Smart travel tips – January

This year, I want to get better at planning our holidays. We always leave it quite last minute and end up probably paying too much or playing it safe and going to the same places.  I figuresd that if created a “smart travel tips” column here, it would help both me and you !
Smart travel tips for early holiday booking and planning.

Each month, I will list booking tips or reminders, where it’s sunny and also new hotels opening as they often offer discounted prices for first visitors.

Booking tips

  • Ideally your summer house is already booked. If not, now is the time. I will publish a round-up post of previously found houses to help you with this tomorrow.
  • For those of you fans of the five star luxury hotel Martinhal beach resort in Portugal, I learned today from  Jo at Family Holidays Company that they operate a system like Easyjet where the price goes up the better sold a particular date is.  So for instance they just increased the prices for the summer holidays.  If you want to benefit from lower prices, book a stay there for your October half term.
  • Equally book your summer flights now
  • Time to benefit from early booking offers at hotels even for this summer.
  • Book big cottages for your next Christmas break.  I know it seems far away but “c’est bientôt Noël” as a friend of mine always says. I have some ideas for group houses in Europe here or in the New Forest here;
  • You could still get some good offers for late spring ski.
  • There are also possible good deals for winter sun to Canaries, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocoo.

Hotels opening this month

The Serras Barcelona, a new five star luxury hotel opening in January 2015 near the Ramblas.

The Serras hotel in Barcelona,  a new five star luxury hotel in Picasso’s first studio near the Ramblas.  If you want style at cheaper prices, check Praktik hotels instead!

La Réserve, Paris, really top luxury so keep it for a special event.

Maison Souquet, also in Paris in the famous Montmartre area. Decor by Jacques Garcia so quite heavy but the indoor pool and hammam could be tempting…

Best destinations this month

For the sun

  • the Caribbeans
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Mexico and Central America in general
  • South Africa

For ski

  • the Alps (France, Austria, Switzerland)
  • the Northern Lights in Norway.
  • the Shetland Islands and Scotland host the biggest fire festival in Europe

Best to avoid

Indonesia, the Seychelles and Polynesia where it is still the rainy season

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