Half terms were made for quality family time. Say goodbye to the doom and gloom weather the UK is likely to expect and head for the sun. We’ve put together a list of our favourite places to go this October half term – we reckon they’ll get your (and your kids’) approval.
In just four hours from the UK, you can be on the island of Tenerife, the largest of the Canaries. Tenerife is an obvious choice for an autumn break. Why? The winter weather is not that dissimilar to that of its summer weather.
You have lovely long swathes of sand for the kids to build sandcastles, the Atlantic Ocean for them to try their hand at watersports, and top-notch resorts with swimming pools, kids’ clubs, you name it. There’s also Siam Park, a waterpark that rivals some of those in the USA. Your water babies (big or small) will love the range of slides and attractions, from the Mai Thai River to The Tower of Power, a 28-metre waterslide – say no more.
For kids with buckets of energy and a little sense of adventure, Mount Teide is a fantastic day out. A cable car will take you up the highest point, where you can enjoy views across the island and spend time exploring and enjoying the outdoors.
Cyprus is much more than just a fly-and-flop beach destination. Yes, it’s only a few hours from the UK. Yes, the balmy weather is almost guaranteed. Yes, the hotels offer first-rate family facilities. But did you know, it also has a rich and fascinating history for all those keen learners in the family – stay in Paphos and visit the Tombs of the Kings (dating back to the 4th century BC) and the Roman villas, which house impressive mosaics.
Cyprus has its fair share of wildlife spotting opportunities, too. Take the kids to Lara Bay, a common bay for nesting turtles. The island isn’t particularly large, so if you were interested in exploring more, hiring a car is a great option for families. The roads are fairly quiet and UK-style road signs mean it’s not too complicated to navigate. You don’t even need to learn to drive on the wrong (other!) side.
Family adventures don’t come better than those in Dubai. Add another three hours to your flight and you could be enjoying everything from jeep safaris and skiing (yes, skiing), to waterparks and theme parks.
Dubai’s coast is lined with supersized hotels offering up an extensive choice of restaurants, swimming pools and activities. The Atlantis Palm is a great option for families – it comes complete with its own adventure park, the best in the Middle East.
Mums, if you can drag your kids away from the pool (or perhaps just leave them with Dad), Dubai has a fantastic shopping scene. Read our guide to shopping in Dubai to find out more.
If you are a frequent flyer and have those flights with kids nailed down, then why not just add a few extra hours to your journey and you could be the envy of the school playground.
Whether it’s spotting dolphins from a catamaran or snorkelling off of the beach, the opportunities to experience the stunning sea life are fantastic in Mauritius. There’s also jungle experiences (think jeep safaris and wildlife treks) and a chance for the whole family to be a bit more experimental with their cuisine, thanks to the country’s eclectic cuisine.
It’s not just for those with school-age kids, either – Reshmi, one of our Travel Experts, took her daughter to Mauritius when she was just 11 weeks old. You can read how she got on in her feature on travelling long-haul with a baby.
Croatia is hot property this year – it’s got its spectacular coastline, fairytale towns and mouth-watering cuisine to thank for that. (Oh, and the world-renowned wine.) When it comes to family holidays, it might not be at the top of your list – but the quirky buildings and ancient palaces in Dubrovnik’s scene-stealing old town will keep younger kids captivated (and fill up teens’ Instagram feeds).
There are beaches too and an ice-cream store on almost every corner. You could all try sea kayaking or perhaps hop over to one of the islands. Keep the whole family entertained with a day trip to either Korcula (north-west of Dubrovnik) or to the Elaphite Islands.