• Sunrise at Galley Bay, Antigua

Where to go on holiday in July

School is out. Children need entertaining. This we know about the summer holidays already. But despite the interrupted childcare and the out of office replies and the juggling of multiple workloads, instinctively and increasingly we know we should be heading for warmer climes. It’s in the air, the barbecues and picnics we share: July is the annual time when we spread our wings and fly.

If you’re thinking of going on holiday in July, then you have two major considerations to think of … whether your destination is suitable for children, or whether your destination provides experiences that adults will prefer, or even a mix of both.

Waterparks and amusement rides, close airport transfers and inter-connecting rooms are essential considerations for the perfect family holiday. While spa sessions, sophisticated dining options or stand-up paddleboarding in tranquil lagoons are more in tune with grown-ups. Whatever you require, holidays in July are the perfect time to tick off those dream-list experiences.

Spot wildlife in the Canadian wilderness, treat the kids to a fun-packed Florida getaway, train your camera lens on the watering holes of the Serengeti or join in 4th July celebrations in the leafy districts of Boston.

Taste exotic cuisine in markets thriving with the season’s best produce. Dine at top restaurants tempting you with classic dishes and coastal views. Or sample authentic foods in iconic settings worldwide from Bali to Antigua.

Be sure to plan well in advance. Peak season travel means less choice for last minute decisions. So, if this is your annual family holiday, or your perfect romantic getaway, make sure your July journey of discovery is planned well in advance. And the best thing about July Holidays – the sun is still shining upon your return to the UK – what’s not to love.

Blue footed boobies on the Galapagos Islands

Best holiday destinations in July

Carnival

Antigua

Carnival time descends on Antigua at the tail-end of July and use this as your opportunity to glimpse the island in full swing. And with any trip focused around a particular festivity it’s important to be acclimatised to the destination beforehand, rather than arrive in the middle of the celebrations - that can be a little disorientating. Therefore, plan to arrive in Antigua during mid-to-late July for the best results. Although this is one of the hottest months of the year, expect the odd short-lived shower or two. This, in our opinion, is a welcome relief as it cools the ambient temperature, however short-lived those showers can be. The best part is water temperatures can get up to 28°C so if you’re a keen snorkeler hoping to spot southern stingrays in the wild, Antigua will offer perfect conditions.

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Family beach fun

Florida

Planning a family holiday is all about ticking boxes, and Florida certainly does that: Beaches, bars, restaurants, subtropical wildlife experiences amid the Florida Everglades, paradise island experiences in the Florida Keys, plus some of the greatest theme parks on the planet. You’re pretty much guaranteed perfect weather as temperatures climb towards +30°C and crowds increase due to July being peak season. This also means there are a plethora of shows and entertainment, ensuring that no child or adult is ever short of things to do. Build sandcastles along endless miles of white sand coastline, make the magic happen at fairy tale theme parks or enjoy exhilarating airboat rides to spot crocs, manatees and hundreds of species of birds. Discover space exploration at the Kennedy Space Center or snorkel among reefs teeming with marine life – if you’re looking for the perfect family holiday, Florida has everything you desire and more.

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Manitoba

This northerly Canadian province has a great deal to offer those in search of wilderness experiences and July provides perfect weather for exploring the great outdoors. There are polar bear tours and regular bison sightings on self drives. What’s more, boat cruises onto the waters of Hudson Bay will give close encounters with beluga whales. There are so many unique wildlife viewings available here. Expect average temperatures of 26°C to complement your discovery of the charming communities that call Manitoba home. Culture vultures will love exploring the Winnipeg Folk festival to experience music from this region and North America, plus food stalls offering organic produce and handicraft. Immerse yourself in the French and First Nation culture that created a special blend of European and indigenous values that are strongly in evidence today. You’ll be be enchanted by the artisan and artistic aspects of life, from remote towns such as Churchill to the bustling cities including Winnipeg. And when you choose July as the perfect time to roam through Riding Mountain National Park you will begin to appreciate why Canada is such a special place to visit during the hazy summer months.

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Indonesia

One of the driest months of the year across the island nation makes this the perfect time to island-hop across the archipelago to see the multi-coloured lakes of Flores, or to wander through the markets of Lombok hunting for batik fabrics and paintings for the folks back home. Venture south and average temperatures of 27°C will greet you among paradise islands from the Gili Islands to the lush landscapes of Java and Bali. At this time of year the east coast of Bali offers exceptional conditions for snorkelling and diving, offering clear waters during July. Witness the breeding rituals of the Komodo dragon during this month, as males fight for territory to attract females. Head to Rinca for the best sightings and you’ll find the waters here offer medium currents aligned with good visibility for the best underwater adventures.

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The Serengeti (West and north)

Wildlife enthusiasts wanting to fulfil long held desires to see the Great Annual Migration should travel to Tanzania in July. At this time the vast herds of zebra, antelope and wildebeest, followed by the watchful gaze of accompanying predators, will be moving through the western and northern regions of the Serengeti. July sees watering holes begin to dwindle so the herds congregate around remaining sources of water making them far easier to spot. Travel to the Grumeti Reserve and the Ikorongo Game Reserve is advisable for those wishing to plan the perfect safari lodge adventure. Take warmer clothing as temperatures on the Serengeti can be as little as an average of 20°C with night time temperatures falling into single figures. Not that this will spoil your amazing holiday. Particularly as you huddle close to your camp fire while the sparks ascend into a beautiful starlit sky as the howl, bark and bellow of animals electrify the atmosphere around you.

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The Galapagos Islands

It’s warm and dry, but not too hot to visit the Galapagos in July. Temperatures can range from 23 to 29°C. The seabirds for which these islands are famous for, including the blue-footed booby, begin their mating rituals and courtship dances. This alone is a privileged event that all wildlife spotters will love. As the month progresses warmer seas arrive, attracting incredible marine life, large and small, from pods of dolphins to schools of whales including the mighty humpback. Wet suits are advisable as the sea temperature is 20°C, and be sure to take advice where local currents are concerned. While July can be one of the windiest months to visit, for those wishing to see the mating rituals of the lava lizard or the nesting habits of the waved albatross there is no better time.

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Orang-utan

Malaysia and Borneo

While other parts of South East Asia may suffer from overcast skies and squally showers, Malaysia escapes the worst of the tropical weather. During the month of July you’ll experience many sunny days with only the occasional warm downpour to send you scurrying to your luxury overwater villa, before the clouds part to reveal a perfect day in paradise once more. While the tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands are customarily cooler, as is usual for this rich agricultural region, on the east and west coast expect average highs of 30°C. Combine and contrast with a stopover to glittering Kuala Lumpur enjoying an average of 32°C, to make strolling through its street food stalls, markets, botanical gardens a pleasure of the senses. Team the beautiful Petronas Towers, sparkling in the night skies of this friendly metropolis, with wildlife-spotting amid the unspoilt nature of Borneo, now entering its dry season. Here you will learn about the conservation of orang-utans at Sepilok before retreating to a stunning beach stay in lush Langkawi.

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Calgary

July 1st is Canada Day, so plan your journey at this time to join in the celebrations at the beginning of the month. Another must-see multifaceted cultural event that requires timing is the Calgary Stampede from 6 – 15, a festival of all things including rodeo, First Nations, chuckwagon races, music and exhibitions. The average high is 24°C, so perfectly suited to exploring the incredible history, heritage and jaw-dropping scenery for which Alberta is renowned. Expect similar temperatures to a sunny day in the UK, so the motto is: if it looks warm outside, dress warmer. You never know when the odd rain cloud might pass by. We can’t deny that peak season brings peak crowds and higher prices, but you really wouldn’t want to miss one of Canada’s greatest annual festivals, would you. Take our advice, a holiday to Calgary in July is a highly recommended event, just be sure to start booking your accommodation at least six months in advance to get the best deals.

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MUSA Underwater Museum

Isla Mujeres – Cancun – Mexico

One of the leviathans of the marine world congregates off the shores of Isla Mujeres off the Yucatan Peninsula of mainland Mexico. The July full moon cycle triggers spawning tuna, attracting these majestic creatures for whom this is a particular delicacy. The cooler waters of the Gulf of Mexico also cause an up-swell of plankton, which whale sharks also love to dine out on. During this time Isla Mujeres hosts its much-loved annual Whale Shark Festival providing visitors with the rarest of opportunities to learn about marine conservation and to study these amazing animals at close quarters. This is the islands way of involving guests both of all ages to experience a family holiday that promotes awareness for one of nature’s most graceful creatures. Average sea temperatures are 28°C so perfect for swimming, diving and snorkelling, while daytime temperatures are at their peak of 28°C. Be sure to pack your sun cream as the UV index is at its highest (12) also. Isla Mujeres is an idyllic, sleepy little island that also has so much to offer nature lovers, from its turtle sanctuary to wild giant iguanas, its coral reefs and its underwater art museum. During the month of July however, it’s all about the incredible whale shark.

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Boston

Celebrations in the USA don’t come much bigger than 4th July in Boston. History buffs and culture-vultures alike will be drawn to sample this festival of all things American at the place where it all started. Explore the city by foot, discovering fascinating insights into the Freedom Trail, strolling by and admiring Boston’s elegant brownstone townhouses. We recommend you experience the emotions as the Stars and Stripes are raised over City Hall Plaza and wreaths are laid on the graves of the patriots. Be inspired by readings of the Declaration of Independence and history seminars and tours to highlight the on-going importance of the big day itself. Take a memorable cruise into Boston Harbor to cap your stay, discovering the origins of the Boston Tea Party before celebrating with locals in the bars and restaurants long into the night as fireworks crackle and fizz overhead. To understand the culture of the USA this is one global event in Boston you really won’t want to miss.

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