Hurghada makes an inviting Egyptian alternative while Sharm el-Sheikh remains off the airline map / AFP/Getty

Have a travel question that needs answering? Ask our expert Simon Calder

Q What’s your recommendation for a week away over New Year, for some sun and a nice hotel?

Tim Rycraft

A The thing about New Year is that lots of people have already booked for the usual suspects. I’m seeing a minimum of £1,500 for a week with British Airways Holidays to Barbados with a bottom-of-the-range, room-only hotel, departing on 29 December for a week. 

Instead I strongly recommend Egypt – where I spent two New Years in a row, because of the winning combination of fascinating heritage, friendly people and guaranteed sun. Egypt’s Red Sea resorts offer less bling and more authenticity than Dubai, with shorter flights. And you’ll be doing the Egyptians, as well as yourself, a favour.

Sharm el-Sheikh is still off the airline map, so I suggest Hurghada. The place to stay is the Old Palace. It's not old, nor a palace, but it's fun, with an all-inclusive holiday from Thomas Cook departing Manchester on 30 December for £1,010 per person.

Every day, our travel correspondent, Simon Calder, tackles a reader’s question. Just email yours to or tweet @simoncalder