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Young children snorkeling in the ocean

Compare the best May half term holidays

May is here and spring is in the air. The Whit half term holiday is an ideal time to book a pre-summer getaway to enjoy quality time with the kids. But, as the May half term is one of the busiest weeks of the year for travel, it's important you book early. Where will you be going?

Where to go away at May half term 2014?

Whether your idea of a perfect lazy day is to lie in a hammock reading the latest bestseller, to sunbathe all day occasionally cooling off in the turquoise sea or to be pampered from head to toe in a spa, you'll feel de-stressed after a week or two in the Maldives.

If you are looking for beaches, the Balearics are a hit for families. Menorca has the best family beaches; however both Menorca and Ibiza also offer great resorts for you and the children.

The Greek islands are opening up for the summer and Turkey is also in full swing. The Spanish Costas, with destinations such as Benidorm and Marbella, can be guaranteed to offer value for money, and the Algarve is also an excellent choice. Cyprus is beautiful at this time of year, covered in flowers, and Malta has warm temperatures for lazing around and playing in your hotel pool.

Further afield, temperatures are rapidly rising in the Egyptian Red Sea resorts and Dubai, so be wary of the heat.

Florida makes a super destination for beaches, theme parks and shopping, or you could just fly and flop in the Caribbean before the summer hurricanes begin.

And, of course, cities in Europe and the UK are well worth visiting. You should be able to stroll around in shirt sleeves across all of southern Europe and you may not even need those jumpers in more northerly cities.

And finally, the UK offers holiday parks, cottages, seaside resorts and day trips galore for all of us to enjoy.

When is May half term 2014?

Dates for schools being closed down for the May half term break vary. These are the dates for major UK cities...

The Whit school holidays are often centred on the last Monday in May, which is a public Bank Holiday across the UK. In 2014, the spring Bank Holiday is May 26, and many schools will be closed for a week around this day.

Some primary schools, however, may have a two-week break, so it's essential you double check with your child's school before booking a holiday.

Dates vary within areas by local education authority, and even within individual schools, so please check the exact holiday dates with your child's school. These dates are provided merely as generic guidance.

• The South East: London schools break up on May 23 and return on June 2.
• West Country: Cornwall schools break up on May 23 and return on June 2.
• The Midlands: Birmingham schools break up on May 23 and return on June 2.
• The North: Manchester and Liverpool schools break up on May 23 and return on June 2.
• The North east: Newcastle schools break up on May 23 and return on June 2.
• Scotland: Glasgow schools are off on May 23 and May 26.
• Northern Ireland: Belfast schools are off on May 26.
• Wales: Cardiff schools break up on May 23 and return on June 2.