Our Expert Guide to Revenge Travel: What it Is and Where to Go
It’s time to take that trip you’ve always been dreaming of
If you’ve been keeping up with travel news, you may have heard the term revenge travel floating around. But what is revenge travel? Well, as travel experts, we here at Plum Guide have the answers (of course). From craving the outdoors to looking to splash the cash, let us take you through some of the key aspects of revenge travel, and the best places to travel with your newfound freedom.
What is revenge travel?
As the world emerges from a post-pandemic environment, travel plans that were put on hold are now allowed to go ahead, so holiday-goers are seeking revenge on Covid. All that time spent in lockdown has instilled wanderlust for many people around the world, and with travel finally back on the cards, it seems that planning for adventure can once again become a reality.
This revenge travel trend that multiple destinations around the world will experience over the next few years is essentially people visiting places simply because they can. Luckily for you, we've put together some of our top picks for revenge travel destinations. So, whether you want to relax on a beach, venture into the desert, marvel at geysers, or explore historical sites, now is the time to fill your boots.
Put lockdown behind you in the Algarve, Portugal
An aerial view of large brown cliffs surrounding the blue sea in the Algarve, Portugal
Set on Portugal’s south coast, the Algarve is a region blessed with golden beaches, charming fishing villages, a warm climate, and delicious cuisine. Naturally, the best place to put lockdown behind you is the beach. Experts are already seeing that sun and sand destinations are proving most popular for revenge travellers so far and who can blame them? Having spent so much time locked up indoors over the past few years, there’s a real yearning amongst everyone to get out there and enjoy nature and the outdoors again. You’ve also got the added benefit that Covid-19 spreads far less easily when you’re outside in wide, open spaces.
So, the Algarve is perfect. Praia de Dona Ana has beautiful calm waters and is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Meanwhile, you can head to Ponta da Piedade to see beautiful headland with jagged limestone cliffs forming natural arches and caves. While you’re at it, make sure to visit Algarve’s many quaint seaside villages. Ferragudo is picture-perfect, with whitewashed buildings, narrow cobbled streets, and a peaceful harbour. Alternatively, head to Carvoeiro - just ten minutes away. This is a great place to spend a relaxed day, with traditional houses overlooking the quiet beach, and an array of shops and restaurants available to peruse. AAnd seeing as we’re all lusting for the great outdoors, an alternative to the Algarve’s beach scene is Serra de Monchique, a mountain range with fantastic views (makes a change to the same four walls, right?). Take one of the nature trails through shady woodland all the way up to Pico da Foia, the highest point in the Algarve at 900 metres.
Make new memories in Lombok, Indonesia
A bird's eye view of boats on clear blue water at a beach in Lombok, Indonesia
Bali may be beautiful, but we suggest skipping the crowds and heading straight to Lombok, the quieter, more peaceful island right next door. With endless beaches, glistening turquoise waters, lush rainforest, rice terraces, and towering mountains, Lombok is the definition of tropical paradise. Where better to spend some quality family time?
For many of us, a huge part of revenge travel is about spending time with your favourite people, making new memories and enjoying the pleasure of being on holiday with your loved ones again. Perhaps you had a dream trip already lined up in 2020, only to see it cancelled by the pandemic. This year will see the first time many of us can get away and properly enjoy the experience of a family trip since Covid first hit.
Lombok is packed full of things to do for all of you. On the south coast, you’ll find an unforgettable expanse of white sandy beaches and rolling hills. The main town of Kuta is a laid-back surfer town, offering a great choice of shops and cafes - so all the essentials. On the island’s west coast is the bustling city of Mataram where you can explore traditional markets, historical sites, and street food - tasting the local life is one way to truly appreciate the fact that you're no longer stuck at home. Further up the west coast is the sleepy resort town of Senggigi. Surrounded by quiet beaches, this is the ideal place for families and couples who want a quieter holiday.
Venturing north, you have the Gilis - three small islands known for their white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. After a day of frolicking in the water or learning to dive, head to one of the many bars and restaurants for a sundowner on the beach. From the Gilis, you may well catch a glimpse of the majestic Mt Rinjani—the crown of Lombok. If you’re up for the challenge, you can take a guided trek up to the summit of Indonesia’s third tallest volcano at 3,726 metres. Not feeling so active? Admire views of the mountain from the many charming waterfalls at its base.
Return to travel in style in Tuscany, Italy
A small cottage next to tall green trees in front of a blue sky on a sunny day in Tuscany, Italy
With its rolling green hills, fields of sunflowers, endless vineyards, and medieval hilltop villages, there are few places more idyllic than Tuscany, and few better places to really indulge. Experts believe that most of us on a revenge travel mission will be willing to splash the cash. It makes sense, right? After such a tough couple of years, many of us are feeling inclined to treat ourselves (rightly so) and with not a lot happening apart from working at home, the savings have been stacked high. We’re all ready to spend a little more and really enjoy ourselves once again.
So, where to go with all those Euro notes? Well, the vineyards in the Chianti region produce some of Italy’s finest wines, so oenophiles won’t want to miss a glass or five here. You can even pair a wine tasting with truffle hunting, a luxurious foodie treasure found in Tuscany. On the topic of food, this area of Italy is the crème de la crème of Italian cuisine, so where better to splash the cash? If you can peel yourself away from the table, sleep off that food coma on a sun lounger on Tuscany’s picturesque coastline, where you’ll find turquoise waters and sandy beaches waiting. You can even take a boat trip to Elba, the largest of the islands off the Tuscan coast, for its relaxing beaches, historical sites, and excellent scuba diving spots.
Don’t forget the many beautiful cities to explore such as Siena, Lucca and Pisa and of course, the Renaissance city of Florence. Here, shopaholics can find the iconic high-end names and brands they’re craving. It’s also worth remembering that the city is built on textiles and crafts - a place where you can find plenty of markets, full of unique trinkets just begging to go home with you.
See the famous sights of Cairo, Egypt
A wide-angle view of the Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Egypt
Egypt’s sprawling capital is a labyrinth of streets, courtyards, markets, and mosques. The first stop you should make is, without a doubt, the Pyramids of Giza and the nearby Great Sphinx of Giza. Situated right on the edge of the city, this complex of 4,000 year old royal pyramids, temples, and causeways is an incredible piece of history - a must-see for anyone visiting Egypt.
Indeed, if the pandemic has done anything for us, it has sharpened our minds about what we really want to go and see as travellers. There are so many iconic landmarks and sights that make for a compelling bucket list, so revenge travel will likely see more and more people trying to strike these off. With this in mind, you should visit the pyramids in the afternoon - you’ll avoid the crowds and see them at their very best (they’re simply mesmerising at sunset). If this doesn't satisfy your craving for revenge on Covid, we don't know what will.
As you can imagine, there are many museums in Cairo which are worth visiting (you could spend several lifetimes here), but the Egyptian Museum, the Coptic Museum, and the Museum of Islamic Art are particularly fascinating. On top of this, if you’re at all interested in architecture, then you’ll enjoy a visit to one of Cairo’s many eye-catching mosques. In particular, the Sultan Hassan Mosque is arguably the finest example of Mamluk architecture in the world, with intricate arabesque features and stalactite details.
For a little retail therapy, step into medieval Cairo at the Khan el Khalili bazaar. Meander through the 14th-century alleyways and indulge yourself in everything from spices and fabrics, to perfumes and lanterns. Of course, no visit to Cairo is complete without a relaxing cruise down the River Nile, so grab your lifejacket. It’s especially magical at dusk, as the call to prayer echoes around the city.
Really reset your batteries in Rhodes, Greece
A view of ancient ruins at the Acropolis of Lindos in Rhodes, Greece
Offering a mix of coastline, nature, charming towns, and as much history as you can get your hands on, Rhodes is the perfect place for revenge travel. In some shape of form, we’ve all suffered over the past few years. Collectively, it has been a struggle, and that’s why travelling is once again seen as such a high priority for so many people. Vacations are a fantastic release - a way to put the past behind us, forget about the dark days, and truly recharge. It’s important, and there’s no better place to do it than Rhodes.
A must-see is the Old Town of Rhodes, the largest medieval city in Europe. Combining Greek, Ottoman, and Italian heritage, the city belongs in a film with its cobblestone streets, vaulted passageways, peaceful courtyards, and ancient churches. Another popular town is Lindos, known for its clifftop acropolis - an incredible ruin dating back to 408 BC, complete with panoramic views of the coast. For more historical sites, make sure to visit the Street of the Knights, the Monastery of Filerimos, and Monolithos Castle.
But wait, what about the rest and relaxation that’s so important? Well, there’s an endless array of popular beaches in Rhodes, but if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter then the picturesque beaches of Agios Pavlos and Gennadi promise smaller crowds. Tsambika Beach is another pretty spot, with its shallow, bright blue waters protected by the craggy slopes. You can even try water sports if simply paddling in the sea is a little too slow paced for you. Meanwhile, the appealingly-named Valley of the Butterflies is a haven of lush greenery and waterfalls that makes for an unforgettable ramble through nature. Revenge has never been so picturesque.
Focus on the bucket list in Reykjavik, Iceland
A view of crystalline blue water and black rocks a Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland is on a huge number of bucket lists, so why not take the trip of a lifetime to the Land of Fire and Ice to really put lockdown behind you? As we mentioned with Cairo, people are thinking about those bucket lists more than ever before. The pandemic has stolen two years where we could’ve seen some of the things that matter most, so experts are now noticing a real uptick in how keen and eager travellers are to get out there and have these experiences.
And where better than Iceland? Known for its otherworldly landscapes of volcanoes, ice, lakes, and waterfalls, it's one of the best outdoor destinations in the world. Whether you want to visit majestic waterfalls like Skógafoss and Gullfoss Falls, experience the wonder of the Geysir, or marvel at the black sands of the moody Reynisfjara beach, there truly is something for everyone. And on top of all this, you'll even get the chance to go whale watching (don't pass up this opportunity). The most common species you’ll see on a boat tour are humpback whales and minke whales, although if you’re lucky, you may even spot a killer whale too. Fancy getting in the water yourself? A healing dip in the Blue Lagoon might be a little more luxurious, and certainly a whole lot warmer.
Take note - the Westfjords don’t see as many tourists compared to other parts of Iceland, but we think this area is well worth a visit. Not only will you avoid the crowds, but you’ll also get to witness jaw dropping natural features like the towering cliffs of Hornstrandir, the tumbling Dynjandi Waterfalls, and the picture-perfect Arnarfjordur Bay. Of course, no visit to Iceland would be complete without seeing the Northern Lights either, so make time for an evening trip out. Take a drive out of Reykjavik to get the best views of the phenomenon, to well and truly get your revenge.