Your top picks for a hot summer break in 2019
Holiday Extras customers are the UK's most discerning holidaymakers. With an eye for the best deal and the foresight to plan their airport parking, transfers and other holiday extras well before they get to the airport, these are the people in the know.
So it's always worth keeping an eye on where our customers are travelling each year. Holidaymakers who plan ahead and know how to get a good deal will often find the best places to visit. So we've researched our customers' favourite, and fastest-growing, destinations for summer 2019 so you can join them there.
Top of our list of growth destinations this summer is Barbados.
Visits to Barbados have grown so fast - 63% on last year - that 2019 sees it catapulted into the top 20 destinations for Holiday Extras customers for the very first time.We have a whole guide to Barbados and its booming popularity amongst British holidaymakers, but if you just want the highlights without clicking through:
- Barbados enjoys the white beaches, turquoise seas and reliable sunshine of the Caribbean, making it a bone fide beach paradise.
- It's a commonwealth country, and not only do the locals speak English as a first language almost all of the visitors are from either the UK, USA or Canada so you'll be able to speak English to practically everyone on the island.
- The British influence doesn't stop at the language - Barbadians also drive on the left, enjoy a British-based legal and education system and even have the Queen as their head of state.
- Finally, if you want a Brexit-proof beach holiday this summer but are nervous of booking a break in Europe this year, direct flights take only 8-9 hours from London (that's a shade under twice the flight time to the ever-popular Canaries) and as Barbados is thousands of miles from the EU British holidays should be completely unaffected by the political wrangling going on in Brussels and Westminster.
Our fastest-growing destinations in summer 2019
|1. Bridgetown, Barbados|
|2. Enfidha, Tunisia|
|3. Doha, Qatar|
|4. Corvera, Spain (new airport)|
|5. Krakow, Poland|
|Rovaniemi, Finland (which styles itself "the official home of Santa Claus"!)|
|7. New York, USA|
|8. Vilnius, Lithuania|
|9. Sevilla, Spain|
|10. Bucharest, Romania|
Portugal was the very first of the EU countries to break ranks, and in January declared that even in the event of a "no-deal" Brexit the country would want to offer Brits visa-free travel as quickly and smoothly as possible. Is that what prompted the EU to collectively declare the same soon afterwards? Perhaps. Either way, Portugal stood up as a supporter of hassle-free British holidays post-Brexit so more than any other European destination deserves our support and our tourism.
There's loads to love in Portugal - the beaches of the Algarve have always been a favourite with Holiday Extras sun-seekers, but Lisbon is an increasingly popular pick for its superb weather, laid-back culture, beautiful architecture and food. Take a look below at our guides to Holiday Extras' number one post-Brexit holiday pick.
Looking for a beach holiday that's thoroughly Brexit-proof but don't fancy the eight-hour flight to the Caribbean? In that case, unless you fancy a week in Cleethorpes, your nearest beach destinations are probably North Africa (think Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia) - or Turkey.
We visited Turkey with Girl vs Globe two summers ago to see film the work our charity partner The Travel Foundation has been doing there - check out our video below.
Flight times to the main Turkish resorts are comparable to Greece (London to Dalaman comes in at for hours and five minutes direct). That's about twenty-five minutes longer than it takes to fly to Marrakech - the only beach resorts outside Europe that are closer are in Tunisia.
Turkey has seen spectacular growth as a destination for our customers over the past two years, as the after-effects of the political coup attempt in 2016 have receded and the two-year state of emergency which followed ended last summer. Turkey saw more than two million visits from Britain last year, and as the FCO says, "most visits are trouble-free". So long as you take sensible precautions to avoid the south-east border with Syria and Iraq, and avoid political demonstrations in the capital, travelling to Turkey with the usual comprehensive travel insurance should be hassle-free.
4. Costa del Sol
Fashionable destinations come and go, but for a firm favourite wth British sunseekers the Costa del Sol has been in our customers' top five as long as we cab remember. Fly into Malaga airport and you're on the doorstep of popular beach resorts Benalmadena, Marbella and Torrelominos but you also have the beautiful Nerja caves on your doorstep and the much under-appreciated old town of Malaga itself. Our guide to Spain's sunshine coast is below and tells you all you need to know for a great break.
Better still, for a truly hassle-free trip Holiday Extras offers transfers from Malaga airport to all of the major resorts on the Costa del Sol, with drop-off at Benalmadena, Malaga town centre, Villa Guadalupe or El Palo all coming in at comfortably under a tenner per person.
Book your airport transfer early
It pays to book your holiday extras as soon as you book your trip, and transfers are no exception. Prices usually go up the longer you leave it, so it pays to plan ahead.Book my airpot transfer today
It's no surprise that lots of Holiday Extras customers fly to London. London is one of the great tourist spots of the world, and HX customers visit from all over the UK.
London is thoroughly Brexit-proof, so a trip there is a safe bet whatever the political climate. There's so much to do - check out one of our video guides below.
What may surprise visitors, or even residents of the capital, is the number of great beaches that pop up in London over the summer! Some are recurring pop-up bars, some are stretches of sand - either natural or shipped in - by the river. And last year, one even appeared at one of our favourite airport hotels! Check out our video of London's best beaches last summer over on our Facebook page.
6. New York, New York
The city that never sleeps is another great option if you want to book a holiday that Brexit shouldn't affect either way. It's so popular with Holiday Extras customers that we visited last year to make a new guide, and you can see our full video guide to the city below.
So good we visited it twice to film guides to the area, every summer Mallorca is consistently our customers' second most popular destination. We were there again last month to film an updated guide which will be coming out this summer, and while we were there we went live on Facebook - head over to our page to see what we got up to.
8. Cape Verde
Cape Verde off the south-east coast of Africa is another thoroughly Brexit-proof holiday spot that's grown in popularity with British tourists over the last five years.
With new hotel and leisure facilities up to the standard you'd expect from any beach holiday but the glamour of an African island it's easy to see why this is one of our fastest-growing holiday spots. It's now so popular with our customers we visited it to make an original video guide, which you can see below.
9. The Canary Islands
Consistently our customers' most popular destination year after year, the Canary Islands have it all. Better than European weather but European language, hospitality and facilities make this a firm favourite with British travellers looking for a week or two of reliable sunshine not too far from the comforts of home.
Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are so popular with our customers we've visited all three to produce original video guides. Below you can see an old Tenerife guide from our last visit four years ago. This summer, we'll have a new guide coming out - subscribe to our YouTube page to be alerted when it comes out.
If you want a complete change from beach holidays, Iceland has a wonderful combination of snow and ice or, if you really want a different sort of beach, black sand beaches.Iceland is perfect for either a long weekend or a two-week blow-out. A trip around the Golden Circle just outside Reykjavik can be done in a couple of days, whereas driving around the whole of the coast road and seeing the country properly can take two to three weeks.
Iceland also sits outside the EU, and with direct flights from London clocking up a mere three hours this is one of the closest, as well as the most exotic, places you can visit from the UK without having even the minor travails of getting through passport control after Brexit.
Book your holiday extras early
It pays to book your airport parking, airport hotel or your lounge as soon as you book your flights. Prices usually go up nearer the date you fly, and last year Holiday Extras saved our airport parking customers £59 each on average when they pre-booked their airport parking instead of paying on the day.Book my hotel and parking today
Next article: Every minute, Holiday Extras saves another customer £100 on their airport parking
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