How to find the cheaper summer holiday

5 April 2010

Bitterwallet - cheap summer holidaysEaster is when the Smith family begins booking the summer holiday. It takes the best part of the day, as different combinations and permutations of dates and deals are checked against one another, and decisions are made about how far we can be arsed to travel for a deal.

You've probably have loads of other cheats and tips the cheaper summer holiday, so if you don't mind sharing them, stick them in the comments.

Flights are far trickier to book than hotels, because depending where you live you'll either enjoy a glut of budget airline options, or sod all, or a few choice budget airline options. Here's some general hints and tips when booking flights;

- parking, fuel, overnight stays and food can screw with your plan to travel for the budget flights. Luton might only be four hours drive away, but it might stick £200 on those budget flights you're after. Work it all out before you disregard flying locally.

- if money is an issue don't try and book flights to fixed dates; start broad and see what prices you can get; flights to the US are nearly always cheaper midweek to midweek - you'll save several hundred pounds by starting and ending your holiday on a Tuesday or Wednesday

- if you live outside the major airport hubs, then flying indirect from your regional airport can be far more cost-effective and faster, too. Sounds like common sense, but some people don't realise that flying with the likes of KLM to Holland and then onto the US may be a better option than slogging it to Gatwick, or other UK airports.

- use the likes of SkyScanner to search all flight options, all at once - start with the 'whole month' option when setting the calendar dates to see all possible options, then narrow down your search; we've just found return flights from the UK to New York in August for £303. Once you have a few options, see if any of them offer Quidco cashback - the cashback is minimal on flights, so it won't be a deal-breaker, but every quid counts.

- if you don't give a toss where or when you go, then you should already be hitting up the new deals in the travel section of HotUKDeals or checking the travel agents, where you can still pick up a cheap package deal

Depending on whether you want to slum it or stay classy obviously makes a world of difference to the price to your accommodation. The good news is there are plenty of bargains, meaning slumming it isn't so necessary; right now, a cosmic encounter of sale offers and 12% cashback from Quidco means there are some very low prices available from Expedia. There are a few examples below - all of them based on seven nights from 2nd August to the 9th August:, just to prove it needn't cost the earth travelling during the school holidays:

- 4 star family rooms (two adults and two children) in Gran Canaria from £496, plus 12% Quidco cashback means you'll pay £436

- 4 star family rooms (two adults and two children) in Barcelona from £504, plus 12% Quidco cashback means you'll pay £444

- 4 star apartment (two adults and two children) in Majorca from £692, plus 12% Quidco cashback means you'll pay £609

- 4 star hotel rooms (two adults) in Manhattan from £1,037, plus 12% Quidco cashback means you pay £913

- 5 star hotel rooms (two adults) in Las Vegas (at the Trump International) from £445, plus 12% Quidco cashback means you'll pay £392

Never pay full price for tickets into attractions and theme parks. Ever. Everywhere runs voucher codes and seasonal discounts that mean massive discounts. A quick internet search will find dozens of discount options - keep an eye out on HotUKDeals for vouchers deals and there's Quidco discounts available too;

- a PortAventura Plus pass for two adults and two children costs £209 with AttractionTix and6 % Quidco, or £238 at the gate

- admission to Legoland Windsor for two adults and two children costs £109 with AttractionTix and6 % Quidco, or £133 at the gate

Any more hints and tips for cheap summer holidays? Let's have them in the comments please.

TOPICS:   Travel


  • Junkyard
    Highly informative article. For instance, I had no idea that the collective noun for sale offers was a "cosmic encounter".
  • tits
    Travel Insurance? Use Money Saving Expert for the advice then use Quidco for cashback. I personally use Travel Insurance Web. Rule of thumb generally is more than 2 foreign trips a year - might as well buy annual insurance. Currency? Use Quidco to order online at Travelex, pay with (certain?) debit card to avoid fees, pick up money from the airport. easy. Parking at the airport? Use Money Saving Expert for the advice then use Quidco for cashback. I generally use(d) Holiday Extras. Check its not cheaper to get a fixed price Taxi - it is for me now. Transfers abroad? There are a number of sites giving options for popular airports abroad. Google that one ;)
  • The B.
    Any tips on flight upgrades? I'm off to Thailand next week.
  • M4RKM
    The only tip I have for securing a flight upgrade is pay for it.. M
  • Mo
    @tits i got a quote of £15.99 for a family of five from is that correct or is that dodgy site wrong?
  • Paul S.
    @Junkyard - shows what you know :) Re. travel insurance - I have an Advantage Gold account with Natwest, which includes comprehensive multi-trip travel insurance (and mobile phone cover, too).
  • Ten B.
    [...] How to save cash on a summer holiday. [...]

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