Best places to travel in May
Trips in May 2021 may be off the table, but there's nothing wrong with starting to plan for May 2022! This is probably one of the best months to take a trip. In the northern hemisphere, May brings spring blossoms, warmer weather, sunshine and less crowds. Whilst in the southern hemisphere, the rains are coming to an end and the weather is starting to cool. So, where are the best places to visit in the month of May?
The weather in Thailand is dry and hot throughout the month of May. You'll find less crowds, making it the perfect time to take a trip.
With only a small chance of rain, it's a great time to relax on the beaches like in Phuket, Krabi or Koh Samui.
If never-ending beach days are not your thing, then immerse yourself in Thai life. In Bangkok take a trip to the majestic Grand Palace, make an offering at Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) or head out to visit the famous floating markets.
Head north to the pretty walled city of Chiang Mai where you'll stumble across beautiful temples on most street corners. It's also a great base for wildlife lovers who may wish to visit or volunteer at one of the elephant sanctuaries (most located about an hour away). Be careful when selecting an elephant sanctuary as animal welfare standards vary considerably - our blog post on picking the best elephant sanctuary discusses this in more detail.
If food is your passion, then why not sign up for a walking tour of Bangkok's street food or perhaps sign up for a cooking class like we did in Chiang Mai?
Flight Time from London: 11.5 hours (to Bangkok)
Time Difference: +7 hours
Daytime Temperatures: 31° to 32° C
Rainfall: 16 - 361mm (depending on the region)
May marks the start of a dry, cooler period in Botswana. Humidity levels fall which leads to more comfortable conditions.
If you're out wildlife spotting, early mornings and evenings can be chilly so taking an extra layer to wear for dawn and sundown safaris may come in handy.
With the cooling temperatures and an abundance of water, this means that the animals become much more active and should also be at the peak health. The reserves in Botswana are never that crowded, but there are even fewer visitors in May than later on in the season. It's also a great time to take advantage of the lower prices for this time of year.
If you're looking for somewhere special to stay, the Xigera Safari Lodge featured on our list of new hotel openings. This boutique property with just 12 individually designed suites has eco-tourism, sustainability and conversation at it's core.
Flight Time from London: 13½ hours (Maun via Johannesburg)
Time Difference: +2 hours
Daytime Temperatures: 0 to 40°C, depending on region
Rainfall: 0 to 600mm (varies on the region)
May marks the end of Japan’s spring and the weather is starting to get a little warmer
As June is the start of the rainy season (which lasts all summer until August), May is a great time to head east and visit this fascinating country.
Throughout spring, the country’s famous pale pink cherry blossoms are in full bloom so hopefully there is the opportunity to indulge in the cherry blossom viewing (known as hanami). Blooms of wisteria are also prime for viewing in early May. Plant lovers should head to the Ashikaga Flower Park (located around 75km from Tokyo), and also to the wisteria tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu.
Flight Time from London: approx. 11 hours 50 minutes (London to Tokyo)
Time Difference: +8 hours
Daytime Temperatures: 21° to 26° C
Rainfall: 130mm - 245mm (varies on region)
Early May is a great time for sun-seekers to head to the Bahamas.
Daytime temperatures are a pleasant 29°C but it stays warm in the evening, dipping down to around 22°C.
It's best to head here in early May: the rainy season starts later on in the month and into June.
Over 700 islands make up the Bahamas. If you want to do something other than lounging on the beach, it's a great place to go diving or snorkelling and The Abacos is the third largest coral reef in the world. Bird-watchers should try the Inagua National Park, which is home to 50,000 pink flamingos.
Flight Time from London: 9 hours 30 minutes
Time Difference: -5 hours
Daytime Temperatures: 21° to 30° C
Rainfall: average rainfall 160mm
May is a particularly lovely time to visit Croatia and experience all that the country has to offer.
The weather is warm and sunny, but it's not too hot for hiking or to indulge in other outdoor activities.
Croatia gets busy in the summer, so this is a great time to visit before the crush.
Zagreb is a vibrant capital city and home to some of the country's best museums, restaurants and shopping. For culture, head to Dubrovnik, said to be Croatia's most glamorous destination, and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Many visit Croatia to explore the Dalmatian islands. The most fashionable is Hvar, home to some of the country's top hotels and restaurants and is just a short ferry ride from Split.
In May, Split celebrates its patron saint, Domnius with processions, traditional klapa music, a rowing contest, and a street fair.
Flight Time from London: 2 hours 30 (upwards)
Time Difference: +1 hour
Daytime Temperatures: 21 to 22°C, depending on region
Rainfall: 52 to 84mm (varies by region)
Not just reserved for honeymooners, the Seychelles is a great place for adventurers and explorers. Snorkellers and divers are in for a delight with colourful corals and an abundance of aquatic life.
Island-hopping is a great way to see the most of this small cluster of islands.
The capital, Mahe, is a great base to acclimatize and from here it is easy to catch a boat and hop over to Praslin - where you'll find Coco la Mer plantations and La Digue - where the most used mode of transport is a bicycle. Look out for the giant tortoises too. The Seychelles benefits from a balmy year-round temperature but there tends to be less rainfall in May than the popular peak season (December and January)
Flight Time from London: 10 hours
Time Difference: +3 hours
Daytime Temperatures: 30°C
Rainfall: around 185mm
May is the perfect time to visit Scotland. The snow has melted (except for the very highest peaks) and for those of us who have tasty skin - the pesky midges have yet to arrive.
After the harshness of winter, the countryside looks at it's absolute best with flowers in full bloom and rolling green hills.
May also signifies the start of the many Highland Games, which run through the whole summer.
The typical pleasant temperatures are perfect for walking and hiking and the waters are a little less choppy making it a great month to head out onto the seas to look for seals, dolphins or porpoises.
Flight Time from London: 1 hour 15 minutes (to Edinburgh)
Time Difference: zero
Daytime Temperatures: maximum 13°C