Egypt, Peru, Tahiti... There's a whole world out there to explore. But just where do you start? We asked some famous faces to reveal where they'll be jetting off to in 2006
"There are so many places that I'd like to go this year, although I don't have anything planned. I'm spending New Year skiing in Klosters with some friends and I'll be going to Calabria in southern Italy in the summer where my parents have a house. My whole family (five siblings, their partners and children) will all be going out to stay for a few weeks, which is always great fun. I'd also love to sail around Tahiti and go to South America. Apart from that, for work I'll be travelling to the usual places: Los Angeles, New York, Milan and Paris. We went to Africa on our honeymoon and I instantly fell in love with it, so I'd really like to take our daughter back to Mnemba Island off the coast of Tanzania. I'd also like to discover some new places there and stay in one or two of the remote safari lodges in Botswana's Okavango Delta, which I hear is amazing."
"I have almost no concrete plans, but I go to Japan, the States and Europe a lot for work so I'd like to do some more offbeat, unrelated travel. I know parts of Italy as well as I know my home town, but there are places like Positano and Sorrento on the Amalfi coast that I would like to explore. I would also like to stay on an island called Pantelleria. We nearly went a while ago - that's very high on my list. I'd also like to stay in more hotels in London. It would be quite nice to book into Claridge's for a night. I never did any backpacking and have never been to Greece - Symi is somewhere I've also wanted to see. Other destinations I'd like to visit are the Galapagos Islands, Egypt, Peru and India. I'd like to try to tick at least three out of four off my wishlist this year - life's too short."
Publisher, Rough Guides
"My travel plans are to fly less often and stay longer - a message that we will be promoting at Rough Guides to create more awareness of the role of flights in climate change. This will be a major issue at Rough Guides, which we will be getting across in all our books. We won't, of course, be suggesting people do not fly at all; we regard tourism as, overall, a force for good in the world. But we will be trying to get across the carbon cost of each flight and suggest that we add this to our travel budgets by contributing to one of the carbon offset schemes such as carbonneutral .com. I've just run through my own major trip of the year - to Costa Rica at Easter - and received the sobering news that my share of the flight will produce 1.96 tonnes of CO 2. To offset that would mean paying around £30 which carbonneutral would use to plant three trees or supply three energy-saving lightbulbs to the developing world. In the summer of 2006, I'm planning to go on holiday mostly around Britain, in particular Pembrokeshire. We go to this fantastic small hotel, The Druidstone, each year. If the sun shines, then there's nowhere in the Mediterranean in August that can compare."
Alain de Botton
Writer and philosopher
"Last year, my wife and I had our first child and this has placed some restriction on the amount of travelling I feel able to do. Travelling should be about spontaneity and freedom, and that's just what small children can hamper. Not that I'm bitter or resentful. In fact, a trip to the supermarket can be enough of a journey of discovery with a small child. This said, I will be making some work-related trips in 2006. I'm going to go on a tour of Australia and New Zealand to promote a new book. I'll also be going to the Netherlands and Ireland for the same reason. We have planned a break in the spring in a Landmark Trust property called Anderton House in Devon. It's the only modern property in the Landmark Trust portfolio and looks very light and sleek from the photos (but who knows what might happen in close-up?). Overall, I remain a sceptical traveller, very attached to home, sometimes afraid to leave my study and yet desperately interested in daydreaming about beautiful faraway lands where the sky is always blue and the air soft."
The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton is published by Hamish Hamilton on 20 April.
"I've been so lucky to go to so many amazing places last year: Costa Rica, New Zealand, Turkey Morocco, Dominica, Miami, Northern Ontario, Lebanon, Syria and Iceland were some of the highlights. I suppose that much travel might put some off, but it has just increased my wanderlust. This year I want to visit Argentina. I want to take a road trip north from Buenos Aires all the way up to Uruguay. I'm also determined to visit the west coast of Canada and see Vancouver before heading south into the States. I want to end up in the wilderness and try to find Bigfoot. I also intend to go skiing in Iran and continue in my tradition of pissing about in the axis of evil - tickets are surprisingly cheap. After skiing I then want to head up to the Caspian Sea and do an in-depth study of the caviar industry by eating as much of it as possible.
Antony Worrall Thompson
Chef and restaurateur
"I've got a house in Spain near Mijas; I usually go out six or eight times a year. I've got an avocado farm there, so I need to harvest my crop soon. In April, I'm going to Dubai for work and then India for a holiday. I'm hoping to take my family to Rajasthan to travel around a bit. My grandparents lived there for 38 years, so I want to show my wife around. I'm going to Cape Town at the end of May for work. But I usually build work and holiday into the same trip, so afterwards I'll go to Camps Bay and maybe to the winelands to relax. In December I'd like to go to the Ice Hotel in Sweden and do one of those snow safaris with sleighs and dogs - it's great fun for the kids."
Antony Worrall Thompson's GL Diet Made Simple with Dr Mabel Blades and Jane Suthering, Kyle Cathie Ltd, price £12.99 is published on 26 January.
ITN News presenter
"The first place I'll visit is Ashford Castle in the west of Ireland with the whole family. The logistics of getting my three babies from London is quite a production, but it will be beautiful. In February we're going to Le Saint Geran in Mauritius for a 10-day break without the kids. We're also going back to Ireland to Kenmare at the end of May. We got married in the Park Hotel there, so we know the area well and will be renting a house. My temptation this year is to go more locally with the children because they are quite young and then my husband and I will go further afield on our own. I hope to get to New York in the not too distant future.
My big expedition would be to go to the Galapagos Islands. We were going to go there in February but then we fancied a bit more of a relaxing break so we opted for Mauritius instead. A weekend in Italy would be great too. At the end of the year I hope to take the kids to South Africa. We usually go to Franschhoek and Hermanus and Camps Bay in Cape Town. I used to be more spur-of-the-moment, but with three babies you have to be organised."
"I love to travel whether for business or pleasure and am lucky enough to do so often. For me, experiencing different cultures, customs, smells and sounds is hugely inspiring and is key to my creative process. However, returning home to my husband and son after being away on business is the most important thing to me and is a time that I cherish. This year I will be visiting Thailand for the first time, because my best friend is getting married there. I adore Paris and have fond memories of celebrating my wedding anniversary there last year, but this year we are planning a trip to Prague for a few days.
design commentator and writer
"My sole travel ambition for 2006 is to visit the Hotel du Midi in Lamastre, in the Ardeche, where Elizabeth David wrote much of her wonderful French cook books. Apart from that, the more I travel, the fewer places I want to explore. The list grows longer everyday. Travel does not broaden my mind, rather narrows it. Stuff Tajikstan, I tend to think more and more about the places where I want to return. The Campo de Fiori in Rome, any time at all, or that place I was driven to one amazingly stormy, blue-black, lightning-shot, El Greco night in Galicia - an hour by old Citroen from Santiago de Compostela, a finca with sooty masonry and even sootier pans full of bright tortilla, rough bread, jugs of wine, roaring fires. The tiny island of Comino, off Malta, reached by Homerically tossing boat. Or the dark apartment in an old palazzo in Venice where I first spent the night with the woman now my wife. The salon of Chateau Guiraud in Sauternes on a wintry November morning, absolute silence, mist and a Baccarat glass of the local wine to hand. The train station at Aranda del Duero, a dusty roll with greasy sausage. The impossible romance of the Trois Couronnes at Vevey, net curtains rustling in the breeze off the lake. That old chalet in the Jura with a mountain ham and a carafe of fendant. Getting a Rolls-Royce Corniche stuffed in the car park of the Colombe d'Or in St Paul-de-Vence. I hope I'll do all these again. I hope this year."
"I am locked to my desk without moving until the end of June, because I have to finish my next book, The Last Mughal. Then I'm going to be like a school kid let loose after weeks in class and am planning to do a lot of travelling in the summer - particularly in the Middle East. I'm going to revisit Egypt to see what has happened since they opened Holy Mountain and I also want to go to see some of the Whirling Dervishes dancing in Turkey to write a piece. The incredibly beautiful buildings are falling into decay and I particularly want to see the ones in Turkey and Syria. After nine months in India, I've also got the urge to get to see wet and moss and want to do a tour of the high crosses in Ireland. In the autumn when I go back to Delhi I am very keen to do some exploring in Sind in Pakistan and Baluchistan, a bit I don't know. There's a very interesting story, which I've always wanted to check up on. Some Victorians claim they found a sect of dervishes at Phatta at the mouth of the Indus, who claimed to be converts made by St Thomas. Even if nothing turns up it would be lovely to investigate."
I tend to do about 20 trips a year, so I'm always about to go somewhere. In January I shall be travelling to Thailand and Hong Kong for a holiday. In February I will be going to Miami to participate in the Miami Festival, where I will be joining other chefs and cooking a sumptuous dinner at the Versace residence. In May, I will be in Dubai for the Gourmet Food Festival. In July, I will be going to Brisbane in Australia for a promotional tour for my latest book, Eggs. Several times a year I go to my house in the south of France. I spend a lot of time in the markets sourcing local products and enjoying the warmer weather but, most importantly, it allows me to escape the world for a little and relax. Throughout the year, I'll also be "working at sea" with Celebrity Cruises for which I am the food and wine consultant, so I'll be travelling around the Caribbean, Alaska and the Mediterranean. I would also like to go across the USA on a Harley Davidson, taking in Las Vegas, and I think 2006 might be the right time."
Former athlete and TV pundit
"I want to go to South America, particularly Buenos Aires (above). I know people who've been there and had a brilliant time. Not only that, but it's cheap. I'm going to try to get there in the autumn because I'm not the best at coping with stifling heat. I'm not a beach lover so I need conditions that suit exploring a city. When you travel for sport, you don't see much of a country. I have a busy year ahead for travel. I'll be in South Africa for Sport Relief, Italy for the Winter Olympics and Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games."
Colin Jackson appears in the BBC travel show Departure Lounge in the spring
Chef, co-proprietor of the River Café
"I'm going to Oaxaca in Mexico (above) to stay with some architect friends for New Year. I'll also be going to New York a lot because my husband [the architect Lord Rogers] has won a competition to do the Javits Convention Center. In the spring we will ski in Courcheval. Rose (my partner in the River Café) and I always try to go to Italy a few times a year to do research for our books and the restaurant. My husband is also doing a building in Barcelona, so we'll be going there. And I'm desperate to go to Paris. We'll also go to the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany for August. I'm married to someone who thinks about the next trip on the plane home."
"I would love to travel on the Ghan train from Adelaide to Darwin (above). My wife is from Melbourne so I go to Australia every year but we usually end up sitting under a pergola having a suburban barbecue for two weeks. The Ghan railway opened two years ago, and they've built a new line that runs from the south to the north. I'm not sure I'd go with my wife because she's not keen on travelling by train. I may go off in a huff and do this trip next time I'm in Australia out of frustration for wanting to see the country."
Al Murray's DVD Giving It Both Barrels is out on Universal.Reuse content