Where to go for a cheap holiday in December 2016

Affordable sunshine, bargain city breaks and budget island escapes

gambia beach

It may be one of the most expensive months to travel thanks to Christmas and New Year celebrations around the world but December offers a whole host of cheap holidays if you know where to look and when to get the best deal.

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Before the school holidays and in the first two weeks of the month are your best bets if you want to really cut the cost of your December holiday but there are bargains to be had closer to Christmas and New Year too.

Forget the sun-soaked, celebrity islands in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean if you're after a budget-friendly holiday as, unsurprisingly, these are out of reach for most travellers in December. There are, however, many excellent alternatives that won't break the bank - whether you fancy a week in the sunshine or a traditional winter break with Christmas markets and ice skating.

For a long-haul escape complete with sandy beaches and glorious sunshine, look no further than Gambia, which offers a taste of Africa at a fraction of the price and just a six-hour flight from the UK with no time difference - so no jet-lag! Perfect for a winter sun escape, the small country boasts temperatures of up to 30C and affords more than just beaches for those who like to explore different cultures and landscapes.

In Europe, Portugal is a December hotspot, where the cities of Lisbon and Porto provide excellent value, beautiful attractions and superb dining. Over in the Canary Islands, the winter sun classic of Tenerife invites you to soak up the rays, get active by hiking the volcanic landscapes and enjoy affordable luxury.

Browse our pick of the best places to go for a cheap holiday in December.

Cheap December holiday destinations

Cheap December holiday destinations