It's dark, it's cold and the winter blues have set in. If you feel like your body could do with an extra dose of vitamin D during the chilliest months of the year, why not plan your 2014 holiday
to warmer climes next winter so there's something to look forward to.
Out of the summer season flights tend to be cheaper and the resorts less overcrowded, making this an ideal time for a short break to sunny shores. Here are seven of the best locations for winter sunshine.
1. The Canaries
Tenerife, Lanzarote, La Palma and Fuerteventura make up the archipelago of the Canary Islands. Beautiful beach resorts blessed with year-round sunshine, the Canary Islands offer everything you could wish for in a winter sun holiday and more.
Hotels can be booked as all-inclusive options or as apart-hotels for a self-catering stay and even in January soaring temperatures mean a trip to the beach is on the cards.
La Palma offers calm and peaceful breaks, Lanzarote is ideal for volcano hopping, Fuerteventura provides beach-based sports by the plenty and Tenerife is ideal for typical Brits abroad style stays. Plus, a holiday here probably won't break the bank.
Getting away from it all is a piece of cake when it comes to Thailand. Try the Phi Phi islands for snorkelling and outdoor adventure or the resorts of Phuket and Pattaya for luxury stays.
In Thailand you will find value for money accommodation, sensational dining experiences and warm weather when those back home will be donning gloves and hats.
3. The Maldives
A tropical paradise, the Maldives offers snorkelling and diving holidays as part of your unique island stay. In fact, many hotels are located on their own individual islands for complete luxury.
4. South Africa
From wildlife spotting trips to relaxing by the Indian Ocean, there is an eclectic mix of things to see and do when you visit South Africa.
Despite being a 12-hour flight from the UK, the country is only two hours in time difference from the UK, so you won't struggle with jet lag. Be sure to visit Cape Town for its shopping, wine tasting and fine dining, as well as the area's beautiful beaches and glorious warm winter climate.
5. The Caribbean
With so many Caribbean islands to choose from, you might be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding on a destination. The Dominican Republic offers quality stays at great prices, whilst in Antigua and St. Lucia, you can embark on a holiday of complete and utter luxury.
The islands provide some of the world's most beautiful scenery, warm waters for swimming and snorkelling and a wide variety of wildlife.
What a great way to treat your kids to a winter they'll never forget, with a trip to Florida. Out of season you might find you save precious pennies on the flights too.
But Florida's not all Mickey Mouse and theme parks. The beaches are some of the most glorious in the world and you can choose to stay in a huge variety of accommodation, from luxury all-inclusive hotels to villas by the sea.
With sun, sea, sand and more history than you can shake a stick at, Egypt provides endless entertainment under the winter sun.
The Red Sea is renowned for its excellent marine life, ideal for snorkellers and divers alike and the area offers luxury hotels at perfect prices. In addition, there is Egypt's cultural side, with pyramids, temples and museums all ripe and ready for exploring.