The best way to get over the passing of summer is to embrace the brand new season – fortunately, autumn is a time of year that’s easy to love. The season of fireworks, pumpkins and blankets of leaves in the park is the ideal time of year to take a break. But with Christmas rearing its sparkly head in the very near future, it’s certainly not the best period to book a holiday that’s likely to break the bank.
This could make it an excellent time of year for a staycation, but if you’re keen to head further afield and enjoy one last hurrah before the cold weather really takes hold, we have a few budget break ideas for October that just might tick all your boxes:
There aren’t many places in Europe that are still boasting warm enough weather to enjoy a trip to the beach. However, beautiful Crete is one of the last holiday spots in Europe where you can still expect to bask in temperatures that hover in the early 20s.
As the largest of the Greek Islands, Crete boasts a fascinating historical legacy where the mark of ancient civilisations can still be seen on its shores. Although October will see holiday resorts winding down for the winter, the season is ideal for exploring the culture of the island and discovering the frescoed churches, monasteries and Renaissance mansions scattered throughout the land. Team this with the craggy coves, dramatic hills and spellbinding turquoise seas that the island is famous for and it’s not hard to see that Crete offers the full package for a variety of interests.
A variety of budget airlines fly to Crete and if you stick to local food and drink you can keep your costs very reasonable indeed. The local wines are excellent and the local spirit, Retsina, though not for the faint-hearted is much less pricey than imported drinks. Fresh fish, seasonable produce and local dishes are wallet-friendly on this island and out of peak season, there are plenty of accommodation options such as studios, apartments and self-catering properties that will beat the budget you’d need for the bigger hotels.
Ok, so Paris might have a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world to live, but when it comes to taking a cheap and cheerful short-haul break, you’d be surprised just how far your money will stretch.
First of all, getting there won’t break the bank with budget flights departing from a wide variety of cities here in the UK. Alternatively, you can always take the ferry with its numerous seating options or even the Eurostar, which – if you book far enough in advance – can actually be quite reasonable.
Then there is the wide variety of free things to do in the lovely City of Light. Visit the magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame, decorated with grimacing gargoyles and exquisite Gothic detail. Pack a cosy blanket, bottle of wine and some Brie for a picnic in the Parc du Champ de Mars with its manicured flowerbeds and well-tended lawns. Explore the colourful covered market of Marche d’Aligre. Or visit one of the city’s free museums such as the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and celebrate the culture of the city.
Another great option for those chasing the sun, the Mediterranean island of Malta may even offer sea temperatures warm enough for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving – perhaps your last chance for the year. As well as the allure of the glittering sea and the fossil-studded cliffs and coves that make up the Maltese coastline, you will find rich historical sites such as prehistoric temples, medieval hilltop towns and a 5,000-year-old underground necropolis to keep your inner culture vulture appeased.
A holiday in Malta can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. As well as excellent, fancy restaurants there are plenty of low-key eateries to choose from that offer local specialties such as seafood, pasta and meats at wallet-friendly prices. The wines are cheap and tasty, too. Additionally, public transport is reliable and amongst the cheapest in Europe so pick up a day or weekly pass in order to get around.
Runners-up in our budget breaks for October round-up include the Hungarian capital of Budapest with its outdoor thermal baths, fairy-tale architecture and reputation for being one of the cheapest cities in Europe; the warm and sunny Canary Islands, the only European destination that stays beach-ready all year round; and southern Spain or Portugal where the weather is likely to be too cold to swim but the climate is ideal for biking, hiking and enjoying the spectacular vistas.
Wherever you end up this October, don’t forget to purchase your travel insurance. That way, you can relax into your holiday, safe in the knowledge that you’re protected.