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Plan Big for Travel in 2011

January 4, 2011

La Tomatina: Your laundry's worst nightmare

Happy New Year! Hope you had a fantabulous weekend of excitement and debauchery, or at least a lot of ice cream. Ice cream is an excellent substitute for adventure when you’re in a bind.

Now that 2011 has officially begun, it’s time to think about that travel wish list that I know you’re keeping (a sort of travel bucket list, but more like places you want to go while you’re young and silly enough to enjoy them).

Sit down with a pen and paper, and maybe a map, and think about where you want this year to take you. Start by dreaming big. For example:

Get messy at La Tomatina – The biggest food fight in the world happens every year in Buñol, Spain. This year it will be held August 31st. Spain is a long way to go for a festival that only lasts one hour, but if you’re thinking about a summer trip to Europe, why not stop by? As the official site says in charming English, “It is great to be able to do something as nonsense as throwing tomatos to anyone moving for an hour. You can relieve all your tightness.”

Attend a Royal wedding – Personally, I think you’d have to be crazy to be in London on April 29th when Kate and William say their “I do”s, but if you’re willing to stand in massive crowds for hours, just for the chance to catch a glimpse of a carriage, go for it. Just book your hostel ASAP, and practice some meditative moves to keep calm as things carry on.

Howl at a Full Moon Party – The first Full Moon Party took place on the beach of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand, back in 1987. Over the past 20 years it’s grown from a few dozen revelers to more than 10,000 celebrants each month. It’s a destination for many backpackers, and has spawned several other Full Moon events around the world.

If Thailand isn’t on your agenda, but you’re still headed south for the winter, check out the happenings on Magnetic Island, just off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Every month there’s a new Full Moon Party at base backpackers.

As always, get your ISIC before you go anywhere to take advantage of the great discounts. The more you save, the longer you can play.

If a big trip isn’t in your budget this year, no worries. There are lots of options for shorter, smaller adventures closer to home. We’ll look at those tomorrow.

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