Are you a winter sun hunter or a ski thrill seeker? If you think you can't afford your annual winter break, I may be able to help you cut costs.
The great getaway sales are on and there are some excellent deals to be had. Top locations for warm weather this time of year include Dubai, Thailand, South Africa, the Canary Islands and Mauritius and prices are dropping as hotels rush to fill their empty beds. And a bit of smart shopping can slice the price of a ski break too.
Luxury needn't cost the Earth and the three-star Mauritius Le Grand Bleu Hotel starts from just 44 pounds per room per night via eBookers. It's a fairytale setting, tucked away in the picturesque fishermen village of Trou Aux Biches in the north east of the island. The Mauritius Le Grand Bleu Hotel is ideal for couples and perhaps the setting for a pre-Christmas proposal, too?
Staying at Shanti Maurice you can experience the sights, sounds and flavours of Mauritian culture with its mix of Indian, African, French and Chinese influences and a sumptuous spa. Luxury Holidays Direct are offering 7 nights from £1699 per person. Save 50% per person on departures from November 28 to December 13.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai may have a glamorous reputation but there are hotels were it is not overly expensive to enjoy some winter sun. The Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa is opposite the Dubai Museum and has won awards for its Arabic-style facilities. This award-winning hotel is also in the ideal location for shopping, close to the Meena Bazar Overall. Rooms start from 84 pounds per night via eBookers.
Flight sales are currently taking place with British Airways, EasyJet and Monarch. Lastminute.com are running their winter sale until January 2013, leaving you plenty of time to research and compare deals.
Winter sun routes in the Monarch sale start from just £39.99, including booking fees and card charges. Destinations include Malaga, Alicante, Faro, Gibraltar, Fuerteventura, Larnaca, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Madeira and Sharm El Sheikh.
Fancy some snow? Research shows there are a number of non-Eurozone countries for winter sports enthusiasts that with a stronger pound can be cheaper than the popular Eurozone destinations - so emerging ski destinations, such as Bulgaria and Romania, can shave hundreds of pounds of the cost of your break.
In the last 12 months, MyTravelMoney.co.uk found that the pound has risen strongly against a basket of winter ski currencies. The biggest movement has been Sterling versus Romanian Leu, where British holidaymakers get 10% more bang for their buck. Sterling has also been performing strongly against the Bulgarian Lev, with a 6.6% increase over the last year. Those wanting to stick to popular French or Italian ski resorts will take comfort, the Eurozone crisis meaning Brits get 6.5% more Euros for their Sterling.
And you can make your travel money go further with some savvy shopping before you depart. A mystery shop undertaken by MyTravelMoney.co.uk found savings of up to £57 on £600 worth of currency last month, comparing rates found online to deals at Heathrow and Manchester airport terminal 3. Many online travel money suppliers also offer next-day delivery on currency, so there is really no excuse to wait until the airport to buy your euros or dollars.
So pick your perfect winter getaway slot, get booked in then compare your currency. All that's left to work on after that is your tan... or your ski technique!
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