IT’S NOT TOO LATE to make a new year’s resolution you can keep. Your mission for 2023 should be to get a better summer holiday at a price you can afford – so say hello to TUI’s Live Happy sale!
That destination you’ve always had your eye on? Right now it might be within your budget – and those higher-grade hotels could be bargains rather than blowouts.
With big discounts on high quality resorts, as well as thousands of free child places on offer, now is the time to pounce.
There are plenty of good reasons to book with TUI. For one thing, it’s the UK’s biggest holiday company, looking after more than six million travellers a year. Then there’s 24/7 phone support from expertly trained staff, plus full Atol and Abta protection.
TUI also offers trips to more than 180 destinations worldwide, departing from a wide range of UK airports.
But savvy holidaymakers have even more reasons to book, because TUI’s Live Happy sale is the smart holidaymaker’s passport to a truly memorable summer break.
WHERE TO GO
This is a worldwide sale so there are bargains to be had both close to home and in far-flung destinations. But there are a few areas where there are particularly good deals, including a great mix of old favourites, such as Spain and Greece, plus on-the-rise destinations like Cape Verde.
Of the classic destinations, Orlando might just be the most action-packed. Famous for its thrill rides and Disney magic, this is the theme park capital of the world.
But central Florida is not all rollercoasters and shows. You can also indulge your inner astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center, see alligators on an Everglades airboat ride and enjoy quirky attractions such as the Museum of Illusions.
For family-friendly accommodation, Legacy Vacation Resorts Orlando-Kissimmee is close to the action. It also has its own minigolf course, multiple pools and affordable two-bedroom suites – ideal when travelling with kids.
SUNNY CAPE VERDE
Off the coast of Africa, the Cape Verde Islands are rapidly becoming the smart choice for winter sand and sunshine. But the big beaches and fascinating mix of cultures work just as well in summer.
On the white sand island of Sal, Hotel Riu Palace Santa Maria nails the luxury all-inclusive experience. There are live cooking stations at breakfast, a water park and water sports on the beach and a packed activity programme. But there’s also encouragement to get out and explore the island.
That might mean visiting the cute fishing villages of Pedra de Lume and Palmeira, or bathing in the lava-surrounded natural pools at Buracona.
For more of a thrill, hire a buggy and drive across the desert dunes.
The Canary Islands combine friendliness and beautiful beaches with dramatic volcanic landscapes.
Tenerife offers volcano-climbing adventures on Mount Teide and giant water slides at Siam Park. Lanzarote has caves, geysers in the Timanfaya National Park and the Rancho Texas wildlife park.
Gran Canaria is the great all-rounder, though. Here, you can flit from grand cathedral to hulking volcano, or from botanic garden to sweeping sand dunes.
The beachside TUI Blue Orquidea is one of several great family spots on Gran Canaria. Alongside the kids’ club are character parades, fun challenges to try new foods and even professionally run swimming lessons.
Elsewhere in Spain, there are plenty of sale deals for the Spanish costas. These seaside strips offer golf courses and beaches but they’re also close to the cultural attractions, restaurant scenes and urban energy of cities such as Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga.
The Balearic Islands, meanwhile, are famous for their party spirit but away from the bars there are also plenty of local markets, water sports and gorgeous natural landscapes.
Each island has its own personality. Ibiza is cool and clubby but with a hippy streak. Majorca offers a bit of everything, including a massively underrated island capital in Palma. Menorca is quieter and more traditional. All three, though, have great places to stay.
Spacious apartments are a key lure for Protur Safari Park aparthotel in Majorca, but the massive lagoon pool and African-themed water park don’t half help.
Marina Parc by Llum Hotels in Menorca has even bigger water park slides. But among all the kids’ facilities, there’s a chilled-out atmosphere for parents seeking relaxation.
GREECE IS THE WORD
For island time on the other side of the Med, Greece has endless options. Off the west coast, the Ionian Islands are long-standing favourites. Corfu has a strong British influence, lush interiors, olive groves and wineries.
Kefalonia, meanwhile, mixes yachts moored off white sand beaches with four-wheel drive adventures on mountain roads.
Further east, the South Aegean Islands bring higher temperatures and plenty of variety. Rhodes and Kos are drenched in history, with grand towns and impressive ruins.
Stunning Santorini, based around a volcanic caldera, is a great place for setting out on a scenic boat trip. And Naxos has arguably the best beaches in the Mediterranean.
The biggest Greek island, though, is Crete. Here there are lashings of heritage – the magnificent palace of Knossos tops the list. There are plenty of beaches, while the craggy, mountainous interior is great for hiking. Try the steep-walled ravine of Samaria Gorge, an unquestioned highlight.
That’s in the west of the island, just south of the old Venetian port of Chania. The city brims with handsome fortresses and monasteries, and has some smart beaches to boot.
One of the best, Gerani, is home to the village-style TUI Blue Atlantica Caldera Creta Paradise. This family-focused resort has some swim-up rooms, a deliberately shaded kids’ pool, restaurants showing off the best of Cretan food and even a football academy.
Whether the little ones go on to be star players remains to be seen. But we already know that the real winners are those who got the bargain holiday deals.
5 FABULOUS REASONS TO BOOK WITH TUI
The TUI Holiday Promise
This includes refund guarantees on all package holidays. If yours is cancelled, you get your money back within 14 days.
Flexible payments are part of the promise, meaning monthly direct debit payments with small – and sometimes 0% – deposits.
Free child places
TUI makes sure that free child place deals are available on some holidays year-round. Yes, even in summer.
TUI offers super-handy discount codes for single travellers and solo parents.
TUI flies from 21 UK airports, including Norwich, Exeter, Humberside, Teesside and Inverness.
HOLIDAY MORE FOR LESS
Highlights of TUI’s holiday sale include these May gems
Greece family fun, staying at the Porto Bello Beach in Kos, featuring a water park and great beachfront location. Seven nights, all inclusive in a family room, leaving from Gatwick, £689.20pp
Cape Verde sunshine, relaxing at the adults-only Riu Cabo Verde, right on the sand, with two huge pools and a swim-up bar. Seven nights, all inclusive in a double room, leaving from Manchester, £832.42pp
Florida theme parks are on your doorstep at Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites. Universal’s newest hotel features cool coastal vibes and tropical pools. Seven nights, room only, leaving from Birmingham, £870.55pp
Get the best deals before they’re gone – book now at tui.co.uk. Discount codes, terms and conditions are available on the site
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