Latest Travel Advice
The latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO). See how your travel plans may be affected
During the summer months, the hotels, beaches and restaurants of holiday resorts are filled with peak season crowds of holidaymakers. A winter getaway can reveal a whole new side to holidays in popular destinations, since the crowds are smaller at this time of year, equating to fewer queues for famed attractions and less need to reserve a table for dinner.
Give your family, friends and colleagues some serious holiday envy by jetting away somewhere sunny during the cold and rainy season, or even over the Christmas period. Spending Christmas abroad can be a lot of fun; you can explore local traditions, enjoy a different climate and shake up the way you usually celebrate. You could even enjoy a beach barbecue instead of a traditional roast dinner. Perfect.
There is an assortment of enticing winter sun destinations just a short flight away from home soil, so you can enjoy a winter break with ease. While the UK is experiencing its brisk winter weather, you can find balmy temperatures in plenty of other sun-soaked destinations.
Head to Morocco for some warmer weather, and wander through ancient streets or stroll down to the ocean. Although it’s just outside of Europe, the temperature doesn’t drop that much, located just on the edge of the Sahara.
The Canary Islands are a short flight away from London, too, and here you can enjoy subtropical temperatures, lush pine forests and turquoise seas. Its volcanic landscape is perfect for treks, scuba diving, surfing, or just unwinding on the beach.
If you want a slice of glitz and glamour, Dubai is a fantastic choice. Famed for its modern design and year-round sun, there are plenty of beaches on the fringes of this iconic city. Desert safaris and sand dune boarding are just some of the ways you can celebrate the sun and embark on thrilling adventures while you’re at it.
Cyprus is a little closer to home, and since it is steeped in history, it’s perfect for avid historians who have the opportunity to wander around historic sites and discover quaint coves. Winter here never gets as cold as back home and in Cyprus, you get to taste a beautiful blend of Turkish and Greek food.
You can leave behind your winter coats, boots and woolly hat when jetting off to your chosen winter sun destination. Instead, you will be soaking up the sunshine on the other side of the world. So, pack plenty of sun cream and don’t forget your sunglasses.
Chances are, if you’re chasing the winter sun, you’re going to be spending some time on the beach or by the side of the pool. Bikinis, swimming costumes and swimming trunks should feature in your suitcase, along with airy sandals and flip flops, for when you’re looking to dip in and out of the pool.
If you are planning on partaking in some adventure activities or going for an exploratory hike, ensure you bring along the right gear. This might be your walking boots or hiking shoes, reusable water bottle, trainers or a roomy backpack; after all, you don’t want to get stuck without these essentials.
While the weather will be a world away from back home, it's always wise to pack a few light and warm pullovers, as well as a jacket in case it gets a little breezy. Even pack an umbrella; in case you experience a little drizzle during your trip. Warm clothes to wear on the way to the airport and back is advisable, too, which will be especially helpful for when you touch down on home turf.
Keep an open mind: Depending on demand, some winter sun destinations may increase in price, while others stay the same. Instead of setting your heart on a particular winter sun destination, do an ‘Anywhere’ search and check out where you can get the best price. Do a quick weather check, and get it booked!
Research cost of living: When thinking about winter sun holidays, most of the destinations you’ll be looking at are long haul. Choose somewhere with a low cost of living like Thailand, Mexico or South Africa and you’ll spend more on flights, but much less while you’re away.