January is finally over and, boy, was it a long one. But winter ain't over yet, people. We still have to survive February. Lucky for you the Original Travel Department for Life Enhancement (sounds dangerous) has come up with a few key tactics for seeing out a seemingly endless winter. Headline actions include regular breaks for day-dreaming about exotic climes, browsing our website for inspiration (this is obviously our totally unbiased advice) and, most importantly, booking a summer holiday. Because what better beacon of hope is there than everyone's favourite holiday of the year? Here are a few of our favourite destinations and experiences for the perfect summer escape...
Whether you're looking for a family-friendly resort-style ranch or a fully immersive, real McCoy situation, ranching in Montana is about as authentically American as it gets. Yeehaaww.
Alternatively, (vertigo sufferers look away now because we're about to take things up a notch, literally), climb the Via Ferrata route in Italy for an exhilarating European experience. Make your way across rope bridges and up iron ladders to the highest peaks in the breathtakingly beautiful Dolomites.
Test the local brew in Argentina (wine counts as culture, right?) Now that's established, head to north west Argentina this summer where the vineyards are famous for producing wine at some of the highest altitudes in the world.
For a cultural experience to end all cultural experiences head to the Himalayan region of Ladakh, where the Dalai Lama visits every August. Throw in some spectacular scenery and you're onto a winner.
Another one for culture vultures, we can arrange special access to Botswana's Zu'hoasi bushmen in the Kalahari Desert, whose hunter-gatherer existence has remained largely unchanged for the last 2,000 years. Learn about their way of life in the company of an expert guide.
It would be remiss not to mention 2018's official European Capital of Culture, Valletta, a pocket rocket of a city with a warren of streets full to the brim with Baroque, Mannerist and Neo-Classical influences and architecture.
Few wildlife experiences can match up to witnessing Uganda's majestic gorillas in their natural habitat whilst trekking through the jungle. The trek to get there might be tough, but it's completely worth it.
Or, if you fancy a trip down under, swim with some of the ocean's gentlest giants (or practice your Olympic front crawl - they're seriously fast) as Whale Sharks migrate through the waters off west Australia.
REST AND RELAXATION
Enter cruise control on the Alexa, which sails the waters of Komodo National Park in Indonesia. One very lucky couple can enjoy its immaculately designed cabin and deck, Michelin starred food and spa therapist while taking in some of Indonesia's finest scenery.
If you haven't found your sea legs, why not enjoy 100 minutes of solitude at Wolwedans in the NamibRand where guests are whisked away to a quiet corner of the reserve where they can contemplate life and the universe in splendid isolation.
From the laidback vibes of Carmel-by-the-Sea to the peaceful surrounds of Yosemite National Park and the glorious grapes of Napa and Sonoma, R&R doesn't come much cooler than in California.
World-class spas, excellent hotels, a UNESCO protected cityscape and one of Europe's most famous wine regions make Porto and the neighbouring Douro Valley the perfect destination for a pampering pit stop.