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 places to find them – and while you might lack privacy, you’ll have the sea on your doorstep.
Early booking is particularly important if you plan 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 its flexible holiday length and different airfares on different dates mean it’s 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 pp, while 11 nights costs just £834 (based on two adults sharing, including flights) .
When booking flights, be sure to think about times as well as dates. Those leaving at less sociable times can be much cheaper and may be fine for you. Take easyJet fares from Gatwick to Malaga on Saturday July 23. Depart at 11.20am and you’ll pay £309 one way. Leave at 7.05pm and the fare is £129. For a family of four, that’s a saving of £720 on a single flight.
If you’re looking for a villa vacation, consider teaming up with a fellow family or two. Larger properties often offer better value per person than smaller ones.
Prices tend to drop a bit in the last two weeks of August, and if you’re having trouble finding availability, it’s worth including those weeks in your search.