This is a guest post from the people behind Hostelbookers.
Some people can’t wait to flee the nest and cure their winter blues with a holiday in a warmer and sunnier climate. Perhaps you just fancy something a bit different than the usual turkey dinner and chunky knits keeping out the cold such as a BBQ on the beach? Here are HostelBookers.com top picks for a decidedly warmer winter:
Sydney, AustraliaJetset to the southern hemisphere where the population down under is enjoying its summer season. Sydney is buzzing at this time of year as people make the most of the weather outdoors with a heady array of music, food and arts festivals on offer too.
Locals love their coffee and there are plenty of curbside cafes and quayside restaurants where you can soak up both Opera House views, Australian wines and fresh seafood. In fact, if you are visiting at Christmas, a seafood BBQ is the traditional Christmas lunch/dinner here and on a hot sunny day you won’t miss the turkey and roast potatoes one bit.
Head to the Northern Beaches or Bondi to watch the surfers or why not join in yourself? There are plenty of surfing schools around that can teach you the art of catching those magnificent waves.
Kings Cross and Darlinghurst are all popular nightlife hubs but for something extra special New Year’s Eve in Sydney is legendary. Nothing beats the flotilla of vessels that parade a 15km circuit for the Harbor Light Parade followed by fireworks over Sydney Harbour.
Punta Cana, Dominican RepublicOne of those blissfully mild all year-round destinations, temperatures peak at about 29°C and rarely drop below 20°C during the night between November and April in the Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana boasts some of the best beaches in the Caribbean – think soft white sand, aquamarine and bathwater-temperature sea bordered by shady coconut palms. Head to Playa Limón for a spectacular drive through the mountains to find your own spot on an all but isolated beach.
The Punta Cana Ecological Park is home to over 80 bird and 500 plant species and you can take a 90-minute guided tour through the idyllic freshwater lagoons, an area known as the Paque Ojos Indigenas. Other popular activities include golf, snorkelling and catamaran cruises.
Koh Samui, ThailandBackpackers and luxury travellers alike are keen to savour Thailand’s hippy island paradise. Spend lazy days on the beaches munching on mangoes or marvel at the Samui Butterfly Garden.
There are also opportunities to ride elephants and trek to jungle waterfalls and the best snorkelling can be found in Ko Tao. But when night falls, Koh Samui is also a steamy place to party – you have probably heard of the infamous Ko Pha-Ngan full moon parties.
Once you have sampled a few mouth-watering meals, you might want to pick up a few tips for preparing Thai dishes back home. The Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts offers daily courses in creative fruit and veg carving to traditional cooking lessons.
You can book a cheap hotel in Sydney, Punta Cana and Koh Sumui with HostelBookers.