May is an ideal time for a getaway. It’s shoulder season for many, which means fewer tourists and lower prices, and in many parts of the world the weather is really warming up!
So, thinking of booking a vacation in May? Here’s our list of the best places to go:
Where to go in May
If you visit Orlando in May you’ll be welcomed by balmy weather and plenty of fun things to do. Plan a vacation around Memorial Day Weekend (May 28) and you’ll find lively celebrations going on pretty much everywhere. The unofficial start to the summer, Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States and brings with it festivals, street parties, BBQs and more.
Disney World kicks off its incredible summer schedule over the Memorial Day Weekend. At Magic Kingdom Park from May 25 onwards, Disney’s Pixar heroes will take over Tomorrowland with the ‘Incredible Tomorrowland Expo’. Guests can interact with all their favorite Pixar characters and even meet Edna Mode, the renowned Pixar costume designer. Tomorrowland will feature amazing Pixar-themed decor and music. There will also be regular dance parties on the Rocket Tower Stage.
Donald’s Dino Bash also opens on Memorial Day Weekend with Donald Duck and friends in appearance at Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland USA. In addition to bringing his own decorating touch to the land, Donald will put on a nightly dance party where everyone can get down and boogie. You can also expect to see the International Flower & Garden Festival over at Epcot park through late May.
Another event to look out for in May is the deliciously fun Central Florida BBQ Blowout. A signature event in the community, this large-scale food fest will feature professional BBQ teams cooking up a huge variety of food. There will also be craft brews, live music, kids activities and more. The event is free to get in and will be held at Oviedo Center Park on May 26.
The amazing Orlando Carnival kicks off at the end of May, too. Now in its 31st year, this spectacular Caribbean-style festival features Calypso music, dancing, street performers, live music and colorful costumes. The carnival will be held at Camping World Stadium in Downtown Orlando on May 27 starting at noon.
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Fancy a glamorous May getaway? Head to Cannes in the South of France and you’ll find picture-perfect beaches, chic resorts and plenty of celeb-spotting opportunities. The world-famous Cannes Film Festival takes place in this picturesque seaside resort each May. It brings thousands of filmmakers and Hollywood stars to the area, as well as throngs of visitors who attend just for the fun of it.
You may not get into any of the formal events but you can still get involved and enjoy yourself. You’re likely to get a glimpse of your favorite celebrities as they arrive at the red carpet or while they’re out eating, shopping or clubbing. You can also watch a movie at the Cinema de la Plage where nightly foreign movies are shown every night on the beach.
La Croisette Beach is one of the loveliest beaches in this region and is well worth a visit if you’re in town. It boasts a 2-mile-long stretch of golden sand, although the public part towards the port can get busy during the festival (May 8–19). Many visitors are happy to wander along the promenade between the beach and the long rows of upscale boutiques. If you keep going towards the Vieux Port you’ll see luxury super yachts bobbing in the bay. You’ll also pass the Palais des Festivals et des Congres which is where the majority of the Film Festival celebrations take place.
With or without the festival, this region is a beautiful destination to visit. Antibes, Monte Carlo, Nice and St Tropez are all within easy reach for a day trip. Plus there are plenty of places to discover off the beaten track including hilltop towns, historic sites and some of the prettiest coastal walking trails in all of France.
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Phuket is a top destination for a vacation in May. The weather gradually begins to show signs of approaching the wet season though it remains generally dry and hot making it a popular time to visit. Average daily temperatures hover around the mid 80s with high humidity making it feel hotter still. For sun worshippers this is one of the best times to go as you’re guaranteed to return home with a tan (just be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen!).
There are no specific events in May but there are plenty of fun things to do all over the island. The main hub for shopping and nightlife is the town of Patong on the island’s more touristy west coast. This area has a great beach with wide sandy bays and lots of sun loungers. It’s also a popular spot for water sports such as jet skiiing, wakeboarding and banana boating. When the sun goes down the town lights up with lively bars and nightspots.
A visit to Old Phuket Town is a must at any time of the year. It’s packed with places of interest – you can wander down streets lined with Sino-colonial mansions, visit eclectic art galleries and check out the amazing Chinese and Buddhist temples and shrines. There are plenty of places for drinks and snacks here whether you want to relax at an artsy coffee shop of try out one of the many fantastic restaurants.
Golfers are well catered for in Phuket and May serves up perfect conditions for days out on its golf courses. The Blue Canyon Country Club offers 2 courses to choose from; the Canyon and the Lakes Course. Both were designed to blend in with their tropical surroundings and offer play for all abilities. The Johnnie Walker Classic has been held at the club 3 times, and the onsite pro shop is one of the largest in Thailand.
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If you’re visiting Jamaica in May you’ll find it less busy than in the preceding months, especially after the late Spring Break crowds have departed. The island’s warm climate gets hotter and slightly wetter as the rainy season arrives although showers are usually short lived. The weather can be pretty humid at this time of year so be sure to pack light layers to stay cool.
Each day in May sees an average of around 10 hours of sunshines making it a great month for sunbathing and topping up your tan. It may be the start of the low season in Jamaica, but there are plenty of advantages to traveling at this time including lower fares, quieter facilities and a better chance to appreciate Jamaica’s laid-back way of life.
Golfing enthusiasts will love the Rose Hall estate in Montego Bay which has a great golf course and a meticulously restored plantation house. Montego Bay (or Mo’ Bay as the locals call it) is also home to some of the island’s best beaches, as well as a lively ‘Hip Strip’ of shops, restaurants, bars and nightlife.
Another tourist spot is the cruise capital of Ocho Rios which has become one of the island’s most popular vacation destinations. It boasts beautiful beaches and a great selection of restaurants and beach bars. It’s also home to the famous Dunn’s River Falls waterfall which sees thousands of visitors each year.
For a quieter vibe head to the areas of Runaway Bay and Discovery Bay. These quaint towns are super-relaxed even by Caribbean standards. You’ll find miles of white-sand beaches, a golf club and a handful of casual restaurants and bars.See our Jamaica villas
By May, the wet season in Bali is over and with it comes the heat. Temperatures continue to climb to the warmest they will get all year with average highs of around 90F. May is a great month for a beach-based vacation in Bali, although you may want to take to the shade to cool down and rehydrate.
There are some amazing beaches to choose from, all offering their own charm and appeal. Amed Beach on the east coast has black sand and is a big hit with swimmers and divers thanks to its clear water and multiple shipwreck sites. Kuta Beach over on the western side is considered Bali’s most famous beach resort destination. This is the most touristy beach on the whole island and is where first-time surfers and young party-goers tend to hang out. Another great beach to visit is Sanur Beach in the southeast. The shores are lined with brightly painted fishing boats and there’s a good selection of cafes and restaurants along the promenade.
Culture seekers should head to Ubud, the island’s cultural capital and home to museums, art galleries and ancient Hindu temples. It also hosts frequent musical dance performances and regular workshops for silverwork, wood carving and painting. For a more sophisticated vibe visit upmarket Seminyak which has a great selection of stylish boutiques, restaurants and watering holes.
Head north and you’ll find sprawling national parks, forested volcanoes and picturesque terraced rice paddies. In the northwest, just off the West Bali National Park is the offshore Menjangan Island – one of the best dive sites in the world.
The World Cup Charity Golf Tournament is set to take place at the New Kuta Golf Club on May 5. You can also catch all the action at the Bali Badung International Dragon Boat Festival at Kedonganan Beach on May 7. The Bali Blues Festival usually takes place on May 11 over on Nusa Dua. The famous full moon party at Gili Trawangan takes place in May too (and every other month).
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Other useful resources
If you’re thinking of booking a May vacation and you need advice on the best places to stay then contact us today. Additionally, our dedicated concierge team can arrange any added extras you need such as great-value car hire.
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