While the focus is very much on Christmas right now, before you know it the new year will be upon us and thoughts will turn to a break in the sun. I always think it’s good to have a holiday to look forward to, especially during the cold, dark months. If you haven’t already booked a getaway for next year and are wondering where and when to go, I have some travel ideas for 2024.
If, like me, you love the hot weather then you’ll want a destination that offers guaranteed sunshine all year round. The Caribbean and the UAE are pretty safe bets in this department. I’ve been to the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) a couple of times and it was in the mid to high 30s both times, consistently. Flight time is about seven hours from the UK. August is the hottest month, with an average daily maximum of 44 C and an average low of 30 C. The coolest month of the year is January with an average daily maximum of 25C and an average low of 14C.
For a slightly longer flight time (from the UK) you could chose the Caribbean instead. I’ve been to Barbados seven times and I absolutely love it there. It has a very relaxed vibe and the people are incredibly friendly and welcoming. High season is December to April, while June to October is the rainy season.
If you’re short on time, or just fancy making the most of a long weekend, then a city break is a fantastic way to explore somewhere new. The most obvious choices for Europeans are the big cities like Paris, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, Madrid and Barcelona. However, there are some beautiful, more affordable destinations that might not be on your radar. According to the Post Office’s Holiday Money Report 2023, Lisbon was ranked the cheapest city break. Others on the list included Vilnius, Zagreb, Budapest, Warsaw and Riga. If you can go mid week you could bag a bargain on flights too.
I have to confess, my only experience of cruising was a school trip in 1987 and it wasn’t exactly luxurious! I was 13 and we were due to depart from Heathrow to Athens on that fateful day in October when a hurricane took us all by surprise…even the weather forecasters! What was supposed to be a day exploring the Parthenon turned into camping down on the airport floor for hours and eventually admiring it from afar at night before sailing for Egypt the next morning. It was a wonderful experience – we got to visit the museum in Cairo, the pyramids at Giza, see Jerusalem and Bethlehem, float in the Dead Sea and spend a day each in Rhodes and Izmir. All these years later, I’d love to take another cruise, but this time in a more luxurious manner! Top of my list would be a Caribbean cruise on the MSC Magnifica. Getting to explore multiple destinations in one trip while enjoying the luxury facilities of a cruise ship would be amazing. And of course, I’d love the excuse to dress up for dinner!
*Images courtesy of Unsplash and Iglu Cruise.