Winter Sun Holidays
Winter time in northern Europe is generally a gloomy and dismal time, and many people find themselves wanting to get away to a place that is sunnier and warmer. Popular destinations include Spain and the Canary Islands, that are usually too hot, humid or storm-prone in the summer months. However, these places have become inundated with tourists lately, and many tourists are seeking alternate, slightly quieter, destinations to soak up the sun.
Thailand is well known for its pristine beaches and party cities including Phuket and Bangkok, and offers many other smaller destinations such as Koh Phi Phi and Krabi that are less crowded, but still maintain the same atmosphere. The dry season for Phuket tends to start in late November or early December, while eastern destinations such as Koh Samui will be experiencing rainfall and should probably be avoided until late January.
The Canary Islands and the Caribbean Islands are also massively popular destinations for European visitors and most islands cater to tourists and the tourism industry. While some of the larger islands such as Tenerife, Barbados and Jamaica can be packed with tourists during November, the smaller islands offer the same beauty and sunshine with the added benefits of being cheaper and less likely to be overcrowded.
Northern Africa is always sunny and doesn’t suffer from the humidity and storminess of the islands, and is a great place to go for a winter sun vacation. Apart from having excellent beaches with warm water and a great climate, Morocco and Egypt also offer the tourist a whole host of cultural and historical activities with which to occupy their time.
The southern parts of Europe offer a tempting getaway from dreary winters while still being relatively close to home and cheaper than destinations further abroad.Spain and Portugal are the main destinations, offering golden beaches and temperatures over 20°C even during the winter. Again, there are both busy, popular beaches as well as less popular but no less stunning scenery if you are willing to look for it.
There are a number of considerations to take into account when planning a winter sun holiday. Once you have selected your destination, the weather and climate are changeable depending on the location you’ve chosen, and you should choose a time to visit where it is sunny and relatively dry. The wet season is not recommended, due to the fact that stormy weather can be a safety risk due to hurricanes and flooding, and sunbathing is unpleasant in the rain. The time you decide to go will also influence prices of everything, from flights and accommodation to car rental and food prices. Going slightly off-season also helps reduce the amount of crowds and may make the holiday a more pleasant experience if you are in the search of peace and quiet. However, if you want to go clubbing and partying, you may find off-season to be slightly more boring than going in season, though destinations such as Ibiza will always be packed.
Planning the trip in advance guarantees that you’ll be the best bang for your buck. As the winter season is technically off-season, it’s easy to find accommodation and airfare for off-season low rates. However, prices may spike from time to time, such as during Christmas time when people travel to visit families, or during November/December in the Caribbean islands as more people gather for winter sun vacations. Planning your trip in advance ensures that you pay the lowest prices possible as it gives you enough time to shop around and find the best deals.
Getting the best deals is really easy. Airlines and travel agents usually offer package deals that cover the cost of the flight, accommodation and transport to and from the hotel. The internet is also an invaluable tool, as it allows you to not only find really good deals offered by hotels and airlines, but also gives you valuable reviews on the quality of the hotels. This can prevent nasty surprises when you arrive.
No matter how you look at it, winter sun holidays are a good way to save money and escape the winter for a couple of weeks.