Nomad Maddie: Beat the winter holiday blues

Winter time is the time to escape: Maddie shows us some of January’s best travel deals and discounts

A month synonymous with resolutions, celebrations, and of course an array of mood boosting sales, January is the most underrated month around. Especially when it comes to holiday planning. If you want to find a relaxing English weekend break in the months ahead or plan for a multi-continental excursion then prepare to spend a little now, but save a lot in the long run with these January holiday discounts and deals.

1) STA Travel
STA are the travel company to go to if you want student fares for flights, hotels and adventure tours. The current January discounts mean further savings as STA are currently offering a £49 deposit scheme to book up flights, with the rest not needing to be paid until 10 weeks before departure. They also offer a price match guarantee, so it’s worth searching around a bit for flights as if you can find one cheaper than STA they will match it, or if they can’t they’ll give you a mouth-watering £1,000 travel voucher. The most tempting January discounted flights include, £99 return to Marrakech, and for those with a higher budget, Melbourne from £635. There’s an STA store at Low Ousegate to pick up a brochure or chat to an STA advisor.

2) Ryanair
The Aldi of airlines, Rynair has brought us quintessential Europe on an all too enticing budget. You may have thought their prices were already low, but consider their sale now and you could be flying return to Barcelona from as little as £55, Venice from £67 and Budapest from £56, all departing from various London airports during the Easter season. Even with Ryanair’s infamous added tax you’re ensured a bargain if you take advantage of their current discounts.

3) Hotels
The New Year is the best time to grab a discounted price for hotels as availability for the later year will have only recently been announced. Travelodge are currently selling off their 2014 winter rooms for £25 and Premier Inn have their spring rooms on sale for £29. Puma Hotels are meanwhile offering 40% off stays at any of its 21 four-star venues in England, Scotland and Wales. It’s for stays until 31st March, but you must book by 31st January 2014. More information can be found on Lewis’ website.

4) British Airways
Our national airline will have you feeling patriotic with their current sale. If you’re planning ahead for Easter or the Summer and fancy a trip State-side then British Airways could be the best airline for you right now, as they are selling off their return flights to various American cities from as little as £400 return.

What about a weekend away after those January deadlines? BA now stands for ‘best around’. You can fly return to Zagreb for £92, which actually rivals the expected budget airline EasyJet’s fare, which for the same dates in April was £140 and Paris also now can be flown to return for £62 which again rivals the longer Eurostar travel alternative. Make sure you take advantage now however as the sale ends 28th January.

5) Virgin Atlantic
Richard Branson has long been bringing us the more luxurious things in life; better television, better travel, and now better airfares. Their sale that continues until the 28th of this month means that for those of who are planning a few weeks or months away in the future can snap up a premium bargain. The Caribbean islands can be flown to from £600 return, and flying from a less popular London airport such as Manchester you can save even more. From Manchester the Caribbean is available from £570, Shanghai from £585 and Dubai from £450, all return. These may be on the more extravagant side, but hey, spending sooner will save you in the long run.

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