Travel industry tips for getting bargain July and August summer holidays
Chris Webber, head of holidays and deals at holiday comparison site TravelSupermarket, says there are still some great bargains if you’re prepared to be flexible about where and when. “If you’re willing to swap Tenerife or Majorca for one of the Spanish Costas or Bulgaria, for example, then you can absolutely find bargains,” he suggests.
According to the site’s data, Spain’s Costa Brava is currently the cheapest option, with an average per person rate of around £615pp.
And you don’t necessarily need to fly.
“There are some great deals still available for the summer holidays,” says Abby Penlington, director at Discover Ferries, the body representing UK passenger ferry operators. “For travellers looking for the cheapest fares, we always advise travelling at off-peak times, such as late night or early morning sailings, and outside of busy weekend periods.”
So, if you are on the hunt for a last-minute bargain, there is still hope. Try some of these savvy suggestions for a chance of striking lucky.
Opt for a hostel that isn’t a hostel
Generator, the leading hybrid accommodation brand, is offering 25 per cent off stays in three of its most popular European locations, with dorms in shared rooms up for grabs from just £20 per person per night – a great option for groups of friends. Couples preferring a bit more privacy can opt for private rooms from £107 per night – working out at £53.50 per person.
The offer applies to locations in Paris, Madrid and Copenhagen, and is bookable until August 31. To help visitors slip seamlessly into local living, the deals include free bike rentals, late checkout, and other exclusive perks. Those visiting Copenhagen can also enjoy the addition of five free arcade tokens, to enjoy a selection of games in the Generator Arcade, Copenhagen’s largest shuffleboard centre. For more information, visit staygenerator.com.
Make the most of a mini beak
A holiday needn’t be a week-long affair. Choose the right destination and it’s possible to condense the same benefits into a weekend. Hit the instant reset button with a two-night escape to the Cornish coast for less than £200 per person at St. Michael’s Resort. The wellness retreat, right next to the shores of Gyllyngvase Beach and the South West Coastal Path, features a luxury spa with the largest hydrothermal pool in the southwest, and a state-of-the-art Health Club. Led by executive chef Darren Millgate, the AA rosette-winning Brasserie On The Bay serves up the best of Cornwall’s farms, fields, and waters. More laid-back dining with sparkling sea views can be found at the Garden Kitchen. A Summer Sensation breaks costs from £195 per person and is valid for stays until August 31. Book by July 31. Visit stmichaelsresort.com.
Head for the mountains
If the heatwave continues to rage across southern Europe, heading for the cooler mountains could be both a sensible choice and a more economical option. Morzine in the French Alps is a typical ski destination, but during warmer summer months, it becomes a hiker’s playground. Five-bedroom chalet Manoir is one of several properties in the area with great deals for the school break. Book through VIP SKI to secure half price rates for kids and seven nights for the price of six. Highlights of the property include a pool room, cinema room and hot tub with mountain views. A seven-night B&B stay, arriving August 19 is priced from £560 per person for adults and £280 per child, based on three people sharing a family room. Flights and transfers are extra. Visit vip-chalets.com and en.morzine-avoriaz.com/summer.
Swap sky for sea
Flight prices have skyrocketed since Covid – and the stratospheric rise shows no signs of slowing down. But flying isn’t the only way to reach many European destinations. Ferry travel has always been an affordable alternative mode of transport, connecting the UK and Ireland with popular destinations, such as France, Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands. A car for up to nine passengers can sail from Dover to France from £68 each way with Irish Ferries or DFDS; a huge saving compared to Eurostar tickets to Paris, which can cost £274 for a family of four. All P&O Ferries’ Dover-Calais crossings start from £76 each way for a car and up to nine passengers. Visit discoverferries.com.
Ferries are highly favoured by campers and caravanners for good reason: there are no hidden luggage costs, making it easy to carry all your own gear. If you are considering a camping holiday, Risle-Seine les Etangs near Le Havre is available from £18.10 per night in late August, and Des Abers, near Brest, is offering pitches from £23.28 per night throughout July and August, both available through the Caravan and Motorhome Club. Additionally, The Camping and Caravanning Club is offering up to 40% off stays at Eurocamp throughout Europe. Visit caravanclub.co.uk and campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk.