Never been on a package trip - help!

(16 Posts)
HolidaayItWouldBeSoNice Wed 24-Aug-16 18:35:50

Call out to all holiday experts, please help!

I want to book a holiday for this October half term for me and DH and 3 kids and I don't know where to start as we've never done a beach/pool package holiday before.

We'd like it to be nice and warm at end of October.
Access to a pool.
Preferably fly from Leeds/Bradford or Manchester.
Would you recommend all inclusive?If it was, somewhere with great food would be a priority.
Or do we want a SC villa?
Prefer not to have to hire a car if possible.
We'd want somewhere relatively quiet, old town to explore, nice restaurants/cafes.
Prefer no nightlife grin
Budget max £3.5k

DH desperately needs a relaxing break but he's very suspicious of a package hol - I think it's just what he needs!

Any advice on locations, specific resorts, hotels and websites/agents would be so so gratefully received! I think I've spent as much time searching the web as I would do on the bloody holiday and the longer it's taking, the more I'm going off the idea of a holiday at all and I know I've left it very late to book as it is!

TIA

mouldycheesefan Thu 25-Aug-16 08:32:06

Go into your local travel agent and discuss it, this is one of those times when speaking to a person with knowledge will help.
Most places will be quiet end of October it's end of season in many European destinations.
Try to get a heated pool for that time of year.
I'm not sure you will get a really good all inclusive for that budget for five people.

HolidaayItWouldBeSoNice Thu 25-Aug-16 08:53:41

Thanks Mouldy! I've never used a travel agent in my life so I didn't even think of that; have always just booked cottages etc online blush Any good ones you'd recommend?

BusStopBetty Thu 25-Aug-16 09:15:01

Do you have any independent travel agents locally? Start there.

October won't be particularly warm. If he's not keen on a package I'd avoid all inclusive unless you can get somewhere amazing with multiple restaurants. Lots will be buffet style which I'm guessing won't appeal.

It is easy enough to book a villa or apartment and flights yourself if you don't want to do a proper package. Often cheaper too.

CalmYaTits Thu 25-Aug-16 10:02:19

You can easily get a decent all inclusive for that price! I'm going away in September £1700 for 3 people in a resort by the beach and near the local town where there are lots of attractions! We won't need to worry about food as there's a buffet with lots of choice for all 3 meals and alcoholic drinks are included.

mouldycheesefan Thu 25-Aug-16 13:22:37

But op said great food was a priority so presumably wants a hotel with lots of restaurants not one buffet. Of course you can get all inclusive cheap but you get what you pay for and people often moan about the food in cheaper places. Other people are not bothered about food, but op said she was.

CalmYaTits Thu 25-Aug-16 14:05:01

The buffet has 5 'Islands' with different choices such as Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Indian etc. can't see why someone would be disappointed with a choice of 30+ dishesconfused

HolidaayItWouldBeSoNice Thu 25-Aug-16 15:06:49

The biggest problem is we don't know what we want. But enjoying good food is a big part of our holidays so perhaps if we do go to a resort then self catering/half board would be best this time so I can break DH in to the idea gently?!

I don't even know what general area I should be looking at. Would the Canaries or Greece still be warm at the end of October? Is that a 'how long is a piece of string' question?smile

HolidaayItWouldBeSoNice Thu 25-Aug-16 15:09:01

The villas I've been looking at seem to come in more expensive than resorts - especially once you've factored in hiring a car - so that is putting me off a villa.

HolidaayItWouldBeSoNice Thu 25-Aug-16 15:10:44

Also (sorry for 3rd post!), unfortunately we have to go during school holidays so perhaps that's why Calm has managed to find a great deal in September?

paap1975 Thu 25-Aug-16 15:17:24

What about a cruise?

Schoolchauffeur Thu 25-Aug-16 15:18:37

Canary Islands would still be nice in late October. We did Costa Adeje in Tenerife a few years ago. I took my elderly mum and I chose our half board hotel for her needs- it was fine but I wouldn't recommend it for your situation- but the resort itself was lovely with a whole sea front of restaurants to choose from. Turkey would still be nice- did an all inclusive to Antalya in October and had brilliant weather. I know plenty of people who've been to the med and Aegean beach resorts in Turkey this year and have said they've felt safe and seen no difference to earlier visits. Plus it's very quiet and not crowded as so many others have stayed away.

breakfastnotattiffanys Thu 25-Aug-16 15:23:43

Canaries are fine in October (been regularly) but I was told Greece and islands can be hitty missy weather wise! (That was from a Greek lady by the way!)

BristolLFR Thu 25-Aug-16 15:27:23

How old are the DCs? Do you want a kids club or sports facilities if they are older? Or happy just to go to the pool.

Second the canaries, or turkey (although I'd be personally worried about turkey at the mo). There aren't any other short haul places that will have the heat at this time of year. Maybe Morocco if you want a bit of culture too?

BarbaraofSeville Thu 25-Aug-16 16:07:53

Package holidays are just booking the flight, hotel and transfer all in one, umm, package.

You could book all the same things separately and the holiday would be the same - whether it costs more or less would depend on what deals and discounts are available from various suppliers, but if you want to fly from Leeds or Manchester, I would suggest looking at jet2holidays - they can be excellent on price.

I would suggest Canaries, which would still be warm in late October, and B&B in a hotel, where you get at least a fridge in the room, or possibly a kitchenette.

You then get hotel facilities, breakfast and for the rest of the day you can either eat out, which will get better food and table service, and you can buy drinks and snacks from the supermarket. I find that doing it this way is cheaper than AI, for better quality food. Look for a hotel with a heated pool if you expect to want to swim in it.

Playa Blanca Lanzarote or Adeje Tenerife have lots of nice restaurants without loud pubs and clubs. There's probably somewhere similar in Gran Canaria, but I've never been there.

Loads of other stuff to do in Lanzarote, as well as beach/pool. Lanzarote also has lots of Bungalow complexes, which would be self catering, quieter than a hotel, but you could then eat out for most meals, along with easy food from the supermarket.

HolidaayItWouldBeSoNice Thu 25-Aug-16 17:58:37

Thanks everyone, that's all really helpful. The kids will be 8,6 and nearly 4. We've never been anywhere with a kids club but that does sound tempting for an afternoon off. I'm going to start with jet2 holidays and try and narrow it down to the canaries. I just can't bring myself to go to Turkey at the mo even though I'm sure it'd probably be fine and DH is dead set that he'll never go on a cruise. Go figure.

I'll have a look at the resorts mentioned too-really helpful, thanks!

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