Bag a last minute holiday bargain

Are you watching the pennies, cutting back on luxuries and deciding that your summer holiday is just going to be a dream this year?


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Well I urge you to think again.

With the main school holidays just aroun d the corner, it’s peak holiday season but there are still a huge number of flights, holidays and hotel rooms left to sell. As a result there are some eye-watering deals to be had so even if you thought you wouldn’t be able to afford to go away this year, a holiday may well be possible after all.

Why are we seeing discounts in the peak season?

In simple terms, Brits have been holding back from booking holidays and indeed some have decided that this year the cost of a break is going to be too much as they fight rising household bills, pay freezes and job uncertainty.

This means that the travel companies and airlines have not sold as much stock to early bookers as they would have wanted. And like food at a supermarket, every airline seat and hotel room has a sell by date, so the discounts are kicking in to persuade us to buy.

Add to this news stories about political instability in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco along with the economic woes in Greece and the fall in value of the pound, the newspapers would have you believe that the holiday industry is doomed.

Where should I travel to for the best package holiday deals?

Frankly you are spoilt for choice. The best package holiday discounts may well be to Greece and its islands, however you can find huge discounts on the brochure prices to many of our favourite holidays destinations. It is Europe where you will find some of the best overall deals and the lowest prices. Here are some of the best offers

Greece – discounts of up to 70% on one and two week self catering breaks with prices in July from only £180 per person from London

Turkey – save up to 40% on all inclusive and 60% on self catering deals. Prices start at only £302 per person for 7 nights

Canary Islands – discounts of up to 50% on one and two week all inclusive deals from all over the UK. Prices start from a little over £300 per person

Balearic Islands – savings of up to 50% on self catering breaks from a range of airports. Deals kick in at just over £200

Cyprus, Egypt and Tunisia – discounts of up to 50% on all inclusive breaks from London and Manchester

The Algarve – self catering deals start at only £242 per person, with savings of 40% common

The cynical may well say that this is just marketing, however a trawl through the offers on the website of leading companies such as Thomson and Thomas Cook find discounts across the board with average findings in the 30% to 40% bracket. Thomson even have free child places still available, ideal for keeping the family holiday budget under control.

And companies that put package together a great value flight with a hotel are also offering some cracking deals. There are some real bargains out there from the likes of On the Beach, Low Cost Holidays and Travel Republic.

What about long haul?

Many destinations are already pretty full for the peak summer months, however there are some offers on for later in the year. The best discounts are for holidays in September, October and November with great deals on holidays to Dubai, the Maldives, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Thailand as well as the Caribbean.  Expect discounts of up to 40% from the original brochure prices.

How do I find the best package holiday prices?

There are some tricks to getting the best prices. These tips will help you to find a bigger discount:

Be flexible on date and day of departure. A midweek departure from the UK can cut up to 30% off your holiday

Question your prejudices. Many people discount destinations based on out of date opinions and incorrect assumptions. Use review sites to get up to date views on the bargain destinations

Consider both a package and a holiday that has been packaged up and compare the prices.  Package holidays are often cheaper when sold as a late deal then by booking a flight and accommodation separately

Scour the internet and the high street for deals, sign up newsletters to get the latest offers.

And of course use price comparison to check out pricing and to get inspiration. On the website you don’t even have to put in a destination on our package holiday search. We’ll show you the lead in prices for each country and resort making it easier for you.

I don’t want a beach holiday. What other deals are out there?

If a Mediterranean beach is not for you then do not despair. There are deals on all sorts of holiday types this summer.

Cruises – take a cruise direct fro the UK and you will find prices from only £699 for a one week sailing this summer with lots of discounts available on all cruise lines. You can even take a short flight to the Med and pick up a cruise in Palma, Barcelona or Genoa with lead in prices at £599.

Holiday parks – fancy remaining here in the UK for a staycation at a holiday park? Well Pontins, haven and Butlins are all offering school holiday breaks with up to 50% off.

Cottages – there are still loads of cottages available to book, although try not to head for Devon and Cornwall which are heavily booked. There are deals of up to 40% off the original price in locations as diverse as the Lake District, the Cotswolds and East Anglia.

Self Drive – the ferry companies still have lots of availability if you avoid weekend sailings. So a self drive holiday to France of Spain can save you up to 25% off the brochure prices.

Disney – pop over to Paris with the children this summer and find deals on offer for 2 and 3 night breaks of up to 50% off. Plus the kids stay for free and get free park entrance.

Flights – mid week prices are still keen to many popular cities and beaches with the likes of Ryanair, easyJet and BA. As low as £9.99 one way plus credit card fee, so it pays to be flexible on choice of destination and date to get the best offer.

With all these offers around, there really is no excuse for getting away without it breaking the bank this summer. And just think of the benefits that a summer holiday can bring to you and your family.  Buying a bargain holiday this summer could be your best investment this year.

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