How to bag a bargain European holiday this summer – Scotland on Sunday Travel

Here are the top tips to increase your chances to grab an affordable holiday deal.
Pic: Alamy/PAPic: Alamy/PA
Pic: Alamy/PA

As summer approaches, many of us are eager for a sunny getaway, whether it is lounging on a beach or relaxing on a veranda. By remaining flexible with both destination and travel dates, there are opportunities to save money and make the most of the travel experience.

Finding cheaper holidays

Flexibility around destination is key to finding affordable flights and holidays.

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Flexibility in choosing your travel destination is key to finding affordable flights and holidays. Pic: Alamy/PAFlexibility in choosing your travel destination is key to finding affordable flights and holidays. Pic: Alamy/PA
Flexibility in choosing your travel destination is key to finding affordable flights and holidays. Pic: Alamy/PA

Raphael Giacardi, head of UK editorial at the travel deals platform HolidayPirates, says: “If you want to book a week in Greece, Spain or any mass-market destination, it’s going to be hard to find cheap flights.”

He suggests that travellers should consider destinations that are often overlooked.

“For example, flights to Mallorca, including bags, would set a family of three back by about £450. However, a family could fly to Nice, in France, with BA for £316 all in. “The French Riviera is certainly a bit cooler than the Balearics at that time of year, but it’s a beautiful destination with lots to see and do for families.”

How to search for cheap flights

Flight prices are forever changing and governed by “complex algorithms” that cannot be fixed by using private browsing and cleaning cookies.

Giacardi recommends that travellers should decide their budget for specific destinations then set up price alerts on platforms such as Kayak as early as possible, as flights are typically released nine to 12 months in advance.

“Weekend departures for a traditional seven-night holiday always command a premium because they enable people to have a week off using only five days of annual leave. If you’re happy to use an extra leave day, weekday departures should save you some money.”

How far in advance should you book?

If you are flexible with your flights experts recommend booking flights at a later time as certain destinations underperform against the travel companies’ expectations and there are considerable price drops.

The top advice is to establish a budget, find a holiday that suits your preferences, and book it.

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For those who prefer not to handle the research, there are plenty of travel-deal companies that specialise in uncovering the best offers.

Should you book as part of a package?

Generally speaking, peace of mind is the number-one benefit of booking a package. Packages in the UK provide full financial protection – if something goes wrong, you’ll get your money back through the ATOL scheme but booked separately, you’re at the mercy of your travel insurance.

When exploring destinations not so well served by major tour operators, booking flights and accommodation separately often proves to be cheaper.

Deals for the summer

Bargain flights to Tirana, Albania

Flights are available throughout spring to Tirana, Albania, starting from £23. Explore Tirana’s vibrant nightlife, bustling shops, beauty salons, and relaxing spas. And take a cable car ride to Mount Dajti for great views.

Three-night Madrid summer break at NYX hotel

For £289, you can enjoy direct flights and a three-night stay at the stylish four-star NYX Hotel Madrid By Leonardo Hotels, with rooftop pool and breakfast included.

14 nights in St Lucia for what you would expect to pay for a week

With TUI get flights, a fortnight’s stay at Bay Gardens Beach Resort, with access to waterpark, luggage and transfers from £1,230. Also, TUI is offering customers with TUI accounts an extra £200 off the total price when they spend over a certain amount on 14-night getaways.

Bay Gardens Hotel is a short walk from restaurants and shops in Rodney Bay.



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