6 great autumn half-term holiday ideas

Left your Autumn half-term holiday plans to the last minute?
There’s still time to find the perfect place for you and your family to spend some quality time together. Whether you’ve got cash to splash on your big holiday of the year or you’ve got your sights set on giving your kids the best possible time on a tight budget, here are a few suggestions to inspire your inner wanderlust…
Family BeachMalta
Malta’s Mediterranean climate and laid-back island vibe make it a perfect destination for families. Add an organized adventure tour into the mix and you’ve got your whole half-term planned without any of the organisational hassle. Book with a company like Explore, who offer a seven-night Maltese adventure, taking in the smaller islands of Gozo and Comino too. You can expect swimming, sea kayaking, a jeep safari and a boat load of incredible landscapes and history to captivate their imaginations. Malta is a little over three hours from the UK by air. Explore’s Malta and Gozo Explorer tour departs on 26th October 2014 and costs from £999 per person or £854 per child (minimum age seven).
If you fancy seeing a bit of countryside along the way, why not hop on the ferry to Ireland? Making the short trip across St george’s Channel means you get a holiday that’s free of costly long-haul flights and language barriers. Make a beeline for the stunning surrounds of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Kilarney National Park. Made up of lakes, mountains and woodlands, it’s the ideal setting in which young outdoor lovers can muddy their new hiking boots. Strewn with ancient castles and picturesque walking trails, this breath of fresh air of a destination offers great terrain for tiring out the energetic and excitable members of your party. You’ll find a bounty of charming places to stay, such as Sykes Cottages’ Tig Mai, situated in Milltown, County Kerry. After a day of stomping around some of Ireland’s most impressive countryside, curl up in front of the cottage’s open fire. Tig Mai sleeps four and costs £279 for 7 nights from 25th October.
Family Sunset Beaches TurksTurks and Caicos
Oozing luxurious style from its palm-fringed stretches of fine white sand and crystal clear seas, the Caribbean is a destination that’s hard to beat, whatever your age. If you have the means to push the boat out this Autumn, Turks and Caicos is definitely worth adding to your high-end shortlist. It’s also a winner when it comes to coaxing teenagers into just one more holiday with the family. Who could resist the promise of snorkelling, sea kayaking, sailing and a whole raft of other water sports right at their fingertips when they wake up each morning? For a chance to spoil the whole family, try Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa. The all-inclusive resort – rated the no.1 hotel for families in the Caribbean 2014 by Travel and Leisure magazine – offers a 45,000-square foot water park, 12 miles of stunning beach and even an Xbox 360® Game Garage. Along with 19 gourmet dining options to choose from, there’s also a luxury spa for mum and dad to indulge in. Why not up the luxe factor even further by booking a pre-flight airport lounge through FHR?
Aviemore LochAviemore
For a real contrast of climate and scenery, swap sunny, sandy beaches for majestic, heather-clad mountain scenery and you’ll find yourself in the spectacularly beautiful Scottish Highlands. An outdoor adventurers paradise, Aviemore offers a wide range of activities for families, including mountain biking and walking trails; loch-side activities, from canoeing to windsurfing; and the newly re-opened Macdonald Aviemore Resort. A recent £600,000 facelift has seen the addition of the Aviemore Activity Centre – fantastic for families with older kids. Inside you’ll find everything from a giant plasma screen and Xbox to an electronic mixing desk and video technology that lets kids cut their own tracks. Quiet spaces are available for when it’s time to bring your superstars back down to Earth. Fly to Inverness and book hassle-free car hire with FHR for the short drive to Aviemore.
Red Sear Water SportsRed Sea Riviera
With a flight time of around 4 hours to Hurghada, Egypt’s sunny Red Sea Riviera is a destination that’s well-worth adding to your medium-haul half-term shortlist. A tad cheaper and quicker to reach than the paradise of the Caribbean, the Red Sea Riviera offers a range of water sports to rival the Caribbean, as well as some of the world’s most incredible dive sites. Choose from five different hotels available at Soma Bay, and activities ranging from golf and sailing to kitesurfing and diving. There’s also a luxury Holistic Spa and Thalasso Centre which provides a perfect sanctuary when you need a retreat from all of the high-energy activities and excitement.
Petra MonasteryPetra
The deserts, mountains, lost cities and crusader castles of Petra set the scene for the whole family to channel their inner Indiana Jones. Excellent as an educational destination, there are biblical stories to be told on the very sites upon which they occurred. Floating on the surface of the saline Dead Sea brings science to life in a way that’s almost impossible in a classroom. There’s also the option to snorkel beneath the surface of the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Travelling with an adventure holiday company like Explore, you can take in the spectacular sands of Wadi Rum, the ancient Roman city of Jerash and the peculiarly pink ‘Rose Red City’ of Petra. There’s even a chance to learn about the local way of life and culture over lunch with a local family – all within a flight time of a little over five hours from the UK. The Lost City of Petra tour departs on 24th October 2014 and costs from £1,324 per person and £1,146 per child (minimum age five).
With FHR to organise your parking and hotel before you jet off, you won’t have to worry about missing your flight on the morning of your departure, which means more time to enjoy yourselves and an earlier start to your holiday.
Lauren Hellicar is a travel writer for FHR, a leading provider of UK airport hotels, parking and lounges.

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