My husband and I moved to the Netherlands from Canada recently and we want to go away for Christmas.
We'd love some advice on where are good and afordables destinations from here, ideally somewhere warm, but we'll consider anything. Also, are there any travel websites with packages and what not that i could look at? I've searched and can't find anything.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I can highly recommend southern Portugal (the Algarve) or Spain (Andalucia: Sevilla e.a.) for Christmas. I have good memories of eating Christmas dinner on the beach somewhere west of Faro. The sea isn't warm enough for swimming in, but you should still be able to expect daytime temperatures above 20 degrees celsius.
You should be able to find relatively cheap flights (~300 euro) with Iberia to Sevilla (and maybe also look at Transavia). Don't know who flies cheaply to Faro (maybe also transavia? And could be that TAP is not too expensive.) Various flight search engines should be able to tell you, or maybe just drop by a travel agency to see what recommendations they have.
Alternatively, completely not warm, I'm a big fan of Stockholm in winter; lots of wonderful cozy cafes in the basements of the old buildings of Gamla Stan, which together with the old-style lantern-lit cobblestone streets makes for a wonderful atmosphere.
For going away for cheap I am a big fan of L'Tur. They are a travel agency specialized in last-minute deals. I'm especially fond of their deals on flights to popular holiday destinations. You can usually get very cheap flights to Egypt, Morocco and other places around the Med with them as well as find some great offers for long-distance flights to Africa, India, Mexico and South East Asia.
If you are limited to the Christmas holidays exactly L'Tur might not be the best choice (they will only be able to sell the left-overs), but if you can leave about a week before Christmas they might have some great deals.
Destinations that are warm enough for a beach holiday around Christmas are the Canary Islands, Spain and the Red Sea area in Egypt, specifically Hurghada and Marsa Alam.
BTW, if you are on a really tight budget keep your eyes peeled for 1-week trips to Turkey. During winter there are special offers to Turkey sponsored by the Turkish ministry of Tourism. The price is usually from 99 EUR per person if two people book at the same time for the flight and a week in a 4-star hotel with half board, some excursions to Antalya and Pamukkale. That can be a great deal if you like culture and shopping and don't mind 10-20 C mixed in with some rain and a beach too cold for a swim.
[ Edit: Edited on 04-Nov-2009, at 08:08 by t_maia ]
Try Rome and then a cheap train down to the foot and across to Sicily. It won't be tropical, but a lot warmer than Amsterdam and a squillion times hotter than Canada in December !
Easyjet will fly you there from Schiphol direct. Different prices for different days, but they start off cheap as long as you don't want to go on Christmas Eve. Goodness knows why they're allowed to quadruple their prices, but we all pay em. Perhaps thats the reason.
Forget the packages, they just rip you off. Build your own tour and save a fortune.
Agree with the tip about Sicily. The weather can be a little bit hit-and-miss, you could get 20 C and sunshine or 10 C and rainy - but it will definitely be warmer than the Netherlands. My suggestion would be to grab a budget flight and rent a car and stay in small pensions there, train is not so good for getting around the island and the area south of Naples. As for budget flights - depending on where you are in the Netherlands you might want to look at Ryanair flights to Trapani from Bremen and Duesseldorf Weeze.
www.skyscanner.net can help you find cheap flights.