Why put up with short, dark days and chilly weather when you could be jetting off in search of some glorious winter sun?
Of course, the festive season is a notoriously pricey time of year to book flights as travellers look to make their escape to sunnier climes – particularly around the peak holiday months over Christmas and New Year. In addition, ’tis the season to tighten the purse strings and save those pennies for your Christmas shopping – it’s no wonder that many people write off a winter holiday as a luxury they can’t really afford.
However, there are ways to cut the costs on a break at this time of year and, if you play your cards right, you might find that catching some rays on a budget isn’t that far out of reach. Here are a few top tips for chasing some winter sun. Why not treat yourself this year?
3 tips for bagging a winter sun deal
Save with a package deal
Though the independent traveller might turn their nose up at the idea of a package deal, there is a wide range out there that could save you a great deal on a winter break. If you prefer to arrange your own entertainment, tours and itinerary, just use the package as a jumping off point to get a good deal on your flights and accommodation. Granted, you might not stay in the quirky boutique hotel of your dreams this way, but you’ll be paying a fraction of the price and you don’t need to spend long periods of time at your hotel if you don’t want to. When you’re lazing in the sunshine on a remote beach you’ve driven for two hours to find, you won’t much care that you purchased a package.
Be savvy with your dates
Are your traditional sensibilities stopping you from securing a budget break? Most people don’t want to travel at awkward times on or just after Christmas Day – so you could save a substantial amount by doing exactly that! Additionally, choosing a Sunday or Monday for your outward journey could provide more financially friendly options as these are traditionally the days that most people return from a trip away. Of course, if you can wait until the sparkle of the Christmas season is over and book your trip for mid-January, you could enjoy some excellent deals.
Use a comparison site
The rise of the comparison site has meant an increase in resources for the budget traveller. Comparison sites will link you straight to a range of different agents with a variety of filtering options so that you can track down the cheapest deals. Many also offer the convenient tool of choosing an ‘anywhere’ or ‘everywhere’ option when you search destinations – so if your goal is sunshine and you don’t care where you need to go to get it, you can search a wide range of options with ease.
3 cheap winter sun destinations
Lanzarote, The Canary Islands
If cheap and cheerful is the name of the game then head to one of the Canary Islands; one of the only parts of Europe that soak up reliably warm winter sun. Lanzarote may well be known as a destination that’s bursting in package deals and accommodation but that doesn’t mean that it’s without its own unique charms. Discover Spanish culture in the capital of Arrecife and visit the Timanfaya National Park to admire the volcanic landscapes the islands are famous for.
Head to the bohemian surf town of Essaouira, perched on the coast of Morocco, and you’ll be treated to temperatures that rest comfortably around the 20C mark. As well as offering a long stretch of golden sand, an atmospheric 18th century medina and colourful souks, Essaouira is perfectly positioned for a range of excursions whether you want to explore the bustling city of Marrakech or head into the desert on a camel tour.
This one might cost a little more to get to, but once you’ve arrived you’ll find a wide array of accommodation and countless places to eat for prices that are cheaper than chips. A popular backpacker destination since the 60s, Goa could by no means be considered off the beaten track these days. However, its rise in popularity has been for good reason – paradise beaches, historic churches and mouth-watering cuisine can all be found here. Plus, Goa’s nightlife and festive parties are the stuff legends are made of.
Ready to make your escape to the sun? Don’t forget to book the right travel insurance for your trip and fly safe in the knowledge you’re covered against a range of eventualities.