Beach holidays in January 2018

I recommend The Gambia for a cheap holiday in January. This charming, friendly low-cost beach destination on the West African coast has much-improved hotels and great weather: about 31°C and 9 hours of daily sunshine. Last January I stayed at the Kombo Beach Hotel, which I can highly recommend. Check out the January holiday deals.

Another good-value option is the Cape Verde Islands, a diverse archipelago between West Africa and South America, but easily accessible by direct flights from the UK (in less than 6 hours). With temperatures of 24°C in January, superb beaches and excellent choice of hotels, this is a real up-and-coming destination.

Another destination for good-value tropical beaches in January is Mexico, particularly if you’re looking for an all-inclusive option. If you like an all-singing, all-dancing resort, head to Cancun, while Puerto Vallarta has more local character.

Bali is a great destination for winter sun, with stunning beaches and fascinating colourful local culture. Beyond Bali, the fascinating archipelago of Indonesia offers some of the world’s most beautiful marine parks, along with breathtaking temples, forest and wildlife from Orang-Utans to Komodo dragons. Try this Essential Java and Bali tour.

Thailand is a perennial favourite and remains great value, although you should avoid the east coast beaches in January, which is rainy season. Phuket and Krabi and the surrounding islands such as Ko Phi Phi are perfect. It’s also a great time of year to tour Thailand and the temperatures and humidity are not too high. Check out Experience Travel Group which has an inspiring selection of tailor made private tours focussing on jungle, temples and cuisine.

If you’re ready to splash out on a tropical island, the Indian Ocean is a great choice in January – perhaps a luxury hotel in Mauritius, an overwater villa in the Maldives or a gorgeous beach hideaway in the Seychelles.

For something less expensive, head to Goa in India where white-sand beaches, great food and world-class sunsets can be had at bargain prices. Expect 9 hours of daily sunshine and 28ºC temperatures. Choose between a beachfront hotel or a comfortable homestay such as Fort Tiracol or Panjim Inn. Check out the latest special offers.

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Mid haul sunshine

If your priority is just to escape the grim weather at home and find a hot holiday in January, I recommend Tenerife or Madeira (now served by new direct flights with British Airways). Both are just four hours flying time from the UK.

It’s only 7 hours to fly to the Arabian Gulf where you’ll find temperatures of around 29°C – plus great beaches, buckets of sunshine and a dazzling array of attractions. For glitzy hotels, fine dining and amazing shopping, head to Abu Dhabi where best places to stay include the five-star Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and the great-value Park Inn. Check out the latest special holiday offers.

 

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Portugal & The Algarve

Maybe the Algarve seems like a new contender in the 2018 or 2019 holidays pack, but she’s been around a lot longer than you think. This part of southern Portugal easily contends with other popular holiday destinations, such as the Balearics or the Costa Blanca.

Due to Portugal’s new status as a cheap destination packed full of beaches, culture and tasty food, the Algarve is exploding in popularity. A 7nt holiday to Albufeira is becoming more and more popular due to the low prices on flights and the year-round weather, perfect for a late 2018 getaway or planning ahead for summer 2019. We think the best way for you to figure out why so many people are visiting the Algarve is to visit for yourself!

Albufeira is our go-to for a bustling Algarve experience. Blue flag beaches, reasonably priced hotels and a flight directly into neighbouring Faro, Albufeira is a must-visit for an affordable 2018 holiday. Albufeira also has some great deals on hotels and flights throughout the year, making it viable for 2018 or 2019.

The Algarve, a golden stretch of Portuguese coast, offers up any number of resorts to choose from, from Vilamoura to Praia da Rocha, and we’re sure we can find something exciting just for you. With plenty of deals on flights, cheap hotels and all-inclusive packages, why wait to book your 2018 or 2019 Algarve getaway?

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Benidorm Holiday

Benidorm is just one of those iconic cheap holiday destinations. Some say it is the resort in Spain, especially if you’ve struck the Balearics off your list for 2018 / 2019. When the first skyscrapers started popping up along the coast of the Costa Blanca, decades ago, no one was quite sure just how much of an important figure this resort would become to the average British holidaymaker. Home to dozens of all-inclusive hotels, Benidorm beats off its Spanish rivals, such as Alcudia in Majorca, or Salou in the south of Spain, as the king of cheap all inclusive holidays.

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Known as a cheap holiday destination with perfect, well-kept sands and a choice of hotels – varying from all inclusive hotel bargains to stunningly good deals on great self-catering accommodation –  choosing Benidorm in the Costa Blanca for your next resort holiday makes as much sense as the copious amounts of ice-cream you’ll inevitably be eating. Booking a 7-night stay in Benidorm is a super cheap holiday, and the price includes flights and all-inclusive: a no-brainer! Then you won’t even have to worry about the cost of that ice-cream. Whilst you’re on the Costa Blanca, Alicante is another top choice and not far from Benidorm. Flights to the Costa Blanca land in Alicante.

Another popular Costa in Spain is the Costa Brava, with Lloret de Mar as a fantastic holiday option for a 7-night stay. Just up the coast from Barcelona, Lloret de Mar provides amazing Mediterranean beaches, affordable resorts and a range of family-friendly hotels. The Costa Brava is home to Barcelona, so if you ever tire of Lloret de Mar’s great atmosphere down on the Costa Brava – which is unlikely! – you could always plan a holiday to the Catalonian capital. Also on the Costa Dorada is Salou, a perfect family holiday destination.

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All Inclusive Holiday Deals 2018

Go all in with our fantastic all inclusive getaways. Offering everything you’ll need for a great getaway, you may all set to relax when you book one of these fabulous packages.

With an all inclusive getaway, there’s no need to worry about the fee, as all the important products is already included. Reserve a package, and likely to be able to enjoy meals, snacks, drinks and cocktails in the comfort of your hotel or resort. Other popular all inclusive amenities include entertainment and activities, and also you might even find health and wellbeing facilities, such as spa and gym use included.

If you are looking to treat the kids for an amazing trip away that they will never forget, look into our family all inclusive getaways. In addition to food and drink, all inclusive holidays packages often allow you to experience all sorts of sports and snorkling and diviing etc activities too. Childrens’ clubs and live entertainment may also be included, making them exquisite for keeping the little ones happy. Meaning you can just get on with sitting back, relaxing and unwinding.

Want to beat your special someone away for an extra special break? We now have packages that are suitable for couples all inclusive holidays, with an array of luxury hotels and vacation rentals to choose from. Publication one of those discounts and you’ll be ready to receive away from it all, and spend some intimate, romantic time together. They’re suitable for remembering a birthday, an wedding anniversary or a honeymoon.

Locate a bargain break by the beach. With this cheap all inclusive holidays, you can pay for to treat yourself.

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CHESTER CHRISTMAS MARKET | 16 NOVEMBER – 20 DECEMBER

CHESTER CHRISTMAS MARKET | 16 NOVEMBER – 20 DECEMBER

 

CHESTER CHRISTMAS MARKET

With over 70 traditional wooden chalets situated in the heart of Chester, shoppers are in for a treat at Chester Christmas Market. The twinkling Christmas tree and the smell of hot chocolate adds to the atmosphere and is sure to get everyone feeling festive. There’s an abundance of Christmas gifts, regional products, crafts, clothing, accessories, jewellery and stocking fillers available, so picking the perfect presents will be a walk in the park.

Chester has plenty of fantastic rentals to choose from, so forget overcrowded high street shopping this year. Book a stay in Chester for a magical Christmas shopping experience.

Choose a Christmas shopping holiday in Chester

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NATURALLY NORTH COAST & GLENS CHRISTMAS MARKETS

NATURALLY NORTH COAST & GLENS CHRISTMAS MARKETS | VARIOUS DATES

 

NATURALLY NORTH COAST

Naturally North Coast & Glens Market is a social enterprise that brings Christmas markets to local communities each year. The Christmas Tour for 2017 includes the Ballymoney Christmas Market on Friday 1 December, the Ballycastle Christmas Market on Sunday 3 December, the Roe Valley Speciality Market on Saturday 16 December and a new Market this year in Ballymena on 21 – 23 December.

The markets provide the perfect platform for local producers to showcase their talents and products. Each hosts a variety of artisan traders selling a wide range of hand-crafted goods from local artists and designers, and the finest foodstuffs from speciality food producers.

Book a holiday full of festive cheer in Northern Ireland

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EDINBURGH’S CHRISTMAS MARKET – PRINCES STREET GARDENS | 18 NOVEMBER – 6 JANUARY

Edinburgh is the place to be for Christmas shopping this winter. Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market is packed full of entertainment including the Santa Train, Big Wheel, Star Flyer and Christmas Tree Maze! It’s sure to keep the whole family entertained and get everyone into the festive spirit. Pick up locally-made Christmas goodies and don’t forget to treat yourself to a mulled wine while you’re at it!

This Scottish city is perfect for a winter break with the family or a romantic pre-Christmas stay. And with rentals to suit all tastes and budgets, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Find a festive stay in Edinburgh

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BATH CHRISTMAS MARKET | 23 NOVEMBER – 10 DECEMBER

BATH CHRISTMAS MARKET

Nestled between the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey you’ll find over 200 decorated wooden chalets selling local artwork, gifts, festive food and drink, bespoke decorations, jewellery and much, much more. Soak up the festive sights, smells and sounds as you wander through the picturesque Georgian streets and squares.

Immerse yourself in this magical festive shopping experience and you’ll be sure to find the perfect present for friends and family (or perhaps even a little something to treat yourself!). And when you book a rental, you’ll have plenty of time to visit Bath’s fantastic attractions, such as the rooftop spa and the Jane Austen Centre.

Book a festive break in Bath

 

 

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How 13 Different Countries Celebrate Christmas Holiday

The Czech Republic

You know how people hate being single on the holidays? Well, single Czech women are no different. On Christmas Eve, it’s tradition for Czech women to put their backs to the house door and throw a shoe over their shoulders.

If the shoe lands with the heel towards the door, then she might as well cancel her Tinder account and buy up some more cats. But, if the front of the shoe points to the door, then she kisses her parents goodbye and gets to planning a wedding that will trump Kim K’s!

Norway

Brooms and similar cleaning items are all hidden away, and men fire their guns into the night on Christmas Eve in Norway. According to ancient belief, this is primetime for witches and evil spirits to emerge.

Here you thought “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was just a figment of Tim Burton’s imagination.

Australia

Christmas in Aussie land falls in the summer time. So, it makes sense that they have BBQs and — wait for it — motherf*cking kangaroos in their Christmas traditions.

Yup, Santa swaps his reindeer for “six white boomers” or kangaroos or even rides over on a surfboard. Nice one, mate!

Armenia

Some Armenians choose to fast the week before Christmas. Then, they break their fast with a light Christmas Eve meal called “khetum,” which includes rice, fish, chickpeas, yogurt soup, dried nuts and grape jelly desserts.

So, if you want to avoid weight gain this holiday season, maybe consider heading to Armenia.

South Africa

Why have eggnog and pumpkin pie when you can celebrate Christmas by eating plump, fuzzy caterpillars, aka Emperor Moths? Don’t worry, they’re fried in oil, so you know it’s good… right?

Ukraine

The Ukrainians use fake spider webs to cover their trees.

Why? According to legend, a poor widower had no money to decorate the family’s tree. Some friendly spiders were grief-stricken when they saw the widow and her crying children, so at night, when everyone was asleep, they decorated the tree with silver and gold.

After that, the poor family became prosperous, lucky and never had a financial woe, ever again. Thus, a spider web-covered tree signifies prosperity and wealth for the next year.

This Christmas, I’m covering my tree, my house, my dogs and my brother in Halloween’s fake spider webs!

Venezuela

On Christmas Eve, Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, closes down its streets so everyone and anyone can make their way to church. In roller blades. ‘Nuff said.

Spain

You’d think pooping and farting humor stops after the age of 6, but not in the Spanish region of Catalonia.

The humor lives on in the form of a character called Caga Tio, which means pooping log. Basically, Spanish children will feed the log in hopes that it’ll grow bigger.

Meanwhile, parents will swap the log for bigger logs, and on Christmas Day, the family gathers round to sing it songs to help it defecate … presents!

India

The amount of Christians in India amounts to only 2.3 percent of its population. But, wait, India is one of the most populous countries in the world, meaning that translates to 25 million people who celebrate Christmas.

Due to lack of fir and pine trees in the region, Indians use banana or mango trees as a substitute.

Philippines

You won’t find stockings hanging on chimneys in the Philippines. Rather, kids will polish their shoes and leave them by the window sills, so when the Three Kings walk by at night, they’ll leave presents.

Ireland

Rather than milk and cookies for Santa, it’s all about Christmas pudding made with Guinness or Irish Whiskey. This tradition also carries over to the UK.

Thanks to the high alcohol content, it can lasts for months on end, even to next Christmas. And, getting a good buzz from sweets never killed anybody. I don’t think…

Japan

Maybe you thought Pikachu came to homes in Japan to drop off some sushi and saki bombs for a festive meal. Wrong!

Thanks (or no thanks) to a successful campaign run in the 70s, many Japanese people go to the one and only Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) to get their grub on.

Because what’s better than a turkey or roast? Fried chicken, that’s what!

Canada

There is an actual postal code used in Canada to send letters to the North Pole: H0H 0H0. Unfortunately, since there is no centralized address, thousand of volunteers help out the Canada Post to respond to the letters received, even in Braille.

Please Note: These are general tales for the countries’ traditions and not every citizen necessarily country participates.

Nevertheless, whether you indulge the above or not, everyone has traditions, and it’s always fun to share in the festivities of the holiday season.

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