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 Travel-Deals-300x300As spring springs, it’s becoming pretty obvious the only way we’re going to get any early sunshine is by hopping on the nearest plane, train or boat and going somewhere less freezing. So here are  Ask Granny’s top spring travel discounts and coupons: plus a couple of travel tips for interesting budget breaks.

As far afield as you can get – and where it’s definitely ‘shorts’ weather – Virgin Atlantic is offering a range of sale fares to Australia. Don’t ask us how they can be “Atlantic” and go all the way to the Antipodes – they just can. And who’s complaining when you get some proper end of winter sun for less?

Virgin currently fly to Asia and Australasia, offering discounted flights to Hong Kong; Sydney; and Shanghai, Tokyo and Dubai. The company also has planes flying to Africa.

Travel comparison site Opodo has similarly cut rate fares for early spring breaks – only these, of course, are rounded up from a network of airlines rather than a single travel provider. As a result it offers more choice to more destinations; though of course it is still worth checking out the difference between a fare found through Opodo and one taken straight from the Virgin Atlantic site, if they’re going to the same place. As with all travel discounts, the longer you’re prepared to spend looking the better the prices you will find.

Opodo is currently offering deals on flights to sunshine destinations including Kuala Lumpur; Bangkok; Dubai; Istanbul; and Singapore.

Some travel options aren’t so much discounts as undiscovered gems – and thankfully one of the newest is also recommended for spring or autumnal travel rather than summer, when humidity and overall crowding makes it a less pleasant experience. Albania, only recently recovered from too long under dictatorial Communist rule, has begun to make a name for itself as the “alternative” holiday destination of choice: cheap, beautiful warm, and packed with historical surprises.

You can fly British Airways from London to Albania’s Tirana airport for less than it costs to get to some closer destinations and from there (after a day or two spent enjoying the newly-colourful life of that city) head out to some of the best and least used beaches in all of Europe. Plus, with connections to Greece and the Balkans, Albania turns out to be a history-lover’s paradise, featuring Byzantine and Attic ruins; enormous stretches of mountain scenery; and plenty of hiking in unspoiled countryside.

If spring sun isn’t your thing, and you’d rather see the sights and hear the sounds of mainland Europe for less, it’s worth having a look at the Inter Rail (Rail Europe) site, which can connect you to some of the best fares for city breaks in Paris; Amsterdam; Munich; Geneva; Madrid; and Zurich. Fares from the Inter Rail site span borders and provide the perfect way to combine travel with actual sightseeing: watching the world go by from your windows on the way.