Image supplied

Post-lockdown island destination ideas to dream about

If you’re desperately craving a sun-and-sea combination destination, here’s a list of must-do islands to consider visiting, post-pandemic.


Image supplied

After months of gloom and caution, you may need soft breezes, beckoning beaches, captivating city life or the welcoming lullaby of waves to help you calm your shot nerves. Thankfully, there’s an endless of list of islands to choose from, for whatever travel fantasies you can imagine.

Island choices for budget travellers

Asian-island clichés like Indonesian, Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese islands (the favourites: Bali, Phuket, Koh Rong and Phu Quoc) often make this list, with a large variety of hotels and AirBnb options to choose from, weak currencies and ease of access. But, if you’re looking to stick to your budget and to also head somewhere different, why not consider Zanzibar or Langkawi.


Zanzibar, located off the coast of Tanzania, is famed for its picturesque blue waters and captivating Stone Town centre on the main island. However, it being much less visited than other African islands, like those of The Seychelles and Mauritius, means accommodation of similar standards is but a fraction of the price. Often, safari-goers on mainland Tanzania choose the island as an add-on, whilst Kilimanjaro trekkers end here to recoup. In its own right, Zanzibar is able to stand alone too, and should be high up on the list of options: especially because it’s an African destination and thus, a cheaper, shorter flight away for South Africans.


Langkawi, meanwhile, a brilliantly restful, idyllic and calm Malaysian island, offers a plethora of cuisine, rice paddies, night markets and a Sky Bridge in addition to its alluring beaches. The island is somehow less famed than its other Asian contenders — for now, anyway — and there are, thus, fewer tourist traps. Minimal effort and a little digging could reward you with rustic accommodation that includes free bicycle hire to explore the island, outdoor showers and even an option to stay on a rice field.

Island destinations for the Splurgers

If you think you are justified in splurging on an indulgent vacation after a rather unsettling global pandemic, you may just be right.


If you’re a city-lover, consider Singapore, infamous for the now landmark Changi Airport (rated the best airport in the world), the silhouette of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, a Universal Studios Theme Park and culturally-diverse landmarks.

Hong Kong, on the other end, offers towering sky-scrapers, unparalleled hustle, a Disney Theme Park and Lantau Island, famed for its Buddha statue, Victoria Peak view-point and cable-car trip.


If you’d rather opt for the stereotypical island-image of white-sandy beaches and swaying palms, head to the Maldives. Instagrammable resorts spread out over sparkling and astoundingly clear waters can lure even the most hesitant of travellers and guarantees remoteness and retreat.

Honourable mentions include the Canary Islands, the Greek Islands like Santorini, and locations in the Caribbean.

Whichever island you choose, you can look forward to a brief piece of escapism and a rewarding vacation. After all, you deserve it.

This content has been created as part of our freelancer relief programme. We are supporting journalists and freelance writers impacted by the economic slowdown caused by #lockdownlife.

If you are a freelancer looking to contribute to The South African, read more here.