Planning an escape from the British winter weather is simpler and less expensive than you might think. Hot countries in December, January and February can be found just a few hours from your nearest international airport, and flights tend to be more affordable during the so-called off season. Make the most of it with these suggestions for winter getaways that you’ll be able to look forward to when the first cold snap hits.
The cultural hotbed of Morocco is much closer than it looks on the map. The three and a half hour flight will only set you back around £50 each way if you book well in advance. This is a family-friendly winter break, with the hustle and bustle of the markets contrasting with the tranquillity of long, sandy beaches. With temperatures of around 20°C, it will feel like a tropical paradise compared to Blighty. Just don't forget the sun protection.
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Winters in the Canary Islands are more like average British summers, with temperatures sitting comfortably around the 20°C level. It’s one of the most inexpensive places to visit in December, when flights can cost less than £50. The Islands’ all-inclusive resorts take the stress out of budgeting and itinerary-planning thanks to the included meals and a regular programme of activities for children. Make sure to pack swimwear for the pools and spa areas.
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The eight-hour flight over the Atlantic to the Sunshine State is sure to warm you up. While the journey may be relatively long and can cost up to £1000, it’s worth it if you’re looking for a fortnight or more in the sun. In winter you’ll find temperatures around the mid-20s. The main draws are the dozens of famous attractions for little ones, such as water parks, theme parks and museums. Or, leave the kids behind and try your hand at catching the waves with a surfing lesson. For a longer break, take a look at our range of suitcases.
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An 11-hour flight from London in the region of £500 will land you in Mexico City. This Latin American hub is full of exceptional street food, stunning coastlines and the infamous national drink: tequila. Temperatures in winter hover around the mid-20s, so pack a few suitable summer frocks for exploring the fascinating blend of Mesoamerican cultures, Spanish traditions and contemporary arts.
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History, rum and music pulse through this stunning island. Only recently put back on the tourist map, Cuba is quickly becoming a popular destination for winter holidays. You’ll find flights cost around £600 return depending on when you book. It's a sub-tropical climate, which means temperatures in the low 20s. Don your best espadrilles to explore Havana's captivating culture, colourful architecture and vibrant nightlife. Head further afield into the quieter regions of Pinar del Río and Artemisa for a more laid-back winter getaway.
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A fusion of Europe and the Middle East, Cyprus is a top choice for anyone seeking warm winter holidays relatively close to home. Pack your bags for a short four hour hop by plane, with highly affordable ticket prices (£50, if you book well in advance). Temperatures in the 20s, exceptional Mediterranean cuisine, stunning beaches and impressive coastlines all combine to make this destination incredibly attractive.
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If you prefer things on the hotter side, Australia is the place to be. With searing temperatures, you can enjoy the festive season while barbecuing on one of the many stunning beaches, or indulge your adventurous side with surfing, wakeboarding and kayaking. If you prefer to stay on dry land, the extensive mountain hiking trails or vast outback deserts are for you. With a round trip lasting 24 hours each way (and costing upwards of £800), pack a few extra travel accessories to keep your kit organised.
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If you're wondering where's hot in February, look to the Maldives for blazing sunshine and temperatures close to the 30s. Things cool down a little over Christmas, but it’s still an ideal December holiday destination thanks to temperatures in the high 20s. In fact, there’s never a bad time to visit. Flights to Malé take around ten hours from most UK airports and cost about £1000, but it's certainly worth the trip for secluded castaway islands, sandy beaches, snorkelling and diving. Don't forget to pack your headphones for entertainment on that long flight.
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