.com, before driving up to Kurnool where I’ll be based while visiting the local villages where different families, schools and community projects are being supported. I’ll be travelling with another couple who are involved with the charity and we’ll return from Kurnool to Hyderabad by train which I’m expecting will be an experience in itself.

What am I hoping for? A bit of shopping for fun jewellery (I love my dangly earings) and cool Indian clothes, maybe some textiles or gifts in Hyderabad; Meeting the young girl and her family that I personally sponsor; Staying a night in the village with an Indian family to feel what it’s like to live on £1 a day; Seeing how the goats, mango trees, wells and community centres that our charity has helped support are helping the community.

Prince Hall Hotel, Dartmoor Photos: Princehall.co.uk

Prince Hall Hotel, Dartmoor

January – A Country House Hotel break on Dartmoor, Devon

What’s it all about? My husband absolutely loves Dartmoor and we were there in August with my teenage son and some of his friends. On our walks across Dartmoor we spotted the Prince Hall Hotel that is within the Dartmoor National Park and I’ll be spending a weekend there with my husband. Read about our last Wild and Wet adventure weekend on Dartmoor.

What are my travel plans? It’s an easy drive down from Bristol to Dartmoor for the weekend and we hope to meet up with some friends who live locally as well as enjoying some walking and other activities on Dartmoor.

What am I hoping for? Good local food, roaring log fires, time to relax with my husband, bracing walks on the moor and adding a few Tors to our collection. We’ve arranged to do a bit of Nordic walking on Dartmoor which I’m hoping will leave us both feeling fit and healthy after the Christmas season.

The Chain Bridge, Budapest Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Chain Bridge, Budapest

February – a long weekend in Budapest

What’s it all about? I visited Budapest with my family in 2010 as part of a week’s holiday and loved the city which has both wide 19th century boulevards and medieval cobbled streets. As my niece is currently working in Budapest it seemed a great opportunity to pay a return visit with my parents to explore a bit more of the city. Listen to our Hungary holiday podcast, covering Budapest and Laka Balaton.

What are my travel plans? I’ll be there for a long weekend, hosted by Avios (previously Airmiles) where you can use points collected when you shop to fund flights, hotels and other travel services. We’ll be flying British Airways from London Heathrow and staying at the Intercontinental Hotel Budapest, an elegant, 5 star hotel overlooking the Danube. We’ll be exploring some of the sights on both sides of the river and discovering any local haunts that my niece can lead us to.

What am I hoping for? An interesting dynamic from spending time with different generations of my family, a visit to one of the famous Hungarian baths which I didn’t have time for on my previous visit, to find the restaurants where the locals rather than the tourist go that my niece can recommend, perhaps to learn a bit of Hungarian dancing (I hear it’s a rather cool thing to do these days).

Taghazout in Morocco Photo: Vincentraal on Flickr

Taghazout in Morocco

April – Pretending I’m a surf chick in Morocco

What’s it all about? As my children are now old enough to travel independently and would rather be with their friends than their parents, I have to be a little devious when it comes to family holidays. My oldest son has taken to surfing in a big way, since he went to university in Wales, so when I heard that Taghazout in Morocco is a mecca for surfers, I decided it would be the perfect place for us to go for a family break over Easter.

What are my travel plans? We fly to Agadir and pick up a hire car, then drive up the coast to Taghazout where we’ll be renting an apartment by the beach. I’m not optimistic that I’ll be any good at the surfing, so I may stick to the yoga, but I’ve heard that there are a few interesting things to see nearby such as Paradise Valley where there are waterfalls and pools to swim in.

What am I hoping for? A laid back Moroccan vibe and youthful atmosphere that my teenage kids will enjoy, to get up on a surf board at least once in the trip, to try out some yoga and flex out those muscles that are stiff from sitting over a computer, to enjoy some delicious local Moroccan food and eat out every night without spending a fortune.

Rhine River cruise Photo: Lüftner Cruises

May – A European River cruise with my husband on the Rhine

What’s it all about? My husband has been telling me he’d like to try a river cruise and as his wish is my command, I’ve arranged for us to join a cruise on the Rhine with Lüftner Cruises. A few years ago I’d have mentally marked this as the kind of trip that my parents would enjoy and that I’d find rather tame, but as time passes I’m finding the idea of  seeing a lot of interesting places in comfort rather attractive.

What are my travel plans? We fly to Basel in Switzerland where we join our ship, the Amadeus Princess and over the next few days will stop at Strasbourg with excursions to visit the Alsace wine region, Speyer, Mannheim, Ruedesheim, Koblenz, Cochem and will disembark in Cologne to fly back to the UK.

What am I hoping for? An introduction to the whole river cruising experience, beautiful views of the castles and towns along the banks of the Rhine, great food and wine both on board and as part of some of the excursions, interesting sightseeing in the towns and cities that we visit on the cruise, to see a lot of different places while only having to unpack once and the chance to relax with my husband.

I’m really excited about all of my travel plans and am expecting that each of them will bring a different kind of enjoyment and experience. I hope you’ll follow along with me as I share these travel experiences on the blog, through videos and podcasts to bring you the sights and sounds of my experience and on my Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels.

If you have visited any of the places I’ve mentioned, please do leave me any tips that you have in the comments, I’m waiting to hear from you …..

Photo credits: Prince Hall Hotel by PrinceHall.co.uk, Taghazout by Vincentraal, Rhine River cruise by Lüftner Cruises, other photos by Heatheronhertravels.com

Disclosure: Some but by no means all elements of the trips I have planned are being hosted by the companies mentioned in this article.

This article by Heather Cowper is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

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  • Reply
    Donna Hull
    January 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Your spring 2013 travel plans sound fabulous! I especially envy your country house hotel break in Dartmoor, Devon. I’m rest, relax and recharge.

    My husband and I cruised the same Rhine itinerary that you’ll be taking, only in reverse. The Rhine River gorge is especially scenic and a UNESCO World Heritage site. I can’t wait to read more about your Amadeus experience. We often think of river cruises as being a travel experience for the elderly. I discovered that it’s totally the opposite. You’ll have plenty of walking opportunities and stay busy as much as you like. Have a good time!
    Donna Hull´s last blog post ..Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      January 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      @Donna Thanks, I’ll look forward to reading more about your Rhine trip to glean some tips for mine

  • Reply
    Peter McFadden
    January 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I’ve just come home from a 3-week backpacking trip in Burma. This is a wonderful country with delightful people, friendly and very helpful. Backpacking my not be to your liking, or maybe it would. Burma is a country about to change. It’s well worth a visit
    Peter McFadden´s last blog post ..Association Honey Show 2012

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      January 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      @peter Thanks for the tip about Burma, I know quite a few people who have been there recently and it sounds a fascinating place.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Sounds like your 2013 will start out fabulous! I know how it is with these teenagers, as my sons are also getting older. We are currently in Zihuatanejo, Mexico and I knew I could get them to want to go, because of the jet skis and the parasailing! They also love Mexican shopping (trinkets). But each year it does get harder and harder to get them on board with some of the trips that I take!
    pointsandtravel´s last blog post ..2012: The travel year in review: 8 countries, 38 cities and lots of extraordinary experiences!

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      January 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      @pointsandtravel We mums have to get a bit devious if we want to spend any time with our teenagers – I’ll have to put Mexico on my list as it sounds great for teenagers

  • Reply
    Sherry Ott
    January 2, 2013 at 2:24 am

    What a super lineup! Hoping our paths may cross again this year! I’ll be in Berlin in March – but not sure after that. Your trip to India sounds wonderful – can’t wait to see what you think of it! Happy New Year Heather!
    Sherry Ott´s last blog post ..Postcard from Buenos Aires

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      January 2, 2013 at 8:25 am

      @Sherry Happy New year and hope to catch you in person somewhere in 2013

  • Reply
    Jim Hamm
    January 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Heather…I’m sure you’ll really enjoy the Rhine River cruise. My wife and I have done four river trips in Europe and loved every one of them. It is our favorite way to travel, for many reasons. One reason is there is always something to view and look at. The one we haven’t done is the river cruise into Russia, which we may do. Enjoy your trips, and we’ll keep reading about your travels….Jim

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      January 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      @Jim Thanks, I’m really looking forward to our Rhine Cruise and perhaps it will be the start of many more as it was for you.

  • Reply
    Kay Dougherty
    January 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Heather,

    Wow – that looks like a lot of fun and a lot of variety and only makes my travel itch that much itchier! I was in Budapest a long time (15 years) ago and really enjoyed it. I managed to ride the subway system but didn’t have a phone with a camera at the time. The names of the stations were very hard to remember so it might be useful to take pictures of the names where you need to go to to return to your hotel, etc.

    Also my friend and I went to see The Sound of Music (live theater production) at a gorgeous old theater. I kept being annoyed that Maria was a brunette – we all know she’s a blonde!

    Please be very very careful to stay safe in India – I”m sure you’re all too aware of the terrible things that have happened to women there recently – well actually forever!

    Also it was interesting to learn that river cruises aren’t only for oldies – they’ve intrigued me but I was afraid it’d be what I’d call The Bird Watchers on Prune Juice Crowd!

    Kay (aka Blonde)
    Kay Dougherty´s last blog post ..Home Exchange? Home Away?

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      January 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      @Kay Thanks for the tip about Budapest metro names, I find my i-Phone is really useful for that kind of thing. I’ll be fine in India, I’m travelling with another couple and will be looked after by our charity contacts, just hope I don’t get the dreaded tummy bugs. I think cruises are for all ages these days, you just need to choose your cruise line and ship carefully, we have friends with 2 children who have become cruise addicts.

  • Reply
    Greg Prohl
    January 9, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Sounds like lots of excitement ahead – I’ll be especially interested to read about your Budapest journey as we plan to be there in late spring, probably May. Have a great time!
    Greg Prohl´s last blog post ..The Pacific Northwest Coast of Washington and Oregon

  • Reply
    Andrea Moro
    February 21, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Your travel plan is absolutely amazing. I wish I could have all this time to go in such a beautiful places.
    Perhaps I should play more often to the lottery, so to have some chances to give up working and travelling more.

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