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Gloomy days for sure. But all is not lost for those who can see some golden light around the corner.

Of course, it involves a degree of bravado because all this testing is taxing — but there are some fabulous bargains to be had as companies scramble to drum up some business for the New Year. What’s more, package holidays and flights can be booked with greater flexibility than ever. Here we look at some of the best bargain trips for early 2022.

CUT-PRICE CROATIA – SAVE £300

Stay at the village of Cavtat, a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik (pictured), from £539pp including flights

Stay at the village of Cavtat, a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik (pictured), from £539pp including flights

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights’ half-board at Hotel Croatia in Cavtat, a village just a short ferry ride away from the old walled city of Dubrovnik, from £539pp including flights. Book for travel between January 3 and December 23, 2022. (tropicalsky.com)

NEED TO KNOW: Must present one of the following — proof of vaccination, not older than 365 days; a negative antigen test not older than 48 hours; negative PCR test not older than 72 hours; or a doctor’s certificate of recovery.

JAMAICA BOUND – SAVE 48%

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights all-inclusive at the Ocean Coral Spring in Jamaica’s Trelawny is from £852pp including return flights on January 2. (firstchoice.co.uk)

NEED TO KNOW: All travellers from 12 and upwards must take a PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of arrival. Authorisation required from visitjamaica.com.

ST LUCIA SLASHED – SAVE 65%

A view of the Pitons in St Lucia. Virgin Holidays have a bargain deal for a seven-night trip to the Caribbean holiday hotspot

A view of the Pitons in St Lucia. Virgin Holidays have a bargain deal for a seven-night trip to the Caribbean holiday hotspot 

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights all-inclusive at Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa, St Lucia, from £1,565pp including flights on January 15. (Virginholidays.com)

NEED TO KNOW: Complete a pre-arrival form at stlucia.org/en_UK/covid-19. All travellers over five years old must provide proof of a negative PCR test within five days of travel. 

SRI LANKAN STINT – SAVE 40%

High life: Stick fisherman at work in Sri Lanka. Save 40 per cent on a trip to the South Asian island with Destinology

High life: Stick fisherman at work in Sri Lanka. Save 40 per cent on a trip to the South Asian island with Destinology

HOW TO DO IT: Ten nights half-board at Shangri-La Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa in Sri Lanka from £1,469pp including flights. Book for February 2022. (destinology.co.uk)

NEED TO KNOW: Fully vaccinated travellers and under 12s don’t require a PCR test on arrival. 

MALTA HALVED – SAVE 50%

The Maltese capital of Valletta. Proof of vaccination must be presented on arrival in Malta

The Maltese capital of Valletta. Proof of vaccination must be presented on arrival in Malta 

HOW TO DO IT: A week all-inclusive at the Soreda Hotel in the popular Maltese resort of Qawra from £279pp including flights on January 9. (olympic holidays.com)

NEED TO KNOW: Proof of vaccination (at least 14 days prior to travel) must be presented on arrival. Children aged five to 11 must show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel.

MEXICAN WAVE – SAVE 25%

All fired up: Soaring over the Rio Grande in Mexico. Travellers to Mexico must register on the Vuela Seguro platform before their arrival

All fired up: Soaring over the Rio Grande in Mexico. Travellers to Mexico must register on the Vuela Seguro platform before their arrival 

FLIGHTS OF FANCY 

British Airways and BA Holidays launched their January sale this week, with flights to New York from £326 return and European packages from £119 pp.

Jet2 and Jet2Holidays have flights to Europe from £25 one-way (Majorca in January) and European city breaks from £279 pp.

EasyJet has free flight changes up to two hours before departure. Flights to Europe (Malta, Lanzarote, Krakow) are from £14.99 one-way.

Virgin Atlantic has returns to Antigua from £327 and Barbados from £410 in January.

Ryanair has flights to Europe from £4.99 one-way (Perugia, Ancona, Dresden) in January.

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights all-inclusive at Paradisus Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula’s Mayan riviera, from £1,629pp including flights. Book for selected dates until October 31, 2022. (caribtours.co.uk)

NEED TO KNOW: Must register on the Vuela Seguro platform and present QR code on arrival.

MAURITIAN MAGIC – SAVE £2,450

HOW TO DO IT: Ten nights B&B at Constance Prince Maurice is from £1,699pp including flights in January. (Trailfinders.com)

NEED TO KNOW: Fully vaccinated travellers must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.

THAI TREAT – SAVE £798

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights B&B at Casa de La Flora in Khao Lak from £849pp including flights. Book for departures in January 2022. (tropicalwarehouse.co.uk)

NEED TO KNOW: PCR test must be taken before leaving UK and on arrival in Thailand (must stay in approved accommodation for 24 hours while awaiting the results).

PLUSH IN PORTUGAL – SAVE £349

HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights in Villa Rafael II, just ten minutes from Albufeira on the Algarve, from £849 on January 2 sleeping four people (jamesvillas.co.uk). Ryanair flights (Ryanair.com) London to Faro from £30 return.

NEED TO KNOW: Everyone must complete an online passenger locator card. All travellers over 11 need a negative PCR or antigen test. 

DUBAI DASH – SAVE 25%

Plan ahead and save 25 per cent on a trip to Dubai, pictured, next March with British Airways

Plan ahead and save 25 per cent on a trip to Dubai, pictured, next March with British Airways

HOW TO DO IT: Three nights B&B at the Grand Hyatt Dubai from £599pp including flights, for selected dates in March. (ba.com)

NEED TO KNOW: All travellers must have proof of a negative PCR test, taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure, when checking in for their flight. 

CANARIES CALLING – SAVE 49%

HOW TO DO IT: Three nights all-inclusive at Paradise Island in Lanzarote from £521pp including return flights on December 20. (tui.co.uk)

NEED TO KNOW: All travellers over the age of 12 must show proof of having been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival. Everyone, including children under the age of 12, must fill in an online form within 48 hours of travel. 

YOU’LL BE SHIP-SHAPE AT THESE PRICES 

  • Ambassador Line’s seven-night Springtime Fjordland cruise to Norway has been reduced from £779 pp to £599 pp. Departs on April 24 (ambassadorcruiseline.com).
  • Sail on Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Borealis in January with all tips covered. This includes the 34-night Cultural Caribbean and the Americas cruise, which starts at £4,499pp. (fredolsencruises.com)
  • Celebrity Cruises is offering savings of up to £2,400 per stateroom, free flights to Europe and airfare offers for Caribbean cruises, available on selected sailings until March 2023. Book by February 28 (celebritycruises.co.uk).
  • Free flights, drinks and wi-fi on Seabourn Odyssey’s seven-night ‘Alaska Inside Passage & Glacier Bay’ cruise from Vancouver on May 27. Price £4,941 pp (seabourn.com).
  • Iona’s seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise on May 14 starts from £599 pp — and third/fourth guests sharing the cabin pay only £199 each (pocruises.com).
River magic: Cruising the picturesque Norwegian fjords (file photo)

River magic: Cruising the picturesque Norwegian fjords (file photo)