Family holidays are expensive at any time of the year, but none more so than in the six weeks summer holiday. Travel companies know this is the busiest time of the year, so prices rise. For most families, this can make a break away in the summer impossible.
Help is at hand; we’ve put together some great tips for finding a break away that won’t break the bank.
Gone are the days when the only way to book a holiday is through a travel agent. With online sites offering flexible payment schemes and cheap no-frills airlines, you can often find the best deals online.
Once you’ve picked your destination of choice, check each of the major travel agents for prices, then compare online. Sites like Travel Supermarket can check multiple sites for you, as can Trivago for hotel rooms and Skyscanner for flights.
To find the best deals, you’re going to have to be flexible. While it can be tempting to put into the search to only fly from your local airport, it can often save hundreds of pounds to fly from further afield. This saving is often bigger than the cost of an overnight stay at the airport before flying and some airport hotels even provide free parking for the length of your trip.
The same goes for your destination of choice. Keep in mind that hot spots like the Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza will always be expensive, but the Greek Islands can work out cheaper, with the added advantage that food and drink is also less expensive there too.
Countries like Bulgaria are also becoming holiday hot spots. One of the best ways to find a great deal is to use a site like Love Holidays and choose all destinations in the search. This will then tell you the cheapest location you can go that fits all your other requirements, from party size to airport and the dates you can travel.
If your heart is set on two weeks but your budget just won’t stretch, then ten days can work out considerably cheaper and often flights work out better as you won’t be flying home on the popular weekend dates.
Sadly, the days of term time holidays are behind us. However, you can still be clever and beat the rush of those leaving on the first day of the summer break. If you’re lucky enough to have a non-pupil day tagged onto the beginning or the end of your holiday, use it as the starting point of your break. This will undoubtedly be cheaper than the official start.
It’s also a good idea to check when each of the schools in your area start their holiday, even checking neighbouring counties. If they break up a few days later than you, it’s worth looking into flying from the nearest airport to their location as it can affect flight costs. This could prove useful if you can get to Ireland, Scotland or Wales as their holiday dates will be different to those in England.
If you’re lucky enough to live near an airport, it might also pay to fly the day they finish school. Most schools will finish early on the last day, so if you can fly that day flights should also be cheaper.
A good way of checking this is to look on a travel agent’s website. They usually have a calendar at the top of your search which will show you how much the same holiday is if you go on different dates.
Finally, if you can’t save before you go, you could save on the actual holiday and all its parts. Using a site like TopCashback will help you to gain cashback on your booking. This means that you can get cashback from sites such as Expedia and even Disneyland as well as transfer sites like Hoppa.
You can also use coupon checker apps to instantly check if there’s a discount code available to use on top of your holiday. Many of the big companies will offer discounts on certain holidays, free child places or extra money off with online codes which you can use and still claim the cashback. With some sites offering more than 5% it can be a nice sum to come back to.
Fingers crossed we’ve helped you to bag a bargain and enjoy your family holiday without stressing about the state of your bank balance.