8 travel experiences to have once and only once

2014-05-28 07:21
A little while ago, we put a piece together about the world’s worst ‘tourist traps.’  

The list included things like a gondola ride in Venice, going to Temple Bar in Dublin and seeing the Mona Lisa in Paris’ Louvre.  

Although these may be super popular tourist attractions, they’re all kind of overrated for various reasons – from being too pricy to attracting too large crowds.

However, they also create something of a catch-22 for travellers: you kind of want to avoid them, but you also really don’t want to miss out on something that started out as being quite legendary indeed.  

Inspired by Huffington Post, we’ve decided to take a bit of a softer approach and check out eight places/experiences that while, yes, they have been overly hyped up, they are totally worth visiting/doing… but only once.  

Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Tell us in the comment section below!

1. Go to AfrikaBurn

There’s really something exceptional about this fiery Burning Man-esque festival that has been taking place in the Tankwa Karoo for the past four years. We’re sure you’ve seen the photographs – people in fantastical costumes cycling through flat desert scenery and others half-naked kicking up dust while they dance.

It seems like an almost mystical affair – what with the gifting system, whimsical artworks all around and people living out their fantasies of freedom for a couple of days.  

So, if you’ve ever wanted to experience something simultaneously earthy and out-of-this-world, AfrikaBurn is an absolute must.

However, going more than once seems a little extravagant to us. Why? Well, we’ve heard that the magic of your ‘first burn’ could never be recreated. So, maybe you shouldn’t try... (but, of course, we could be wrong).     

2. Climb Kilimanjaro

Mainly just because summiting this iconic African peak once is impressive enough already. However, if you can do it again – go ahead!  

3. Go to any of the famous festivals

Oktoberfest in Germany, La Tomatina in Spain, Songkran in Thailand and Ibiza – all incredible festivals, all overflowing with all sorts of fun, but all also super duper crowded and slightly messy.

Definitely worth checking at least one of them (but why not all of them?) out once and then living happily ever after with the great memories, crazy photos and, best of all, the knowledge that you never have to experience it again.  

4. Ride the London Eye

The famous, modernized Ferris wheel ride offers visitors to England’s history-rich capital an incredible 360 degree, bird’s eye view. But at £29.50 (roughly R520 at R16.20/pound) a ride, it’s not something you’re necessarily going to want to do every time you’re in London. Also, if you’ve seen the view once, it’s breathtaking enough to last a lifetime.  

5. Stay at a mega resort

Spending a holiday indulging in the fabulousness of resort life (think Club Med) could be loads of fun – there are activities a-plenty, drinks and food on demand and so many new people to meet. However, we think it could get rather tedious, not to mention tiring… therefore, limiting yourself to one, and only one, of these type of holidays would probably be wise.    

6. Take a cross-country roadtrip… really slowly

Road trips are the business! Especially if you take a leisurely pace and enjoy all the sights and sounds along the way. However, they can also be quite draining, rather expensive and put pressure on interpersonal relationships with your fellow travellers. Definitely a must-do once in your lifetime! But don’t push your luck for a second go.  

7. Fly business class

If you’re just an ordinary cattle class traveller, like most of us, chances are good you’ve never enjoyed the luxury of business class. However, we think it’s one of those things every frequent flyer should experience at least once.

So, whether you have to rob a bank, swindle airline staff into upgrading you or simply save up forever and a day, just do it! As for the only once part? Well, if you can manage to not have your money or your luck run out after your first time, we’re all for doing it again and again… and again!

8. Try finding inner peace at an Ashram in India

Thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat.Pray.Love.’ the idea of heading to an Indian Ashram to ‘find yourself’ has tickled the fancy of women (and probably a few men too) around the globe.

However, the ascetic lifestyle followed by ashram-dwellers is not for everyone. If inner peace is what you’re after, though, it’s probably worth a shot. Whether you find it or not, we doubt it’s the type of holiday you will take more than once (unless you’re a devoted yogi). 

Come join our travel community! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, snap away on Instagram, hang out with us on Google+ and share your inspiration on Pinterest

Read more on:    travel  |  travel international

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.