They say good things come to those who wait. We’d like to amend that to: good things come to those who obsess, sketch out a master plan and then wait. That’s why we’re already thinking about summer travel and reveling in all the goodness that’s coming our way in just a few months. Here, we’ve rounded up the trends for summer ’17, including where to go, how to capture your trip and what apps to use on your phone.
1 Escapes to Portugal
If you don’t Instagram a trip to Portugal, did your summer even happen? The Iberian country has made just about every travel hotlist this year. To avoid the crowds, head an hour south of Lisbon to bohemian Comporta and stay at the aptly named Sublime Comporta. The hotel is set on 17 acres of woodland and features minimalist cabanas with indoor/outdoor fireplaces and private pools. And speaking of Insta…
2 Instagram slideshows
If it pains you to pick between shots for your feed, Instagram has an update for you. The new slideshow function lets you combine up to 10 photos in a single post, giving you 10x the social media mileage out of your summer holiday pics (you can practically publish a dissertation on feet-in-sand images). One large panoramic shot, split between slides, works especially well.
3 Beach breaks in Canada
The sands of Ontario are not as famous as, say, Malibu, Copacabana or Marseilles, but they do have their own path-less-travelled-by type of charm. Stay at Drake Devonshire, a farmhouse-style inn with regular bonfires on the shores of Lake Ontario, and hit up the secluded beaches nearby. The hotel has cruiser bicycles to borrow, and they’ll even pack you a gourmet lunch to go, complete with local vino.
4 Making lists
Google Maps recently unveiled its new ‘Lists’ feature, which is particularly relevant to travellers. Previously, you could ‘star’ favourite spots, but you couldn’t organise or share these locations. Now, you can curate the best record shops in Tokyo, or create a full Paris itinerary in list form, then save it for offline reading and share with friends.
5 Playlist subscriptions
So, you made a mix for your summer road trip years back (featuring ‘On the Road Again,’ no doubt) and you’ve been plugging in and jamming out to those same songs each holiday ever since? Refresh your music with minimal effort. Download an app called Noon Pacific for access to a 10-song playlist each Monday at noon. The tunes come curated by the extremely picky Clark Dinnison from a shack in Newport Beach, California.
6 Water-on-water pools
If you’ve seen your fair share of infinities, it’s time to be dazzled by a different type of piscine: the pools that sit atop bodies of water. Now, these aren’t necessarily new in 2017, but if you’ve been waiting to visit one, let this listicle be the nudge you needed (we’re practically placing the goggles on your head). You could jet to Italy to soak at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo – they have a heated pool that floats on Lake Como (talk about choice real estate). Or, head to Sydney, where historic pools like Wylie’s Baths and Icebergs sit, literally, on the ocean and cost about the same as a cup of coffee for entrance.
7 NYC’s boutique hotel boom
True, the Catskills is having a moment – especially with new hotels like Scribner’s Lodge and Foxfire Mountain House – and the Hamptons will always be a go-to summer destination in the Empire State. However, there’s still reason to stick around the city, such as Arlo Hudson Square hotel, which opened in September and features urban-cabin rooms and a rooftop bar that overlooks the Hudson River. Additionally, the Arlo NoMad, which has an Italian-Asian fusion restaurant decked in graffiti, opened in November. Boutique hotels in New York have never been cooler.
8 Low-tech Japan
Think beyond Tokyo: a stay at the Suiran Hotel in Kyoto means spring-fed onsen baths, Hozugawa River views and visits to Unesco-protected shrines. Then there’s Amanemu, a resort dotted with hot springs that sits within Ise-Shima National Park, about two and a half hours southeast of Kyoto. Rooms are minimalist, the pool overlooks a forest, and the 2,000-square-metre spa takes advantage of the area’s natural, mineral-rich water. You won’t see a skyscraper or a flashing neon sign for miles.
9 Great British boltholes
Shake whatever preconceived notions you have of English country-house hotels – revamped digs on sprawling properties, with bikes to borrow and laid-back bars to frequent, are serene, not stuffy. The Fish hotel in the Cotswolds, for example, has added five new ‘Hilly Huts’ – quirky standalone rooms with private deck seating and a hot tub. Then there’s Cowley Manor: the exterior is stately stone, but inside there are loads of funky flourishes, like mod furniture and cowhide window seats. Plus, there’s a slate-lined indoor pool, an outdoor pool, and a billiard room with leather-padded walls. Yes, rural rules this summer.
10 Workshops led by locals
These days you can stay at a hotel and leave with more than mini toiletries and maybe a tan; you can check out with a new skill. Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm in Albuquerque, New Mexico hosts botanical drawing classes, Ayurvedic cooking lessons and organic farming experiences. In Newfoundland, Fogo Island Inn offers art workshops and boat-building technique. Think of your stay like a souped-up summer camp for adults.
Featured image is Sublime Comporta in Portugal