How to improve holidays with children

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The Independent Travel

Summer is over, according to the bloke on the radio this morning, which confused my eight-year-old, who hadn't realised it had started. (He's not the only one.) Time to dive back under the covers until the cherry trees bloom. Yet here's a ray of hope: a final dash for the sun during the October half term. Yes, you and your brood can still take a summer holiday, even though it's autumn.

And who says you can't get a good deal out of term time? These gems should put a spring in your step and keep your bank manager quiet. Take Exclusive Escapes (020-8605 3500; exclusive, which has discounts of £400 per family during October. Stay at the Piynar Villa Hotel on Turkey's Lycian coast, and you get a private pool, babysitting and spa facilities and gourmet meals served at your villa on request.

The resplendent Vale do Lobo on the Algarve (00 351 289 353 000; has some treats in store for those in need of half-term fun. Free family tennis lessons are provided (two hours a day – all levels catered for), and there's the pool, spa, golf and a glorious beach to help you unwind afterwards.

But my favourite half-term deal is the 40 per cent discount at the Porto Sani Village and Spa in Halkidiki, Greece (00302 374099500; Younger guests are catered for with a brand new kids' club as well as a beachside babysitting service. And with October temperatures averaging in the mid-20s, you might even (finally) get your fix of summer.