If you’re mourning the passing of the summer months, perhaps it’s an idea to think about lifting those spirits with a hefty dose of Vitamin D and booking a trip abroad in search of some winter sun? December might signify chestnuts roasting round an open fire to some, but to others who prefer a spot of sunbathing, the bleak midwinter makes the ideal time of year to escape to warmer climes.
Celebrating Christmas on the beach or over a barbecue is a novelty everyone should experience at least once in their lives. Plus, while everyone else is feeling at their most unhealthy in early January, you will return from your adventure refreshed, relaxed and ready to step into the New Year in style.
There is one cloud to this silver lining and that’s that travelling in December often carries a hefty price tag – particularly over the school holidays. However, it is also an excellent time of year to visit a host of far-flung destinations that, despite the more substantial price of the flight, offer much lower costs on arrival.
So, the big question is, where in the world should you go? Allow us to help you with that one…
The second largest of the Canary Islands and one of the warmest European places to escape to at this time of year, the temperature in Fuerteventura only just dips below 20C throughout the Christmas season. Rugged cliffs and coves hide white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons and national parkland filled with moonscape dunes – just the place to work on your winter tan without straying too far from home.
If you’re torn between sticking close to home and choosing a far-off exotic destination, why not compromise and book a trip to Cape Verde, a collection of charming islands just six hours flying time away from the UK? With high temperatures averaging 26C, you’ll be able to lounge on golden sandy beaches while soaking up the colourful Creole culture and cuisine to your heart’s content. No washing up after Christmas dinner for you this year!
For an adventure that’s really worth writing home about, venture a little further afield to beautiful Sri Lanka where you can experience a range of holidays all rolled into one paradise package. From lazing on gorgeous, sandy beaches in 30C heat, to a safari through lush landscapes in search of leopards and elephants, Sri Lanka offers a variety of activities that will delight those with diverse interests. Try your hand at kite-surfing, snorkel the coral gardens or trek to the misty summit of Adam’s Peak – this is one trip you won’t forget.
The balmy temperatures of the Andaman Coast make it an ideal destination for a December break. Plus, although some areas may not be quite as cheap as they used to be, you can enjoy a relatively low budget holiday on arrival in Thailand which could well make up for the higher airfare. This part of Thailand is dotted with islands, surrounded by imposing limestone karsts spiking up out of the shimmering Andaman Sea. The mainland town of Krabi is one of the region’s most popular destinations thanks to its access to stunning coastline and the country’s most popular islands. Favourites include: Phuket, a major resort destination for families and package tourists with every amenity you could wish for under the blazing sun; Koh Phi Phi, bustling, beautiful and famous for its high-octane nightlife; and Koh Lanta, with its mix of family-friendly beaches and opportunities for explorers to head off into the far south and get a little way off the beaten path.
In search of a little luxury this Christmas? Treat yourself to a trip to Dubai where 28C temperatures and 8 hours of daily sunshine make for the perfect antidote to those winter blues. As well as plenty of shopping opportunities which range from high-end department stores to high street chains and haggling in the souks, Dubai offers plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun in the way of spectacular hotel pools, glittering beaches and excellent waterparks.
Once you’ve locked down your winter sun escapade, purchasing the right travel insurance needs to come top of the priority list – after all, the right policy plan can help cover you for cancellation or loss of deposit should an unfortunate incident occur. Shop around, read the small print and make sure you pick the right plan so you can relax and enjoy your trip.