Private pools add hundreds of pounds to the cost of a villa. Book one within walking distance of the beach – the Greek islands and northern Spain are great locations for finding these – and while you may miss out on the privacy, you will have the sea on your doorstep.
Early booking is especially important if you are planning to visit a destination with relatively few flights – perhaps one of the smaller Greek islands, or if you prefer to fly from a UK regional airport.
Tui (tui.co.uk) points out that the flexible length of its holidays and different airfares on different dates mean that it is often possible to book 11 nights for the same price as 10, or even less. For example, departing July 22, 10 nights all-inclusive at the Catalonia Punta del Rey hotel in Tenerife costs £896 per person, while 11 nights is only £834 (based on two adults sharing, including flights).
When booking flights, be sure to think about timings as well as the dates. Those departing at less sociable times can be far cheaper and may suit you perfectly well. Take easyJet fares from Gatwick to Malaga on Saturday July 23. Depart at 11.20am and you will pay £309 for the outbound leg. Leave at 7.05pm and the fare is £129. For a family of four, that’s a saving of £720 on one flight alone.
If you are looking for a villa holiday, consider teaming up with one or two other families. The biggest properties often offer better value per person than smaller ones.
Prices tend to drop a little during the last week or two in August, and if you are struggling to find availability, it is worth including these weeks in your search.