Haven is probably the best known name in the UK caravan holiday park market. Their 40 parks are ideal for families looking for a busy holiday with indoor swimming pools, places to eat onsite and easy access to beaches.
Many of their parks get better reviews than their rivals, but they can also be a bit more expensive (based on the price comparisons we've done).
Here are 6 ways to save money on Haven holiday parks
1. Don’t arrive on a Saturday
Unsurprisingly, most of us want to arrive on Saturday for a week’s holiday. However, if you can avoid their busiest changeover day then you can make a decent saving.
For example, a week staying at Haven’s Seaview Holiday Park in Dorset in August 2019 in a standard caravan was £1034 when we checked, if you arrived on a Saturday. However, if you arrived on the Friday before it was only £899, a saving of £135.
You’ll still get a seven day holiday, it’s just not as convenient for people working Monday to Friday.
2. Travel to a Haven holiday park up north
In our (limited) price comparison, we found that Haven’s best holiday parks in the north of England and in Scotland are generally cheaper than their best holiday parks in the South of England. Location seems to be more of a factor than facilities and reviews.
There are exceptions of course, but we picked out 10 of the best Haven holiday parks for our guide and found that 3 of the top 4 cheapest were Seton Sands in Scotland, Thornwick Bay in Yorkshire and Lakeland Leisure Park in the Lake District.
Meanwhile, 3 of the 4 most expensive were Littlesea Holiday Park in Dorset, Devon Cliffs in Devon and Perran Sands in Cornwall.
During August the difference between the cheapest and most expensive can be more than £400 for a family of four.
3. Cosy up and fill up a caravan
This one is not for everyone, but a family of four will make a significant saving if they share an eight berth caravan rather than booking two caravans for four people.
For example, you’ll pay £2068 for two caravans for four people at Haven’s Seaview Holiday Park in Dorset in August 2019. An eight berth caravan meanwhile will cost you £1258 (and it was actually a higher grade of accommodation - searches carried out in December 2018).
That means each family will pay £629 for a week rather than £1034, a saving of more than £400.
But is it practical?
Well, in the example above, a four person caravan has two bedrooms whilst a four berth caravan has three bedrooms meaning that a couple of people will end up sleeping in the lounge. I guess you’d need to know people pretty well to avoid a week of awkward situations. Also bear in mind that an eight berth caravan only has one shower, so you might not get everyone ready until about lunchtime.
One slightly more practical option is to invite a couple of grandparents, as the difference between a two bedroom and three bedroom caravan is generally only a couple of hundred pounds.
4. Book Haven early for the best choice and price
Generally, you’ll find the best deals are available if you book long in advance, rather than if you wait for a ‘last minute bargain’. The cheaper accommodation at popular Haven parks is sometimes sold out months in advance.
For example, when we searched for Lydstep Beach Holiday Park in December 2018 for holidays in August 2019, we found that many of the ‘standard’ caravans were already sold out. As a result, you’re left with the ‘deluxe’ and ‘prestige’ options which are more expensive.
Presumably quite a lot of people are booking their holidays before they’ve even got home and unpacked.
When I checked they were also doing a price promise, along the lines of: 'If prior to your holiday start date, you see your holiday at a lower price, please contact us and we will apply any adjustment to your booking if the price remains available. Subject to availability.'
5. Check Haven's offers page regularly
Always take a quick look at Haven's offers pages before you book. These aren't generally discount codes and promo codes, but are discounted rates around certain dates. You'll find they offer things like 25% or 50% off standard prices, or fixed price deals for midweek breaks.
Most of the deals are aimed at getting people to book outside of the school holidays but it's always worth a look, even if you are fixed to certain dates.
6. Try camping and touring at a Haven holiday park
OK, I know what you're thinking...but bear with me.
About half of Haven's holiday parks offer touring and camping, which means you can bring a tent or your own caravan. The advantage is that you still get to use all the onsite facilities, including swimming pools, kids clubs and so on.
When we checked, a week at Perran Sands in Cornwall in August 2019 was £1137 for 2 adults and 2 children in the cheapest caravan available. Meanwhile, a week in a tent at Perran Sands for four people was £330, a saving of more than £800.
It's one to consider during peak summer season when the weather is better and the difference in price is most significant.
7: Choose a Haven Stay holiday instead of Haven Stay + Play
In December 2020, Haven introduced a new option on the booking form called Haven Stay and Haven Stay + Play.
The idea is that you can pick whether or not you want to pay to use the onsite facilities.
We've written a whole blog post on this but the gist of it is that if you are visiting on peak and are just looking for a seaside base for exploring the local area then I would go for a Haven Stay holiday. If you are likely to use the swimming pool, kids' clubs or entertainment then you'll need to pay for Haven Stay + Play.
The saving varies significantly depending on the time of year.
When we searched for week long holidays in August 2021, we found that a family of four saved between £99 and £277 by going for Haven Stay + Play. We looked at prices at five of the best Haven resorts (Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, Hopton Holiday Village, Devon Cliffs Holiday Park, Lydstep Beach Holiday Park and Perran Sands Holiday Park)
However, for a week long holiday in early October the saving was only £36-£72 for a family of four at those five resorts. So, you're only really saving about £1-2 per person, per day.
It's worth realising that Haven Stay + Play doesn't mean you get to use everything for free. You still have to pay extra for some activities.
Holiday Park Guru Blog
Occasional thoughts on holidays in England, Wales, Scotland and further afield, including the latest deals, discounts and last minute offers.
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