How To Book A Bargain Break

Posted on: 24 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

There are plenty of ways to travel on the cheap, and here we show you how.

Whether you are feeling the bite of the credit crunch or just looking for a cheap late escape, these travel tips will shave  pounds off your holiday - and could even pay for an extra night away.

Always Plan A Trip During School Term Time

An obvious one but extremely pertinent at the moment.  If you can help it, never go anywhere during the school holidays because prices double, if not triple.  Opt for May, June, or the end of September instead.   

Start Your Trip Mid-Week

If you are tailoring your own holiday rather than opting for package deal, try and travel mid-week.  Budget flights to European destinations are often cheaper on a  Tuesday or Wednesday than they are on any other day of the week.   Ferries are often cheaper if you are travelling Tuesday to Thursday.  

For budget flights visit www.easyjet.com and www.ryanair.com

Enlist Some Friends

If you are holidaying fairly close to home, recruit several good friends to rapidly reduce the cost of your holiday. Cottages around the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe work out significantly cheaper if there is 6 or more of you. 

We found cottages on the south coast of Ireland that sleep ten going for around £800 for the week - working out at a mere £80 each for a week's accommdation.  If a French chateaux is more to your tastes, there are plenty to be found, sleeping 6 or more, which work out at around £100 each. 

Have a look at these website for ideas, destinations and prices. 

For Ireland try http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/latedeals/in.ireland/, http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/partners/ICC/index.asp and http://www.cottageholidays.co.uk/.

For France, visit http://www.holidaylets.net/properties/23443, http://www.holiday-chateau.com/, and http://www.directholidayhomes.co.uk/france_cottages.html.

For £350 you could have 7 nights in Brittany at a choice of three gites, converted from a stone-built farm dwelling, one kilometre from Fouesnant on the north west coast and five minutes from sandy beaches. Each gite has a private eating and sitting out area with enclosed garden and barbecue facilities and in easy reacg of the local towns of Quimper, Pont L'Abbe and Concarneau. Atelier sleeps 4-5, Cave sleeps 4 and Farmhouse sleeps 4-5; prices start from £350 for week-long stay in August and September. Booked through Holiday France Direct - http://www.holidayfrancedirect.co.uk

In Holland you can find accommdation for 6 at around £50 each for the week.  Visit http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/herkingen/s/12096/fa/find.squery.

Fit four or five of you in a car, and travel by ferry to make your break even cheaper.  Speedferries (http://www.speedferries.com/)  travel from Dover to Boulgone for £27 each way for a car and up to 5 people - which is an awful lot cheaper than taking the local train four stops! 

Irish Ferries (http://www.irishferries.com/), are less of a bargain at around £100 for two adults with a car.

Consider A Hostel Or Camping

Hostels have changed over the last few years, and many are catering for the more discerning traveller.  You can stay in your own room, often with an ensuite, and take advantage of the fact they are brimming with local knowledge and other travellers.  Of course, you can also treat it as you would a hotel - and go out for a nice meal.  Prices are around the 20 Euro mark for one night, so can really reduce the cost of a long weekend city break or a city stop-over.  For a selection of Europe's best, click here.

If you are happy watching the stars above your camp fire and resting your head on the earth, then why not camp?  France, Italy, Spain and Holland have hundreds of camp sites to chose from, some with on-site restuarants and bars and all with barbecue areas and hot showers.  At around 15 Euros a night you could turn a week's holiday into two - and if you travel to your destination by ferry, and shop at local markets for your meals, the holiday can cost next to nothing! 

Take a look at http://www.eurocampings.co.uk/en/europe/ for a directory of campsites, or http://traveldk.com/

Make Your Money Go Further

If you do want to travel further afield, capitalise on the weak dollar.  Besides the USA, many of the Caribbean islands tender in dollars – the exceptions being St. Martin and St. Barts who trade in the expensive Euro.  The other alternative is to chose countries with a currencies linked into the US dollar such as Mexico.  Canada is also a good choice with the current exchange rate being 2 Canadian dollars to every pound. 

There are all-inclusive Caribbean deals still to be found for around £500, departing at the end of September.  Here's a 7 night all-inclusive deal to the Dominican Republic departing from Newcaslte - http://www.latedeals.co.uk/Dominican-Republic-(South)/Bahayibe/7621513.html.  And here is a 7 night all-inclusive deal to Jamaica, departing from Gatwick - http://www.latedeals.co.uk/Jamaica/Runaway-Bay/7622912.html.

Just down the coast from Cancun in Mexico you find the less touristy resorts which are still situated on the Caribbean Sea.  All-inclusive 7 night deals cost around £520 at www.latedeals.co.uk.

Gamble & Book At The Eleventh Hour

If you are happy to take a risk, and thoroughly research, you can get to many of the typical package holiday destinations such as Rhodes, Corfu, Tenerife, Mallorca and Gran Canaria for around £100 for the week.  

These sorts of holidays can either be a surprise gem, or a bit of a disappointment but there are always options once you are there.  For the price of the holiday, there should be someting left in the kitty to hire a car and explore the destination, perhaps finding alternative accommdation or at least a quiet beach.  

On some package deals, you can opt for accommodation allocated on arrival.  Again, this is another gamble, but it could work in your favour as you find yourself upgraded to a 4* complex, rather than a 2*.  

Take a look at these websites, but remember to really examine the resorts, and search www.tripadvisor.com to see what others have said about them.  But, at this price, you can at least experience some sun, sea and sand, and improve the holiday in your own way once there. 

Have a look at these websites for late travel deals: 

http://www.holidaywarehouse.co.uk

http://www.latedeals.co.uk/

http://www.teletextholidays.co.uk/Holidays/Package_Holidays/


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