Come and Fly with Me

Everyone wants something exciting to look forward to at the start of a new year, so it’s not surprising that it’s one of the most popular times to book a holiday in the sun.

While there are many different ways to plan and book your perfect trip, here at the Bridges we believe nothing beats a visit to a travel agent for expert advice from someone who really knows what they’re talking about.

Whether you’re planning something for the whole family, a break with that special someone or you just want to know more about what’s out there, then Dawson and Sanderson, TUI and Hay’s Travel at the Bridges are here to help.

They’re on hand to guide you through the whole process, give you recommendations and help you make the right decision, so we caught up with Sunderland’s travel experts to find out the best destinations for 2020.

Amanda Allen, manager at Dawson and Sanderson

“Somewhere that we’re finding is selling really well at the moment is the Far East. A lot of people now are thinking that if they’re going to spend £1000 on a holiday to Spain then they might as well spend a little bit more and go a bit further afield.

“Places like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are all really popular for a real mix of ages but especially for couples. A lot of people find that the price of getting there balances itself out because it’s a lot cheaper when you’re out there.

“Bali is also a favourite for younger travellers – it used to be that we would book one trip every so often but this month we’ve already booked ten off the bat. In terms of Europe, Bulgaria is getting more and more popular as it’s not in the euro so it’s much better value when you’re out there.

“We’re also booking a lot of cruises and for younger people too surprisingly, as cruises used to be something more catered towards retirees. It’s now a popular holiday for families because there’s so much to choose from, with Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and NCL.

“Travel trends have changed massively even over the last 18 months and a lot of that is to do with Instagram – we now have younger people more interested in places like Bali and Dubai where they can visit the celebrity hotspots and get their picture taken.”

Jackie Anderson, travel advisor at TUI

“Cruises are proving really popular this year for all different ages because they’re all-inclusive. We’ve got the Med cruises, the Canaries islands and what we call the Iconic Med and Croatia.

“We also have cruises where there aren’t many days at sea, so people are touching down somewhere new every day. There are so many different itineraries that we find people come back and want to book a longer stay somewhere they’ve visited.

“From next year we’re offering cruises in the States, which are available to book now for New York, New Orleans and Miami.

“Mexico is a favourite this year for all ages now that we have flights from Newcastle, along with Florida. As you would expect, Disney World is great for families but also for groups of adults too because a lot of people turn into big kids when they get there. It’s especially popular now that Orlando has expanded and opened more hotels and with the new attractions for Star Wars fans.”

Leeanne Burns, branch manager at Hays Travel

“New York is a really popular one at the moment, especially for people booking for November or December time to see the Christmas lights and do some shopping.

“Turkey and Spain are favourites for families, with water parks always popular – like Magic Robin Hood, Benidorm, which is a totally themed resort.

“We had a massive uptake in luxury holidays for couples and a lot of people now want a private pool, with direct debit payments making it a bit more affordable. People booking for 2021 may find they are only paying £40 a month which is like a phone payment or a couple of takeaways a month to pay for a fantastic holiday.

“We’ve also seen a variety of ages booking Bali and Thailand because it’s such good value for money and the hotels are amazing.

“It used to be that cruises were more of a luxury but they’re now much more affordable. There are lots of different itineraries to choose from and some are catered around city breaks, so it’s almost like five holidays in one visiting different places.

“For the same reason, multi-centre holidays are getting more popular, with people visiting Vietnam and Cambodia or the USA and taking internal flights. People want to travel now, so they’re seeing three destinations while they’re over there instead of staying in just one.”