HomeAway travel expert
The October half term is an excellent time to sneak in a cheeky holidaylet. A shot of a holiday, as opposed to a full glass; something to brace you for the approaching holiday season – and for two reasons. Firstly, it's just outside the peak holiday season, so travel and accommodation prices are at their lowest. This is especially important if you're planning for the whole family. Secondly, you'll get to experience your break sans the summertime crowds (or Christmastime crowds) that would probably otherwise be clogging up the beautiful views.
The main con of an October half term holiday is, obviously, its brevity. But luckily, there are numerous fantastic half term break destinations close enough to home that you won't need to worry about travel time eating up your holiday. Here are five of our favourites.
Five of the finest October half term destinations
October half term holidays in France
France offers a huge range of holiday options, from the cultural (and literal) feast that is Paris, to the rural sports haven of the Rhone-Alps, all of which are easily accessible from the UK. And of course there's sunny Provence, if you're in the mood for a walking holiday. And then again, there are the beautiful beaches... Try the Cote D'Azur, for example, for lots of sandcastle-friendly sand and easy visibility, so you don't lose sight of your little beach enthusiasts!
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October half term holidays in the Canary Islands
Ah, the Canary Islands – warm, exotic, and (relatively) nearby. With a balmy climate and wide range of attractions, and considering the great value on flights and accommodation in October, the Canaries are an ideal choice for a cheap half term break. Creamy beaches abound all over the islands, and Gran Canaria especially boasts excellent hiking and walking opportunities around Roque Nublo, including a kid-accessible path that leads from the nearby parking lot.
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October half term holidays in Belgium
For something just a bit different – and if you aren't married to the idea of spending your half break roasting in the sun – consider Belgium. Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent are all gorgeous; beautifully preserved medieval towns. Bruges' winding canals and pedestrian-friendly layout make for an especially photo-worthy getaway, and there isn't likely to be anywhere near the crowds you'll get elsewhere. Also, kids (and parents) won't want to miss Brussels' Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate! If a mellow break in picturesque surroundings makes you hungry, consider this seriously underrated little European gem.
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October half term holidays in Portugal
With a glorious climate year round, Portugal is perfect for a last-ditch beach holiday before the winter arrives in Britain. There are endless attractions to keep the kids happy – the beaches of the Southern Algarve are especially family friendly – and with many 'end of season' activity and spa deals, you can find some very cheap adult activities as well. Oh, and the food and Port wine? It probably doesn't need saying that they can't be missed.
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October half term holidays in Scotland
Scotland is an ideal choice for a change of scenery without having to travel very far – which means it's also perfect for those who've waited until the last minute to take a break away. Easy to get to and around, October holidays in Scotland are suited to lovers of the great outdoors – sweeping vistas, endless walking and hiking trails, imposing castles... and little ones will jump at the chance to monster-hunt at Loch Ness. Take your pick, book your trip, and then jump on HomeAway and find a perfect holiday cottage.
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Available properties during October half term 2014