With the December holidays firmly behind us, you might already be dreaming of your next escape. March and April are riddled with public holidays for South Africans, making it the obvious choice for when next to take time off – but why not consider holidaying in May or June? This period is largely considered “off-peak” season for most destinations, meaning fewer crowds and better prices! If you can afford to take time off during this time where there aren’t any bonus public holidays, here are a few ideas of where to go.

EUROPE

May is the end of European spring and June is the start of their summer, so weather-wise, you’re in for a treat.

Lisbon

May avg high: 22°C

May avg low: 13°C

Lisbon in May is quite warm and is also a bit cheaper. High season for hotels in Lisbon doesn’t begin until June, as you’d expect, so this is an ideal time to come appreciate this underrated city’s charms. The Algarve area along the southern coast of Portugal is even nicer, and great for early-season visitors. It also happens to be a dream destination for golfers!

Turkey

May avg high: 22°C

May avg low: 12°C

The month of May is an ideal time for a holiday in Turkey. Istanbul itself still tends to be a bit cool, but the resort towns on the Mediterranean such as Antalya, and those along the Aegean like Bodrum, are nice and warm. The summer crowds are still not in affect so hotel prices are reasonable throughout the country.

CARIBBEAN

For travelers looking to relax in the sun, May is the perfect month to head to the Caribbean because high season is over, but the weather is still dry and perfect. Better still, prices at many of the resorts come down dramatically from their highs of earlier in the season. Independent and cultural travelers can do it cheaply by booking a hotel and exploring, but honestly, the best deals (where there is a great price to quality ratio) are at all-inclusive resorts such as Club Med.

Punta Cana

May avg high: 31°C

May avg low: 24°C

Punta Cana, on Hispaniola Island in the Dominican Republic, is a vibrant destination and is ideal for the active holidaymaker and water fanatics. It’s a region known for a 32km stretch of beaches and crystal clear waters. With a tropical climate the region has lovely warm weather all year round, with lots of sunshine and balmy seas making this the perfect beach holiday destination. May is the beginning of the rainy season in Punta Cana, but the wet weather won’t ruin your holiday as showers are usually short and sharp at this time of year.

Cancun

May avg high: 33°C

May avg low: 24°C

Cancún, a Mexican city on the Yucatán Peninsula bordering the Caribbean Sea, is known for its beaches, numerous resorts and nightlife. A picture perfect destination for couples, families and friends – with so much variety for everyone.  Cancun continues to enjoy pleasant and rather tropical weather throughout May, and is also a dry month (no rain!). 

SOUTH AMERICA

Rio

May avg high: 28°C

May avg low: 19°C

With its location just inside the Tropical belt, the weather in Rio de Janeiro tends to be warm all year long, even during their “winter.” The rainy months are from December through April, so May is a perfect time for a visit. The beaches are packed with locals most of the year, including in May, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities for “people watching” while you enjoy the otherwise gorgeous scenery.

ASIA

Bali, Indonesia

May avg high: 30°C

May avg low: 26°C

Being practically on the equator, the temperatures in Bali are steady all year long, with warm days and nearly-as-warm nights. The heavy rains fall between November and March, so May is a perfect time to head to Bali (before the summer crowds arrive!)