Manifestos. Ballots. Voting stations. With the General Election dominating the news, we wanted you to have your say on holidays. So, we asked you to tell us your dream long-haul destination. Then, we totted up the votes to reveal 2017’s hot spots, as chosen by you lot. We’ve pulled out a few secret spots in each destination, too – so you can have the place to yourself when you get there…
Your winning line up:
…More like Mexi-go! Get the tacos and tequila shots in – Mexico’s delighted to be your winner. We’re not surprised, really. What with ancient Mayan ruins, first-rate beaches and jungles full of exotic animals, it’s no wonder you love this Caribbean stud muffin. But, if you fancy heading to a part that nobody’s really discovered, try Contoy Island. Only a small number of people are allowed there each day, and its shallow waters are teeming with coral reefs and tropical fish – making it a snorkeller’s paradise.
We’re sure reggae king Bob Marley would be jammin’ at the news Jamaica came in second. The island lives up to all the stereotypes you’ve been dreaming about – spicy jerk chicken, palm-fringed beaches and super chilled vibes. Make sure you head to Montego Bay, or Mo-Bay as the locals call it. You’ll find streets packed with historical buildings and colourful markets, and you can chill on its half-empty beaches. Keep a look out for Simon Cowell and other celebs when you’re there – we’ve heard it’s their stomping ground.
Zooming over the finish line in third place is Cuba. We’re sure its famous cigars, rum bars and infectious beats helped win your vote. But, we also reckon colour capital Havana swayed you. Riding around the gorgeous city in an American car from the Fifties is pretty unbeatable. But, if you do want to go further afield, check Cayo Santa Maria, a secret island with all the castaway credentials. It’s part of the Jardines Del Rey archipelago, which is formed of hundreds of keys and islets. There’s a man-made causeway link from mainland Cuba that gets you there in no time. You didn’t hear it from us.
Or, fancy somewhere nobody’s shouting about?
We’ll let you in on a little secret. Vietnam is a pretty undiscovered long-haul spot – probably because it’s been in the shadow of Thailand for a while now. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t win your vote, though. There are loads of unusual things to explore, including a pearl farm and pepper plantations. And, make sure you check out Long Beach. Its waters are filled with bio-luminescent plankton that turn the waters into a twinkling blue light show at night. Move over Oxford Street Christmas lights – this place trumps any other show. And there’s no electricity bill, either.
First Choice Manifesto
I know we said we weren’t going to talk about politics, but we’ve got a few policies we think you’ll love. We just had to share them, really. Free kids’ places is one – so you can take one child away for free per every two paying adults. Use our free kids’ place finder to bag yours.* And, we’ve got low deposits on offer, so you can secure your deals from just £75 per person and spread the cost. We’re sure we’ll be prime minister in no time. Or maybe just your favourite holiday company.