When the most important thing you want from your holiday abroad is a chance to relax and de-stress, a holiday at the beach cannot be beaten. No planning or organisation needed; from the minute you arrive in the resort until the moment you leave the only thing you need think about is re-applying your sun cream! From budget breaks in Europe to luxury escapes further afield, there’s a beach holiday to suit every taste and budget, so grab your flip flops and get ready to feel the sand between your toes.
Top Beach Holiday Destinations
Ibiza: Beautiful beaches, gorgeous sunsets, incredible clubs…what’s not to love? The great thing about the White Isle is that there are two very different sides to the island; the party side where night owls gather to experience the world-famous Ibiza clubbing season, and the tranquil side with beautiful countryside and hippy vibes.
Canary Islands: From the watersports of Tenerife and lunar landscapes of Lanzarote, to the sand dunes of Fuerteventura and small towns of Gran Canaria, there’s a lot to choose from in the Canaries. One thing the islands all have in common is the fantastic beaches. The Canaries have warm weather all year round, so there’s never a bad time for a holiday at the beach!
Cancun: Mexico is a dream destination for beach holidays, where you can step out of your hotel and be greeted by white sand and crystal clear ocean. Many of the best all inclusive resorts have their own private beaches equipped with luxurious sunbeds and waiter service, so it’s definitely worth treating yourself.
Top Beach Holidays for Families
Majorca is the ideal destination for a family beach holiday. The island is well-practised at catering for families, so the resorts have plenty of activities, facilities and hotel clubs for kids. Palma Nova, Cala D’Or and Alcudia are particularly family-friendly, offering safe beaches, a friendly atmosphere and hotels with plenty of entertainment aimed at children.
The Algarve on the south coast of Portugal is a winner for families, and the most popular area is in the Central Algarve between Albufeira and Praia da Rocha. The area has easily accessible beaches and facilities, family-focused hotels and water parks to enjoy in the surrounding area.
Florida has it all for long haul family holidays – the Disney and Universal theme parks of Orlando, swimming with dolphins in Florida Keys, and the city-side beaches of Miami. The Sunshine State really earns the nickname, with 10 hours of sunshine a day and average temperatures of 28°C in summer.
Sand vs Pebble Beaches
Beaches aren't always the white, gold or black stretches of sand we associate them to be. Sometimes, they're full of fine pebbles. There are pros and cons to both, but which do you prefer?
Whether you want to build extravegent sandcastles or relax, a sandy beach makes that possible. Feeling the sand beneath your feet is bliss in that moment, but you might struggle when it comes to brushing it off as sand seems to get everywhere. The sun heats it up too, so always bring flip flops or sandles just in case.
Pebble beaches, also known as shingle beaches, offer an alternative beach experience and give you the opportunity to collect unique rocks. You won't have to shake sand from your body, but you may have to wear swim shoes depending on how smooth they are. Some people even say the sea is clearer when there is no sand, but it's not as comfy to sit or lay on.
How to Book a Cheap Holiday at the Beach
Book shoulder seasons: Every beach holiday destination has a shoulder season, where the best weather has either just passed or not quite arrived, and this is the place where good weather and good prices meet. It’s still warm enough to enjoy the beach, but because it’s not peak season you’ll pay a lot less.
Go all inclusive: If you’re going on holiday to relax at the beach, chances are you won’t be straying far from your hotel. Book an all inclusive package and all your meals are covered, plus drinks and snacks if you feel like staying by the hotel pool.
Haggle on price: If you phone a travel agent rather than booking online there’s often wiggle room on price, especially if you’re booking last minute or off-peak season. To be sure you’ve got the cheapest beach holiday possible, phone a few providers and challenge them to beat each other’s quotes.