The lovely Becky from http://www.gotthepostcard.com has written her top tips and tricks for some holiday fun in the wintertime!
As the summer draws to a close, our minds start to focus on the more wintery activities of the year: Halloween, Bonfire night (for us Brits!), nights in with a cup of hot chocolate, mulled wine, Christmas markets, Christmas itself, snow, cold, dark, rubbish weather… The list could go on for a while, but the last thing that appears on most people’s lists is a holiday.
We all know someone who goes away at Christmas and makes us insanely jealous as they strut around the office with their fresh, glowing tan (yes, we currently have a strutter, but her tan is a suspect Fake Bake shade of orange!). But the first thought that pops to people’s minds is usually ‘I can’t wait ‘til the summer and my holiday’. My question for you – why wait ‘til the summer? The beauty of this planet is that it’s always summer somewhere, and if it isn’t technically summer, it can still be warm and sunny. Add in great company and a cocktail or two, and it sounds like a holiday…even in the depths of winter!
Ah well, I hear you say, I can’t really afford to go away over Christmas. And to you, dear friend, I say this – book in advance! I work in a popular travel company in the UK, and prices do go up as you get closer to departure date. So booking months in advance could save you a bundle!
Just because you choose to enjoy your holiday in the winter, doesn’t mean you have to sit on an aeroplane for what feels like days. Here are my 5 top favourites for holidaying in the winter…
1. Caribbean Islands
Favourable December – April, this collection of islands offers something for absolutely everyone. Each island has something which sets it apart from the others, but for stunning beaches head to Aruba. Culture vultures will love Cuba, with many people commenting on the complete culture contrast. For spicy food, vibrant music and a range of adventures, Jamaica should be your port of call. But it was a tough choice to pick these 3 islands, so it’s definitely worth seeing which island is the best match for your holiday plans.
2. Canary Islands
For the culture and food of Spain, the weather of Africa, and a flight time not to be winced at. My personal favourite is Tenerife, with temperatures still in the comfortable 20s at Christmas time. It’s definitely quieter during winter, but I find the influx of the older generations and families a nice change from the noisy teenagers enjoying their first holiday without their parents that you might find in the summer. There’s plenty to do here for the whole family, with waterparks, wildlife parks, boat trips and a big ole’ national park being just some of the things on the bill.
A potentially controversial choice with the unrest experienced in the country recently, but the holiday areas of Sharm El Sheikh, Luxor and Hurghada are a fair distance from the troubled areas. While some holiday companies have stopped travelling there, others are still happy to do so, which means prices could be at bargain level as they encourage people to holiday there. The weather is good, and there are a range of excursions available such as River Nile cruises, although trips to the pyramids might be off the cards during troublesome times
October spells the end of the rainy season here, and people always tell me how brilliant the customer service is. With plenty of culture and history to soak up, you’ll be able to enjoy both a city break and a beach holiday here. October and November see some pretty cool festivals too, with Loi Krathong (floating decorations on the river) and Lanna Yi Peng (sky lantern festival) both taking place around October/November in Chiang Mai.
5. Cape Verde Islands
Further south than the canaries, you’re likely to get much warmer weather with just a couple of hours more on the plane. Not famous for having a range of activites and excursions on offer, these islands offer the ideal place to spend some time lounging on a sunbed and taking a proper break away from it all.
But…who says holidays need to be hot, with days spent soaking up the rays? Some of the best holidays are full of experiences! If you’re looking for something a bit more active, why not head off on a city break and explore the romantic city of Paris? For the fans of Christmas markets, team it up with a spot of history and take a trip to Berlin. Somewhere further afield could find you in New York, wrapped up tightly for a walk in Central Park. City breaks are a great option during the winter, especially in Europe. The prices drop because…well…it’s cold, and people would rather visit in the summer.
Another option could be a break away to Iceland or Sweden to check out the Northern Lights, a natural spectacle best seen around October. And if you find yourself in Iceland, spend some time driving the infamous ring road, heading out on a boat to watch the whales, or warming yourself up with a dip in a thermal bath. The Blue Lagoon may be a tourist trap, but there’s good reason for it.
The options for holidaying in the winter are endless, and the range of choice is far more than would ever be available in the summer. So take advantage of potentially lower prices, and you’ll be able to show off your tan/holiday snaps/experiences once you get back!
Check out Becky’s blog http://gotthepostcard.com/ follow her on Twitter @gtpostcard and see all of her adventures!