Thailand has been on and off all through the global travel lockdowns. First closed, then open for some islands via a sandbox scheme, then closed again... Finally, the country has reopened to tourists in a relatively straightforward way, making it possible to head out to Bangkok and the islands once again.
April is the celebration of Songkran - 13th to 15th, this is the Thai new year, and in Bangkok especially is experienced by visitors as a city-wide, multi-day water fight when everyone throws water over everyone else. April is the hottest part of the year so you'll usually be glad of the chance to cool down, and it's a chance to see Bangkok at its best - the city is always wonderfully noisy, riotous, friendly and chaotic and Songkran is a perfect example of this.
Thailand's most drool-worthy islands
The best of the best - white-gold sand, clear blue waters and som tum on the beach.
Finland celebrates Vappu on May 1st - but that's a Sunday and the celebrations start the evening before. So if you want to be there to see it you should head over for the weekend, and we're putting it in our April list.
Vappu is Finland's traditional celebration of the end of winter and start of spring. When you're as far north as Finland, that change of seasons is a big deal, and throughout Finland the spring is ushered in with sima (a Finnish sparkling mead) and doughnuts. In practice, that means a big party in Helsinki and other population centres on the Saturday night, followed by everyone heading to the parks to catch whatever sun they can find on Sunday morning. Vappu is therefore celebrated mainly outdoors, making it one of the most Covid-cautious national festivals you can visit this month.
Finland in the spring is a delight. The weather starts to turn, you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights and it's still possible to try winter activities like ice-swimming or dog-sledding. The spring boat trips from Helsinki to Suomenlinna (the scenic ocean-side fortress) also start up again around this time of year.
Netherlands was one of the last countries in Europe to reopen to UK visitors - until suprisingly late in March, we had to quarantine regardless of vaccination stauts. But now Netherlands is open to us like pretty much the rest of the world, and April is a great time to go.
That's because of the tulips, which just about start to come out in March but are at their glorious technicolour best in April.
That means the Keukenhof Gardens are open. You can head out from the city to the tulip fields for a visit, and Amsterdam holds its tulip festival all through the month. Amsterdam is a great citybreak any time of year, but April sees it at its beautiful blooming best so if you're planning a trip, now's the time.
We visited Amsterdam a few years ago to make our video guide for visitors to the city - follow the link below for a general tour guide, or see our video below for an unusual video tour of one of its most infamous attractions.
Our guide to Amsterdam
Make the most of your Amsterdam citybreak with our hassle-free guide - including where to go, what to eat and what weather you can expect.
Coachella | California
There's never a bad time to head out to California, but April's an especially popular choice. The weather is warm but not oppressive, it's an excellent time of year for hiking the state's redwood forests and national parks, but it's also Coachella, one of the best music festivals on Earth.
After two years in which, as the song goes, we lost dancing, the summer of 2022 promises to be an absolute blow-out for live music in the open air. Start it off in mid April with Coachella, and then head out on the road to explore California.
Six travel myths that shouldn't stop you going on holiday
With travel pretty much back to normal, don't let confusion about the lockdown rules stop you taking that holiday you've been waiting for.
Kos | Greek islands
Right now the Greek islands are the second most popular destination for UK holidaymakers*. If you want reliable early-season sun without flying long-haul, you've got the Canaries, Madeira, the Azores, Cyprus, Turkey and Greece. Currently Greece is proving a popular choice with its combination of beaches and ancient culture, relatively relaxed Covid rules to get in and move around, and of course the superb hospitality you can always expect when you head to the islands, especially after two years starved of a proper tourist season.
This time of year we especially recommend Kos. At the end of the month the spring flowers are just coming out. It's the hottest of the major islands in April, with an average temperature in the low twenties in the daytime and a pleasant 12 at night. At 17 the sea's probably bit chilly for a swim, but hardier souls will be happy enough in the water and if a relatively cool dip isn't for you, it's perfect sunbathing weather.*Spain is still top. Spain's always top.
Which Greek island shoud you visit?
Our guide to five of the best Greek islands for summer
Florence | Italy
Florence is packed over the Easter weekend and you'll be lucky to get into the Uffizi without booking well ahead. Come any other time in April though, and you'll be able to dine outside in comfort, enjoy the museums and not yet hit the sweltering and overcrowded summer when tourists descend on the city in droves.
If you come to Florence we always recommend heading up into the neraby hills to Fiesole. From there you get a much better view of Florence that you'll ever see from the city itself, and the relative cool, peace and quiet are a delighful counterpoint to the bustle of the streets below.
Our guide to Florence
Watch our original video guide to the birthplace of the Renaissance
South Africa was one of the latest countries to drop PCR tests for vaccinated visitors at the end of March, so it's easy and cheap to visit now.
April is autumn in South Africa. Nothing's too crowded, so you can get out of the cities and see the animals in peace, but it's still warm and the end of the month the rainy season is coming to an end. Late April also sees the public holiday Freedom Day, commemorating South Africa's first elections, and is the start of good surfing off the coast, so whatever you're planning to do with your visit April is a great time to go.