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One Street: booking your summer holiday

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X-Ray production team X-Ray production team | 16:05 UK time, Monday, 12 July 2010

Are you looking forward to a holiday? Over at Heol-y-Cyw the school term is almost at an end and everyone's looking forward to a break.

But the six-week break is a long time that puts a lot of pressure on parents financially - especially if they want to go on holiday.

And it's the cost that makes 40% of Welsh parents take their children away during term time, when holidays are on average 72% cheaper.

Photograph of a beach in South Brittany

But going away during term time puts a real strain on the school, as headteacher Lynne Bowen-Jones explains:

"A fortnight is a long time for a child to be out of school as they miss out on so much, and, of course, when they return teachers have got to find the time to work with those children to help them catch up with what they've missed out on."

But is it possible to get a good deal during the peak holiday times? Sue Watt is a travel agent with almost 40 years' experience finding holidays that cater for a wide range of budgets and tastes.

Here are her top tips for finding the right holiday at the right price:

  • Consider camping as a good option on a tight budget, particularly if you've left it late. Or if you want to be sure of things to do if the weather isn't on your side, then a holiday camp can be another low-cost option, since entertainment and facilities are included in the booking price.
  • By looking ahead to 2011 and exploring what the various travel operators are offering you could make a substantial saving on family holidays. Many will offer free child spaces if you book a year in advance.
  • Going last minute? Sue recommends holding your nerve until the day before you leave to get a proper bargain. It's important to be as flexible as possible in order to pick up a real deal.

Sue holds a holiday clinic at the school for parents and teachers alike to be able to benefit from her advice.

Kevin Meredith pictured with his son Bailey

Kevin Meredith pictured with his son Bailey

Single dad Kevin Meredith wants to take his son Bailey and their family dog Pepperpot on a short break on a tight budget. Sue finds a four-day caravan holiday at a camp in North Devon for £150.

Leanne Hayball, a mum of four, finds it too expensive for the family of six to go abroad during the peak holiday season. So Sue recommends booking well ahead.

For example, if Leanne booked her 2011 holiday now, she could get a two-bedroom apartment for around £2,300 instead of £3,200 with two free child spaces - a saving of £900, or 30%.

Rhodri Owen with travel agent Sue Watt and mum of four Leanne Hayball

Rhodri Owen with travel agent Sue Watt and Leanne Hayball

And finally, teacher Laura Lyons and her husband want to go somewhere warm to have a lot of nice meals and do some sightseeing - preferably not overrun with children, so she feels she is having a proper break from school!

For their £1,000 budget, Sue recommends a bed-and-breakfast deal for £860 on the island of Korcula, Croatia, which Laura is very happy with: "Croatia isn't somewhere we've been before so it'll be nice to go somewhere a bit different."

Let us know below if you have any tips for planning a break with the children this summer.


  • Comment number 1.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]This weekend's newspaper travel sections suggested a wide range of late deals and holiday ideas for this summer. Holding your nerve is fine as long as you are travelling to an uncomplicated country where visas and vaccinations aren't required.

  • Comment number 2.

    I have the same problem when trying to book rail fares in peak periods.For some reason the prices go up in peak periods. I am going to check some other travel sites but I have a funny feeling that whatever you book in a peak period it is going to cost more than if you booked it in an off peak period. Well blow me down its even cheaper to park your car at off peak periods and even food is cheaper if you are outside those "peak period" dates they write on the labels. Best just go to World Heritage Sites for holidays. Lucky I am from Blaenavon.No peak periods there.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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