Oct hot holiday with direct flights
ginforall · 22/12/2020 10:01
Any ideas for a late Oct holiday, which will be warm, little rain and we could fly directly to? We're midlands based so can fly from London or Manchester.
We get a two week half term, don't mind a long flight but keen to avoid lots of changing. A couple of years ago used the time to go to California, which was great and looking for more ideas of places to visit, but most places I can think off don't have direct flights.
SJaneS49 · 23/12/2020 09:08
What kind of budget will you have any any guidance on the kind of thing you like to do on holiday, age of kids, max flight time etc? Will help us not suggest destinations which aren’t suitable 🙂
notimagain · 23/12/2020 09:31
Yep, as SJaneS49 says OP you need to help us out a bit and narrow it down a bit..beach?, no beach?, resort?, Hotel? airbnb?, kid friendly?,
most places I can think off don't have direct flights.
I'f that's the case could I ask if possible where were you thinking of?
Reason being in normal non- Covid times there were a heck of long haul flights with the major carriers that gave you the option of flying somewhere nice, warm etc non-stop, out of Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester....e.g The Gulf (oh, hang on did somebody say nice..?), the Caribbean, Seychelles, Florida, South Africa, South America.......etc etc....it's potentially a big list (covid permitting)..
RainingBatsAndFrogs · 23/12/2020 09:54
And how long a flight are you up for for a week’s holiday?
Indian Ocean/ S Africa is 11 hours, for e.g
SJaneS49 · 23/12/2020 10:28
@notimagain, “ hang on did somebody say nice..?”.
Yes but Oman’s great though!
ginforall · 23/12/2020 11:02
Sorry can see I might have been lacking in detail. Kids will be 13 and 8, both good travellers, no issues with an 11 hour flight to LA when they were 11 and 6.
The issue I think I'm having with flights is we get two weeks off work/school in Oct (me and DH are teachers so can't take longer than the two weeks), and ideally would want to go away pretty much straight away and then return a few days before going back to work to have a bit of time to get over the jet lag. When we went to California before in Oct we went the first Mon and came back early hours of the second Thurs, which worked quite well. Places I've been looking at Sri Lanka, Goa, South East Asia, all seem to have limited direct flights making it a bit more difficult to not do the full two weeks (which often doesn't work out with school timings if they are weekday flights).
Budget for holidays is usually around 5k, but with missing a holiday last year (Mexico at Easter), we could pay more.
Happy for just beach (as long as there is a bit of natural beauty or stuff to look at) or no beach as long as the weather is good and we can have some downtime round a pool when not sightseeing. Not keen on the idea of Dubai, Caribbean weather seems a bit too temperamental at that time of year, I have considered somewhere like Costa Rica but read conflicting things about the weather.
I know the covid situation might put a stop to any of this, but Oct is a good time for us to go away, so ideas for the future would always be helpful.
SJaneS49 · 23/12/2020 13:02
Thanks - that helps! I’ve been to a couple of the places you mention so :
Sri Lanka - we went last April (returning days before the bombing). We had 2 weeks there and had indirect flights on Kuwaiti Air - not ideal as we had 4/6 hour layovers but it was literally half the price. We really liked it - beautiful country and very welcoming people. We stayed in Colombo/Kandy/Tangalle and I used a local firm (happy to pass on their details, they were great) for transport. From Kandy we did trips to Dambulla/Sigiriya/Minneriya National Park/the Tea Country. Our transport costs were about £250. In retrospect I wish we’d taken the Colombo - Kandy train and stayed overnight at Sigiriya (it’s just too hot to climb mid day!). Pluses for Sri Lanka are beautiful countryside (the towns are less picturesque), plentiful wildlife (my DD really enjoyed
the jeep safari), fabulous empty beaches, good food, lots of history and lovely people. On the downside, where we were in Tangalle you couldn’t swim in the sea (but I’m not a big sea swimmer and you could see turtles bobbing about!). I’m not sure about the weather then either so just copied this over for you;
“Rainfall remains high on Sri Lanka's southern & western coast during October, with temperatures below their annual peak but by no means chilly! (avg temp: 28 °C). As per previous months, swimming in the sea is not recommended.
Things are also changing in Sri Lanka's north and along the east coast, with the arrival of the north-eastern monsoon. Rainfall starts to increase and the blue skies of the past few months will start to turn to grey.
Rainfall is also high in the Tea Country, although hot, dry weather is expected further north in the Cultural Triangle “
Goa I went to about 20 years ago and it might have changed quite a bit since! From memory there were more obvious signs of poverty than in Sri Lanka. The beaches were lovely - they did have cows wandering up and down them and people defecating though! There are some great markets and lots of tourists travelling around on mopeds - there was still a bit of a hippy trail vibe. The food was really great. Altogether it had a bit of a beautiful but rough and ready vibe (e.g having to carry loo roll round with you).
Costa Rica is wonderful - we went in August which is Monsoon season so if that’s what’s putting you off in October then quite honestly, it’s no biggie. We had a thunderstorm once a day for about an hour in the afternoon or evening. If your DC. like outdoor activities then it’s a great choice with zip lining/horse riding/rafting etc as well as a huge abundance of wildlife. If you re consider it and want info, there will be quite a few people on here that could help you!
I haven’t checked weather but if your DC liked the States then perhaps Miami then moving onto the Keys might be worth considering for a week and a half? Two weeks might be too much there.
SilkiesnowchicksandXmastreecat · 23/12/2020 13:29
We went to Costa Rica in August a few years back and that age is great for the children - mine loved all the wildlife, the rainforests and the ziplines (some are seriously high like 300 metres in the air). The beaches there we saw we a bit wild and more for watersports than sunbathing but our had wildlife on them like different types of monkey and racoons and you could see rainforest all around so quite spectacular but not a sunbathing / doing nothing holiday. When we went each day we had sun and c27C until around 4pm - maybe a little drizzle some days for a few minutes then around 4pm you would get loads of rain and a couple of times thunderstorms. But you are in the rainforest and my children loved seeing the rain in the rainforest, its not English grey cold rain. But if you really want to avoid any rain go elsewhere. We timed going out to start at 6am and back for 4pm so could get lots of dry sightseeing done with just the odd rain shower though we may have got lucky but lots of people reviewing reported the rain after 4pm or so trend.
It was more like £8k for 4 of us for 2 weeks than £5k but that was including everything, all food, drinks, eating out every meal and £2k worth of trips. So could do for less though think prices have risen a bit (probably exchange rate) since we went. Definitely fine for outdoor pools and watersports, we did lots of kayaking in the ocean, rainforest trips, ziplining, waterslide through jungle etc. Its a pretty active place.
Hoppinggreen · 23/12/2020 13:32
We went to Cape Verde in October last year
There isn’t a lot to do to be fair so probably better for 1 week but we had an amazing suite in a 4-5 star hotel for £4K
We snorkelled, paddled with baby sharks, jumped off rocks into a blue lagoon and just chilled and enjoyed the pool. We usually like to get out and about more but for a cheap relaxing week with not really long flights it was great.
Littleyell · 23/12/2020 13:33
This was one of my favourite holidays ever last year!. We got to use the Royalton next door and eat for free as they shut some on the restaurants over at the splash side. Fantastic memories made.
RunnerDown · 23/12/2020 13:35
No direct flights , but Singapore is an amazing place to visit for a few days - and then fly up to the rasa sayang in Penang (flight is about an hour long)- where you have beach/ pools and lots of cheap restaurants doing great food
ginforall · 23/12/2020 13:58
Thanks all, some great suggestions.
Thanks for all the info @SJaneS49. Sri Lanka sounds amazing, and sounds like you had a great time. When I've been looking the indirect flights are always so much cheaper, If we were going for longer I'd be fine with indirect flights and used happily do it pre-kids. I'm going to keep an eye on flights, and if there was a short lay-over I'd be tempted.
Costa Rice sounds amazing @SilkiesnowchicksandXmastreecat, just the type of thing we'd enjoy. Good to hear the weather didn't affect your holiday. Where did you stay?
We went to Cape Verde a couple of years ago @Hoppinggreen, we enjoyed it for a week of relaxation, and loved the visit to shark bay! We decided on it after a busy holiday to Iceland the winter before and a week of relaxation was just what we needed.
Will look into the other suggestions too, the hotel's you've linked to @Littleyell and @RunnerDown both look great. Would definitely like to return to South East Asia, really liked Singapore and Malaysia when I went when I was younger but will probably wait until we have longer and try and make the most of the longer flights.
SilkiesnowchicksandXmastreecat · 23/12/2020 14:34
We just stayed at RUI Guanacaste which is AI with TUI
I have an ASD child who much prefers AI and another child who is NT but also prefers AI and he loved being able to eat steak and chips every night served by waiters on a silver platter to him whilst racoons came into the restaurant with rainforest all around. On the ground we saw monkeys, sloths, raccoons, coati, gecko, pelican, lots of rainforest, included kayaking in the ocean, SUP and windsurfing as well as usual pools, beach volleyball and AI food and drink which included waiter service each night if you chose that restaurant. It was next to a 300 metre high zipline which goes at 60mph at Diamante which also has lots of wildlife so went there one day and kids and DH went down zipline. It is quite a lively hotel a mix of families and people maybe early 20s partying, food was excellent but not the most refined of places around pool bar which is were the 20s people stayed but you could avoid them and were other pools and a beach and ocean.
Took trips out with Gecko Tours who are a Costa Rican firm - it was just us and they took us to see sloths in the rainforest and waterfalls, did TUI trip to Arenal to see the volcano and rainforest and lovely hot spas at a hotel in rainforest, a Nexus trip to Blue River which had a beautiful botantical gardens, a dinasour park and just two families on trip, a TUI trip to Buena Vista where we all went on waterslide through jungle and all ziplined through jungle seeing monkeys and a toucan and then all went horseriding and to spas and had Costa Rican meal and also had active volcanoes there. We did one day at hotel doing things like kayaking, swimming, beach volleyball, looking at rainforest / wildlife then a trip. Kids loved it though England seemed very dull on return.
ginforall · 23/12/2020 15:25
Thank you, it all sounds amazing, will check out the hotel.
Moondust001 · 23/12/2020 15:34
Cuba is great at that time of year. They are great with families / kids. There's beaches, and lots if interesting places if you want to explore further afield. Prices are good. In the very unlikely event that there were adverse weather conditions they are well prepared and look after tourists like they are gold! It's not likely that there would be a hurricane at that time of year (they rarely hit Cuba anyway), but I visit Cuba often as I have friends there, and was there when Irma hit. Everyone was really well looked after and within days you would barely have noticed anything had happened and it was back to business as usual.
SJaneS49 · 23/12/2020 15:38
Re Sri Lanka Op, what you might spend on direct flights, you’ll make up on accommodation and travel costs. We stayed in 4/5 star hotels and the costs were incredibly reasonable, all booked through Booking.com. Likewise, our transport costs & food were very low. Altogether for the 3 of us, it cost circa £3K.
Similarly, DIYing Costa Rica saved us a fortune - we spent approx half of what @SilkiesnowchicksandXmastreecat
spent (although I understand your situation re DC Silkie and in your shoes would have done exactly what you did!). IMO, Costa Rica is one of those countries were to see the best of it, you do need to move around. We had direct flights into San Jose with BA and stayed in San Jose (not lovely, don’t bother), had a day out in Arenal then moved on to Manuel Antonio. Manuel Antonio is incredibly beautiful - rainforests and stunning beaches. The sea there was swimmable (I think Silkie you stayed Caribbean side whereas we were Pacific). We stayed at Tulemar which is a series of properties spread out across 30 acres of rainforest. Lovely lovely place - not cheap but there is a price range of accommodation. It has its own beach with free to use kayaks & a supermarket and restaurant on site. Outside the hotel on the road to the park there are a lot of restaurants so finding a different place to eat every night was easy. There are lots of activities (zip lines etc) in the area. Tulemar also has a Sloth institute on site.
If we went again, I’d probably skip Arenal for Monteverde cloud forest. For the 3 of us, the trip came in at under £4K.
Nomaigai · 23/12/2020 15:44
Sri Lanka is still massively on lockdown. I think normally there are more direct flights. I personally didn't find Sri Lanka particularly cheap but my version of cheap might be different to yours!
DesperatelySeekingSunshine · 23/12/2020 15:47
Learn to dive in the Red Sea. 13yo can do Open Water course, 8yo could do Bubble Maker.
Highly recommend Coraya Divers at Jaz Lamaya in Marsa Alam. Direct flights with Tui from Gatwick.
SilkiesnowchicksandXmastreecat · 23/12/2020 15:48
I'ld be very wary of booking individual things atm - I took advice on here to do that and lost £1.5k on Asian trip due to covid, obviously no-one could have known but would have got it all back if I'ld booked with a tour operator in UK. I'ld be very careful booking things direct atm. I also find a lot of people who book direct include far less costs than I do and just include hotel plus flights and car hire but exclude food, drinks, entrance fees, petrol etc, actvities or they self-cater and they aren't really like for like. When I looked at hotels directly there was nothing to be saved for us and I don't like living out of suitcases, we prefer to stay put but its personal preference and there's a strong AI hatred on MN but we like it.
Littleyell · 23/12/2020 15:58
@Moondust001whats the best part of Cuba to stay in with a child may I ask please?
SJaneS49 · 23/12/2020 16:52
@SilkiesnowchicksandXmastreecat makes a good point about the protection in current times of a package - but on the other hand, some of the tour operators have gone under and getting back money has been a nightmare. I’ve not had issues cancelling booking.com booking this year (airlines has been a different issue!). No food costs are counted in with a DIY package but entrance fees are always an addition. Personally we never hire cars so petrol is never a cost. Good travel insurance is always important whatever route you go and these horrible days nothing is assured, even some of the big names in the travel package market. I’m personally not keen on AI no and find it really restrictive and think it’s not great for local economies but horses for courses, it does work for some people and if everyone holidayed the same way how boring life would be! We haves used AI in certain countries (Morocco) where it was the better option but I think it depends on the country, for me I think Costa Rica is experienced better if you’re not stuck in one location doing super long day trips. As above though @SilkiesnowchicksandXmastreecat, I get why it worked for you and hope you’ve managed to get most of 2020’s money back. Have a good Christmas and let’s hope in 2021 our horizons are a bit broader!
ginforall · 23/12/2020 19:45
Yes it would most likely be a package we'd be looking at for next year, we changed our Mexico holiday to this Easter (which is now looking very unlikely, so it would be in place of that and a change, so would have to stick with TUI, unless we cancel). But ideas for the future are always great too, and if a destination is better with a bit of travelling then happy to wait a couple of years, would just mean the 8 year old would get more out of it too. Keen to try for somewhere next year if possible though, very aware we may not have too many years of holidays left with the 13 year old.
In the past we've done a range of different holidays, AL has been great for us in terms of ease and the boys loved it the couple of times we have done it. I do really enjoy the planning of doing everything separately, and I have always enjoyed those holidays the most in recent years but since kids have only done it 'easier' countries (USA, Iceland and Germany). Now they're getting older wanted to branch out a bit.
Hadn't thought of Cuba @Moondust001, my DH has always wanted to go so will check it out.
Also great idea @DesperatelySeekingSunshine, and not something I would have thought of. Where would you recommend staying?
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