From sun-kissed breaks in southern Europe to culture-packed adventures in Southeast Asia, May is a glorious time to get a way for a break before the summer crowds arrive. Our specialists have picked out their favourites below but if there's something else that you're interested in, don't hesitate to get in touch.
In Europe, Italy and Spain are ideal May destinations. Tuscany enjoys highs of 21ºC making for pleasant road trips and walks through Florence. In Spain, Andalucia basks in sunshine, while the north's slightly cooler mid-20s makes for the perfect time to walk the Camino de Santiago trail. Just over the border, Portugal is an equally attractive proposition. Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve all benefit from the same Iberian sunshine, and pousada-based self-drives are a little quieter thanks to skirting the peak tourist season. And, in France, the verdant wine region of Bordeaux is at its sparkling best.
Meanwhile, in Scandinavia and the Nordics, the likes of Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden have escaped their winter chill, so expect rushing rivers, spectacular waterfalls and forests alive with wildlife.
In North America, travel to New York for almost-guaranteed sunshine and fewer city crowds. It's hot but not humid, making May perhaps the best month for gentle activities, such as cycling through Central Park, walking the Highline and visiting Ellis Island. The wider state is similarly superb at this time of year – head to Niagara Falls (and continue into Canada) for the same low-level crowds.
It's also a great time to spot whales off Canada's Vancouver Island, while national parks in the USA enjoy a favourable climate, with the canyons of Utah and Arizona not too hot and hotel availability generally far better.
Safaris in Southern Africa
Southern Africa is also hotting up, but the humidity in destinations such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe remains low, making it an excellent time to go on safari. Stay in style at a luxury safari lodge and enjoy superb dining and the services of an expert guide as you go in search of the Big Five and more.
Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia are also blessed with enormous amounts of sunshine at this time, with Bali particularly pleasant. Perhaps combine some culture with one of the region's superb beaches. Our specialists can point you in the right direction. Or, why not head to China for warmth without the intense summer heat? It's one of the best times of year for a Yangtze river cruise. Japan is also a great bet, with with the chance to catch the tail-end of cherry blossom season in the north and the chance to avoid cherry blossom season rates further south.
Last call for the Caribbean
Lastly, May is also a great time to head to the Caribbean. Prior to the rainy season, it's often quieter and resorts entice with good special offers after Easter. Barbados, Tobago, Grenada and St. Lucia are all good options – the latter even features a superb jazz festival.