It might well feel like they’ve only just returned to school, but we guarantee that children everywhere will already be counting down the days to the October half term!
Let’s be honest though, it’s not just the kids that might benefit from a half term break. A week of family fun provides a welcome distraction from the fact that the colder season’s on its way and allows you to cram in some quality time before the festive season’s madness takes over your mind, spirit and wallet.
The good news about holidaying in October is that prices are likely to be dramatically lower than the peak summer months. However, you’ll need to think a little more creatively about your destination of choice – particularly if you’re in search of sunshine. The reason is that the weather in Europe, even the southern Mediterranean, is on the turn and the areas that are still popular for soaking up the sun are most likely to prove the priciest and most crowded.
However, there’s a big old world out there with options for all – here are a few of our favourites…
Treat the family to a holiday where kid’s dreams are made of and head off to Orlando, Florida to visit some of the world’s most famous theme parks. October’s one of the best months for a trip to Orlando as the weather is warm, but not as humid as it is at other times of the year. As well as the legendary Disney World – fun for both children and those who never really grew up – there’s Universal Studios, iFly, the indoor skydiving centre, Airboat swamp tours and more museums than you could shake a stick at.
The Canary Islands
If sun, sea and sand at a reasonable distance from home is your top priority for a half term break, consider one of the Canary Islands, the most reliable spot for winter sun in Europe. Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife are famous for their wide range of family holiday package deals, sweeping beaches and variety of water sports, water parks and other family-friendly fun days out.
For a taste of the exotic without travelling too far afield, consider Marrakech where the colourful souks, haunting calls to prayer and winding streets of the Medina will transport your family to a world filled with North African charm. The fascinating culture will make up for the lack of beaches, but if a dip is called for, book a hotel with its own pool. Explorer types might want to day trip out of town to the foot of the magnificent Atlas Mountains for a camel tour, perhaps, or dune buggy ride.
Berlin makes a fantastic city break for children of all ages, not to mention parents too! This German city offers a myriad of hipster cafes and restaurants to brunch in at leisure as well as a variety of independent shops that will charm older children and teenagers looking to splash some cash. Young families should head to Kollwitz Plaza where the city’s best playgrounds are located, while older children will enjoy Tiergarten with its paddle boats, hidden bridges and overgrown paths. Other notable family entertainment the city offers includes the dynamic exhibits at the German Museum for Technology, Legoland, and the Berlin Zoo. You can also hop aboard a boat tour of the River Spree to take in the key sights with the wind in your hair.
October marks the start of Aurora season in Iceland, so consider a visit to Reykjavik for a chance to see the spectacular show of the Northern Lights dance across the sky. Unfortunately, the Aurora does not dance to a set schedule. However, the weather, milder than the climes Iceland experiences in the bleak midwinter, means you’ll have a better chance of admiring the show should it occur. Highlights of Reykjavik include the geothermal pools which are warm enough to enjoy alfresco; enjoying the Great Outdoors at Tjornin Lake; and taking a day trip to watch geysers and waterfalls in action just outside of the city.
Wherever you choose for your October half term family holiday, don’t forget to purchase the right travel insurance. We can help you locate the best deal for your trip to make sure that you and your family are covered.