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‘Fly midweek or from Scotland’… the secret ways you can avoid paying NINE times the usual price for a half-term holiday

EARLIERtoday it was revealed that holidays are nine times more expensive during half term holidays.

Thankfully British schools are set to relaxrules around term-time breaks, but here, Travel Editor Lisa Minot reveals seven tips that couldhelp you beat the school holiday price hikes

A holiday that doesnt break the bank could be easier to get hold of than you imagined

1. BOOK EARLY

It may seem obvious but this is very often the best way to guarantee a decent price.

Tour operators always offer their best deals in January as they are keen to get holidaymakers tied in and booked up.

Plan ahead to get the best deals, and dont leave it to the last minute

Many of our favourite operators are still offering discounts or even free child places for peak season holidays.

And choosing to book now doesnt necessarily mean trying to find the whole cost of your holiday upfront just after Christmas.

Almost all operators offer a low-deposit option, with most asking you to pay the final cost around eight weeks before departure.

The UKs second largest tour operator Thomas Cook, Virgin Holidays, online travel agentsOnTheBeach.co.uk andloveholidays.comall offer the chance to spread the cost of your trip with monthly payments.

Almost all operators offer a low-deposit option, with most asking you to pay the final cost around eight weeks before departure

2. CHECK BEST TIME TO FLY

You could save hundreds from the cost of your trip by choosing to fly on the right dates.

Although its not ideal with younger kids, if your children are a little older maybe look at flights at unsociable times of the day or night as these will be less popular and therefore cheaper.



Online flight search giant Skyscanner.net now has a comprehensive guide on when is the cheapest time to book for a host of favoured destinations from individual UK airports.

Incredibly, the times you should book can vary from one UK airport to another.

But in general, flying midweek is always cheaper than weekends and early or late flight times are always cheaper.

Take advantage of different term times in Scotland, by taking a train to a Scottish airport and flying from there before schools break up for the holidays

3. FLY FROM SCOTLAND

Schoolholidays in Scotland are often very different dates from the UK so holidaymakers in the North can make serious savings by driving or taking the train to Scottish airports and flying from there.

As with British tour operators, prices for Scottish holidays increase in the school holidays so if you check carefully, you may find weeks at the beginning or end of our school holidays where prices drop dramatically if you fly from Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Often the savings are enough to justify the cost of travelling to these airports.

Research the price of ice cream, food and drinks before you travel

4. GO SOMEWHERE CHEAP

It sounds obvious but if you are going to head away in the school holidays, making sure you choose a good value resort where an ice cream isnt going to cost you the price of a small house is a simple way to save.

The Post Office Holiday Cost Barometer is updated several times a year and gives you an accurate idea of just how much your holiday essentials will cost at resorts across the globe.

This includes looking at the price of bottles of beer, glasses of wine and cans of coke to coffee, three course evening meals, insect repellent, suncream and even the price of your soaraway Sun.

Often the results can be surprising and if you are opting for a good-value self-catering holiday its important to make sure favourite food and drink wont bust the budget.

You may find a mid to long-haul destination could be as competitive as a traditional Spanish favourite

5. GO FOR THE LONG HAUL

Dont just assume a two-week all-inclusive holiday in Majorca will be your cheapest option based on your experiences a few years ago.

With flight availability and a destinations popularity with holidaymakers from not just the UK but the rest of the world impacting on prices, sometimes you may find a mid to long-haul destination could be as competitive as a traditional Spanish favourite.

For some Caribbean and American destinations our peak summer holidays are effectively low-season and prices may be very close to a Spanish or Greek good-quality hotel.

Its also worth looking at the Far East with living and accommodation costs in Thailand and Vietnam more than outweighing the extra cost of flying further.

Opt for Airbnb for your accommodation to get a cheap stay

6. CHOOSE CAMPING OR AirBNB

Who says you have to go all-inclusive to a posh five star hotel?

The sun is still just as hot and glorious and the sea just as warm if youre staying at a campsite or in a good-value B&B in many of our favourite short haul destinations.

And if your family is bigger than the traditional two adults, two kids that happily will fit in one room, then prices can often climb sky high as a second room is needed.

Eurocamp is a great destination to find the perfect camping holiday

Eurocamp.co.ukhave seven nights in a tent sleeping six in the South of France this summer from just 425 in total, arriving July 30.

Or head to Italys Adriatic coast and a week in a two-bed mobile home will cost from just 612 in total for a family of six.

Combined with low-cost flights and some savvy booking on the right days and you could get a great break for a lot less than a traditional self-catering apartment or hotel.

These campsites always have great facilities for kids from pools and playgrounds to dedicated kids clubs.

Avoiding a sea view could be a way to cut the cost, and you can still day trip on the coast

7. BOOK AWAY FROM THE BEACH

The nearer you are to golden sands, the higher the prices rise.

So why not compromise on your view and save hundreds by booking a hotel just a few miles inland from the sea.

Hotels and apartments without those million-dollar views will also often try far harder to tempt tourists with not just more attractive prices but good value facilities and things to see and do.

Or head away from the beach altogether.

While the Alps might be eye-wateringly expensive for skiers in the February half term, summer prices are rock bottom and theres still plenty to see and do, from walks and climbs to biking and hiking.

We covered today new research which foundholidays are nine times more expensive during the half term than during term time.

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