2017 travel planner: where to go on holiday … and when | Late offers



Book now: summer time seaside favourites
If you fancy a balmy seaside holiday this summer time, don’t take any probabilities. Last 12 months, with 1000’s sidestepping Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey in favour of “safer” European choices, there was a scarcity of holidays in Spain, Italy and Portugal in July and August, pushing up costs and limiting last-minute offers. With Foreign Office recommendation largely unchanged, it’s possible to be the identical this 12 months, so reap the benefits of early reserving offers this month. Thomas Cook, for instance, has £400 discounts on selected family holidays with deposits from £25pp, permitting time to save up. Airtours has seven nights in Gran Canaria from £1,685 a family (two adults and two youngsters) staying on the three-star Koala Garden on a self-catering foundation, flying from Gatwick on 26 August.

Go now: New York showtime and snowtime
Get two-for-one tickets for Broadway reveals and greater than 70 sights throughout New York’s Broadway Week and Attractions Week; each begin on 17 January and, regardless of their names, run till 5 February. They’re held through the metropolis’s post-Christmas off-season – that means cheaper resorts and airfares. Icelandic airline Wow air has flights from Gatwick to Newark from £304.25 return, with a stopover in Reykjavik on the way in which again. Booking.com is providing 30% off a three-night keep on the finish of January on the Arlo Nomad lodge in Midtown for £355 in a queen room.


The Louvre Pyramid at sunset, Paris.
The Louvre Pyramid at sundown, Paris. Photograph: Alamy

Book now: Paris money-saver
It’s no secret that August is the most effective time to go to Paris, when most Parisians migrate to the coast, which suggests shorter queues and cheaper resorts. Booking in February means you’ll get there for much less too. Eurostar publishes its fares six months upfront, and every time it releases a brand new batch, it throws in numerous lead-in fares of simply £29 each-way. Citadines Les Halles Paris is an apartotel minutes away from the Louvre and Notre Dame, with sensible studios from £126 an evening for 2 by expedia.com.

Go now: Czech Valentine break
Avoid being ripped off this Valentine’s Day by going someplace where it’s not so broadly celebrated. In the Czech Republic the big day for lovers comes on 1 May, in honour of its romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha, and whereas 14 February is now creeping on to the scene in Prague, you gained’t see a lot signal of it within the up-and-coming metropolis of Brno. A fast search discovered Ryanair flights for 2 from Stansted for £180 return (Feb 13-16) and three nights within the metropolis centre Apartments Václavská on reserving.com for £110, about what you’d pay for a meal for 2 in Paris or Venice.


Jemaa el-Fnaa at dusk, Marrakech, Morocco.
Jemaa el-Fnaa, Marrakech. Photograph: Joe Hodge/GuardianWitness

Book now: spring sunshine
A late Easter means there ought to be extra last-minute offers round for an early sunshine increase. Cyprus, Morocco or Crete ought to all be heat sufficient for a dip. Check the most recent climate forecasts then go to web sites akin to Travelzoo, Holiday Pirates and Icelolly for last-minute bargains. Icelolly has seven nights in Marrakech, staying at Riad Fatouma within the Medina, from £259pp B&B.

Go now: Rome
March is the right time to sightsee in Rome – heat sufficient to take pleasure in a gelato however not so scorching that your ft swell. A 3-night Rome break on the four-star Hotel Quirinale, with Citalia from 15 March prices £388pp, together with flights from Gatwick, personal transfers and three nights’ B&B. The similar break at Easter prices £575pp.


Cuban meals … diners at a restaurant in Havana. La Bdel M, Old Havana, Cuba.
Cuban meals … diners at a restaurant in Havana. Photograph: Layne Kennedy/Getty Images

Book now: subsequent 12 months’s holiday
It’s getting earlier and earlier, however April is now the month when the massive travel firms launch their programmes for the next summer time, revealing new locations, resorts and flight routes, typically with introductory offers. Last April, for instance, Thomson and First Choice introduced the launch of recent long-haul locations akin to St Lucia and Cuba on their Dreamliner plane and seats offered shortly, whereas Thomas Cook gave away 100,000 youngsters’s holidays for £1. If you’re planning a particular journey for 2018, why wait?

Go now: late snowboarding
Ski holiday costs dip in direction of the tip of the season when the snow begins to thaw, however select the suitable resort and you need to nonetheless get a good week’s snowboarding for a fraction of the worth. Thanks to the late Easter this 12 months (April 16), even households can reap the benefits of the decrease late-season costs, particularly with many colleges not returning till 24 April. Tignes is a protected wager within the Alps, thanks to its excessive altitude and glacier. A household of 4 can keep on the Chalet Caribou with Esprit Ski from 16 April
for £2,443 together with flights, a mountainous £4,000 saving on the identical holiday in February half-term.


Becky’s by the Sea guesthouse, Barbados
Becky’s by the Sea guesthouse, Barbados

Book now: last-minute London break
According to the quantity crunchers at lodging web site reserving.com, the typical worth of a four-star lodge in London was 25% decrease final May than within the peak summer time months. Based on that discovering, this ought to be a superb month to discover last-minute offers within the capital. (Just keep away from May financial institution holidays and Chelsea through the flower present). Citizen M’s new lodge in Shoreditch prices £152 an evening in mid-May, in contrast with £170 in mid-July. It’s additionally price contemplating hostels. The YHA has seven within the capital: YHA London Central, 5 minutes from Oxford Street, has personal rooms for 2 folks from £85 in May.

Go now: Caribbean sunshine
Falling between the driest (ie costly) months of January to April, and the wet season, which kicks in round June, May is the perfect time to splash out on a Caribbean getaway, particularly for those who keep away from half-term week. Saying that, even households can jet off to the Caribbean for decrease costs within the May faculty holiday than at Christmas, Easter or in the summertime holidays. May can price 40% lower than the excessive season. Seven nights B&B in a pool/backyard view room for 2 adults at Elegant Hotels’ Tamarind in Barbados begins at £1,575 in May, a £1,085 saving on the identical holiday within the peak months. Or DIY it – flights to Barbados on BA price from £500 in May, and beachside guesthouse Beckys by the Sea (doubles from £59 room-only), is famend for its pleasant welcome.


Freedom Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand.
Freedom Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. Photograph: Alamy

Book now: Christmas cottage
It would possibly really feel a bit flawed, however June is the time to e-book that coastal cottage for Christmas. Good locations to begin are Dorset Coastal Cottages, Sawday’s and Baby Friendly Boltholes. And see our on-line cottage information for extra main rental firms.

Go now: Thai islands
Timing is important when travelling to Asia. While June is the wet season throughout a lot of mainland Thailand, go to the south-eastern islands and chances are you’ll not get any in any respect. And for those who do get the odd brief bathe, it gained’t be sufficient to dampen the financial savings you’ll make. A 13-night holiday for 2 with Premier Holidays – with stays in Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Koh Samui, prices £1,499pp in June – £500 lower than the identical holiday in January to March (have to be booked by 31 January).


A view of Snowdonia national park from Betws-y-coed.
A view of Snowdonia nationwide park from Betws-y-coed

Book now: boat to Brittany
With ferries, typically the sooner you e-book, the higher the worth, and the higher probability you’ll have of getting a cabin for these widespread in a single day crossings in August. Brittany Ferries points costs in early July for the 12 months from November to November. It might sound too early to e-book for the next summer time, however there’s solely a £35 deposit to pay and if cancelling a minimum of 46 days earlier than travel, solely your deposit is misplaced (although there’s a £15 modification payment). If going no additional than Brittany, keep at Les Mouettes in Ille-et-Vilaine (from €55 B&B).

Go now: staycation
You’re in all probability not stunned to hear that the costliest week to fly final 12 months, in accordance to evaluation of 10 billion flights by comparability web site Cheapflights, was 25-31 July, the primary week of the varsity summer time holidays. Cheapflight’s cash saving tip for July 2017? Stay at residence. Britain’s seaside resorts and rural hotspots expect a bumper summer time as extra UK vacationers choose to holiday at residence and abroad vacationers are lured by the weak pound. A ten% drop within the worth of sterling in opposition to the euro signifies that a holiday in a eurozone nation will price a household of 4 £245 extra now than earlier than Britain voted to go away the EU. Added to that, there’s a raft of recent household sights opening, such because the Fforest coaster in Betws y Coed in north Wales – a tobaggan journey on rails; the Sill visitor centre at Hadrian’s Wall, which can get folks into the landscapes, historical past and heritage of Northumberland; and William’s Den in Brough, East Yorkshire, which guarantees to convey the outside inside with sensory play zones – certain to be a banker given the unpredictability of the climate. The Landmark Trust nonetheless has availability for the week beginning 21 July at Causeway House – the one home in Northumberland nonetheless thatched in heather (£1,304, sleeps 4).


Elevated view city walls and waterfront, Calvi, Corsica, France.
The waterfront of Calvi, Corsica. Photograph: Alamy

Book now: the identical once more please …
If the holiday is proving a cracker and a return is deliberate, why not e-book for subsequent summer time earlier than you’ve even checked out? Chances are a superb worth might be negotiated, significantly if it’s a small, family-run enterprise and a friendship has been struck up with the house owners. They’ll be happy to lower out the middlemen, passing on any fee as a reduction – or a minimum of cost you an identical as this 12 months.

Go now: finish of August seaside holiday
August is when most Europeans flock to the coast, making it essentially the most crowded and costly time to go away, however leaving it till the final week earlier than colleges go again can convey vital financial savings. It could also be mandatory to dip into the primary few days of September and get again simply earlier than the beginning of time period, however the financial savings are price it. Simpson Travel has villas and flats in Greece, Turkey, Corsica, Italy and Mallorca and most drop in worth on the finish of the month. Seven nights for 4 in a two-bed house on the Costa Nera Suites in Corsica, a three-minute stroll from the seaside, with rent automobile and BA flights on Sunday 27 August, prices from £1,017pp, in contrast with £1,330pp earlier within the month.


The beach near Haven Holiday’s Devon Cliffs caravan park.
The seaside close to Haven Holidays’ Devon Cliffs caravan park. Photograph: Graham Oliver

Book now: half-term enjoyable
Be extra relaxed when it comes to reserving October half-term, significantly now that extra colleges are staggering time period instances. If you may afford one other holiday after the summer time, there’s normally loads of child-friendly holidays out there till early October. Haven Holidays runs good-value Halloween-themed breaks at its 37 parks throughout Britain, with reveals and video games, and indoor swimming pools. A four-night self-catering, half-term holiday at its Devon Cliffs caravan park in Exmouth begin at slightly below £350 for a household of six.

Go now: one final blow-out
Ibiza’s summer time season is coming to an in depth, however presumably the most effective nights are but to come. The White Island’s well-known closing events begin from mid-September. Daytime temperatures are nonetheless within the mid-20s, however the seashores are extra chilled and evenings cooler. Low-cost airways serve Ibiza nicely, significantly from regional airports, and this summer time Jet2 provides every day flights from Stansted. Stay mid-September for 4 nights on the Sunset Penthouse, Café del Mar (sleeps 4), proper above the island’s well-known chill-out bar, for £881. In August the worth jumps to round £1,300.


Northern lights at Jökulsárlón, south-east Iceland.
Northern lights at Jökulsárlón, south-east Iceland. Photograph: Ramiro Torrents/Getty Images

Book now: festive break
The countdown to Christmas has begun and it gained’t be lengthy earlier than snowflakes and fairy lights begin showing in store home windows. If you’re beginning to really feel the magic, now could be the time to e-book a festive break, however that doesn’t have to imply forking out for Lapland or Disney. For December and most of January, Amsterdam’s Light Festival turns the town into an impressive illuminated present. Join a strolling tour, or maybe one of the simplest ways to see them is on a night cruise, with a mulled wine or scorching chocolate, or over dinner. Three nights in a cool one-bedroom apartment on the city centre Amstel canal is £434 for 2 in December on housetrip.com.

Go now: autumn aurora
Seeing the northern lights in autumn means fewer folks, milder climate and decrease costs. Best Served Scandinavia’s four-night journey to Iceland begins from £790pp together with flights in October (in contrast with £915pp in February), taking in Reykjavik, the Golden Circle and Jökulsárlón, with an escorted tour to Thingvellir nationwide park, the well-known scorching springs at Geysir and the spectacular crashing water at Gulfoss, plus a couple of glaciers and the blue Lagoon.


Dania beach, Florida, United States.
Go to the Flo … Dania seaside, Florida. Photograph: Lorraine Boogich/Getty Images

Book now: get together in New Orleans
Tourist numbers – and lodging prices – soar in New Orleans in February when guests flock to the town for Mardi Gras. But in 2018 there will probably be one more reason to get together when the Big Easy celebrates its 300th anniversary. Book in November and it ought to be doable to snap up lodging offers for the French Quarter music competition in April, certainly one of many occasions to mark the tricentennial. Based on information analysis, lodge search engine hotelscombined.co.uk predicts that the Wyndham lodge will price £104 an evening in April 2018 – lower than half what it might price in February.

Go now: child-free Florida
The Sunshine State welcomes holidaymakers year-round, however November is arguably the most effective time to go, so long as you’re youngster free. Temperatures hover across the mid-20s and it’s not overly humid or stormy, however with all the children nonetheless within the classroom and pre-Christmas rush, it’s nonetheless comparatively crowd free. Be certain to keep away from Thanksgiving (23 November) when visitors can get heavy. Travel Trolley has a one-week holiday on the Bahama Bay Resort in Kissimmee (room-only) with return flights from Heathrow on 7 November for £666. The similar holiday in August is £1,128.


Keen on a Kenyan safari? Cheetah at Samburu national park.
Keen on a Kenyan safari? Cheetah at Samburu nationwide park. Photograph: Alamy

Book now: for diminished 2018 flights
Coming full circle, December is the time to begin planning your 2018 holiday, as many airways and tour operators start flash gross sales within the third week of December. Last 12 months noticed British Airways providing reductions on fares to greater than 100 locations, together with return flights to Boston from £377 and Mumbai from £413; Virgin Atlantic had return flights from Heathrow to New York from £399 and Gatwick to Havana from £599 (nonetheless legitimate and working till 7 February 2017); and easyJet had financial savings of 20% off greater than 400,000 seats. On the holiday entrance, Austravel was providing two weeks in Perth and a west coast self-drive journey from £795pp together with flights in May or July; and Sovereign was slicing an additional £100 off its current sale costs for six days between 26 and 31 December.

Go now: safari escape
Escape the festive scrum and deal with your self to an African safari. December landscapes in Kenya are inexperienced and lush and the perfect habitat for migratory birds and fluffy newborns. An eight-night Cheetah Safari departing 3 December with Kuoni (together with Emirates flights from Gatwick) prices from £2,648pp, in contrast with £3,091pp in August. It takes in Samburu, the Rift valley and the Maasai Mara, with not a mince pie or bauble in sight.

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