Whoever said failure to prepare is preparation for failure clearly never experienced the thrill of being spontaneous or, for that matter, the chaos of trying to juggle (delete as appropriate) family/work/home/pets/social life. While it's all very commendable to book things months and years in advance, sometimes life just gets in the way. Never more so than with planning holidays. Lucky for you, we're here to take away all the stress of the holiday planning process and, what's more, there is still summer availability in some of our favourite destinations...

South Africa vineyard

South Africa

It may be winter in South Africa but there's never a bad time to explore the Cape. Think exquisite food at world-renowned restaurants in Cape Town, prime whale watching in Hermanus and relaxing sojourns to the winelands, all without the crowds. What's more, winter is dry season in the northern safari regions so it's perfect for game viewing in the likes of Madikwe and the Waterberg.

Koh Ker temple

Cambodia and Vietnam

Indochina is home to several micro-climates and at this time of year both Siem Reap in Cambodia and central Vietnam enjoy some lovely warm weather, which makes for a perfect culture and beach combo. Explore the temples of Angkor Wat and learn how to cook traditional Khmer food in Cambodia before heading to Vietnam to meet the artisans of Hoi An and end your trip with some relaxing beach time.

sicily bay

Sicily, Italy

Summer in Europe is a classic and it doesn't get much better than the ancient ruins, quaint villages and Mediterranean landscapes of Sicily. Amazingly, one of our favourite hotels in the region, Verdura Resort, still has some availability for this summer. For families, the hotel has a fantastic kids club and activities galore, from golf to tennis and watersports. Grown ups meanwhile will enjoy exploring the beautiful Greek temples at Agrigento and some excellent local wineries.

yawning hippo

Zambia

Zambia is home to some of Africa's finest game reserves and most scenic natural wonders, including the great Victoria Falls and Zambezi river. It's also the home of the walking safari and there are few greater wildlife experiences than spotting Big Five game, wild dogs and countless species of bird while walking through the bush, apart from perhaps canoeing along the mighty Zambezi in search of game. Both of which can be done on our South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi safari itinerary.

Four Seasons private villa sundeck

The Maldives

It may be off-season in the Maldives during our summer but there are still some incredible experiences to be had. The summer months see majestic manta rays gather at Hanifaru Bay in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere, and snorkelling or diving amongst this massive gathering is a simply extraordinary experience. This summer the Baa Atoll will also host a 'dine around' event between 30 July and 3 August where guests can dine at hotels around the atoll, including two of our favourites Soneva Fushi and Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru.