DEMAND for summer breaks is soaring and has topped pre-pandemic levels, says tour giant Tui.
Amid the cost-of-living crisis looming and airports hiking fees, getting away may seem unlikely.
But there are steps you can take to ensure you get the most bang for your buck this summer.
Sophie Swietochowski has gathered the top holiday hacks from travel experts, plus the best bargain deals to book right now.
TRY SOMEWHERE NEW: Your go-to family holiday spot might not be the most budget-friendly option any more and swapping the Costa del Sol for the equally sunny coastlines of Bulgaria, might save you a small fortune.
According to new data from Skyscanner, flights to Milan are 63 per cent cheaper than they were in the same months before the pandemic, with the average UK return fare just £38pp in May.
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The comparison site has a handy “Everywhere” tool on its drop-down search list to filter options based on your travel dates and rank them by price, cheapest first.
PHONE HOTELS AND BOOK DIRECTLY: “Booking your travel and accommodation directly instead of through a third party is a great way to avoid unnecessary fees,” Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, tells The Sun.
Accommodation is often the biggest cost but if you are willing to put in the graft, you can knock prices down. According to Which?, holidaymakers will get a better deal eight out of ten times when they pick up the phone.
BOOK ONE-WAY FLIGHTS: You do not always have to book return fares with one airline.
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“Mixing and matching the airlines and airports you fly with can seriously cut costs,” says Skyscanner’s Naomi Hahn. “Look at flying out with one airline and back with another.”
Flying from a different airport may save you a fair chunk too.
CONSIDER SPENDING MONEY: You may have bagged a low-cost package with a trusted operator but unless you are staying all-inclusive, you will have to shell out for food, drink and fun while out there.
Two weeks’ worth of food for a whole family can cost a lot, so calculate how much spending money you will need.
Sales of the Turkish lira have soared, according to the latest Post Office Travel money report, published yesterday, with sterling up 115.7 per cent against the lira since 2020.
Better still, the Turkish coastline of Marmaris is now the most affordable holiday destination, with an average three-course dinner for two including a bottle of wine costing just £15.72.
DON’T TRAVEL AT THE WEEKEND: The weekend is almost always the most expensive time to travel, whether you are flying, getting a train or travelling by boat.
New research from Skyscanner shows Friday is the cheapest day to fly, with families saving an average of nine per cent when they travel out from the UK on a Friday.
And Tui recommends that families book holidays for peak season as early as possible to take advantage of free child places.
DON’T PRE-BOOK PLANE SEATS: Studies from Which? show a group of four people could spend as much as £192 to reserve seats on a British Airways flight.
But many airlines, including BA and Jet2, say they will always sit groups together when there is space — meaning pre-booking seats is just sending money down the drain.
The consumer group found that 95 per cent of short-haul passengers who did not pay extra got seats together just the same.
KEEP ON TOP OF THE RULES: Despite Covid restrictions easing across the world, many countries are still slapping on last-minute changes for holidaymakers. And these often come at a cost.
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It is important to keep on top of the rules for your destination, as some holiday hotspots — such as Spain — require visitors to have had a booster jab if their last vaccination was more than 270 days before arrival.
Airlines are not always in the know when it comes to changes, so you could board your plane only to find out you do not meet a destination’s entry requirements and have to head back home.
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