Still looking for inspiration on how to spend the upcoming October school holidays? We caught up with the British Mums who are running their own businesses as Travel Counsellors to get their thoughts on recommended destinations and resorts – from staycations to luxury beach holidays, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

TRAVEL COUNSELLOR: Andrea Britchford

Location in Dubai: Arabian Ranches

From: Wallingford – Oxfordshire

Destination for October half term: Bali

Beautiful Bali is a perfect destination for the whole family with naturally beautiful landscapes and fun activities! October is the end of the dry season in Bali so an ideal time to visit and it offers great value for money at this time. There are loads of family friendly hotels and plenty to see and do – from safe swimming beaches to waterparks and the famous Monkey Forest. You can take a direct flight from Dubai so travelling there is super easy.

Recommended accommodation: Grand Hyatt Bali, Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua is one of the best locations in Bali to stay with a family. Just 15 minutes’ drive from the airport, it’s located on a long stretch of beach with lots of amenities nearby. The Grand Hyatt sits directly on the beach and has sprawling grounds including 5 swimming pools, 2 water slides, a fabulous kids club, 8 restaurants and bars plus a relaxing spa. The rooms are spacious and can easily accommodate a family of 4. You can also enjoy extra amenities by booking a club access room!

Flight time from Dubai: 9.5 hours

Price: AED 17,949 for flights and 7 nights at the Grand Hyatt Bali, Nusa Dua in a twin-bedded room (room only) for a family of four (2 adults and 2 children under 12)


Mobile: 052 757 3444



Location in Dubai: Meydan Heights

From: Beaconsfield

Destination for October half term: Muscat, Oman

The capital of Oman, Muscat, is an ancient walled city located on the Arabian Sea at the foothills of the majestic Al Hajar Mountains and a fascinating place to visit! Get the best of both with natural and cultural sites, along with pure relaxation. The Omani people are so generous, hospitable and family orientated that you will be made to feel very welcome. The climate in Muscat is much kinder and slightly cooler than that of Dubai with temperatures averaging 26-32 degrees C in October. Why not visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat and then walk around the grounds, or visit Muttrah a vibrant quarter of Muscat where you’ll find the fish market and stroll along the corniche? 

Recommended accommodation: Kempinski Hotel, Muscat, Oman

Simply relax and enjoy the trappings of the beautiful Kempinski Hotel. The Kempinski is just 10 minutes from the airport should you wish to fly into Muscat rather than drive, gives easy access to the city’s major landmarks and is right on the beach. You can choose from the adult only cascade pool, the main pool with views over the sea or the shaded kids pool and with a kids club, bowling alley, tennis courts, water sports, gym or spa there is something for everyone – not to mention the numerous restaurants, lounges, bars and pool bar. The hotel rooms are decorated in a mix of Arabic and contemporary finishes, beautifully appointed and spacious. 

Drive time: 4.30 hours. Please note a visa is required for all passengers for entry into Oman at the border and needs to be raised several days in advance online. Also, car insurance needs to be valid for Oman if travelling from the UAE.

Flight time: 45 minutes

Price: AED 8,910. The Kempinski Muscat in a Grand Deluxe Sea View Room half board for 2 adults and 2 children under 12 for 3 nights, valid for travel between 18th October – 21st October 2019.   


Phone: 050 459 4850



Location in Dubai: Mudon

From: North Wales

Destination for October half term: Staycation in the UAE

The beginning of the school year can be an expensive time, so why not save yourself the cost of flights and enjoy what the UAE has to offer? Within a 1.5-hour drive from Dubai, there are many beautiful resorts to enjoy and relax in, or for more adventure, there’s the option of kayaking through the mangroves in either Abu Dhabi or Ras Al Khaimah, or exploring the stunning Hajar mountains, with the world-famous Jebel Jais zipline.

Recommended accommodation: St Regis Hotel, Abu Dhabi and Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert in Ras Al Khaimah. For a beachfront resort, you can’t go wrong with the pristine beaches of Saadiyat island in Abu Dhabi, and the St Regis Hotel. As well as making the most of everything the resort has to offer, it’s in the prime location for visiting the nearby Louvre Abu Dhabi.

If you prefer to enjoy some wildlife and a desert experience, then the Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert in Ras Al Khaimah has beautiful views over the Al Wadi nature reserve. You’ll just need to sit back and relax in your luxury villa with private pool.

Price: From AED 1,180 per night, including a complimentary half board upgrade at the St Regis Saadiyat Island for 2 adults and 2 children.

From AED 3,350 per night, including a complimentary half board upgrade, and kids stay free at the Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert.


Phone: 052 887 1618



Location in Dubai: Arabian Ranches 2

From: Sevenoaks, Kent

Destination for October half term: Cyprus

A convenient direct flight from Dubai takes you to Larnaca, Cyprus. October is a perfect time to visit with warm weather, owing to its favourable location nestled between Europe, Asia and Africa.  With one of the oldest civilizations in the Mediterranean, stunning coastline, golden sandy beaches and clear blue waters it offers something for everyone and is a perfect choice for families.

Recommended accommodation: Aphrodite Hills Resort, Paphos

Aphrodite Hills Resort offers a collection of luxury apartments and villas within an award winning 5-star resort with many features of a Mediterranean town. Benefit from having your own family space on the outskirts of the resort with all apartments having access to a spacious communal pool and a bounty of fine dining, events and activities available on your doorstep within the village.

Flight time: Approximately a 4-hour flight from Dubai

Price: From AED 14,995 for 7 nights self-catering for a family of 4 (children 8 & 6 years).  Includes Direct Emirates Flights from Dubai and return transfers from Larnaca Airport.


Phone: 058 525 6866



Location in Dubai: Arabian Ranches

From: St Albans

Destination for October half term: Maldives

Maldives is a great place to go in half term. It’s only a 4-hour flight away from Dubai to get to paradise! Depending on budget, type of holiday and travellers there are so many different hotels that are mainly on their own island. It’s also out of peak season so the prices are more reasonable. The weather is still warm, but you may get the occasional shower. 

Recommended accommodation: Anantara Dhigu

The Anantara Dhigu is the perfect location for a family holiday. It’s a 5-star property that offers a great variety of restaurants and is only a short boat ride away from the airport. The villas are spacious and will accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. For a little more luxury their sister hotel, the Anantara Kihavah, is also amazing, especially their water villas.

Flight time: 4 hours

Price: Circa 25,000 for a week half board including transfers but excluding flights for a family of 4 (children 12 and under).


Phone: 055 565 9056



Location in Dubai: Al Habtoor City

From: Bolton, near Manchester

Destination for October half term: Sri Lanka

If getting out of UAE is important to you, head somewhere that’s a pretty short flight and really needs a tourism boost – Sri Lanka. It’s rainy season but after the summer heat in Dubai, this is a welcome change! It’s low season in Sri Lanka so prices are affordable, even at some of the usually pretty pricey properties. And currently for British passport holders, visa on arrival is free of charge. Sri Lanka offers the opportunity to simply relax, immerse yourself in culture or explore nature. And the food is fabulous!

Recommended accommodation: Tangalle in Anantara Peace Haven resort

The Tangalle in Anantara Peace Haven resort boasts with lovely, large rooms and villas set in the most beautiful grounds. There’s lots to do should you choose to and there are both kids and teens clubs. Or just relax and enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings. The staff just want to make sure you have a wonderful time.

Flight Time: 4.5 Hours

Price: From AED 11,000 for a family of 3 with direct flights, transfer and 7 nights B&B.


Phone: 055 438 6868



Location in Dubai: Sustainable City

From: Suffolk

Destination for October half term: Mauritius

Mauritius is a destination for everyone because it can really cater for all; from exclusive luxury hotels to family resorts with activities and kids’ clubs. This beautiful island offers the most beautiful scenery and such a variety of things to do there.  Waterfalls, mountains, rugged coast, rainforest and volcanoes are there for the adventurous to explore, if you can tear yourself away from sipping cocktails on the white sandy beaches.   Weather wise October is a good time to visit as it is a transition month between winter and summer.   Another plus is no time difference, so no jet leg!

Accommodation recommendation: Long Beach Golf & Spa Resort in Belle Mare, Mauritius.

The 5-star Long beach is set on Belle Mare beach, one of the longest beaches on the east coast of Mauritius.  With views of the Indian Ocean and the tropical landscaped grounds this modern designed hotel has a choice of five restaurants and offers an extensive range of facilities including a variety of water sports, tennis, football, yoga, a climbing wall, kids club, gym and spa.  Golfers enjoy free green fees and shuttle bus to the course when you book all inclusive. Book by 30 September to receive a 30% discount and upgrade from full board to all inclusive.     

Flight Time: 6.5 hours

Price: AED 29,500 including return daytime direct flights with Emirates, private return transfers and 6 nights on an all-inclusive basis.  Based on 2 adults and 2 children under 12 years sharing a junior suite.  Price subject to availability.


Phone: 055 135 8620



Location in Dubai: Jumeirah Park

From: London

Destination for October half term: Georgia

Described as one of the most ancient and fascinating countries of the world, why not take a 3.5-hour flight to Georgia this autumn break? As you navigate through the historic cities and villages, there is an abundance of culture and exquisiteness that will be appreciated by all ages. Get on horseback and ride to 14th century Gergeti Church (2170m) and admire the grandeur of the surrounding mountains in Kazbegi. Take a walk in Batumi Boulevard with its modern sculptures, dancing fountains and cafes, or perhaps a swim in the Black Sea?

Recommended accommodation: Marriott, Tbilisi

Located in the heart of the City Centre and is suitable for families. The hotel has a café, lounge, restaurant and a bar. For relaxation head over to the Spa for a massage or the fitness centre.

Paragraph Resort and Spa – This is the first international luxury resort in Georgia. It has a 400m2 walk through aquarium, a tropical winter garden and an aqua park, offering ultimate indoor entertainment all year around. Need I say more?!

Radisson Blu Batumi – Located in a central location with easy access to bus/rail to explore the city.

Rooms, Kazbegi – Located across the valet from the iconic 5,047m Kazbegi Mountain, for those breathtaking views!

Flight Time: 3.5 hours

Price: From 12,000 AED for a family of four (2 Adults/2 children), including flights, accommodation transfers and guided tour.


Phone: 050 378 7244



Location in Dubai: Damac Hills

From: Brechin, Scotland

Destination for October half term: Crete

Crete is a great choice as the weather is still warm and you can still swim in the sea. It has amazing landscapes, beaches, fantastic food and an overall laid-back atmosphere.   My recommended hotel is in Chania, arguably Crete’s most picturesque town, a lovely maze of cobbled streets.  

Accommodation recommendation: Casa Cook, Chania

The newly opened Casa Cook Chania is a luxury hotel designed with kids in mind. It has a bespoke kids concept developed by leading figures in child education and family travel. In the treehouse inspired clubhouse, kids can enjoy cooking and painting classes, to sleepovers in Bedouin inspired teepees.

The hotel is set on a pretty stretch of the Crete coast, with chic rooms, some with private pools. You will also find paths winding gently down to the beach, where you can spend the whole day, or perhaps just have a swim in the sunset.

Flight Time: 8 hours

Price: AED 21,000 (Return flights and 7 nights B&B in a family suite with a private pool, 2 adults and 2 kids)


Tel: 058 542 9358



Location in Dubai: Al Manara

From: Swindon, Wiltshire

Destination for October half term: India’s Golden Triangle

Nothing can prepare you for the sensory overload of India’s Golden Triangle with its kaleidoscope of tastes, sights and sounds.  The best time to visit is October to mid-April when the temperature is 22-32°C.   Start in Delhi, grab a bargain at the famous bazaars, Chandni Chok in Old Delhi or Pahargani in New Delhi and take in sights such as Delhi Gate and the Lotus Temple. Next Agra, the City of Love, visit the Taj Mahal at sunset or sunrise, when it is at its most majestic.  Head to Jaipur, the Pink City, see the historical sites such as Amber Fort and the City Palace.

Accommodation recommendation: The Oberoi New Delhi, The Oberoi Amervilas or The Oberoi Rajvilas.

The Oberoi New Delhi is a luxury contemporary designed hotel with state of the art ‘clean air technology’.  The rooms offer views of UNESCO World Heritage Site of Huayun’s Tomb on one side and the forested golf course on the other.  The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, Mughal inspired design with modern technology, offers restricted views of Taj Mahal from all rooms and suites.  Located 600 metres from the Taj Mahal complimentary golf cart is available for guests.  The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur is set in 32 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, offering exquisite accommodation inspired by the Maharajas era. 

Flight Time: Less than 4 hours

Price: Flights circa AED 1,600 return Emirates economy.

The Oberoi New Delhi, 19 October starting from AED 1,500 per room per night

The Oberoi Amervilas, 20 October starting from AED 2,500 per room per night

The Oberoi Rajvilas, 21 October starting from AED 4,000 per room per night


Phone: 050 548 2758