Kate Simon: Late summer holidays are a bargain hunter's dream

Summer's over. A fact not only signalled by the new school term but the inevitable early arrival of gloomy autumnal weather. But it's not all bad news – at least if you haven't yet taken your summer holiday. For the sound of the school bell also heralds the plummeting of holiday prices.

A quick whizz around the late offers on travel websites reveals some rock-bottom deals are available during term-time in September and October as the travel companies race to clear their shelves. For example, Lowcostholidays.com is offering a week on the Spanish island of Majorca from £97. Travelsupermarket.com has seven nights in the Algarve, Portugal, for £102. And Lastminute.com is doing a week on the Greek island of Crete from £189.

The word on the street is that prices are particularly low this autumn because it has been hard to shift holidays during the peak summer period. Maria Whiteman, chief executive officer of directline holidays, explains. "Events such as the volcano, strike action, the demise of Sun4U, Kiss and Goldtrail this summer have resulted in many Brits carefully considering their foreign holidays. As a result, we are seeing unprecedented prices this September as tour operators attempt to outbid each other in order to capture a slice of the market," she says.

"A quick glance at directline- holidays.co.uk today shows a week in Ibiza retailing at just £195 – unheard of in peak season," she adds. "Holiday firms are slashing prices to entice customers to book and these price wars are likely to continue until they have recouped some of the losses from earlier this year. It's a great time for holiday makers to bag a bargain."

But as we all know, it's not just the price of the holiday package that matters, the cost of daily life in your chosen destination also needs totting up. Take it from me, I have just returned from Normandy in France, where our family soon realised that we should have brought the week's self-catering shop with us on the ferry, and restaurant visits were tempered by London prices.

So where should you go for a late summer break? Well, you could take a tip from the Post Office. It has just released its Fastest Growing Currency summer chart, which reports the results of its currency exchanges from June to August and is as good an indicator as any of where holiday-making Brits feel they are going to get more for their money.

One interesting winner was Croatia, which sped up the currency bestseller list to number eight, no doubt due to the fact that the kuna offered British holidaymakers six per cent more spending power this summer. Sweden and Denmark performed well, too, with kroner sales revealing that we have taken a fancy to Scandinavia this year. Though you may find them a little on the chilly side if you're searching for late sun.

Currency-exchange company Travelex concurs that Croatia offers good value at the moment, and suggests other autumn destinations to consider include Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.

Yet, the Post Office advises that you should go further afield to be a real winner, because long-haul destinations snapped up eight of the top 10 places. The Brazilian real and the Dominican Republic's peso oro led a table dominated by Latin America and the Caribbean, while Indonesia and Bali benefited from beleaguered Thailand, itself offering some amazing bargains (see Deals of the Week on the opposite page). Forget the financial crisis, this might be the year you can afford that exotic holiday.

Got a travel issue to raise? Email sundaytravel@independent.co.uk

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower