The American ‘snowbirds’ have been doing it for years – flocking to sun-kissed Florida to escape harsh winters in the north of the country. And now Britons are following the trend of escaping to warmer climes abroad, especially as the cost-of-living crisis begins to bite.
With long-stay hotel rooms available from as little as £8.89 a night, it’s certainly a much more pleasant way to spend hard-earned savings than losing them to hefty household bills…
THE HEAT IS ON IN TENERIFE – FROM £28
Warm welcome: With the rising cost of living in Britain, escaping abroad for a long winter sun holiday is a more pleasant way to spend hard-earned savings than losing them to hefty household bills. Jet2 Holidays has 55 nights in a self-catering apartment at GF Noelia Hotel in Puerto de la Cruz (pictured), Tenerife, from £30 a night
Tenerife has top-class beaches galore and plenty to explore, including the striking scenery of Mount Teide National Park, while the daily winter temperature ranges from 22C to 26C (71F to 78F).
To make the most of it, a 55-night stay at the cheerful Laguna Park II self-catering apartments on Costa Adeje costs from £1,557pp (£28 a night) with Manchester flights (jet2holidays.com). Jet2 also has 55 nights in a self-catering apartment at GF Noelia Hotel, with a charming rooftop pool, in Puerto de la Cruz, from £1,676pp (£30 a night) with Stansted flights.
Meanwhile, for 28 nights all-inclusive, Tui is offering Tui Suneo Tamaimo Tropical in Puerto de Santiago from £1,542pp (£55 a night) with Manchester flights (tui.co.uk). Or it has a 28-night all-inclusive getaway at Bahia Principe Sunlight Tenerife from £1,729pp (£61 a night).
For something a little plusher, Landmar Playa La Arena is close to the peaceful fishing village of Puerto de Santiago, with a giant pool, spa and tennis courts. A 27-night stay costs from £1,326pp, 58 nights cost from £2,805pp and 89 nights cost from £4,565pp. Each includes breakfast and Stansted flights, working out at about £50 a night (landmarhotels.com).
TIME TO EXPLORE MALTA – FROM £8.89
The luxurious Xara Palace hotel in the ancient Maltese city of Mdina, pictured, is offering a 60-day stay for £67 a night
An 88-day stay via British Airways at the smart Solana Hotel & Spa in Mellieha (above), with pools and a spa costs from £1,144pp (£13 a night) room-only, with flights from Gatwick for bookings made before September 20
Check in for 28 nights at Topaz Hotel, which has a pool, spa and cocktail bar in the resort of Bugibba (above), and pay from £249pp (£8.89 a night) with Gatwick flights (thomascook.com )
It’s not quite as warm in Malta during the winter as in Tenerife, with daily highs of between 16C and 25C (60F and 77F), but it’s a fascinating island with much to investigate.
An 88-day stay at the smart Solana Hotel & Spa in Mellieha, with pools and a spa costs from £1,144pp (£13 a night) room-only, with flights from Gatwick for bookings made before September 20 (britishairways.com).
Or go half-board for 88 days at the DB Seabank Resort & Spa, which has three pools, from £2,572pp (£29 a night).
Check in for 28 nights at Topaz Hotel, which has a pool, spa and cocktail bar in the resort of Bugibba, and pay from £249pp (£8.89 a night) with Gatwick flights (thomascook.com). The travel giant also offers 28 nights all-inclusive at the Cardor Holiday Complex in St Paul’s Bay from £764pp (£27 a night), also with Gatwick flights. For 60 days at the luxurious Xara Palace, a 17th Century palace within Mdina, it’s £4,077pp (£67 a night), including Heathrow flights, a wine-tasting, five days’ car hire and restaurant discounts (xarapalace.com.mt).
CHILL OUT IN DUBAI – FROM £37
Canopy by Hilton Dubai Al Seef, in the old town by Dubai Creek (above), has minimalist rooms and a rooftop pool bar. A 30-night stay is priced from £73 a night with Emirates Holidays
Dubai offers winter daily highs of up to 35C (95F), and with theme parks, beaches, massive shopping malls and even an indoor ski slope, there’s plenty to keep you busy on a long getaway.
Canopy by Hilton Dubai Al Seef, close to the British Embassy in the old town by Dubai Creek, has minimalist rooms and a rooftop pool bar. Stays of 30 nights cost from £2,207pp (£73 a night), 60 nights from £3,753pp (£62 a night), and 90 nights from £5,221pp (£58 a night), all with breakfast included and either Manchester or Heathrow flights (emiratesholidays.com).
Cheaper still, Rove At The Park, close to Legoland and Bollywood Parks, has simple rooms for three months from £3,384pp (£37 a night) with Heathrow flights. It has a large outdoor pool and a laundrette – useful for long stays (travelrepublic.co.uk). From Manchester, the price is £3,545pp (£39 a night).
Alternatively, three months’ B&B at the Doubletree by Hilton in the neighbouring emirate of Ras Al Khaimah costs from £3,478pp (£39 a night), complete with a free beach shuttle, pool, spa and gym. Going all-inclusive costs £7,164pp (£79 a night). B&B at the nearby waterside Hilton Garden Inn, with a lap pool and tennis courts, costs from £4,561pp (£50 a night). Both hotels include Heathrow flights and transfers (britishairways.com).
OLD AND NEW CYPRUS – FROM £17
Simple charms: Olympic Holidays offers 28 nights from £17 a night at Leonidas Village (above) in Cyprus, which has self-catering apartments set around a pool
Cyprus is a good choice for a long getaway thanks to so many interesting cities and ancient sites to visit on cheap local buses. And with temperatures from 17C to 27C (62F to 80F) between October and April, you can expect pleasantly warm days as you do so.
A 53-night B&B stay at Paphos Gardens Holiday Resort, a modern hotel with a huge pool that’s within easy walking distance of a beach, costs from £1,151pp (£21 a night); for all-inclusive it’s £2,295pp (£43 a night). Both of these offers include Stansted flights (jet2holidays.com).
Another possibility, also from Jet2, is 53 nights’ B&B near Limassol’s old town at the bright and breezy Kapetanios Hotel from £1,270pp (£23 a night).
For more of a hideaway, the simple but charming Leonidas Village self-catering houses, set around a little pool, are in the quiet village of Goudi, not far from Paphos. For 28 nights the price is from £499pp (£17 a night) with flights from Stansted (olympicholidays.com). Olympic also offers 28 nights from £1,033pp (£36 a night) at the restful Kotzias Beach self-catering apartments in a quiet spot by Pissouri Bay, with a pool and a nearby beach. Flights from Edinburgh.
LAZY DAYS IN LANZAROTE – FROM £23
Unwind at the self-catering Tabaiba Apartments in the resort town of Costa Teguise, pictured, on Lanzarote’s north-east coast from £23 a night with Jet2 Holidays
Expect temperatures of 21C to 27C (70F to 80F) over the winter. There’s a huge amount to see and do, from exploring the peaceful volcanic interior to going to the San Bartolome market.
Set around a courtyard with a pool, the self-catering Tabaiba Apartments in the resort town of Costa Teguise on the north-east coast cost from £1,279pp for 55 nights (£23 a night) with Glasgow, Stansted or East Midland flights and transfers (jet2holidays.com).
Or try the smart Cinco Plaza Apartments in the heart of Puerto del Carmen, each with a good-sized balcony and many facing a large central pool, which Tui is offering from £887pp for 28 nights (£31 a night) with Gatwick flights (tui.co.uk). Tui also has 28 nights all-inclusive at Tui Suneo El Trebol in Costa Teguise from £1,283pp (£45 a night) with Gatwick flights.
CUT COSTAS IN SPAIN – FROM £15
Jet2 Holidays is offering 52 nights in Benidorm (pictured), staying at the ‘basic but reasonably sized’ Alpha Apartments, from £15 a night
Night temperatures along the costas of the south of Spain can dip as low as 5C (41F) in winter, but the daily highs are 17C to 25C (62F to 77F). While the big resorts and towns – Benidorm, Alicante, Malaga, Torremolinos – are well-known and home to many Brits, it’s worth trying Nerja on a pretty coastline 35 miles east of Malaga.
A 52-night B&B stay at Hotel Toboso Chaparil costs from £956pp (£18 a night) with Stansted flights – rooms are small (as is the pool) but the lounge area and terrace are pleasant, and the old town is close by (jet2holidays.com).
The firm is also offering 52 nights in Benidorm, staying at the basic but reasonably sized Alpha Apartments in the heart of the high-rises, from £822pp (£15 a night) with Manchester flights.
Or how about two months in a modern mobile home at the Alannia Costa Blanca Resort, which costs from £1,470 (£24 a night), with access to indoor and outdoor pools, a gym, sauna and steam room? The mobile homes come with two or three bedrooms, satellite TV and terraces, and all electricity and gas is included (europarcs.com). Flights to the nearest airport, Alicante, cost from £45 return (easyjet.com).
MOROCCO MAKES SENSE – FROM £9
Agadir in Morocco (pictured) is a good option for those in search of sunnier climes as it has great beaches and is ‘noticeably warmer’ than Marrakech during winter. Thomas Cook is charging just £255pp for 28 nights (£9 a night), with Gatwick flights, staying at the Bahia City Hotel
Temperatures can drop in Marrakech during winter, but aim further south and Agadir, a major ocean-front city with great beaches, is noticeably warmer.
Thomas Cook is charging just £255pp for 28 nights (£9 a night), with Gatwick flights, staying at the Bahia City Hotel. Rooms are small, as is the pool (thomascook.com).
Splash out a few pounds more for 28 nights at the more modern Hamilton Agadir, also with a pool, from £354pp (£12 a night).
ESSENTIAL CHECKS TO DO BEFORE BOOKING YOUR LONG-STAY GETAWAY
- Always check the room basis – the cost difference between room-only and all-inclusive will be huge.
- If you go for a self-catering apartment, check what the kitchen is like. For long stays, you won’t be happy if there’s just a microwave.
- Don’t book a place that’s too remote – it’s much better to at least be on the edge of a town with restaurant options, supermarkets, laundrettes and so on, then you do not rely entirely on your hotel.
- Think about what activities are available for exercise: hiking trails, swimming, parks.
- Of the main tour operators, Jet2 Holidays, Thomas Cook and British Airways Holidays tend to have the best deals.
- Also consider online self-catering apartment options offered by Airbnb (airbnb.co.uk) or Vrbo (vrbo.com) – and buy flights separately.
- Most importantly: you must remember the rule that Britons can now stay in the EU for only 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. See the section ‘Visiting the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein’ at gov.uk.