Haven recently shared a guide with us called 'How to find our lowest price and best value'.
We've already written our own guide to 6 ways to save money on Haven holidays but it's interesting to see how the official advice compares.
Here are the six tips from Haven, along with our comments:
1. "Go midweek - Those are the cheapest days of the week"
This one seems like common sense to me - we all know that prices are higher when children are at school. But does it apply all year round?
We tested this out for a term time break at Haven's Perran Sands in early May 2023. We found that we would pay:
So, it does indeed seem to be true for this set of term times dates.
Does the same rule apply during the school holidays though? We did a couple of test searches at Haven's Perran Sands for holidays in early August and found that a:
In this instance, it doesn't seem to make much difference when you visit during school holidays. The weekend was actually cheaper than a midweek break, but there isn't much in it.
2. "Go midweek off-peak. Early spring and Autumn are cheaper"
This second tip from Haven is another one which we have found to be true in our time doing price comparisons for Holiday Park Guru.
Haven resorts are closed in winter, so the 'shoulders' of the summer season are likely to be the cheapest.
Haven's website now has an excellent booking system which lets you preview prices without clicking through to every single holiday. This means you can dig out good deals without wasting hours of your time.
This time, we looked at Haven's Devon Cliff Holiday Park, which is a large and very popular resort (read our full guide to Devon Cliffs).
We took screenshots for every month that the park is open in 2023. The prices are the starting price for the cheapest accommodation, rather than guaranteed deals.
Let me summarise those numbers for you!
The cheapest midweek breaks all year (according to this data) are to be found in March and October. However, September isn't far behind and neither are April, May and June once you remove the school holidays.
If we weren't tied to school holidays then I would rather pay £199 for a holiday in mid-June than £131 for a week in mid-October. That is £68 well spent, in my book!
Overall though we agree with Haven's advice to '"Go midweek off-peak. Early spring and Autumn are cheaper"
3. "Avoid school holidays if you can- That’s when our parks are busiest"
We certainly agree with this bit of advice from Haven. To be honest, I think we all know this one already!
The data above from Haven's Devon Cliffs Holiday Park shows the difference - a midweek break during the Easter holidays starts at £413 whilst the following week is £139.
However, this is a good moment to point out that school term dates do vary a bit. Some schools are now talking half term earlier in October, which means that cheaper prices can be exploited.
Also check what dates your school starts in September. We have managed to squeeze in breaks right at the end of the holidays when demand and prices are much lower.
4. "Go early in the year. Early spring breaks have the best prices"
This bit of advice is quite similar to #2 which suggests midweek breaks in early Spring and late Autumn are cheapest.
However, what they are getting at here is that the very first week which the parks are open can be when you'll find the best bargains.
Here's a screenshot of starting prices at Haven's Hafan y Môr Holiday Park in Wales. It's a very large site with one of Haven's best swimming pools.
Note how you get the absolute lowest price of £345 if you arrive on the very first Friday that the resort is open. The follow Friday jumps up to £470 and it stays around £470-£500 during term time for the next couple of months.
This screenshot also illustrates one of our favourite ways to save money on a Haven holiday (this one isn't mentioned by Haven in the money saving guide they sent us).
Notice how much cheaper it is to arrive on a Monday or Friday than it is to arrive on a Saturday. On the screenshot above the difference is usually about £70 but it can be significantly more during peak season. For example, arriving on Friday April 7th (during the Easter holidays) is £179 cheaper than arriving on Saturday April 8th.
5. "Take the full family with you. The more you are, the less you pay"
We definitely agree with this tip from Haven on how to get the best price. In fact, it features in our own guide to saving money on Haven holidays.
Haven charges per caravan, rather than per person so it makes sense to fill up the accommodation.
The best bargains are to be had if you fill up a large caravan.
Let's look at an example.
We searched for a week's holiday at Haven's Thornwick Bay in Yorkshire which is one of its newest holiday parks. In early August 2023, a group of eight people staying for a week would pay:
Part of the reason for the difference on this occasion is that the eight berth caravan is bronze rated whilst the 2 x 4 person caravans are gold rated (see our guide to the Haven accommodation ratings system). However, we picked the cheapest accommodation available so it is still a relatively fair comparison of what you would pay.
In this instance, you would need to consider whether you can cope with sharing with seven other people.
Here's the layout of a typical eight berth bronze caravan at Haven:
You'll notice that there are three bedrooms, which means two people are sleeping on a sofa bed in the lounge. There is also just one shower to share between eight people which might slow you down (personally, I would incorporate a shower into a trip to the swimming pool). There's also a relatively small kitchen for eight people - and you don't get a dishwasher in the bronze grade.
However, if it will save you nearly £1700 then you may prefer to dine out for every meal. That saving would give you a budget of about £30 per person, per day to spend on eating out. That would probably pay for lunch and dinner at a Haven restaurant (you can expect to pay about £10-£15 for a main course at Haven's pubs and restaurants).
6. "Check our offer pages for the best deal"
Checking the offers page is the final tip from Haven's guide to getting the best value holidays.
It's fair to say that discount codes and promo codes are rare with Haven. If you know of any, please let us know!
However, there are some excellent deals on the offers section of the Haven website including:
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© COPYRIGHT 2023. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.