The Jubilee and Olympics coupled with the washout summer of wet weather, has caused a 19 per cent surge in families searching for last minute half-term warmth, according to travel comparison website, TravelSupermarket.com.
Searches on the site show that The Canary Islands are a firm favourite destination for a late sun break, but it’s not just the traditional holiday hotspots that are leading the exodus to warmer climes. When compared to data over the same period last year, the comparison website numbers show that the lesser known Red Sea and Dalaman in Turkey have seen big jumps in popularity of 91 per cent and 78 per cent, respectively.
Claudette Martin from St Gregory CEVC Primary School, said: “Autumn is an especially long term and most children will welcome the half-term break as a time to recuperate and let loose. I have definitely noticed when children return to school for the new term after having had a short getaway either in the UK or abroad, their concentration and energy levels are hugely improved, much the same as when adults return to work.”
The usual well-liked choices for those looking for an Autumn getaway such as Rome, Marrakech and Las Vegas, have all fallen out of favour with families, with Cape Verde and Sharm el Sheikh taking their places in the top 20 destinations for the first time.
There are plenty of other destinations to choose from. There are still holidays to Turkey and you can reach the Caribbean and Florida for a one week break as well as destinations such as Cyprus...
Bob Atkinson, travel expert from TravelSupermarket, said: “After what has been a packed summer of events many families have delayed booking a summer getaway, perhaps hoping to enjoy some sunshine here in the UK. Since that has not materialised for most, it is not surprising that many families are now looking to get away this October for their best chance of some sun before Christmas.
“There are plenty of other destinations to choose from. There are still holidays to Turkey and you can reach the Caribbean and Florida for a one week break as well as destinations such as Cyprus, Malta, Cape Verde, The Algarve, and Tunisia for some late summer sun.
“Alternatively, why not consider a city break to one of Europe’s southern cities, such as Madrid, Rome, Athens, Lisbon and Istanbul as well as favourites such as Nice and Barcelona? And if you just want time out and fun with the family, why not try some of the great deals at holiday parks here in the UK which are crammed with activity to keep the kids happy.
“For those travelling without children of school age, consider booking now for dates later this month, either side of the October half term or in November and early December where lower demand will drive plenty of deals to make your money go further,” he added.
The ten most popular destinations in 2011 were Tenerife, Majorca, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Algarve, Malta, Costa Blanca, Red Sea and Rome. In 2012, the list is largely the same however Red Sea is now fifth place ahead of Fuerteventura, and Dalaman has taken Malta's place as well as Dubai entering the top ten in ninth position and Rome dropping out.