After 10 years of flying, I must conclude that there are many great and ever-so-interesting destinations not far from home. For example, many parts of Southern Europe boast a rich history, beautiful scenery, and excellent food.
I understand that many people get the sense that they're holiday only when crossing half the planet, though I personally don't see the point of going further: for me, there are plenty of fish in our own seas.
There is a reason New York still enjoys tops the ranking of destination cities, year after year. It's also an excellent place to visit in winter. If the temperature drops far below zero, its museums can keep you busy and warm for a couple days.
America is the number-one shopping destination too. There are plenty of options and many offers to be had.
There, US brands cost only a small fraction of what they do in our own country, hair products in particular. I buy mine there.
In the Old World, my favourite city is Rome, where history is everywhere, so much so that you may feel no need to visit actual museums.
Italy is one of my top places anyway; the cuisine alone is ample reason for a visit. My favourite dish is the classic pasta aglio e olio ('with garlic and oil').
The magic of Lapland
The winter holidays are another time I don't see any reason to go very far. Finnish Lapland is a magical destination where every season has its own charm, from the depths of winter to the late spring when the snow sparkles in the sunshine.
I have started liking nearby areas more and more also because time differences are getting increasingly hard to cope with. The human body adapts more slowly in travel eastward than when one heads west. As a general rule, it takes about 24 hours for your body to get used to one hour's time difference.
Especially with short flights, I would advise taking into account the distances involved and transport to and from the airport.
At the moment, Cuba and the Caribbean seem to be sought-after destinations, and Miami is likely to prove a popular choice among this winter's direct flights.
Finland offers brilliant connections in many directions, all the way to Australia via Hong Kong or Singapore.
South Africa is where I'd like to travel next personally, still a long-haul destination but comfortably in the same time zone. I plan to mix lots of activities with total relaxation.