Dreams can come true: more than ever, we all need a holiday right now so get booking.

Covid-19 has closed borders and caused the imposition of quarantines, but there are still options, whether you plan to get away now or have something in the diary to look forward to. Mark Hodson, editor of 101 Holidays, selects some of the best options.

UK cottage deals

The government’s “Rule of Six” has created some bargains in the UK self-catering market as owners and agencies adjust their prices downwards. Sykes Cottages has a sale on its larger properties with prices reduced by up to 45%. For example, this four-bedroom cottage in Salcombe, Devon is down from £711 to £570 for a week’s rental.

You can book a stay at Kirstie Allsopp’s beautiful "homemade home" Meadowgate in Welcombe Mouth, Devon. It normally sleeps 14 and is now available with a 25% discount through Classic Cottages.

Many hotels in the UK are already booked for Christmas and New Year, some with waiting lists. But Oliver’s Travels has availability at self-catering houses and cottages with some price reductions. See its Rule of Six sale.

UK hotel deals

If you’d prefer a hotel in the UK, the Sands Resort Hotel & Spa in Cornwall has deals on winter breaks from £110 per night for two people sharing. This includes free room upgrade, late checkout, breakfast, use of gym, indoor pool, tennis, mini golf and other activities. There’s a full refund if government restrictions prevent you from travelling.

In Shropshire, close to the Welsh borders, Pen-y-Dyffryn has 25% off dinner, bed and breakfast until 12 December, now from £90 pp per night, with free afternoon tea and scones; also in Shropshire, The Castle Hotel has 25% off midweek nights in November and December with no deposit and free cancellations up to 24 hours before arrival.

Drive the coast of Scotland

If you fancy a wild winter road trip, McKinlay Kidd is offering 10 nights for the price of 8 on its self-drive North Coast 500 tour between 1 November and 28 February, from £735 pp. Book by 31 October and you can postpone for free with a minimum four weeks notice.

Autumn sun in Cyprus

If you want to catch some late autumn sun, Cyprus is one of your safest bets. Stay 14 nights from 7 November at the Axiothea Hotel in Kato Paphos including flights from Gatwick, private transfers and breakfast for £735 pp (saving £112 pp) with Sunvil.

Seychelles: the place to be this winter

For luxury hotels and tropical sunshine this winter, it will hard to be beat the Seychelles, which is on the government’s list of travel corridors. Mahlatini has a 10-night full-on luxury holiday divided between the main islands of Mahé and Praslin with all manner of free extras from £4,200 pp. See its Travel with Confidence guarantee.

Etihad Holidays has cracking deals at the four-star Carana Beach hotel on Mahé: five nights half-board in an Oceanview Chalet from £1,364 pp including flights between 4 January and 31 October 2021. For full board the price is £1,469. One child under-12 can stay free (excluding airfare). Call 0345 600 8118 for details.

In February 2021, Club Med is due to open its first beach club in the Seychelles on a private island within a National Park. It will have a strong environmental focus with coral reef restoration and turtle preservation activities. Seven nights all-inclusive in May 2021 including flights from London costs £2,260 pp (saving £399 pp).

Free flights to Japan

Is Japan on your bucket list? If you make a booking before the end of October with Wendy Wu Tours for a holiday in 2021 or 2022 the company will cover the cost of your flights. Available dates include the cherry blossom and autumn leaves seasons. Pay only a £99 pp deposit with the balance due six weeks before departure and one free date change allowed.

40% off Maldives and Barbados

Abercrombie & Kent has some big savings on luxury long-haul holidays including up to 40% off Velassaru Island in the Maldives: a seven-night stay from now until 30 April 2021 costs from £1,199 pp excluding flights, based on two sharing a Deluxe Bungalow.

Essential Detail has deals at some of the best small hotels in the Caribbean including Little Good Harbour in Barbados where seven nights for two people sharing a garden suite costs from £1,314 (saving 40%) along with a US$75 restaurant credit. It’s available from 1 May to 28 August 2021 and must be booked before 30 November 2020. Flights are not included.

Christmas in Antigua

Treat yourselves to a lavish all-inclusive Christmas break on the Caribbean island of Antigua, which has remained on the government’s “green” list. Seven nights in a Seaview Garden Suite at Hermitage Bay including flights departing 21 December, private transfers, champagne on arrival, plus one champagne breakfast in bed costs from £7,335 pp with the Inspiring Travel Company.

£1 deposits on group adventures

You only need to make a £1 deposit to secure discounts of up to 33% on group tours in 2021 and 2022 with Tucan Travel. For example, its Vietnam in Two Weeks tour now costs from £596 (was £889) with a local payment of US$200, excluding flights. A full deposit is only due 60 days before departure and you can change dates for free up to 30 days beforehand.

Deals on luxury barge cruises

European Waterways has 10% discounts on luxury hotel barge cruises in 2021 if you book by 31 October. Find out what’s on offer aboard the superb La Belle Epoque.

Family deals to Sardinia

Sardatur Holidays has seven nights in May at the five-star Capo Boi Resort in Sardinia for a family of three. The total price for two adults and one child under 12 is £2,781 (saving 20%) including British Airways flights. Free cancellation until 31 January 2021.

October 2020