January. The month that feels like 31 Mondays. Grey days, cold nights, and the perfect time to start planning your holiday. How do you choose where to go?
Obvious restrictions aside, (budget, school holidays, current political climate) we are lucky enough to have the world at our disposal, but with great choice comes even greater decisions.
Broadly speaking, holidays can be broken down into three categories; the staycation, short haul and long haul. What matters most to you about your holiday? To me it's the weather, so while the UK is absolutely brimming with beautiful places to explore, for those two precious weeks of every year I want guaranteed sunshine, great food and glorious beaches.
Due to the rather vexing equation of fun+time=fast, those two weeks tend to go pretty quickly. I need to get to my destination within a few short hours; recovering from jet lag is not an option for my fortnight of freedom.
Recommendations from friends play a big part too. Because I suffer from a severe self-diagnosed case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), if a trusted companion has just returned from the South of France and regales me with tales of bread from la boulangerie and picnics on la plage, then that's where I really, really want to go.
And so my options begin to narrow. I'll start to research short-haul destinations, cross referenced with statistics on average hours of sunshine and tips from my friends. A great place to start is with Sovereign Holidays - luxury comes as standard here and their award winning holidays should inspire you. Check out the Amathus Beach Hotel in Cyprus - their spa looks divine; perhaps the perfect place to take the children and still relax and unwind. Or how about a trip to Carcassonne? The cité is a sight to behold, steeped in history and culture, and a great juxtaposition to the modern city with its super-chic shops and gourmet restaurants. Try www.frenchconnections.co.uk for beautiful villas.
Perhaps you fancy something completely different - if so please look at www.sunsail.co.uk. Their sailing holidays are available for experienced mariners, for eager but inexperienced sailors who'd like to give it a go as part of a flotilla, or for those of us who'd prefer the option of hiring a fully-qualified skipper for part or all of the charter. Just imagine sailing into a secluded cove, jumping into clear aqua waters, pottering over to the nearest beach, perhaps shopping in the local market for fresh produce before enjoying an al fresco supper under the stars on the deck of your yacht...
Suddenly summer doesn't feel too distant. It might be winter outside, but in my heart it's definitely August.
See here how Maybe* can help you plan your next holiday.