Why 2022 is the year of private island travel – and how to make the most of it

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The planet is becoming increasingly crowded, but there are still nooks to call your own – not least when it comes to private island travel. This exclusive sphere is within reach of solo travellers thanks to small group adventures; a format that unlocks experiences and destinations that would be tricky to access alone. 

What this means is, you get to bask in the privacy of exclusive entry in places that are off-radar to most other tourists. Amid cities that are brimming with noise and demands, you are able to head off-track with beaches, forests, restaurants and even hotels that are open just to you and your crew of fellow Flashpackers. In an age of personalised travel, it’s the ultimate boutique touch. 

Fancy a private island adventure this year? Here are three havens to escape to, with a little help from your pals here at Flash Pack. 

Finland’s Aurora Island, the Arctic Circle

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The private island experience isn’t just about palm trees and azure horizons – as Finland’s Aurora Island shows. This magical enclave has serious wow factor: it can only be accessed via a 70-metre suspension bridge that stretches across the Kemijoki river in the wilderness of the Arctic Circle. 

Aurora Island has its very own hotel, Hotel Vartiosaari, with 11 rooms, a roaring log fire and – in true Finnish style – a wood-fired riverside sauna. Come winter, Aurora Island transforms into a frozen wonderland, and the Narnia landscape provides the ideal spot for Northern Lights hunting by twilight (cosy rugs optional but highly recommended). The entire place is all yours, just for you and your group. 

Find out more about Flash Pack’s winter Finland adventure.

Croatia’s Mali Ston island, the Adriatic

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The village of Mali Ston near Dubrovnik is a wonderfully untouched patch on Croatia’s much-loved coastline. And it also happens to be home to a family of restaurateurs who own a private island. This small slice of paradise will be your playground for the day, as you and your group are treated to a spread of Dalmatian specialties – including fresh Adriatic oysters and cocktails – from the island’s scenic restaurant. 

Not only will you have a circle seat to the family’s premium produce, you can wash the experience down with an afternoon spent sunning and swimming in the delicious green-blue sea. Don’t worry about bagging a sunbed – with the entire island at your disposal, you’ll be spoilt for choice on places to lounge. 

Find out more about Flash Pack’s Croatia adventure.

Ginto Island in Palawan, the Philippines

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Few regions in the world dazzle with the force of Palawan: an archipelago of limestone coves, turquoise seas and powdery white bays so bright you’ll need your sunnies handy. This particular corner of the Philippines is *the* place to be if you spend your life in pursuit of spectacular beach retreats. 

And if there are a few too many people around in El Nido, the regional hub, you can break those flip-flops free with a private boat trip to Ginto Island. This dreamy destination offers up the full castaway experience, complete with a private chef, sunset cocktails and mesh tents overlooking the gently lapping waves. 

What follows is two days of sheer, beachy delight: think sea kayaking, soothing massages and a remote stretch of sand that is yours, and yours alone, to explore.  

Find out more about Flash Pack’s adventure in the Philippines.

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