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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

If you’re planning on getting away this week for half-term, then you’ve probably already noticed the prices and sky-high. Parents and children alike look forward to the break so how can you spend some time away without getting caught by the half-term crowd or the prices that tag along with it?

It’s no surprise that travel costs rise during peak seasons: summer, Christmas, New Years, etc. School breaks also fit in there as well when families around the UK are looking to getaway all at the same time. Did you know that you can expect to pay up to 70% more than you would the week following the long-awaited break? Travel companies show no mercy when it comes to finding accommodations, flights or package holidays at such a busy time.

While inflation is inevitable, this year it may be the only reason why some families are opting to stay home. They simply can’t afford a 100% mark-up on a trip to Ibiza or to Cairo. The golden rule of thumb still applies though if you have your heart set on a half-term break: book early!

Some think staying behind and opting for a stay-cation is the answer but travel within Britain is expected to rise as well as a result of the recent budget cuts made by the Department for Transport. We can expect a 10% rise in rail fares over the next few years as well as air fares thanks to increases in passenger taxes.

So, what gives?

How to take a half-term holiday without getting caught by the half-term prices

  • Location: If you’re like every other Brit you know that at half-term they swarm to where the sun is still hot. This means that Spain’s islands, Crete, Egypt and even Florida are crowded at this time of the year with other British holidaymakers. If you want to avoid the high prices, choose rather a city jaunt to cities like Budapest, Vienna or Amsterdam.
  • Flights: Instead of opting for a package holiday, plan your trip on your own. You’ll have more flexibility to fly with low cost airlines, which is where you can reap loads of savings. Travel with carry-on only as well to avoid paying additional fees. (Could you travel with carry-on only?)
  • Hotels: Accommodations on holidays easily take up the majority of any family’s vacation budget. But there are many more types of accommodations than just hotel rooms. Try renting a holiday apartment for a week or a small chalet or house. For a family of 4, it’s already a bargain.
  • Fun: In many European capitals family discounts abound. As soon as you arrive, check out your options for discount cards for sightseeing attractions, public transportation and other free tours. Always ask about family discounts even if it’s not advertised.

Where are you headed on half-term break? For more creative family getaway ideas, check out How to plan a family adventure on a budget.

Img: pesotum / flickr cc

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