Wash-out summers followed by long hard winters can turn anyone’s mind to more exotic climes and a treat in the form of some winter sun. Many of us are unable to contemplate taking long-haul holidays in the current economic climate, or don’t want to fly long distances and incur jet-lag with young children, but there are a number of medium-haul winter sun options, while Dubai and Oman are only just in the long-haul category (flights take 7hrs), and Morocco and Tunisia are actually short-haul despite guaranteeing winter warmth. Of course, the Canaries will always feature high on a family winter sun holiday shortlist too. The incursion of low-cost flight operators into many such destinations means your travel costs can be low. All are outside the expensive Eurozone, too, while some have much lower living costs than the UK.
For virtually guaranteed winter sun, consider family favourite Egypt. With young kids, the likes of Tunisia, Morocco, Dubai and Jordan have cooled down a little by our wintertime so can be a good option. Dubai starts to cool down in October but is best saved for February half-term.
For gentle sun, you need look no further afield than family-friendly Tenerife, Gran Canaria and the other Canaries, Malta, Cyprus, the Algarve, Madeira and the Azores.
For warmth without jetlag, South Africa is a great choice – its summer lasts Nov–Feb but is not excessively hot, while its winter months are pleasant.
Seek inspiration for specific destinations in big new museum exhibitions, events or movies, or in what your children are currently studying on the National Curriculum – this can perk their interest both in their holiday and in schoolwork!
Think about staying in ecologically sound lodges or family guesthouses, which can be more interesting ways of experiencing some of the above-mentioned countries than the conventional options.
See also our Christmas holiday ideas, half-term holiday ideas, and Easter holiday ideas.
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