Now the weather has turned, our hobbies have certainly changed. Four months ago we might have thrown an impromptu barbeque, but tonight our only plans include sitting in front of the TV, watching I’m a Celeb and inhaling the world largest plate of Chinese takeaway. But does winter really have to signal the end of all the fun you can have outside of your house? No, it certainly doesn’t! Winter is actually the perfect time to take a holiday! With cheap flights this time of year and festive cheer spreading itself around the globe, why not take the plunge, record I’m a Celeb and go somewhere exciting this winter? And whilst you probably won’t be jetting off to Ibiza again, here are six winter holiday ideas which will have you finally unpacking your bikinis from your suitcase and filling it with warm clothes instead. So, whether you've just won the lottery or you are searching behind the sofa for forgotten pound coins – there's a winter holiday waiting for you…
1. German Christmas markets: is there anything more Christmassy than a proper German Christmas market? Every city in Germany has one from Cologne to Munich so there’s lots of markets to choose from, wherever you fancy going. Walking around the markets all wrapped up, with a Glühwein in one hand and a Bratwurst in the other… what could be more perfect? You can even pick up some last minute Christmas presents – be it proper German chocolate, gingerbread, or a handmade toy. Flights to Germany with budget airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet are cheap at this time of year, so check on their websites for deals and prices. Remember to be alert at Christmas markets this year with respect to last year’s events, but don’t forget to have fun as well as being vigilant!
2. London – the most wonderful time of the year cannot be complete without a trip to the capital. Christmas shopping in Covent Garden, the beautiful lights down Carnaby Street, and Christmas trees in every window; London truly is magical this time of year. There will be an array of Christmas events happening in London this year for all the family, so it is definitely worth finding out what’s on. Whether you just want to catch a show, or do some shopping – go and soak up the very festive atmosphere London offers.
3. The Northern lights in Iceland – will it be expensive? Probably – but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Northern Lights and the beautiful scenery Iceland boasts. From whale watching to bathing in a hot spring, Iceland is a perfect getaway for the adventurous ones amongst you. It could even be a Christmas present for a loved one who you just don’t know what to buy. Is there anything better than the gift of travel? Before you go, make sure to get the right insurance for all the exciting activities you’ll want to try out in Iceland – your standard insurance might not cover everything!
4. Edinburgh – the most beautiful city in the UK – in my opinion – and one that is even more stunning (if possible) at this time of year! If the lights on Prince’s Street and the Christmas markets aren’t enough to get you into the festive spirit, then the bracing Scottish weather will have you feeling Christmassy in no time at all. When attending Christmas markets – whether in Britain or abroad – remember to be vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings because Christmas markets get so busy they are the perfect place for pick-pockets.
5. New York – possibly the most stereotypical of winter city breaks but it nevertheless deserves to be on this list. And who cares if you are being cliché if you are taking in the beautiful city views whilst ice-skating at the Rockefeller centre? I can’t think of a more perfect way to spend your winter holiday! When you aren’t ice-skating or having breakfast at Tiffany’s – because you now can – you could take in the incredible views at the top of the Rock and/ or the Empire State Building. And if you feel like being generous, you could find the perfect – albeit slightly expensive – gifts for your family in one of New York’s many famous department stores.
6. A cottage in the Lake District – if you want to get away without the hefty price tag, why not escape to the countryside and enjoy endless walks, beautiful views and nights by the fire watching TV and drinking festive drinks. You could even bring the dog with you (provided you check with the owner of the cottage/ the company if they are pet friendly!) This kind of holiday does not have to be expensive, but could be the escape from reality/ deadlines/ job stress you seriously need.
Keep up to date with any and all information relevant to your travels by following @FCOTravel on Twitter and Facebook.