The turkey is not yet roasted. The port bottle yet to be uncapped. The food baby still unconceived. But, the prospect of a cold, barren January is already looming. Don’t you just hate that time of year? The hangover from the festive season lingers long, and the first month of 2019 shouldn’t be one spent entirely on these shores if you value your sanity. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL tips for planning to perfect winter getaway.

THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT THE DESTINATION

Sure, when escaping Dry (and freezing cold) January is the key priority of your hastily arranged vacation, the actual destination might seem not to matter. Just get me on a plane and get me out of here, we hear you cry. But the most important aspect of planning the perfect winter holiday is of course selecting a place where you would actually like to spend some time. The key consideration you should be weighing up, we suppose, is whether soaking up some rays tops the itinerary. If so, somewhere far flung is best; perhaps Thailand or Mexico, where good weather is guaranteed as both are in their dry seasons at the start of the year. If you’re after a city break but don’t mind braving the cold,  New York City or Copenhagen are magical in the winter months.

COMPARE AIRLINE PRICES

If you’re reading this, then you probably have a second window open, on the verge on booking that impromptu winter break. Such spontaneity, though, means that you won’t be able to book the flight well in advance and benefit from the usual reductions this brings. So, when buying your ticket, really shop around, comparing prices and paying close attention to how changing the booking by just one day earlier or later can completely affect the price. The whole month view on Skyscanner is a useful tool; flexibility, they say, is the key to snapping up a bargain.

MAKE SURE OF A SMOOTH GETAWAY

With money short and time tight, every second of your getaway counts. You’ll want everything to run smoothly and efficiently from the moment you leave the house, in order to make the very most of your time. While some holidaymakers have caring and courteous loved ones who volunteer to drive them to and from the airport, most people arrange for transportation themselves. If you’re in the latter camp, take advantage of services like www.bristolparking.com to keep your car safely stored during long and short holidays alike. With the peace of mind this grants, you can settle into holiday mode more quickly.

PACKING

It goes without saying that you should check the temperature of your destination, plus seasonal averages, so you’re well informed about what to pack. Travel as light as you can, within reason, as the winter vacation is meant to be a burst for freedom, and you don’t want to be struggling under the burden of too much luggage.

DON’T OVERLOAD THE ITINERARY

No doubt Christmas has been hectic, with each day of the festive calendar full to bursting. The last thing you want from your winter break is to be rushing between engagements or tourist attractions, barely taking time to breathe. Instead, keep the itinerary light, allowing time to soak up the feeling of not having very much on. Bliss.