So we are now well into the January post-Christmas blues – back to work, dreary weather and healthy living diets galore. The only thing that can make it better … booking that first holiday of the year and having something to look forward to and work towards! But where are the most popular destinations that all us NInjas can get to in 2018?
Let’s start with the Holiday Ninja’s own personal favourite – North America. 2017 was a tough year for bookings across the pond with “you know who” in charge however early signs for 2018 have indicated that its an area of the world that a LOT of people want to get to again.
There are three direct options from Belfast on offer to the United States. Norwegian Airlines (that arrived into NI last year) offer you two direct options to the Eastern Seaboard – New York and Providence. The NInja actually gave them both a blast last year and couldn’t recommend them more. The NY route is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get to the Big Apple, while Providence opens up New England and is a great base to explore that part of the world including Boston. The other direct route is to Orlando, Florida, with Virgin Atlantic that runs from April to September. Orlando is arguably the biggest and best family holiday spot in the world and its fantastic to have that direct door to door service from Belfast.
The rest of the USA, as well as Canada, is available via Dublin (only a 90 min drive from Belfast). Aer Lingus have recently added direct routes to the likes of Miami, Philadelphia and Seattle in addition to their services to NYC, Chicago and San Francisco among others. While Toronto, is always a big favourite for people from this part of the world with Niagara Falls only a short drive away.
Of course the likes of short CityBreaks have become MASSIVELY popular over the last 10 years with the low cost airlines flying to many European cities from the NI airports. The major well known cities like Barcelona and Paris are always the ones thought of first but the choice on offer these days opens the likes of Berlin, Milan and (for all you Game of Thrones fans) the beautiful city of Dubrovnik (Croatia) to the masses. And for great NInja value, Poland can be a real winner with cities like Gdansk, Wroclaw and Warsaw all available in addition to the ever-popular Krakow.
However, at this time of year, everyone is thinking (or dreaming!) about sunshine and some heat! And in 2018 we have more “Sun Spots” on offer from Belfast than ever before! Spain gives us the most choice with Malaga (Costa Del Sol), Girona (Costa Brava), Alicante (Costa Blanca) and Palma (Majorca) on offer with a variety of airline and tour operators. The Canary Islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria can give you the sunshine and warmth even in the winter months while Portugal (Faro) is always a firm favourite for families with the Algarve resorts offering so much for both adults and kids.
Also, Jet2 increased their offering last year announcing a load of new routes in 2018 from Belfast that include Madeira, Antalya (Turkey) and Paphos (Greece). They now fly to 22 destinations and are one of the UK’s largest tour operators.
And if you fancy something a little further afield, one of the most popular and surprisingly affordable short sunshine breaks is to Dubai in the Middle East. Year-round hot sunshine and playground of the rich and famous is available from Dublin on the direct service with Emirates. There is also Abu Dhabi and Etihad fly direct from Dublin as well – a 4-5 night stay is a lot better value than you would think … just make sure to bring the suncream!!
Hopefully that gives you some inspiration for your 2018 travelling plans – obviously there are a LOT more options and ALL of these destinations are available through your local travel agent, why not call in and get your year off to the perfect start and get that trip or holiday booked that you and your friends and family can all look forward to! The Holiday NInja already has a couple of places booked in, where are you going to go this year???
Have a NInjatastic 2018!