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Holiday planning is an art. Making the most of seasonal events, suitable weather and spectacular natural wonders is hard. Many miss out on amazing offers and opportunities that peak in the last few months of the year. Here are some of the world’s best locations, resorts and events around the world. It’s how to escape the bleak UK midwinter. 

Illuminate the winter with Diwali

The last three months of the year are an exquisite time to visit the shimmering country of India. Colours and lights fill the air with the famous Hindu festival of Diwali. Flickering diyas (oil lamps) twinkle like stars on the surface of the Ganges and cities are incandescent. After the festivities, head to the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur and visit the forts, temples and palaces there. At this time of year, it is cooler, making these visits more pleasant at any time of day. For adrenalin seekers, this is also an excellent time of year for tiger spotting in the jungles of Kanha National Park or Bandhavgarh, home to India’s highest density of tiger.

Our Discover India example itinerary offers a delicious taste of India’s Golden Triangle from just £1,999 per person.

Recommended hotels:

Rambagh Palace, Taj Falaknuma Palace Hyderabad, Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, The Imperial New Delhi, Umaid Bhawan Palace

CaribbeanMake winter days a celebration in sunshine

The Caribbean is an excellent end-of-year holiday choice, with a wonderful climate for families to enjoy – away from the cold winter of the UK. Here, it is dry and sunny with less rain than in other seasons and the hurricane season has hurried through. There are excellent accommodation options with both villas and hotels offering great spaces for family festivities. And the food on offer is so much more than ‘jerk chicken’ with Barbados and some other islands offering amazing dining in places like The Cliff and Lone Star in Barbados and Jacqui O’s Beach House in Antigua. Offers you won’t want to miss include 25 per cent off at Sugar Beach in St Lucia and 10 per cent off at Hermitage Bay in Antigua. Plus, A&K you get the added benefit of complimentary VIP airport fast track at Antigua. 

Hotel offers:

Sugar Beach Saint LuciaBlue Waters AntiguaCobblers Cove BarbadosCoral ReefCap Maison Saint LuciaHermitage Bay Antigua

Jackass Penguins, South AfricaVisit Cape Town at Christmas

With sunny weather and little chance of rain, there are so many options to make South Africa a wonderful break. Cape Town is a festive season hot spot. Or combine beaches with a journey down the Garden Route and try to fit in a safari. Hangout with the locals on Camps Bay or soak up the sunshine on any of the peninsular beaches which are perfect at this time of year. Head up Table Mountain by cable car, then visit the penguin of Boulders Beach. Temperatures are generally in the high 20s, there’s no jetlag and the landscape is vibrant and verdant. South Africa might not feel traditionally like Christmas but it’s a present your family will thank you for.

Now’s the perfect time to book your South Africa trip with savings on British Airways flights to Cape Town now available. Book by 21 June 2018 for travel from 1 November 2018 - 31 March 19.

Recommended hotels:

More Quarters, One&Only Cape Town, Chitwa Chitwa

Maldives, Indian OceanEnjoy barefoot, island luxury in style

Tropical islands with swaying palm trees, pure white beaches and brilliant turquoise lagoons, a Maldives holiday never disappoints. Lying off the southern tip of India, this slender chain of coral islands is a playground of vast lagoons in infinite shades of blue and turquoise, and dazzling underwater gardens. Experience pure escapism in five-star resorts that feature immaculate villas over the water. Private pools, glass-bottom floors and your own personal ocean ladder to have a quick dip in the warm water are all part of the package. Don’t miss an exclusive 5 per cent off for A&K guests at Huvafen Fushi or 10 per cent off at COMO Maalifushi.

Hotel offers:

Huvafen Fushi, COMO Maalifushi, Baros

Amboseli National Park, KenyaCapture Africa at its unspoiled best 

Breath-taking views, unparalleled landscapes, luxury hotels and wonderful wildlife. East Africa has it all and delivers exotic experiences and excitement in abundance. Tanzania safari holidays promise stunning vistas, beautiful wild animals and fascinating cultural meetings with indigenous tribes. Marvel at herds of elephant and massive baobab trees in Tarangire National Park. Or enjoy the wildness of Selous Game Reserve. In Kenya, a few days in Watamu is an idyllic way to end an East African safari, or for an unforgettable beach getaway. With shimmering turquoise waters and tropical fish, white-sand beaches and coral reefs, the Kenyan coast is about as close to a tropical paradise as it gets. 

Recommended Camps & Lodges:

Sanctuary Olonana, Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp, Sanctuary Kusini, Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp, Sanctuary Swala

Kyoto, JapanContrast the autumn colours 

During the fifty days of mimijigari (the viewing of Autumn leaves), the colours of Japan are breath-taking. Take a guided tour of the Japanese gardens of Shinjuku Gyoen and Kenroku-en and pick up Japanese gardening secrets from those who consider it a classical art. Shoyoen Garden (Nikko) has spectacular scenes in October for any aspiring horticulturalist. Indeed, the colours are so amazing here that it is little surprise a whole tradition exists around the spectacle. Since 1912, people have begun to visit places famed for their beautiful foliage, near and far. And just like the beauty of these trees, this tradition continues today. Join an A&K escorted tour around the country in November to take in the autumn colours, temples and a meet with a geisha.

Recommended itinerary:

Japan: Temples, Shrines & Geisha Escorted Tour

New Years Eve, Sydney, AustraliaNavigate New Year’s Eve in Sydney

It takes 26 hours for New Year to cross all timezones. Experience it first in Australia at Sydney’s party to end the year. On December 31, Sydney uses its landmark sights to full advantage with two massive firework and light displays over the Harbour, as well as a fleet of illuminated vessels on the water. As ever, Australia combines family life perfectly with a 21.00 family-friendly show and then a 00.00 spectacle. Everyone will find something to celebrate at this party whether it is the complete decadence, disco or debut of a new year. This is a New Year’s Eve party to remember.

Sydney, AustraliaSydney, Australia