Yellow background with 'holiday' in top left corner. Image includes red sunglasses, ice cream, suitcase and palm tree

The holiday season is nearly upon us and if you haven’t yet booked a summer getaway, but do want to go on holiday this year, the chances are you’re panicking about where to go.

Never fear, we’ve written this holiday guide with some tips on saving money, booking your holiday late this summer and how to get the best deal.

Booking

Booking late is perfect if you’re flexible on where you want to travel to. Travel companies have flights and hotels to fill; if they don’t they’ll lose money.

Late packages don’t mean booking the day before you travel. In fact, ‘late’ refers to booking 8-10 weeks before you leave. Booking your travel even up to a month before you go could see you snap up a great deal.

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to wait to book your holiday the week or even a few days before you fly. Book your week off work in advance, but wait to see what deals you can get for that week- you could end up somewhere completely unexpected!

Go At Other Times

The long days of summer start when most people will take their family holiday, we know this and travel companies know this. So, go at a different time. Could you have your family holiday at Easter or even during the October half term? Places like Gran Canaria, Paphos, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Tenerife still have great weather in October, whilst potentially being cheaper. What’s more, as they won’t be as busy as the peak season, you’re not fighting for the sun loungers!

Package Vs DIY Holiday

Another big holiday guide question, do you get a package holiday or create your own?

Package Holidays- for families, package holidays range from 7, 10 and 14 nights. They include flights, transfers and meals so all you need to take is spending money. If you know what kind of holiday you want these can be great, you know what you’re getting and most of it is already paid for.

DIY Holidays– If you’re travelling for longer than the standard package holiday length, want to travel to a few different locations or simply want to travel somewhere slightly less conventional, a DIY holiday may suit you better. However, you need to be prepared to research and compare prices for everything and be prepared to haggle!

The following sites could help:

Staycation Or Travel Abroad?

It’s the modern holiday dilemma. Do you opt to go abroad and treat yourself and your family to some sun, or do you stay in the UK and risk a wet week in a tent?!

41 million people opted for a staycation last year, with places such as the Lake District, Scottish Highlands and Dorset seeing a boost in tourism. With a staycation, you know the language, culture and prices you should be paying for things.

Beware though, whilst many people think that staying in the UK is a cheaper option than going abroad, a staycation can be more expensive, so keep an eye on spending!

Whilst you can technically book a staycation at any time, the number one rule is to plan and research. Checking sites like Groupon, Lastminute and Secret Escapes will give you great deals on hotels, but be prepared to shop around both online and on the high street. Then be prepared to haggle. Remember to pack clothing and activities for all weathers, so if it does rain, you still have a great time!

Haggle

We Brits are rubbish when it comes to haggling, so you may find this article of interest.

Don’t be afraid to approach travel companies to haggle. Research prices for packages and see which is best. Can any travel companies price match or beat the offer you’ve found? Each package needs to be like for like, don’t ask for price matches for different holiday packages.

Cheaper Alternatives

If you’re on a tight budget, here are some cheaper alternatives to the conventional holiday.

Camping– there’s nothing like sleeping under the stars and sharing your breakfast with nature! Camp sites will rent you a pitch for as little as £15pp**, with many child friendly campsites available, complete with playgrounds for the kids to run off steam … plus they’re free to use!

Of course, with any staycation, you have to include the costs of petrol and meals, and with camping you need to include camping equipment. However, there are sites where you can rent the equipment you need, including Camping Gear Hire, Tent2Hire and Outdoor Hire.

Day Trips– create great memories by going to the beach, theme parks or even for a walk around the park. Day trips are a great way to get some quality time together if you can’t get a week or two off work, and ensure you still spend quality time with your family.

Weekends Away– If you find a great deal, a weekend away can be a mini holiday without the hefty bill! Plus, you pack loads more in as you only have a few days to enjoy it.

Holiday Guide Useful Links

Staycation

 

Public Transport

 

Holidays Abroad

Travel Comparison Sites

Travel Companies

 

Day Trips

 

Theme Parks

 

**price dependant on season, campsite and facilities.