Back to Belfast
Third time lucky? Belfast City airport certainly hopes so. After Air Berlin and then Ryanair abandoned the route from Stansted, Bmibaby has decided to give it a go. From 28 March the no-frills airline will offer 16 flights each way, every week, between the Essex airport and the most convenient airport for downtown Belfast. One-way fares from £24, when you book at Bmibaby.com.
Before Christmas, almost every travel company looks despairingly at the rate of bookings and tries to stimulate sales. Brittany Ferries is offering discounts on ship-plus-accommodation packages to France and Spain, so long as you book by the end of December. Peak-season holidays (27 May-5 June and 22 July-28 August) qualify for a 10 per cent reduction; if you can avoid school holidays, the price cut is better still, at 15 per cent (0871 244 0131; Brittany-ferries.co.uk).
Escape for some winter sun in Gozo, where Vintage Travel is offering seven nights' rental of the luxurious Hamlet II villa for £1,650. Sleeping eight guests, the modern villa features a heated indoor/outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, shared gym and sauna, hi-tech entertainment system and terrace with a barbecue (daytime temperatures are currently hovering around 17C). The offer is available for selected dates in January, February and March 2011 (01954 261431, Vintagetravel.co.uk).