With winter in full swing, we’re turning our attention to holidays and the benefits that come with taking a break from work at this time of year.

Whether you’re staying in a home-from-home villa in Lanzarote or a ski hut in Austria, we’re giving you our top reasons why you should consider a winter trip – and provide you with some destination inspiration, too.

1. Benefit from some winter sun

One of the biggest draws of a holiday abroad is the beautiful weather – and with the UK lacking sun for much of the year, by winter, it’s no surprise you’re crying out for a few UV rays. If you simply can’t wait for the sporadic sunshine between May and August, put your holiday allowance to good use and book yourself a sunshine-filled holiday during winter – as this way, you’ll return feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the remainder of the harsh winter weather.

2. Enjoy a break from the norm

While some people are lucky enough to enjoy a Christmas shutdown, for many of us, the festive period means increased pressure, immovable deadlines and one or two days’ break – if you’re lucky. If this sounds like you, why not try booking some time off and enjoy a change of pace? Whether you’re experiencing Christmas in another country or simply taking a time-out ahead of the madness of the season, you’ll benefit from switching up your routine over the festive period.

3. Recharge your batteries

The working world can be tough and, between the daily 9-5 and your personal life, it can be easy to forget to step back and enjoy your time off the clock. Whether you choose to take an extended Christmas holiday or treat yourself to a few days’ leave in early January, a well-timed holiday can help you rest and recuperate ready for the New Year and challenges ahead. Mindfulness is an invaluable quality, so don’t wait until you burn out to take a break; recognise the signs that you need some ‘me time’ and book in a wintertime holiday to recharge your batteries.

4. Avoid the shorter days

With colder, darker, and shorter days, winter is synonymous with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Thought to be most prevalent between the months of September and April, but particularly severe between December and February, SAD can affect sufferers in different ways. Whether you have previous experience with SAD or would simply like to beat the ‘winter blues’ before they set in, a break abroad can be a great way to avoid the worst of the season and lift your spirits while you wait for summer to return. A winter trip will also give you something to focus on and look forward to – so if you’re struggling with arriving at and leaving work in the dark, a holiday on the horizon is sure to boost your mood.

5. Stimulate your mind and body

For many of us, winter is all about curling up by the fire after a long day at work – and with Christmas fast approaching, exercise is often the last thing on our minds. However, this period could be the perfect time to get active. With research showing that a lack of physical activity can be a contributor to mental health problems, getting active, especially in the winter, can be as beneficial for your mind as it is for your body. Whether you’re taking a skiing holiday in the snow, scuba diving while enjoying the year-round sun on the Canary Islands, or embarking on an adventure holiday in Australia, why not choose a holiday destination this winter that can benefit both your physical and mental health?

With months of chilly days and cold weather ahead of us, now’s a great time to start thinking about putting your annual leave to good use. Whether it’s the lure of sandy white beaches, the desire for a change of pace over the Christmas period or the appeal of a wintertime recharge, taking a winter break this year means you’ll start the New Year with a bang.

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