October half-term is the perfect time to book a holiday for the whole family, as it is cheaper than the main summer break and helps you to get a little more creative in terms of where you want to go, especially if you plan to chase some autumn sun.
Not everybody fancies a long flight with potentially grumpy children in tow, so we’ve put together a selection of our favourite half-term destinations that cover both short- and long-haul travelling times.
A long-standing favourite for travellers with children, Gran Canaria offers the perfect combination of year-round sunshine and reasonable flights, not to mention some of the prettiest beaches around.
Part of the Canary Islands, it plays home to plenty of family-friendly and lively beaches, as well as restaurants that can cater to a variety of different tastes, with some tasty local cuisine, too. It even has beautiful scenery to boot. Even more impressive is that it’s still possible to enjoy a holiday here for less than you might think, especially in autumn. With average temperatures of around 27°C, it won’t feel as though you’ve sacrificed a tan for a bargain – you can have both.
Further afield yes, but Mauritius is worth making the journey for, especially in October, when it is starting to heat up after the cool season, and the rain hasn’t yet started. Warm, dry and incredibly sunny, this is the exotic beach holiday you’ve been dreaming of all year, but there’s more on offer than just sand.
Staying at around 24°C, the temperature is more than pleasant and allows for the flora and fauna of the island to spring into life, with underwater ecosystems ripe for viewing as well. With the water warm and clear on October, Mauritius is great for both experienced divers and those that fancy learning. What a skill to give the little ones!
Boasting the longest summer season of the entire Mediterranean, Cyprus is a brilliant destination for breaking up the monotony of the longest term of the school year. It offers eight hours of sunshine, topping up the Vitamin D before winter kicks in back at home and stays in the region of 27°C all month as well, with little to no rain.
It’s worth knowing that Cyprus is very popular during half-term, so you might want to try and book a little earlier than normal, to ensure the perfect hotel. Especially if you have specific criteria to fulfil, such as an onsite spa or kids club. The secret is out with savvy parents knowing that Cyprus is a relatively short flight away and offers so much in terms of beaches, food and sunshine.
Offering markets, deserts, beaches and mountains, Morocco might not be one of your first thoughts for a half-term holiday, but it should be. Children will love the chance to explore new landscapes and their senses will be tingling with all of the unfamiliar smells and sounds that linger in the air.
If you like a little hustle and bustle, Marrakech will be perfect for you, as the streets are teeming with life and a busy market that will have you testing your haggling skills. For a more laid-back vibe, Agadir is the place to be, with miles of coastline and a welcoming cafe culture. With an average temperature of 29°C, you won’t need to chase the sun, and rain shouldn’t be a problem, either.
Getting more popular every year, Turkey is an amazing combination of culture and Blue Flag beaches that are perfect for lazy days filled with sunbathing. With temperatures of around 27°C in October, you definitely won’t need a jumper in your luggage – even if you did, you could visit one of the weekly bazaars to grab yourself a stylish cover-up.
Ancient ruins, delicious-smelling markets and plenty of family-friendly activities make Turkey as popular with active families as it is with those that just need some rest and relaxation. And absolutely everyone enjoys the tasty food that tests even the most adventurous palates.
Half-term holidays are often marred with thoughts of high prices and crowds, but if you choose a destination that’s a little less mainstream, you can enjoy the benefits of great weather and surprising value for money. As we move into the future, trend predictors are having a lot of fun guessing what family holidays will look like in a few years. The same questions are relevant: how far are you willing to travel and what you want to do once you reach your destination?