The best thing for getting through the British winter, arguably, is getting away from it for a week or so. Even the driving rain doesn't seem so bad when you know you've got a half-packed suitcase at home containing suntan lotion, flip flops and a beach towel.
If that sounds like a good plan, then here are a few top winter sun destinations for a little inspiration:
Why not tick another continent off the list and visit Tunisia? This North African location is fairly quiet during the winter months, so there are some good deals to be had. It's a diverse and interesting country which offers a warm Mediterranean coastline and Arab influences; you can derive as much pleasure from the sandy beaches as you will in the enchanting souks, all at a balmy 20°C in January.
The Canary Islands stay warm pretty much year-round and, being a shortish flight away from the UK, remain ever popular with winter sun enthusiasts. Generally speaking, the Canary Islands are less expensive to visit than many other sunny European destinations, even more so out of peak season.
Cuba, though it may not immediately spring to mind as a low-cost option, is actually an inexpensive destination once you're there. You can easily find accommodation for as little as £20 per night if you are happy to stay in a local family's home, plus food and transport is fairly cheap. Capital city, Havana is a vibrant place and a night out can be had, again, without breaking the budget. Average temperatures range from 15°C-25°C in January, with the hottest in the south in Santiago de Cuba.
Thailand always delivers great value for money and an incredible experience. Flights to Bangkok are among the lowest in South-East Asia. It's possible to find flights for under £400, which isn't bad for long-haul. Once there, you can stay in luxury hotels, hostels or guesthouses fairly cheaply.
Many visitors take the coach to one of Thailand's beach resorts, heading to Krabi and Phuket on one side or to the Surat Thani ferry port to reach the beautiful Koh Samui. Food, drink and excursions can be done without breaking the bank or compromising on quality.
For stunning landscape, beautiful reefs and some luxurious hotels - all without the need for a second language - then head Down Under. The flights might cost a grand, but Australia during our winter (their summer) will be basking in temperatures ranging from 26°C to an incredible 38°C if you visit the centre. There's a lot to do in Australia and it's worth making the most of your trip by taking some internal flights, perhaps combining Sydney with Perth or Cairns; or maybe starting in Melbourne and heading out to the great Uluru.
For a perfect beach experience, book a trip to the Whitsundays, where the sand is so white it squeaks and water is so clear you don't need a mask to see the beautiful tropical fish. Two week breaks there start at around £1,300.
The Maldives is another one of those places that features on numerous bucket lists. It's also a wonderful place to visit for some winter sun. From December to March, the average temperature is a rather pleasing 28°C. There are hundreds of islands to explore, which means there are a lot of stunning beaches and great diving opportunities. A week in a five star hotel can cost in the region of £2,000, if you really want to indulge.