International travel has been one of the biggest victims of the pandemic, with many destinations still off limits in the wake of the pandemic.
However it’s set to become a little easier in the coming months, as the ‘travel traffic light’ system is scrapped in favour of ‘go’ and ‘no-go’ destinations based on the levels of the virus in any given country and the risk of bringing a vaccine-resistant variant home.
The rules are also changing around fully vaccinated travellers and testing requirements – effectively opening up a lot more options when it comes to jetting off.
Summer holidays were off the cards this year for many people so it’s understandable why they might seek to escape the cold December weather and take off for some much-needed winter sun.
With that in mind, where in the world is hot in December?
Where is hot in December?
If you’re keen to nab some December sunshine, the following destinations are, at the time of writing, not on the red list, and have all the warm winter weather you could want.
- Temperature: 23 C.
- Sunshine hours: 7 hours.
- Flight time: 4 hours.
The north African country of Morocco has many surprises for visitors throughout the year and the crown jewel of them all is Marrakesh.
You can stay in some of the most luxurious riads during your holidays and frequent the Djemaa al-Fna main market square that has UNESCO acclaimed performances.
Venture outside the city to the rolling Sahara dunes of the desert and ride on a camel’s back for days, sleeping in the desert at night until you reach the coast of Essaouira where you can take to the beach.
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.
- Temperature: 22 C.
- Sunshine hours: 6 hours.
- Flight time: 4.5 hours.
The Canary Islands will never make you squawk about the price or the distance and will always deliver on the weather.
The perfect place for a getaway in the sun, Fuerteventura is the second largest island of the Canaries and the temperature only drops below 20 C in the coldest weeks of January.
Head to Corralejo on the northern tip of the island for the beach experience and a spectacular view of the neighbouring Lobos.
- Temperature: 21 C.
- Sunshine hours: 7 hours.
- Flight time: 4.5 hours.
Easy to get to and easy to enjoy, Cyprus is the holiday destination that will keep your spirit warm throughout the winter months.
Also known as Aphrodite’s Isle, Cyprus will have you falling in love in seconds, and the weather won’t be the only reason.
Each day you can bask in the sun for about 7 hours lie on the long sandy beaches or trundle around the streets of the charming villages.
Head to Larnaca if you don’t want the stress of travelling once you land, there are plenty of resorts and sandy beaches to keep you happy there or you could venture to the west of the Isle to Paphos which caters for tourists with copious amounts of hummus, tzatziki, taramasalata and calamari.
- Temperature: 31 C.
- Sunshine hours: 9 hours.
- Flight time: 7 hours.
The desert will grab your heart and warm your cockles the second you arrive in Dubai and the luxury will have your head over heels.
The warm sunny weather never takes a hit in Dubai as the dry desert climate will have you hydrating at the infamous Dubai brunches, which you seriously cannot miss out on.
There will be no need to pack an emergency brolly as there will be no rain to speak of in Dubai.
Make sure to not only spend your time under the sun but visiting the souks (market) there’s spice souks, gold souks, perfume souks and fish souks.
- Temperature: 30 C
- Sunshine hours: 8 hours
- Flight time: 10.5 hours
The Maldives has a tropical climate all year round, although if you’re planning on visiting in December, you should be aware that there is a higher chance of rain then than in other months.
However the wetter weather tails off as you get closer to Christmas and New Year, so that’s worth bearing in mind if you are planning a trip.
As well as its beaches, the islands consist of 26 coral atolls which extend across 750km of the Indian Ocean – making them the perfect place for snorkelling and deep sea diving.
- Temperature: 31C
- Sunshine hours: 7 hours
- Flight time: 9.5 hours
The US will reopen its borders to fully-vaccinated UK travellers from November – meaning that Florida, which enjoys hot and sunny weather pretty much all year round – could be back on the cards for a winter getaway.
There’s also plenty to enjoy in the state, from the theme parks in Orlando through to the city of Miami, home to the art deco South Beach district.
Or, if you’re after something more laid-back you can head to Florida Keys, or the Gulf Coast, known for its wide beaches and resorts in the likes of Clearwater and St Petersburg.
When will the travel rules be relaxed?
From October 4 the travel ‘traffic light’ system which has been in place is being scrapped in favour of countries being either on ‘go’ or ‘no go’ lists – with arrivals from the latter still being required to self-isolate in a hotel upon arrival in England, whether they are vaccinated or not.
Meanwhile, double-jabbed arrivals will no longer need to take a PCR test two days after arriving in the country, significantly reducing the cost of going abroad.
Rules for unvaccinated travellers are also about to become tighter, with un-jabbed tourists having to self-isolate for 10 days no matter where they are returning from.
Those who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to take a lateral flow test before leaving their destination country but will still need to take one and submit the result after arriving.
These changes will currently only apply to England – you should check the rules if you are travelling from another country to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Know before you go
While all the destinations listed above were open to travellers at the time of writing – or due to be open before December – you should remember that any country could be added to the red list at short notice, and that you would be subject to quarantine rules if you did not return home before the change came into force.
Most countries also have their own entry requirements relating to Covid, and you should check what these are before setting off – as well as ensuring you have appropriate travel insurance in place in case you test positive or fall ill while you are there.
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Author: Caroline Westbrook