Winter sun holidays: Cheap winter sun breaks from Madeira to Mexico

The sun is out in the UK but even a great British heatwave won't stop us from planning our winter sun holidays. It's never too early to start thinking about where you'll jet off once the cold weather sets in and, what's more, booking your winter getaway in advance will often reward you with a brilliant bargain.

UK breaks and Mediterranean beach escapes may be on the horizon for some, but savvy travellers know to take advantage of the early bird deals for cheap winter sun.

If, like us, you're ready to book your end-of-year getaway, there are some fantastic places to visit in Europe and a few far-flung destinations that won't cost the earth.

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With affordable winter trips in mind, we're looking to some of the best bargain websites for winter sun holidays, including Secret Escapes, which offers up to 60 per cent off, and On the Beach, the experts in sun-soaked getaways.

Here's our pick of the best winter sun destinations for the 2019/20 season...

Dubai

A classic location for couples and families, if you're after heat, desert adventures and blue skies, Dubai is the place for you. The kids will love the water parks, like Aquaventure, while there's superb dining that will impress the adults - and don't miss Friday brunch, a decadent affair for foodies.

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Temperatures reach around 250C throughout the winter months, so while your friends at home are getting their woollies out, you can dust off your summer swimsuit.

When you're not feasting or whizzing down a waterslide, there are sandy beaches, desert safaris and boat trips to experience. Grab a winter sun deal with On the Beach at top hotels like Atlantis The Palm, JA Jebel Ali Beach Hotel and Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa.

Algarve

Another great destination for winter sun, the Algarve offers temperatures of around 18C in the winter months, making it ideal if you're looking for a short-haul destination. The southern Portuguese region provides visitors with authentic cuisine, a huge range of activities - from cycling to surfing - and sandy beaches.

Winter sun holidays: Cheap winter sun breaks from Madeira to Mexico

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Winter is a splendid time to explore the region's towns and villages on two wheels, enjoy a round of golf and go wine tasting. On the Beach offers seven-night winter sun holidays for as little as GBP104 per person in December.

Riviera Maya

With its heavenly beaches, Mayan ruins and tasty Mexican food, the sun-soaked Riviera Maya is top spot for a winter sun holiday in Mexico.

Beach bums will be spoilt for choice on this stretch of Caribbean coastline and there's no shortage of sprawling resorts with impressive pools and excellent dining spaces.

Winter sun holidays: Cheap winter sun breaks from Madeira to Mexico Tulum

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A day trip to Tulum to see the epic ruins is a must-do and you'll have so much fun at amazing eco theme park Xcaret. Want to stay right on the powder-soft sands? On the Beach offers winter escapes to Playa del Carmen, Cancun and other parts of Riviera Maya from GBP518 per person for seven nights, with beachfront, adults only and family-friendly resorts to choose from.

Check out Secret Escapes' current deals for Mexico holidays, which often include deals for swim-up suites and spa perks.

Canary Islands

As far as winter sun destinations go, the Canaries are a top-notch location to soak up the rays (the islands see 300 days of sunshine a year) and balmy temperatures of 220C. Unlike many other European beach settings, the Canary Islands' resorts stay open throughout the winter so you'll find a livelier atmosphere than on the Med.

Winter sun holidays: Cheap winter sun breaks from Madeira to Mexico The colourful houses of Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

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Whether you're visiting Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife or Fuerteventura, there's plenty to keep you entertained. Visit Lanzarote's Teguise Market for lovely souvenirs, hike Tenerife's otherworldly Mount Teide National Park and visit pretty fishing villages, like Puerto de Mogan in Gran Canaria.

The beaches are quieter and worth a trip too: Corralejo Grandes Playas (Fuerteventura), Playa Mujeres (Lanzarote) and Playa Tejita (Tenerife) boast gorgeous sands. Look no further than On the Beach for cheap holidays to the Canary Islands.

Thailand

Winter is the perfect time to travel long-haul, where you can rest assured that hot weather awaits from the moment you land and Thailand is the place to look for the best bargains. Islands like Koh Samui and Phuket provide idyllic beaches, lush rainforests and impressive sites to explore, while Bangkok and Chiang Mai are great cities to explore if you're after a more fast-paced way of life.

Winter sun holidays: Cheap winter sun breaks from Madeira to Mexico

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Head over to Secret Escapes to find huge discounts on Thailand holidays, with up to 60 per cent off at luxury hotels, city and beach packages, plus island hopping trips available.

Cyprus

As one of the warmest places in Europe during the winter months, Cyprus offers glorious beaches, ancient sites and delicious food for the perfect retreat from cooler climes.

It's a great destination for families too, if you're after somewhere for February half term.

Winter sun holidays: Cheap winter sun breaks from Madeira to Mexico

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UNESCO World Heritage Centre Paphos offers incredible archaeological sites that will impress the kids and adults, while Larnaca is the country's oldest town and offers a relaxed way of life. For excellent shopping, nightlife and beaches, cosmopolitan Limassol provides a lively scene. On the Beach has seven-night winter sun holidays to Cyprus from GBP98 per person in January. Check out Secret Escapes for offers on stays at new hotels and all-inclusive holidays in Cyprus.


The best travel pillows for every type of snoozer

Trtl Pillow

Trtl

GBP24.95

It's wrapped around your neck like a scarf and is one of the best travel pillows around if you're looking for an alternative to the traditional U-shaped pillow with scientifically proven support. We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article

Travelrest

Travelrest

GBP18.95 Giving full support to your upper body, this travel pillow makes it easier for you to relax and fall asleep on a flight, while inflating and deflating easily.

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow

Therm-a-Rest

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Ideal for everyone from flyers to campers, this foam pillow packs small and expands big, giving you home-like comfort wherever you are.

J-pillow Travel Pillow

J-Pillow

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BCOZZY Kids Chin Supporting Travel Pillow

BCOZZY

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Ostrichpillow Original Travel Pillow

Ostrichpillow

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It's a little out there but the Ostrichpillow is a brilliant gift for those who love their - especially if they'll be spending a lot of time in airports. Wherever they are, they just slip it over their head to be on their way to dreamland.

SLIP Beauty Sleep To Go! Travel Set

SLIP

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A mulberry silk pillow with a matching sleep mask, this luxe travel pillow was made for travellers who like to jet away in style.

Huzi Infinity Pillow

Huzi

GBP35.00 Made from soft bamboo fabric, this cosy pillow offers comfort however you sleep and is a great one for blocking out noise too.

Winter sun holidays: Cheap winter sun breaks from Madeira to Mexico

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The Conran Shop

GBP60

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This stylish travel pillow crafted from memory foam is lightweight enough for you to carry anywhere so you can catch 40 winks while provided with natural neck support and comfort.

Go Travel Luxury Ultra Flexible Memory Foam Recliner Travel Pillow

Go Travel

GBP22.99 For reclined sleeping, look no further than Go Travel's memory foam pillow, which bends to shape for an individual fit and comes with handy side storage pockets to keep your reading glasses or mobile phone.

Cabeau Evolution Cool Travel Pillow

Cabeau Anyone who hates thick, warm pillows and wants something to keep their neck and head cool during a flight will like this air-circulating option with innovative cooling vent technology.

Go Travel Ultimate Memory Pillow

Go Travel

GBP25.00 Ultra-soft and providing a 360-degree fit, this travel pillow offers all-round shuteye on the go and features an adjustable closure clasp to prevent your head from rolling forwards.

Travelstar Hoodie Travel Neck Pillow

Travelstar

GBP10.95

Combining a neck pillow and a hood, this nifty number is perfect for travellers who want to block out the light for a peaceful nap.

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