How to get some winter sun family time on a budget

Guest Post: Tips for getting more winter sun for your money from

As the cold weather sets in and the thermostat goes up, many of us start dreaming of exotic climes – not least to top up our dwindling Vitamin D levels. But the financial reality of travelling a long distance with a family can be off-putting. We’ve asked our friends at leading family travel website for their tips on getting some winter sun with the kids without breaking the bank.

Don’t rule out long-haul destinations – increasing numbers of all-inclusive hotels and resorts in far-flung locations including the Caribbean, Mexico, South-east Asia (especially Thailand) and Africa (including the Gambia) are making them more accessible to families. More frequent flights to some are also helping to bring prices down.

With older kids, consider India, especially colourful Goa. While flights aren’t cheap (or short), you’ll be rewarded by low local prices. Homestays are an increasingly popular way of introducing children to local people and culture, and beach shacks are a great-value means of discovering authentic local cuisine.

Bear in mind that long haul doesn’t have to mean ultra-long flights. Dubai and Oman are both lovely and warm at this time of year, and great with families, but only seven hours’ flying time from the UK. Dubai is particularly exciting at the moment, with a whole raft of new theme parks that have opened in 2016. But Oman is also worth considering, with ancient forts and palaces, deserts, souks, wadis and oases to discover, plus some fantastic beaches.

On the other hand, don’t discount short-haul options – it may not be sunbathing weather in Tenerife and the other Canary Islands, but the sun will almost certainly shine down on you. With kids, just be sure to pick a hotel or resort with either a heated outdoor pool that is open all year round or an indoor pool. The same goes for the Med, including Cyprus and Malta.

Or go mid-haul. Morocco is just three-and-a-half-hours’ flight from the UK but offers all kinds of scope for family adventures, plus weather that’s pleasantly warm without being uncomfortable for younger children. Local costs are also low. The same goes for Jordan, just a five-hour flight from the UK.

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