Who can blame you for wanting to escape the British winter in search of some much-needed sun? So you’ve set your heart on beating the frost, wind, rain and dark evenings – but where should you go? Travel insurance specialists Adrian Flux have scoured the planet to find the 10 best destinations for gloom-dodging Brits.
The perfect destination for a winter family holiday – your kids speak the language, the food is familiar and there’s not only miles of beaches but theme parks too.
Even in January, the average daytime temperature is about 21C, and you can either enjoy the beaches all along the warm coast, brave the Orlando roller-coasters or hire a car and visit the many other
attractions such as the Seaquarium, the Science Museum, or Planetarium.
Either stay in the Miami area, take in the beach resorts of the Gulf of Mexico or head down to the Florida Keys. And don’t forget to take a trip to the Everglades National Park.
It may be 24 hours on a plane, but it’s well worth it if you’ve got at least two weeks to explore this truly amazing country, a mixture of modern cities, golden beaches and extraordinary natural scenery.
Despite their Pom-bashing reputation, the natives are very friendly and there is so much to do and see you could spend a year Down Under and not get bored.
Because our winter is their summer, you’re guaranteed hot weather – so hot in places you’ll need your factor 50 – and you’ll need to make it a multi-destination trip to make the best of your stay.
Sydney is a beautiful cosmopolitan city, and from there you can explore the east coast up to the tropical rainforests of Queensland and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef.
No holiday is complete without visiting Uluru (Ayers Rock) and experiencing a night under the stars in the outback learning some genuine bushcraft.
Just mind out for the bugs – Australia is home to some of the deadliest in the world.
3. Canary Islands
Tenerife is the largest of the islands, and has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget, while the volcanic Lanzarote is famed for its black sandy beaches.
The best beaches can be found on Gran Canaria, while Fuerteventura and La Palma are popular all year round.Winter temperatures are usually in the mid-20sC and is rarely rains.
Families should avoid some of the bigger resorts like Playa del Ingles on Gran Canaria, famed for their nightlife.
Where to start with the Caribbean? Whether you want to laze on beaches with talcum-powder white sands, or rent a Jeep and explore the exotic wildlife, waterfalls and jungles, there are plenty of destinations to choose from.
Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Dominica and the Bahamas will vie for your attention with Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique and tiny Anguilla, which boasts some of the best beaches in the region.
The islands offer sun, warm waters, good quality hotels, the option of a cruise to take in more of the islands in one visit, and the chance to see wildlife like hummingbirds and parrots, with Cuba having the most diverse wildlife anywhere in the Caribbean.
An ever-popular winter destination for sun-seeking Brits, Thailand offers palm-lined beaches, warm sunny weather, and colourful cuisine.
Head for resorts including the island of Phuket, the popular Pattaya or the smaller Ko Lanta, Krabi or Khao Lak.
Go snorkelling on the west coast among the Phi Phi islands, or head north around the Chiang Rai area for elephant-trekking or hill-walking – though the weather is slightly crisper the further north you go.
You can choose from luxury accommodation or stay in one of the increasing number of reasonably priced hotels appealing to those with more modest means.
The best months to go weather-wise are February and March.
There’s no better time to visit the wonders of Egypt’s ancient world than in the winter months, when you can bask in temperatures in the mid 20sC and away from the searing summer sun.
Those in search of culture can visit the temples, pyramids and tombs, while sun-seekers can spend a few days on the beach at Red Sea resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh.
Luxor is probably the best base for exploring the Valleys of the Kings and Queens and the temple at Karnak, and is also perfectly situated to take a relaxing cruise down the Nile.
7. South Africa
Fantastic scenery, warm weather, huge game parks and a number of great beaches – added to some of the best food and wine in the southern hemisphere – make South Africa a great choice despite the relatively long 12-hour flight.
Take in the breath-taking views of the Cape from Table Mountain, head to Robben Island to learn about the brutal history of Apartheid and stay in a cabin in the superb Kruger Park.
In the east Durban offers great beaches by the Indian Ocean, while the Drakensburg Mountains provide first-class hiking and the wetlands of St Lucia are the place to be for bird-watchers.
Not cheap, but if you want the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of David Beckham and soak up the sun in one of the world’s most upmarket resorts, then Dubai is the place for you.
Top class restaurants, myriad shopping malls and golden beaches jostle with all-inclusive resort hotels in this wealthy city-state.
State-of-the-art accommodation on Jumeirah beach includes the Burj al Arab – the world’s only seven-star hotel boasting gold-plated fittings, a circular ballroom and dining under the sea and stars, plus use of the amazing Wild Wadi Waterpark.
Temperatures are in the mid to high 20sC, but there’s always the man-made slopes of the Ski Dubai snow park if you want to cool off.
A safari is the ultimate in winter holiday adventures, and there’s nowhere better than sleeping under canvas while lions roam free in Tanzania.
A majestic landscape of contrasts, from the snow-capped Kilimanjaro to the wildlife-rich plains of the Serengeti and the beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania remains one of the world’s most unspoiled treasures.
You’ll need to be up early – about 6am – to catch the best of the animals on the Serengeti, but it’s well worth setting the alarm clock to see the vast herds of wildebeest, plus lions and elephants among others in their natural habitat.
Also explore the famed Ngorongoro Crater and watch tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara.
Temperatures average the mid 20sC in the Serengeti, while it’s warmer at the coast.
10. Rio de Janeiro
Warm up for the 2014 World Cup by taking in the sights and sounds of the city of samba.
The party city of Rio, nestled between the mountains and the sea, reverberates to the Latin rhythms of music and dance, and February’s Mardi Gras carnival is the best time to go to see the city at its bouncing best.
Take a cable car ride to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain and top up your tan (or play volleyball) on the world-famous Copacabana beach.
Temperatures can range from 22C to 30C in winter.