Guest Post: My Top “Follow Your Sunshine” Travel Destinations

Hi, The Lifestyle Diaries readers! I’m Polly from Follow Your Sunshine, where I write about my life as a British girl living and working in sunny Doha, along with all of my food, travel and lux lifestyle-related adventures. I’m here today to tell you about my top five sunshiny travel destinations because let’s face it, sun-drenched destinations are the best destinations!
Sri Lanka

I know that Lauren agrees with me on this one, having visited this very special green isle herself not too long ago. Sri Lanka has everything one could wish for in a travel destination: beautiful landscapes and forest; stunning wildlife; interesting history, architecture and food, and out of this world beaches. Best of all, it has all-year-round sunshine (even during rainy season, in between downpours).
Best time to visit: September – March to avoid the southwest ‘yala’ monsoon and ensure optimum sunshine levels.
Further blog reading: the trip summary of Miss Lifestyle Diaries herself, the gorgeous wrap-up of Angloyankophile’s recent travels or my own Sri Lankan journal entries here and here.

Arguably the most romantic country in the world, you should visit Italy at least once in your lifetime for the food and wine alone. I can guarantee that once you have had your first taste of authentically-made Pasta con Pomorola with a glass of Chianti while looking out over a pretty square on a dewy summer’s evening, you will be hooked for life. The best sunshine traps are the pretty towns of the Italian Riviera, the rolling hills and historic cities of Tuscany, the banks of the Italian lakes, the cobbled streets of Rome and Venice, and of course, the Amalfi Coast, where we are heading later this year on our honeymoon.
Best time to visit: Avoid the busy tourist season and head over in Springtime or early Autumn before the sun sneaks away for Winter.
Further blog reading: Girl In Florence’s accounts on expat life in Tuscany, Walks of Italy’s vibrant descriptions and recommendations, The Blonde Abroad’s escapades and again, the adventures of our very own Lauren.
It should have been quite difficult for me to choose between California and the Sunshine State when deciding which corner of America to include in this list, but given that both times we were in Miami it poured with rain, my mind was made up for me. The region to the north and south of San Fran is one of the happiest, friendliest and sunniest places I have ever visited, and I know that we will be returning very soon.
Best time to visit: All year round y’all.
Further blog reading:  My action-packed tour around San Fran’s Bay Area California Through My Lens, and Silverspoon London’s gorgeous honeymoon travels.
Oh la la! The crepes, the chateaux, the endless vineyards, the fashion, the je ne sais quoi. Parts of France really are the places to see and be seen, preferably while strolling through the sunshine with a smudge of Rouge Dior on your lips, Louboutins on your feet, and Chanel sunnies perched on the end of your nose. We adore Paris, can’t get enough of the Basque coastline around Biarritz, and can’t wait to visit the French Riviera in due course.
Best time to visit: it just has to be May-August when il fait beau!
Further blog reading: Luxury Columnist’s unmissable hidden gems in Paris, any of The Londoner’s envy-inducing postsParis In Four Monthsand Le Petit France Blog.
The Middle East

I left the most surprising spot for last. For The Middle East would never have been a destination I would have chosen before moving to the region at the end of 2013. Since then, I have explored the length and breadth of Qatar, travelled around the UAE, and am about to embark on the trip of a lifetime to Oman. And I love it! If lavish eating, big brunches and five star hotels are your thing then this is the place for you. At the same time, if interesting and unique cultures, intricate histories and awe-inspiring desert landscapes are your thing, then this part of the world will also float your boat…And did I mention the sunshine?
This region is in a fascinating transitional period, and I think you should all come over to experience it for yourselves. And when you do, make sure you pop over to Qatar and say hello!
Best time to visit: October to May if you want to avoid stepping into a sauna every time you leave air conditioning.
Further blog reading: My guest post for Big World, Small Me on why Qatar is a surprising tourist destination, all about My Dubai and Around The World In 80 Pairs of Shoes’ guest post on travel in the Middle East
So there you go, my top 5 destinations for those seeking sunshine.Thank you Lauren for letting me loose on your lovely blog for the day. I’m heading off out into the sunshine now!
Thank you so much Polly for this amazing post! I’ve now got major wanderlust (when I should be revising, whoops) and can’t wait to go on holiday again. I’ve wanted to visit the Middle East for a while now, so really hoping I get out there soon. I always go to Polly when I want a good hotel review – she’s a real star at them! My favourites recently are her review of The Ampersand Hotel and saying goodbye to London, and a seriously envy inducing stay at the Shangri-La in Oman. Excuse me whilst I look at flights…! If you haven’t read Polly’s amazing blog yet, I highly recommend that you nip on over there right now!

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  • I love Italy, California and France too! These are fabulous choices lovely and a great post!

    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

  • Great choices aren't they?! I've not been to Cali for quite a few years now, better get saving so I can go back! xxx

  • YAY, Polly (and thanks for the shoutout!)! I love that we've all been to Sri Lanka and loved it … I took most of my travel inspo from you girls! Fantastic list, Polly, and good choice of guest blogger, Lauren! 😉 xx

  • So do I, it's great! Haha thanks, Jamie, always knew @Polly Bagley would write a good one! You're up next 🙂 can't wait for it to go live! xx

  • YES!! So excited for this. xx

  • Thanks Angie! I want to explore the southern part of Cali and LA next – maybe I'll join you Lauren!

    Polly xx

  • Errr, not half as excited as I am!! When can we expect this post?! Thanks for your lovely words Jaime, big love!!

    Polly xx

  • Tomorrow morning my lovelies! It's a seriously good one, Polly! xx

  • Aalia Ludhi

    nice list of places. I live in California, so not surprised to see California on the list. I am looking forward to travel to some countries in the Europe. About your trip to Italy and France, i am curious to know how did you plan your trip, did you buy some deal package on deal sites such as retailmenot or couponsmonk, or you planned the trip yourself. I am planning to go to Austria and Switzerland and looking for some deal package.

  • I'd absolutely love to visit Sri Lanka one day. I'd definitely agree about Italy, am heading to Rome and the Amalfi Coast this year! Thanks for the Paris mention, after years of living there I still never tire of revisting!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

  • If you ever get the chance to go to Sri Lanka, definitely do! Ahh very jealous of your Italy adventures – I'm hoping to travel Italy a little when I take my gap 6 months later this year! And I agree about Paris, there's something magical about it isn't there? xx

  • I don't usually buy package deals but plan the trips myself as I like the flexibility that comes with planning your own trip. Though – try ebookers, I've used them before and you can get flights and hotels in the same place. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Aalia, I love your home State! The best thing about it is how friendly everyone is, we met some really amazing people while we were out there. I am the same as Lauren, I like to plan all of the elements of my holiday myself so don't usually use package sites. That said, as well as ebookers as Lauren suggested, I've also heard that Expedia, Monarch and Opodo are great for Europe. Good luck and have a great time!

    Polly xx

  • I can't wait to swap our Rome and Amalfi Coast recommendations Suze! I agree with Lauren, I think you'd love Sri Lanka. My pleasure about the mention, it was a great post 🙂

    Polly xx