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If you have children, you’ll be familiar with how difficult it can be to find a good value holiday during peak season.
Research suggests  that the cost of a break during the school holidays can be up to eight times more expensive than during term time, and many parents are willing to take the risk of taking their children out of school if it means bagging a cheaper holiday for their family.
However, new research obtained through Freedom of Information Requests might make you think twice if you’re considering a term time holiday with your kids. We contacted over 100 councils in the UK and found that local authorities handed out 84,948 fines worth over £4 million to parents in the 2016-2017 academic year, with 5,378 parents facing prosecution for taking their children out of school to go on a term time holiday
As you can see, it’s not worth the risk, but how can you reduce costs if you do want to treat your family to a holiday abroad this summer? To help, we’ve compiled five easy tips to help you shave off a few much-needed pennies from your holiday bill this summer.
It might sound obvious, but planning your trip well in advance can pay dividends when it comes to getting more value for your money. If you’re planning a trip away in the summer, the earlier you buy in the year the better, and taking advantage of winter sales at Christmas or in January can help save some serious cash.
However, if you do end up leaving it till later in the day there are still good deals to be had – especially if you consider the October half term as part of your search.
You may be stuck going on holiday during the summer break, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look around for the cheapest time to go during those six weeks. Holidays in late August can often work out significantly cheaper than those during July, so make sure you do your research.
Comparison sites such as SkyScanner and Kayak can help when finding the cheapest days to fly, and OnTheBeach and Love Holidays will help when looking for package deals. Being flexible about when you fly will also help reduce costs, with midweek flights often significantly cheaper than flying at the weekend.
When it comes to holidays abroad, not all destinations are created equal, with some holiday hotspots offering much better value for money than others. Portugal, Bulgaria and Spain often top the list when it comes to getting the most for your money abroad, or consider options such as a holiday to Turkey, where the Lira has dropped against the Pound in recent years, meaning you’ll get more cash in your pocket than you would a few years ago.
Keep a close eye on exchange rates in your chosen destinations to get an idea of where you’ll get the most from your holiday cash, and choose accordingly.
If you’re still struggling to bag a good deal, consider looking outside of the larger tourist destinations and towards a city break instead. Booked well in advance, a city break could help you save £100s, especially if you book midweek on an off peak flight.
Still fancy some sun, sea and sand? Look to compromise on your accommodation added extras. A pool might be nice, but if you book near to the beach, you can still enjoy a dip and you’ll often find it’s significantly cheaper.
Car hire and travel money are the added extras that we often forget to think about before a holiday – until we’re getting stung with a bad deal that is! Ensure you plan your car hire in advance rather than leaving it to the last minute, as even in peak season the savings can be huge compared to buying on the day.
When it comes to your travel money, buying ahead of time will also pay off. Airport prices will never give you the best exchange rate, but if you like the ease of an airport pick up, using click and collect will allow you to get hold of your cash at the airport at online prices. Find out more about how ICE can help make sorting your travel money easy here.