News, Culture & Society

We reveal the most popular locations and the best deals for your autumn holiday

In the week the amber list was scrapped, there has been a last minute dash for October half term bookings, with flight prices as much as 130 per cent cheaper than the same time two years ago, new data has revealed. 

Bookings have risen by 72 per cent following the Government relaxing travel rules, according to analysis by Skyscanner.

It found the most popular holiday destinations for an October half-term break include Dubai, Alicante and Tenerife with the largest Canary Island seeing prices fall by 130 per cent since the same period in 2019 at an average of £130 per flight. 

Those looking to head to Dubai can also get return flights for £370 which is 50 per cent cheaper than in October 2019.

Families can head abroad this October from as little as £140 for flights and accommodation

Meanwhile, many are keen to visit Spain with Alicante, Malaga, Palma and Barcelona all coming in the top ten hotspots booked over the last two weeks.

Trips to Alicante were found to be 61 per cent cheaper than two years ago with an average seat price coming in at £102.

Malaga and Antalya are also popular destinations with return seats at an average of £95 and £179, respectively. 

This is 67 per cent and 64 per cent cheaper than October half term in 2019.  

Other heavily booked destinations include Dublin, Amsterdam, Faro, the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Rome, Malta and the Algarve. 

Gavin Harris, of Skyscanner, added: ‘For those booking a half-term break, there are many great deals out there just now. Even the most popular destinations are cheaper on average than they were at this time before the pandemic.

‘Travellers who look further afield than the most popular spots will get the best deals, with slightly less obvious destinations still at extremely low prices.

‘Booking volumes are rising as a result of the recent relaxation of the rules for travel and we expect this to continue to rise as we get closer to the school break.

‘Prices may fluctuate as a result of supply moving to meet demand, but many providers have vowed to make travel accessible for everyone and are keeping prices low to compete for bookings.

‘Even if prices do rise, for many destinations this could still mean a better deal for your trip than pre-pandemic.’

Dubai is one of the most popular locations for October half term holidays at £370 per seat

Dubai is one of the most popular locations for October half term holidays at £370 per seat

POPULAR OCTOBER HALF TERM LOCATIONS: FLIGHT PRICES
Destination Average seat price this week for Oct 2021  % cheaper than 2019
Dubai  £370  50% 
Alicante  £102  61% 
Tenerife  £130  130% 
Malaga  £95  67% 
Antalya  £179  64% 
Source: Skyscanner     

Best value deals 

This is Money with the help of Skyscanner and TravelSuperMarket has put together some of the best value October half term trips. 

1) Dubai 

Where: Oaks Ibn Battuta Gate, 5 star, B&B

When: Return trip, from 24 October to 31 October departing from Liverpool

How much: £578 per person for flights and accommodation 

What to do: One of the world’s most luxury destinations, travellers heading to Dubai can enjoy high end shopping as well as lively nights out.

It is also home to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world. 

2) Alicante

Where: AC Hotel Alicante by Marriott, 4 star. B&B

When: Return trip, from 23 October to 31 October departing from Glasgow 

How much: £140 per person for flights and accommodation

What to do: A port city on the Costa Blanca, Alicante’s old town, Barrio de la Santa Cruz, is home to a number of bars and restaurants.

Many will also visit for its numerous beaches.

Holidaymakers can travel to Dublin for £39 per person from Manchester this October

Holidaymakers can travel to Dublin for £39 per person from Manchester this October

3) Dublin 

Where: Hilton Dublin Kilmainham, 4 star, B&B

When: Return trip, from 23 October to 31 October departing from Manchester

How much: £149 per person for flights and accommodation

What to do: There are a number of places to visit in Dublin including the Guinness factory, Kilmainham Gaol and Dublin Castle. 

It is also known for Temple Bar, a busy street with numerous bars and restaurants. 

4) Amsterdam

Where: XO Hotels Blue Square, 4 star, B&B

When: Depart Stansted on 26 October for three nights for two adults and two school-age children

How much: £156 per person for flights and accommodation 

What to do: There is plenty to do in Amsterdam including boat tours down the historic canals, visiting the Van Gogh museum and seeing Anne Frank’s house. 

The nightlife is also famous with a large selection of bars and restaurants to visit.  

5) Barcelona 

Where: Holiday Inn Express Barcelona, 3 star, B&B 

When: Depart Manchester on 24 October for three nights for two adults and two school-age children

How much: £132 per person for flights and accommodation 

What to do: Travellers to Barcelona can visit La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell – both designed by Spanish architect, Gaudi. 

Those looking to relax can also walk along the long stretch of beach lining the city or go shopping along Las Ramblas.

Travellers can head to Amsterdam to see a range of sights including the Flower Market

Travellers can head to Amsterdam to see a range of sights including the Flower Market

6) Krakow  

Where: Guest Rooms Kosmopolita, 3 star, B&B

When: Depart Luton on 26 October for three nights for two adults and two school-age children

How much: £101 per person for flights and accommodation 

What to do: Poland’s second largest city has had a varied history and travellers can explore this by visiting the museums and other historic sights, including Wawel Royal Castle and the Cloth Hall. 

Krakow’s Old Town is one of its most famous attractions and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

7) Algarve 

Where: Quinta das Figueirinhas, Porches, 3 star, self catering 

When: Depart East Midlands on 24 October for seven nights for two adults and two school-age children

How much: £263 per person for flights and accommodation 

What to do: Holidaymakers flock to the Portugese coast for sun, sea and sand with a number of cave formations to explore, boat tours along the coast for visitors as well as many pretty beaches.

8) Majorca

Where: Cristina Apartamentos, Cala Millor, 3 star, B&B

When: Depart Manchester on 22 October for seven nights for two adults and two school-age children

How much: £229 per person for flights and accommodation 

What to do: If you’re looking for a pool to sit next to for a week, there’s plenty of choice here and some stunning beaches.

Magaluf favours the party crowd, while Cala d’Or and Cala Millor are better for those seeking a bit of quiet. Port de Pollença and Alcudia are great for families.

Deals: Families can stay in Alicante at a four star for £90 a night this October half term

Deals: Families can stay in Alicante at a four star for £90 a night this October half term

Green and amber list scrapped  

The Government has now scrapped the green and amber list and has instead left just the red list in its place.

It is hoped this will encourage more travel and make going abroad cheaper and less stressful.

The change in rules mean that eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under-18s returning from over 50 countries not on the red list can do so without needing to complete a pre-departure test, a day 8 test or enter a 10-day self-isolation period.

The new rules also mean that from later in October, fully vaccinated passengers with an approved vaccine and recognised certificate from a country not on the red list will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. 

Whilst the Government has said it will be by the end of October and in time for people returning from half term, the actual date has not yet been confirmed. 

Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost, which will be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.

Those coming from red list destinations must still pay to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days.  

BEST ITALY OCTOBER HALF TERM DEALS 
Destination  Average price paid (over the last week) 
Italy (country)  £74 
Milan  £47 
Bologna  £49 
Pisa  £56 
Roma  £94 
Source: Skyscanner   

What cover you will need  

To see what protection you will need when travelling abroad, This is Money, with the help of Defaqto, has listed some of the most important policy details you need to be aware of.

Covid cover: All holidaymakers buying travel policies at the minute, or who have already bought, should check their policy to make sure they will be covered if they catch Covid, either whilst away or before they travel. 

Luckily, 98 per cent of policies cover the costs of medical treatment if you catch Covid while on holiday whilst 93 per cent also cover you if you must cancel a holiday because you have tested positive for Covid before you travel. 

Meanwhile, 52 per cent will also cover cancellation if you are told by the NHS Test and Trace team to isolate because of being in close contact with an infected person, but without having caught the disease yourself.

Pre-travel cover: It is also important to ensure that you get a policy with pre-travel cover as there are currently lots of issues with cancellation cover, including cancelling due to a pre-existing illness or condition suffered by you or a member of your family, which you didn’t tell the insurer about when you bought the policy. 

Testing: One of the big costs at present is the cost of testing. Just 5 per cent will cover the cost of any tests taken as part of your holiday, if those tests prove positive.

Meanwhile, if you booked your travel through an ABTA travel agent or an ATOL flight operator, and the Government changes its advice and tells people not to travel, these organisations should either arrange alternative holidays or give you a refund or get you home. 

Failing this, customers are likely to have to rely on their credit card provider to get them a refund. Insurers will not currently cover cancellation caused by the FCDO changing its travel advice.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk