When to book your summer holiday and the best places to travel to
Published 5 January 2015
Booking a summer holiday can prove costly, so here are our top tips on how to keep prices down.
With the memories of Christmas and the New Year still fresh in your mind, it may not seem the right time to start thinking about booking your summer holiday – but doing so could help you to cut down costs in the long-run.
Booking your summer holiday in January can be a great way to take advantage of early booking discounts and special offers. Picking the right destination to travel to can also play a big part in how much you spend.
When to go
When thinking about booking your summer holiday, timing is everything. With the best deals on package holidays often found when you book months in advance or at the very last minute.
If you have children, you will of course be more limited as to when you can go on holiday but this doesn’t mean that you should pay the peak prices of the summer season. To work around this, travel during the quieter periods of the summer such as early July or late August when you can take advantage of cheaper deals. In the last week of August especially, many tour operators are desperate to fill up the spaces that they have left so if you wait until this point you could make big savings.
If you’re able to be more flexible as to when you go on holiday, try to go at times when you know others can’t. For example, book a holiday before the schools break up in May or early June and you could be met with lower prices and quieter resorts.
Travelling midweek almost always works out cheaper than travelling on a Saturday or Sunday so bear this in mind when booking a holiday.
Where to go
When deciding on where to travel to, it’s a good idea not to go with the crowd and travel to the ‘in-vogue’ destination of the season. Instead, head to resorts that are up-and-coming or have been overlooked by most people.
Over the years Tunisia as a holiday destination has grown in popularity, with the country offering a little something for every type of holidaymaker. For families opting for a beach holiday, there are many sun-kissed beach resorts where you can spend your time relaxing on the sands. If taking in a bit of culture is more your thing, there are a lot of archaeological sites to explore too.
As the summer season can see temperatures reach the dizzy heights of 40 degrees, Tunisia is the perfect place to travel to at quieter times of the year. Travelling either in the spring (March - May) or autumn (September - November) can be more comfortable in terms of the heat and can often work out to be much cheaper as well.
According to Lonely Planet, Portugal is set to be one of the best value destinations for 2015 and it’s not hard to see why as the country is a place that you can travel to all year round.
The south of the country is a popular destination for holiday makers, particularly the Algarve. It has picture-perfect beaches and long hours of sunshine, making it the ideal location for a beach holiday. The region’s spectacular golf courses make it a popular destination amongst golfers too. For a combination of city and sea, head to Lisbon, where the bustling capital is only a short drive from the nearest beach.
Portugal offers high temperatures in August that are only slightly lower in September and October, so if you’re looking for somewhere to travel to at the end of the summer or once the kids go back, Portugal could be the place for you.
Bulgaria as a holiday destination is on the verge of big things, so why not visit the country before it reaches the peak of its popularity? Last year, the Post Office* found Bulgaria to be one of the cheapest holiday destinations to travel to.
The Black Sea coast is a favourite destination with many holidaymakers, and it’s not hard to see why when the sandy beaches rival some of the most popular on the Mediterranean. There are plenty of cultural sites to take in as well, with Bulgaria playing host to ancient ruins and many picturesque monasteries and churches.
If you’re on a budget, the best time to travel to Bulgaria is either in the spring or autumn. At these times the holiday resorts are much quieter and the temperatures are still in their 20s.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to get away but don’t want to over-spend then a stay at a holiday camp in the UK or Europe could be the perfect fit for you.
The UK hosts a vast selection of holiday camps, with Haven, Butlins and HoSeasons having a number of sites to choose from. If you have a young family, these camps are sure to keep your little ones entertained with lots of activities and events. During the off-peak season, such camps commonly offer lower prices and promotional discounts for you to take advantage of but the entertainment often continues year-round.
If you would like to venture a little further afield, for the added cost of a short flight you could travel to one of Eurocamp’s many campsites in France, Spain or Italy. For campsites in France, you could also try Siblu.