Changes in travel restrictions have seen demand soar for holidays. Take advantage of these deals for family breaks, says Sarah Marshall.
Leaves are already crisping red at the edges, but as far as the travel industry is concerned, holiday season has only just started.
Following last week’s relaxation of restrictions by the UK government – opening up a number of destinations, including sunshine favourites Egipte en Turkye – holidaymakers are eagerly grabbing an opportunity for some foreign sun.
By the time the October half-term holidays come around, the nerve-wracking pre-departure test will no longer be required and there’s a chance pricey PCRs will have been replaced by lateral flow tests.
Popular package tour operators TUI, Jet2holidays and easyJet Holidays have already seen a surge of interest for half-term holidays. Thomas Cook have reported their best weekend of bookings this year, met Griekeland and the Canaries both favourites.
“Holidaymakers are feeling more confident, with families in particular rushing to book breaks for October half term,” says Garry Wilson, easyJet holidays CEO, highlighting Majorca, Antalya, Tenerife, and Sharm el Sheikh as popular options.
“These changes are really positive news for our industry and customers, and we’re looking forward to taking our customers away on their well-deserved holidays.”
Mense will also be pleased to hear that in many cases, the price of package holidays has actually gone down – by up to 38% in Spanje according to TravelSupermarket. Their research suggests bargains can be found in Costa Dorada, Costa de Almeria, the Istrian Riviera and Fuerteventura.
A combination of continued customer caution and an abundance of packages available means operators are eager to shift holidays for a season that has already started three months late.
“Only about a third of the traffic has gone through UK airports compared with a pre-pandemic summer,” explains TravelSupermarket’s Emma Coulthurst. “As a result, the industry wants to sell as many holidays as possible, and there are absolutely incredible bargains out there to take advantage of. It really is a great time to go away. I can’t quite believe some of the prices.”
Here are a few of the deals currently available – although they’re disappearing fast, so you’ll have to be quick…
Majorca, Spanje: A seven-night stay at the Aparthotel Maracaibo in Ca’n Picafort (self-catering) costs from £261 per person (two adults and two school-age children). Departs Luton on October 24. Visit travelsupermarket.com
Corfu, Griekeland: A seven-night stay at Govino Bay in Gouvia (self-catering) costs from £288 per person (two adults and two school-age children). Departs Birmingham on October 23. Visit travelsupermarket.com
Zante, Griekeland: A seven-night stay at Caretta Beach Resort & Waterpark in Kalamaki (all-inclusive) costs from £639 per person (two adults and one child) – saving 31%. Departs London Gatwick on October 24. Visit olympicholidays.com
Oludeniz, Turkye: A seven-night stay at the Perdikia Hill Family Resort (all-inclusive) costs from £570 per person (two adults and two children). Departs Manchester on October 24. Visit travelrepublic.co.uk
Kefalonia, Griekeland: A seven-night holiday at the Alexanna Apartments near Fiskardo (self-catering) costs from £573 per adult and £515 per child (onder 16). Includes car hire. Departs London Gatwick on October 23. Visit ionianislandholidays.com
Formentera, Spanje: A seven-night stay at the Insotel Hotel Formentera Playa (half-board) costs from £646 per person (two adults and one child sharing). Departs London Stansted on October 23. Visit tui.co.uk
Menorca, Spanje: A seven-night stay at the Palladium Hotel Menorca (all-inclusive) costs from £679 per person (two adults and two children). Departs London Stansted on October 22. Visit jet2holidays.co.uk
Gran Canaria: A seven-night stay at the Seaside Sandy Beach Hotel (B&B) costs from £669 per person (two adults and two children under 12). Departs Edinburgh on October 22. Visit jet2holidays.com