Family holidays in September
By Mark Frary, Editor of 101 Family Holidays
If you you can take your family holiday in September, it makes a lot of sense. The heat and crowds of the summer holidays are behind you, there’s a sudden glut of availability and still plenty of good weather to be found. Best of all, holiday prices can be 30-50% cheaper than in August.
Of course, it’s not an option for all families, but the government’s guidelines on school absence was thrown into confusion in May 2016 when a High Court ruling effectively gave the green light to families to book holidays during term time.
If your children are pre-school, or home educated, this clearly isn’t an issue. But until the government establishes clearer guidance, or creates a new law, many parents will take advantage by booking a family holiday in September. Here are some of the best.
Family holidays in September with young children
If you don’t want to fly with young children, pray for an Indian summer and stay put in the UK. Sea temperatures hold up nicely into September: in Cornwall for example, you’ll barely notice the difference (from an average of 17ºC in August to 16ºC in September).
Cottage rental prices take a tumble in September, so you can stretch your budget to include more days out – just be aware that some attractions might start to have earlier closing times, or shut completely for the season, towards the end of the month.
Cottages in Devon’s South Hams are close to plenty of beaches brimming with watersports, rockpooling and sand castle potential. Cornwall is also a sure bet – these baby-friendly properties provide some of the essentials for little ones, so you can head to the Southwest with a lighter load.
There’s also a great choice of holiday cottages in the Lake District, which can be particularly beautiful in September when the fells get their first flush of autumn colour. Should the weather turn against you, there’s no shortage of indoor attractions, including pre-school favourites including the Beatrix Potter Attraction.
Nights can start to turn chilly in the UK during September, but don’t let that put you off a camping holiday. Available until mid-September, Trevella Park in Cornwall has cosy geo domes and safari tents kitted out with beds and duvets, while Feather Down Farms have luxurious tents and cabins with wood-burning stoves, snug beds and hot tubs.
Family-friendly hotels in the UK have some great post-summer deals. Find out about special offers at Sands Resort and Gwel an Mor on the North Cornwall coast. I also recommend Jersey’s Merton Hotel with its excellent family accommodation and Aquadome complete with pools, slides and fountains.
Travelling abroad, you can snap up great value villa holidays in the Mediterranean during September when the sea is still warm but air temperatures are less ferocious. Take a look at this selection of villas in Mallorca. In France, the Dordogne is always a hit with families. Check out these family villas.
For resorts with excellent childcare facilities and plenty of watersports and other activities, you are also spoilt for choice. In Greece, I like the Westin Resort Costa Navarino presiding over gloroious sandy beaches in the Peloponnese, the stylish Sani Resort on the Halkidiki peninsula and the contemporary Daios Cove on Crete.
Also check out post-summer offers at the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort in Lanzarote and The Ritz-Carlton, Abama on the unspoilt western coast of Tenerife – both are top-end family properties and you might just snap up a great deal in September.
Family holidays in September with older children
If your children aren’t tied to regular school term times, September not only offers a great opportunity to beats the crowds, heat and price hikes of the summer holidays, but also plenty of scope for planning an educational holiday.
You can’t beat Iceland for bringing geography to life – it’s easily explored on a family fly drive holiday, touring the country’s ring road, stopping to marvel at waterfalls, glaciers, geysers and other natural wonders in the Land of Ice and Fire.
A European city break also works well in September – you’ll sweat less and queue less on the far side of summer. Family city holidays with Kirker include extras like museum passes in Paris, entrance to the Vatican Museum in Rome and fast-track tickets for the Doge’s Palace in Venice.
The Family Adventure Company has a range of cultural trips for those with an interest in ancient history, whether you want first-hand insights into the lives of the Romans, the ancient Egyptians or the Mayans.
September heralds spring in South Africa where self-drive family holidays with Rainbow Tours can be tailor-made to include Cape Town, the Garden Route and a big five safari in a malaria-free game reserve.
It’s also a good time for family holidays in Kenya. The wildebeest migration is usually in full flow through the Masai Mara during September and this Family Kenya Migration Safari gives you a grandstand view. If you fancy combining East Africa with the Indian Ocean take a look at these family hotels in Mauritius. September is also a prime month for a lemur tracking safari in Madagascar.
Much of South East Asia tends to be hot and wet during September, so if Asia is on your radar it’s best to focus on destinations like Sri Lanka to discover the island’s culture, history and wildlife in chauffeur-driven comfort, staying in high-quality hotels.
September is a great month to visit America: high season is over and temperatures have dipped from summer highs. It will still be fine weather though for a family holiday in Canada horse riding, fishing and gold panning in British Columbia and the Rockies, or visiting Niagara Falls on a self-drive holiday in Ontario and Québec.
Peru’s dry season runs from May to October, which makes September an ideal month to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, visit Lake Titicaca and watch condors flying above the Colca Canyon. Check out these family adventures in Peru.
September is also a fine month to visit the Galapagos Islands. This Family Ecuador and Galapagos itinerary combines the wildlife-rich archipelago with time on the mainland staying at an eco-lodge in the Amazon.
Need more inspiration? Read more about where’s hot in September.
Last updated: 19 January 2017