First Choice Blog
  • Short breaks are the perfect way to unwind from your everyday routine. But sometimes a few days just aren’t enough, which is why you should make your next holiday somewhere far flung. Plus, you can make the most out of our swanky 787 Dreamliner, which boasts larger windows, 60% less noise than standard planes, and mood lighting to help you get in the holiday spirit. And with destinations like tropical Mauritius, nature-filled Vietnam, and surf-perfect Costa Rica up our sleeve, your longer-than-average journey will be absolutely worth it. Keep reading to find out the best long-haul destinations...


    Did you know Vietnam is one of our brand-new destinations? That’s right, we’re talking about the land of delicious cuisine, amazing sights, and out-of-this-world beaches. And to make things even better, you can book a vacay there as of November 2017 – just head to our deals page to find a holiday that suits you.

    We think heart-shaped Phu Quoc Island is the ideal place to escape to this winter. This place is the epitome of island life, boasting some of the best white-sand beaches in the country. And if exploring if your thing, you’ve come to the right place. Phu Quoc Island is covered by more than 31,000 hectares of bright-green forests, mountains, and waterfalls, making it ideal hiking and wildlife-spotting territory.

    • Flight time: 12 hours and 15 minutes from London Gatwick
    • Currency: Vietnamese Dong
    • Time difference: GMT + 7


    Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka is one of those destinations you simply can’t ignore. It’s all over Instagram, for starters – and for good reason, too. It’s home to everything from stunning beaches, to national parks, and impressive landscapes. Its calling card has got to be those famous tea plantations, though. Nuwara Eliya is one of the best-known plantations in Sri Lanka. While you’re there, you can sip on what’s considered the best cuppa on the globa, AKA Ceylon tea. Plus, you’ll also get to soak up amazing vies over the pleated hillsides. Holiday goals, achieved.

    • Flight time: 10 hours and 45 minutes
    • Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
    • Time difference: GMT + 6



    Holidays to Mauritius aren’t just about sun, sea, and sand. Okay, we do admit the beaches are pretty show-stopping, but there’s so much more to this tropical island than what you might think. Away from the water’s edge, there are sugar-cane fields, Instagram-worthy waterfalls, and nature-filled jungles home to mischievous macaque monkeys. And because the island is volcanic, impressive backdrops of jagged, deep-green mountains aren’t hard to come by, either. No wonder it’s one of the best long-haul destinations.

    • Flight time: 11 hours and 45 minutes from London Gatwick
    • Currency: Mauritian Rupee
    • Time difference: GMT + 4



    Margaritas, Mayan Ruins, and mariachi bands are just a few things you can expect on a long-haul trip to Mexico. If you’re searching for legendary nightlife, white-sand beaches, and chilled-out vibes, look no further than Cancun, which is set on the Caribbean Coast. Alternatively, make tracks for Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast, which boasts some of the best restaurants in Mexico, action-packed jungles, and easy access to some of the best snorkelling spots in the world. Fantástico.

    • Flight time: From 10 hours and 45 minutes to 12 hours and 15 minutes from London Gatwick
    • Currency: Mexican Peso
    • Time difference: GMT – 6



    Costa Rica

    Did you know the best time to visit Costa Rica is from December to April? We think that’s a perfect excuse to book a holiday to the Rich Coast, to be honest. We promise you won’t regret it, either – this place is a mix of tropical beaches, soaring volcanoes, and thick rainforests, so it’s ideal for adventurous types. Plus, it just so happens to be one of the best places in the world to go surfing, so if you’re looking to try something new, why not grab a board and take to the waves? Psst, we hear Playa de Matapalo is a top choice…

    • Flight time: 11 hours and 30 minutes from London Gatwick
    • Currency: Costa Rican Colon
    • Time difference: GMT – 6


    Ready to swap rain for a long-haul escape? Browse our First Choice holidays to Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

    If you liked reading this, you may also want to find out about where’s hot in November, and five reasons why you should visit Sri Lanka now.