Today I have a very easy task: to convince you to take a spontaneous, whirlwind, last minute break to Portugal and enjoy the very end of summer in Europe. The rest of the UK have accepted winter, but not you. Chase that summer feeling with a cheeky trip to explore the cultural delights of Portugal.
Is it Hot Enough?
This is the question on everyoneâ€™s lips and, though I wouldnâ€™t worry too much about getting sunburned, the mild temperatures of Portugal in October are perfect for exploring. In the middle of the summer temperatures soar making sightseeing more chore than charming.
However, October sees pleasant temperatures in the high teens and low twenties â€“ warm enough to have lunch al fresco but cool enough for you to happily stay outside all day without sweating your socks off. Pack a light jacket or jumper for the evening and an umbrella as showers are quite common once the summer months are through.
When you are one of the thousands of tourists lying side by side on busy beaches or crammed into noisy restaurants you might have a great time with your family, but you are unlikely to make meaningful connections with the locals. Once the crowds have died down, local workers have much more time to spend chatting and getting to know the few guests at their hotel or customers in their cafÃ©. The world slows down and opens up space for conversation â€“ take advantage of it.
Worried that a last minute break is too expensive? Itâ€™s not. Accommodation and flights are much cheaper off-season and if you do a little internet searching you are likely to find some great deals. If you enjoy staying off the beaten path in Airbnbs or homestays, you will have a much larger choice â€“ and less to pay â€“ than if you were travelling a few months earlier.
Wave Goodbye to Queues
One of my favourite things about an off-season last minute break is that there are no crowds! Forget about having to reserve tables in restaurants or book attraction tickets beforehand, you can just turn up on the day and do what you want. This way of travelling is far more relaxing and freer than being stuck in hot, sweaty queues. You will also find streets and beaches emptier, making walking through a new town far more pleasant.
How to Get There
Begin your last minute break by taking a flight from the UK to Portugal. Depending on where you want to visit, there are plenty of flights every week (even in October). I would recommend getting an airport transfer when you arrive. Though queues for taxis or buses might be shorter, there is nothing more relaxing than knowing you have someone waiting to whisk you away to your accommodation as soon as you land.
Have I succeeded in tempting you to take a last minute break? Why not, right? You deserve one last hurrah before winter begins.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you're heading off on a last minute break for some sun, pre-book a shared or private transfer to your hotel to save time and money. Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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