DEMAND for summer holidays is skyrocketing and has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, says touring giant Tui.
Amid the looming cost of living crisis and rising airport fees, getting away may seem unlikely.
But there are steps you can take to ensure you get your money’s worth this summer.
Sophie Swietochowski has rounded up the best vacation hacks from travel experts, plus the best deals to book now.
TRY SOMEWHERE NEW: Your family holiday spot may no longer be the most economical option and swapping the Costa del Sol for the equally sunny shores of Bulgaria could save you a small fortune.
According to new data from Skyscanner, flights to Milan are 63% cheaper than they were in the same months before the pandemic, with an average UK return fare of just £38 per person in may.
The comparison site has a handy “Everywhere” tool on its drop-down search list to filter options by your travel dates and sort them by price, cheapest first.
CALL THE HOTELS AND BOOK DIRECTLY: “Booking your travel and accommodation directly instead of going through a third party is a great way to avoid unnecessary costs,” Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, says Le Soleil.
Hosting is often the biggest cost, but if you’re willing to dive in, you can bring the prices down. According to Which?, holidaymakers will get a better deal eight times out of ten when they pick up the phone.
BOOKING ONE-WAY FLIGHTS: You don’t always have to book return tickets with just one airline.
“Mixing and matching the airlines and airports you fly with can significantly reduce costs,” says Skyscanner’s Naomi Hahn. “Look at flying with one airline and coming back with another.”
Flying from another airport can also save you a lot.
CONSIDER SPENDING MONEY: You may have purchased a low-cost package with a trusted operator, but unless you’re staying all-inclusive, you’ll have to shell out for food, drink and fun during your stay.
Two weeks of food for an entire family can be very expensive, so calculate how much money you will need.
Sales of the Turkish lira have soared, according to Post Office Travel’s latest currency report, released yesterday, with the pound sterling up 115.7% against the lira since 2020.
Better yet, the Turkish coast of Marmaris is now the most affordable holiday destination, with an average three-course dinner for two, including a bottle of wine, for just £15.72.
DO NOT TRAVEL ON WEEKENDS: The weekend is almost always the most expensive time to travel, whether you travel by plane, train or boat.
New research from Skyscanner shows Friday is the cheapest day to travel, with families saving an average of 9% when leaving the UK on a Friday.
And Tui recommends that families book their holidays for the high season as early as possible to take advantage of the free places for children.
DO NOT BOOK AIRPLANE SEATS: Whose studies? show that a party of four could spend up to £192 to book seats on a British Airways flight.
But many airlines, including BA and Jet2, say they will always sit in groups when there is space, which means pre-booking seats just sends money by the window.
The consumer group found that 95% of short-haul passengers who did not pay extra still got seats together.
STAY ON TOP OF THE RULES: Despite the easing of Covid restrictions around the world, many countries are still enforcing last minute changes for holidaymakers. And these often come at a cost.
It’s important to stick to the rules at your destination, as some holiday hotspots – such as Spain – require visitors to have received a booster if it was more than 270 days before their last vaccination.
Airlines aren’t always aware of changes, so you may board your plane only to find that you don’t meet a destination’s entry requirements and need to fly home.