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Dreaming of Summer Sunshine? If you’ve yet to book your 2018 Summer Holiday then here are the things you need to consider when looking for the best deal
After the excitement of Christmas and the slow, cold plod of January, it finally feels like spring is just around the corner. The rare glimpses of spring sunshine that are slowly starting to appear have got me longing for some proper summer sunshine, sandy beaches and balmy evening walks. Yup, I’m dreaming of a lovely summer holiday.
Bring on the Summer Sunshine
And while I sit here dreaming of sunshine (and being super glad I’m not going to be pregnant during the hottest months of the year) I also wonder just how much of that big yellow ball in the sky we’ll get see. While I’m lucky enough to live in Somerset, one of the warmer regions of the U.K, there is just no guarantee that Blighty will get more than a few fleeting days of glorious sunshine this year.
No matter how often the weathermen predict ‘It’s going to be a scorcher!’ or that we’ll have ‘The hottest Summer in Decades!’ it’s pretty rare that it does actually come to pass. That is why, every summer, thousands of Brits jet off to warmer climes for their annual summer holidays – *almost* guaranteed sunshine, white beaches, blue seas and blue skies.
Travelling to Europe for your summer holiday has lots of benefits over going further afield – shorter flight times and being able to fly from local airports, a huge range of countries to choose from and excellent value depending on when and where you decide to stay. There are a range of Summer 2018 Deals to be had so there will almost certainly be something to suit everyone’s budget and tastes.
However, there are some important questions to ask yourself before booking, to ensure you are getting the best deal on your Summer Holiday 2018.
1. Self Catering VS All inclusive
One of the biggest costs of any holiday is the food and drink and eating out and I think this decision needs to be based on what type of holiday you prefer.
It’s never worth going all inclusive if you like to be out and about exploring, going on excursions or exploring the local villages and towns as you’ll never get your money’s worth. In this instance, a self catering apartment where you can buy and store your own food and eat breakfast and lunch there and then maybe have one meal a day ‘out’ would probably be most cost effective.
However, if staying by the pool or beach, drinking cocktails and eating three good meals a day is more your thing, opting for all inclusive should save you a lot of cash. I particularly like all inclusive when travelling with kids – most family resorts have pool bars that are open all day serving drinks, ice creams and snacks meaning children aren’t constantly asking for them as they are freely available. It also prevents the need to carry cash around with you or worrying about leaving it while you enjoy the pool and other activities on offer.
If drinking is a big thing for you then make sure the hotel you plan to stay at offers your favourite tipple and what time the all inclusive alcoholic drinks stop – I’ve seen this range from anything to 10pm to 1am. Figure out what works for you and factor that into how much you are prepared to pay.
2. School Holidays VS Term Time
The age old argument of whether it’s okay to take your kids out of school for a Holiday. I’m not here to judge either way but always be prepared to pay substantially more for school holidays – especially the six week summer holiday.
Some things to consider:
- A lot of Schools now fine parents for taking your kids out of school for a holiday during term – it can be dependent on a lot of things including the child’s previous attendance records and how long the holiday is for. On average the fines are about £60 a week per child. However, it’s likely that the money saved on the holiday will far outweigh this.
- Choosing the last week of summer term or the week before or after half term as part of your holiday could see substantial savings.
- Going further afield eg. the USA may be cheaper. We went to Disney World Florida during May half term because it was cheaper than going to Disneyland Paris.
- Check whether any of your school holidays are different to other area’s of the country – a friend of mine works at school in the next county over from where she lives and some of her half terms are different to her sons. You might get lucky in that your school as just a enough difference to bag a cheaper break.
3. Package Holiday VS DIY
Another age old question when it comes to holiday planning – is it cheaper to book a package summer holiday or book everything separately yourself? Again this really depends on where you are going, what sort of holiday you enjoy and how confident you are planning your travel.
For both of our trips to the USA last year we booked everything separately ourselves. Yes, it was ever so slightly terrifying but we saved a fortune and we were lucky that everything went smoothly and none of our bookings had any issues.
Would I do the same for a European Summer holiday?
Package holidays deals to Europe are cheap enough that I don’t think the time or energy put into booking everything separately myself would really save enough money to be worth my time – especially as I’m a total foodie and would more than likely be going all inclusive. Also booking a package holiday includes Atol protection – meaning if your holiday provider goes bust you’ll get your money back.