1. Discover hidden holiday homes
So, you've decided which holiday park you want to stay at and your dates are fixed thanks to the August school holidays and other inconveniences. Unfortunately, the cheapest caravan left is showing as £2000, even though it's just a 'standard' caravan rather than anything fancy.
Before weeping in a corner or selling the children's toys, try this trick.
First, go onto Airbnb and search for the nearest town to the holiday park. You can't search for the exact holiday park, but if I was searching for Haven's very popular and highly rated Devon Cliffs holiday park I would search for Exmouth which is the nearest town.
Second, choose the 'map' option on Airbnb and move it over the area of Devon Cliffs. You might need to do a bit of detective work to find smaller resorts but big holiday parks are quite obvious from above.
You'll find that there are several caravans and lodges available for hire which aren't listed on the official websites (click here to see what I mean, or see the screenshot below)
These are caravans and lodges which have been sold off to private owners who then rent them out. At a big holiday park there will be several to choose from and owners set their own prices so it’s often much cheaper than going through the official website.
You can also see the exact location of the caravan you are booking as well as photos and reviews.
In some cases, I've seen privately owned caravans available for hundreds of pounds less than those on the 'official' website. Of course, you are booking with an individual rather than a big company so read the smallprint carefully.
2. Book a holiday park in the last week in August
Most people avoid holidays during the last week of the school summer holidays because they want to buy a new pencil case and sew names into their jumpers.
That means that there’s a big drop off in demand for the last week in August/first few days of September - and much better prices. We looked at Haven's Perran Sands in Cornwall and found a difference of about £600 between the first and last week in August for a family holiday.
The downside is darker evenings and a slightly reduced chance of good weather.
3. Fill up a caravan
As things stand, you will be able to travel with whoever you want from June 21st 2021. Of course, this might change but you could save yourself hundreds of pounds by sharing an eight person caravan with friends or relatives.
In some cases, we’ve found it is more than £1000 cheaper than hiring two caravans for four people. It’s certainly cosy in a caravan’s kitchen but you’ll be able to afford to eat out more often.
4. Arrive on a Friday or Monday
5. Check the holiday park offers pages and last minute deals pages
Most big holiday park chains have an offers page where they have some last minute bargains and other discount codes to entice you in.
Check out the offers pages for:
6. Head North for the cheapest holiday parks
8. Don’t pay for facilities you won’t use
9. Read your cancellation rights
Finally, I feel I should include something about cancellation policies as it's hardly a bargain if you end losing your money.
You might assume that every holiday park works to the same rules and cancellations. Unfortunately that's not the case, so read the small print to find out what happens if you are ill or if the Covid restrictions change. Or perhaps you might just feel less comfortable about travelling for a holiday than you did when you booked.
To give you an idea of what some of the bigger holiday parks are offering, have a look at Haven's Coronavirus Guarantee and Park Holidays' Cancellation Policy.
Images are from Haven, Away Resorts and Center Parcs Europe
Holiday Park Guru Blog
Occasional thoughts on holidays in England, Wales, Scotland and further afield, including the latest deals, discounts and last minute offers.
Westcountry & Wales
Scotland & North England
While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose.
© COPYRIGHT 2022. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
© COPYRIGHT 2022. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.