Did you know that if we cancelled all leap years, in 100 years we’d be 24 days out of sync with the seasons? This is because - as Julius Caesar worked out all the way back in 46 BC - the Earth actually takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds to orbit the sun. This is why, almost every four years, we add an extra day to the end of February, giving the year 366 days rather than the traditional 365.
Aside from the astronomical benefits of tacking February 29th onto the calendar every now and then, having an extra day in the year gives us all an extra 24 hours. And in 2020 this special day falls on a Saturday – so why not make the most of this extra day by taking a cheeky weekend trip? Whether you’d use the bonus day on hiking for some incredible views or exploring a foreign city, give it the fanfare it deserves.
Here’s the Flexicover team’s top ways to make the most of your extra day in 2020.
Take a European city break
The wonderful thing about being a European country is that we’re surrounded with a wide variety of cultures that we can access in just a few short hours. With a flight time of just over one hour, Amsterdam is a popular city break destination if you’ve only got a couple of days to explore. Similarly, flights to Lisbon or Madrid are only two hours, with a wealth of attractions ready and waiting the other side. With strong public transport links, and no visas to arrange, it’s super easy to make the most of a long weekend away in Europe. Line up a solid sightseeing itinerary and a couple of must-do restaurants for a trip you’ll never forget.
Take Friday or Monday off work and make your way to a hiking hotspot for a rejuvenating long weekend in the great outdoors – and heading abroad means you get to take in different scenery. Popular hiking destinations not too far from the UK include the depths of Germany’s Black Forest, the rustic paths around Sicily’s Mount Etna, and the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in Spain. Best of all, the cold-but-not-freezing weather is the ideal temperature to get active. So pack those walking boots and shake off those winter cobwebs amidst some of the best scenery Europe has to offer.
Generally speaking, ski season lasts from October to April - so the end of February falls very comfortably in this category. There are few better ways to celebrate the end of winter than by embracing the snow, shooping down some beautiful Alpine slopes, and, of course, making the most of that warming apres ski. If you fancy splashing some cash on your break, try France. The country is home to some of the world’s most renowned luxury ski resorts, including Courchevel and Val d’Isere, while Switzerland’s Zermatt is another top option. Looking to ski on more of a budget? Bulgaria is home to a number of cheaper ski resorts, perfect for a four or five-day trip.
Caravan holidays are a wonderful way to spend time with loved ones in gorgeous destinations and, importantly after Christmas, without breaking the bank. If needs be, opt for a staycation in the great British outdoors over the leap year weekend. With caravan sites dotted across the country, there’s no lack of choice when it comes to destination. Head south to Cornwall and watch expert surfers contend with the February waves, or drive north to the Scottish Highlands for a cosy, outdoorsy holiday amongst some of the best scenery this country has to offer. Alternatively, stay close to some of the UK’s most beautiful cities like York or Cambridge to explore their historic and cultural attractions on a budget.
Romantic weekend away
February 29th is famously the one day where women have traditionally proposed to their partners. In 2020, no-one needs to wait for this special day to get down on one knee, but if you’re thinking of popping the question, why not embrace tradition? Whisk your other half away for the romantic trip of their dreams, whether this is a long weekend in Paris, on the shores of a chic Italian lake, or a couple of weeks in the Caribbean. And if those four life-changing words are on the tip of your tongue, don’t be afraid to pop the question!
Wherever you plan on heading to over the coming months it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.