You know those annoying people who pop up whenever it gets cold? “Too cold is better than too hot! Because layers!”
Nope. You know they’re only deluding themselves. The only real way to thaw is a few days of pure, unadulterated sun… except this is the UK.
So what’s the solution? It’s time for a low cost warm weather winter getaway! Christmas is always a time tighten your purse strings, so we’ve gone hunting for some of the best warm weather deals we could find.
- December vs January
- Save money on accommodation fees
- Muscat, Oman
- Doha, Qatar
- Pafos, Republic of Cyprus
- Casablanca, Morocco
- Tenerife, Canary Islands
The only problem is that everyone has the same idea all at once, and the airlines have noticed this.
Many enjoy a Christmas or New Year overseas with friends or family, and as such late December can be a pricey month for a quick getaway.
Of course, this is also the time when schools and universities grant their students some freedom, which increases prices even more.
That’s why (if possible) you should try to make your escape during January or February.
Although they may seem less wintery in the popular imagination, both months are usually colder and more depressing than December – even more of a reason to get away to the warm weather.
Flight prices drop significantly in line with the drop in demand, so book some time off work for you and your partner and enjoy a few low-cost days of glorious warm sunshine.
Aside from flights, this can be the big financial sticking point when it comes to planning a holiday. However, there are always ways to get a great bargain even if it doesn’t look that way.
Leaving the booking of hotels until nearer the date of departure can be one method, as hotels will often drop prices in order to fill up empty rooms. Setting up a tracker to watch online prices and availability is one way to make sure you don’t miss out.
Alternatively, you could ditch the hotel altogether and stay in a hostel instead. These are expressly designed for those on a budget but can still be very comfortable and in great locations. They usually also offer self-catering facilities so you can whip up spaghetti bolognaise instead of eating out each evening.
How about simply staying in someone else’s home? AirBnB or house-swapping are both economical solutions – in fact, apart from a small subscription to the website, house-swapping is entirely free! You can read more about it in our article here. Staying in the home of a local is also a fantastic way to meet new people and make new friends
This majestic capital city sprawls on the coast of Oman, full of traditional Islamic architecture that simmers in the warm sun. Top sites to visit include:
- the Grand Mosque,
- Bait al Zubair Museum,
- Al Alam Palace,
- the old harbour and its graffiti dating back to the 16th century.
Temperatures are typically a relaxing 20-25C throughout December and January. Flights are typically around £1,100 per person in December (yikes!) and only £170 in January.
Cheap-ish hotels are around £40-£60 per night, but you can always check out the other options we mentioned above for a more authentic and cost-effective experience.
Top tips: Pack light cotton clothing and headscarves, drink alcohol discreetly (Oman is a Muslim country), and always remember to haggle!
Qatar is now officially the richest country in the world, and an incredible 14% of its inhabitants are certified millionaires. The wealth is clearly visible in the country’s capital Doha, where the majority of the population reside. Shopping malls are everywhere, some so large that they include cinemas, swimming pools and even theme parks on the premises.
The hotels are equally awesome, and the culinary scene is unbelievable. Alain Ducasse, the legendary French chef, owns IDAM on the fifth floor of the Museum of Islamic Art (which is something else you should absolutely check out).
Itching to book plane tickets already? If so, you’re in for a treat with the best airline in the world, Qatar Airlines. Prices are quite variable; the best for December are about £220, which later drop to the £170-mark by the middle of January.
Last year, Pafos reigned as the 2017 European Capital of Culture. And a long time before that, Pafos also used to reign as the capital of Cyprus. As such it is brimming with beautiful historical buildings as well as temples to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love who is said to have made the island her home.
And speaking of sea foam – Pafos lies on the coast of Cyprus, and boasts some of the most idyllic beaches of the Mediterranean. Temperatures vary between a mild 15C to a warm 23C between December and January, so remember your sun cream.
Flights are very reasonably priced even around Christmas at £110 per person, later dropping to an incredible £21 once the New Year is well under way.
Even though everybody knows the name Casablanca from the famous Bogart and Bergman movie, this is a surprisingly neglected city by UK and US tourists. Casa, as the locals call it, is modern and fun, most of the buildings relatively young due to a massive earthquake that destroyed most of the city in 1755.
Restaurants, nightclubs and surfing are a couple of great ways to fill your time here, as well as getting your culture hit visiting the second-largest mosque in the world or haggling in the old medina.
Casa generally maintains a comfortable average of 20C throughout December and January.
When booking flights to Casa, we suggest that you prepare to be flexible. Flying direct is often significantly more expensive, but if you’re willing to include a stop or two the price can easily drop hundreds of pounds. During the later days of December, prices start from around £450; wait two weeks, and that will have decreased to under £90.
Tenerife, a staple of many Brits’ summers, is a holiday maker’s dream. Glorious golden beaches, rugged mountains and lush forests, stunning cities and shops galore: there is truly something for everyone. And best of all, the island’s reliance on tourism means that flights are fast and cheap to get you to your sunshine as pain-free as possible.
Plane tickets for December are likely to set you back no more than £150, while January sees fabulous prices of under £30 across the board. Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort or more affordable accommodation, you’ll be able to enjoy it in blissful 18-23C weather.
Have you managed to escape the cold this winter? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.