School holidays are always the most popular time to travel – especially for teachers and families who are restricted to these dates. And with so much demand for holidays it also makes it one of the most costly times to travel.
Today, taking the children out of school isn’t an option with the threat of costly fines. So, if you don’t want to – or are unable to – travel outside of term time, we have put together our top 13 tips for bagging a bargain in the school holidays.
Did you know that Scottish school term dates differ from those in England and Wales? This means that the cost difference between flying from an airport in England or Wales to a Scottish airport can be huge. So why not head up to Scotland, take in a few sites, and then jet off to your chosen destination? You should be quids in.
Or, why not try somewhere new and consider a less popular resort? Destinations such as Croatia, Bulgaria and Morocco can be cheaper than the firm favourites such as Spain. Smaller and unknown resorts can also be a lot cheaper than better known, lively resorts. You never know, you may even discover your new favourite destination.
Try different durations, for instance, 6, 8, 11 and 13 nights as they can often be cheaper than the standard 7 and 14 nights.
Before you book always make sure your passport is valid. Finding out your passport has expired the day you fly can be a costly mistake and will mean an expensive visit to the passport office.
Day time flights are at the top of some peoples wish list, but it may be worth considering an evening flight as this can shave hundreds of pounds off your bill. And the kids are more likely to sleep through a late flight, which means you and your partner can enjoy some chill time.
Be as flexible with your dates as possible. Being stuck or set to specific dates can mean that you miss out on a bargain. Flight prices change, almost daily in peak season, and being able to quickly change your plans to a different day could mean you save big.
Pick a destination where your pound will stretch further such as Egypt or Turkey. Although the pound is currently good against the Euro, destinations which are not in the Eurozone are normally much better for value for money.
Most people prefer All Inclusive so they know what’s included in the price. However, it’s sometimes worth considering Self Catering options in destinations such as Turkey and Bulgaria, where you’ll get a whole lot more for your pound.
Work out the different in price between a holiday that is catering and an apartment and divide that into how many days you are there. If you think you will spend less money on food and drink than it will cost to upgrade then it makes sense to go self catering.
Don’t rule out free child places because these can often still be found on a late booking. You increase your chances of finding these by being very flexible on where you want to go and when you can go.
Most families prefer a shorter flight, especially when travelling with children, so it’s worth checking out long haul options like the Caribbean. In the school holidays, long haul destinations can prove to be better value at reduced prices at peak times.
Rent a villa and share with your friends or family for the ultimate home from home experience. This way you can cook all those home favourites, which will also help keep the cost down. Also, the more people chipping in, the cheaper the cost.
It is worth taking a risk on the weather. Destinations that have cooler climates tend to have a cheaper price tag.
If you’re lucky enough, controversially some schools are granting children authorised absence. So be cheeky and try. It is always worth approaching your child’s school.
So where will you be heading to during the UK school holidays this year? One things for sure, whether we holiday home or abroad there’s one thing on our wish lists, sunshine.