On a summer's day in July, we leave behind a rain-flustered London in the middle of an otherworldly thunderstorm following Britain's hottest day in years. The train speeds through English countryside until we're in the darkness of the Eurotunnel, and then - in what seems like the blink of an eye - we find ourselves on French soil.
With the A-level results in and university plans either scrapped or confirmed, the gap year exodus is soon to begin. Many young people will be seeking out character building volunteering projects in third world countries, determined to 'give something back' before years of hard study (and hard partying) take centre stage. But how informed a choice can anyone make about the volunteering trips on offer?
In the excitement of preparing for a holiday each year, it's easy to forget about the important measures everyone should take to protect their home when leaving it empty for a long period. Between January and December 2012, a total of 3,700,349 crimes were recorded by police, with burglary standing as one of the largest contributors.
Lighthouses are grand towers that are testament to man's long relationship with the sea and make some fabulous tourist attractions. Some historic lighthouses have even been turned into hotels. From the coast of New England to rugged shores of Australia, you'll find these beautiful guiding lights in every shape, size and colour.
Belonging to Spain, the Balearic Islands - Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera - are among Europe's most popular tourist destinations, welcoming a cumulative 2.5 million visitors in 2013 so far. With incredible natural beauty, excellent weather and Mediterranean coastlines, it's hardly a surprise that these Spanish islands are popular as holiday destinations.
Stepping out of the luxury speedboat sent to pick up guests of Soneva Kiri, the calm atmosphere of the resort has a tangible quality. As the latest addition to the hugely successful resort range pioneered developed by husband and wife team, Sonu Shivdasani and Eva Malmström Shivdasani, Soneva Kiri on Koh Kood island is a flawless, high-end version of what it means to have an eco-friendly holiday.
The range of adventure in Uganda is wide and hair-raising. Activities include game viewing, fishing trips, water fall cruises, silverback gorilla safari treks, white water rafting, African rainforest camping, chimp trekking and swamp walking. So having two days off to enjoy the country, of course I, chose the sedate activity of cruising down the Nile.
All the worries of a holiday are removed at Club Med. They literally think of everything. Once you enter the big gates you leave your cares behind. There is a fully stocked pharmacy, mini supermarket and even an onsite infirmary should you get ill. Most of all there are GOS, Gentil Organisers, who help with every single part of your day.