Planning holidays helps get many of us through our working weeks and months but there is nothing like the spontaneity of a last-minute getaway. Booking a holiday at short notice does not have to be expensive. With plenty of deals on hotels, flights and cheap travel insurance out there, you can afford to be picky and go for a destination that offers much more than price. Here are five of our favourites.
1. The Lake District
A big perk of organising things last minute is you can get a much better idea of whether the sun will shine. And when it does shine, there are few finer places anywhere than the beautiful Lake District. Visitors are guaranteed stunning views, unforgettable walks, a host of affordable B&Bs and campsites and plenty of delicious food that doesn’t break the bank. And there are no plane tickets or passports to worry about.
2. Borovets, Bulgaria
Generally speaking, budget holidays and ski holidays are mutually exclusive. But winter sport and après ski enthusiasts are taking advantage of the savings offered by Easter European resorts in increasing numbers. There is plenty of great skiing away from the ‘Big Five’ (Austria, France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland) but Bulgaria’s Borovets is one of the most developed, meaning you can expect ski hire and good facilities to go with the gorgeous scenery, varied pistes and distinctly affordable beverages. Find ski travel insurance at Columbus Direct.
3. Djerba Island, Tunisia
North Africa has long been a popular destination for UK travellers but the Arab Spring gives an even greater incentive to visit its historic shores. Now is a great time to get budget deals and to enjoy the new spirit of optimism washing through the region. Morocco and Marrakesh especially are very popular among tourists but Tunisia is more off the beaten track and the island of Djerba offers a brilliant mix of beaches and authentic villages for less.
4. Normandy, France
In terms of proximity, Normandy is as convenient a foreign holiday destination as you can hope for, and with ferry tickets costing less than £100 it is cheap to get to. But the real reason to visit is the array of fine food, beautiful towns and villages and arresting coastline. Peppering the beaches of this northern French region are beautiful mansions you might assume are prohibitively expensive. Not so. The Banc des Oiseaux in Merville and Le Bellevue in Villerville offer a rare combination of grandeur and affordability.
5. Berlin, Germany
There is probably no cooler destination in all of Europe than Berlin. For years a hangout of choice for the world’s tastemakers, confidence is high in a city that puts art and entertainment on the highest pedestals. The city is an ideal choice for hedonists, budding historians and art critics, and families looking for outdoor retreats. As you would expect from the German capital, the variety of accommodation and restaurants is huge, but there are plenty of brilliant bargain options.