Still searching for a last minute holiday deals? Check out my top tips for finding the best value holiday deals that I discussed with Ivan Yates on Newstalk FM.
As the peak holiday season approaches there is still time to secure a last minute holiday deal. Good news for holidaymakers is that capacity has increased greatly. Dublin airport has a staggering 14 new routes this Summer with 1.7 million extra seats added across it’s network. Everyone is talking about the new routes to China, Hong Kong and to the US but one million of those extra seats are to Europe. New destinations like Cyprus, Morocco and Turkey could prove to be great value for last minute sun holiday bookings. However don’t forget about package holiday deals….
Tour Operators like TUI and Sunway have paid in advance for flights and hotels so if they have availability left, they will have to sell them off cheaply. They also sell flight only so if you don’t want to book their accommodation, you still may get a good deal on return flights. Sometimes they include checked baggage too. A good travel agent will be able to tell you instantly what is available with Tour Operators, so make a quick phone call before trying to book everything independently.
European Special Offers:
June in particular is a great time to travel so if you can get away this weekend or next, you are in for a treat. One week holidays to Lanzarote and the Algarve are only €299, Majorca is €349 and Sardinia is €469. They are all departing this weekend for seven nights including flights, accommodation and checked baggage with Sunway. TUI have flight only deals from €129 return to Majorca on the 6th and 13th of July. You could combine these with an Airbnb or apartment, however note that accommodation is limited in the most popular resorts.
July and August is more expensive but there are still some great deals to be found. Love Holidays is offering a seven night stay on the Lisbon Coast for €525 on the 25h of July. Price includes flights and a seven night stay in the Alvorada hotel, Estoril.
If you are looking for a cheap deal you can fly to Turkey for €300 including flights and accommodation in the Ponz Boutique Hotel, Kusadasi, for seven nights, departing the 28th of August.
TUI has just launched a September sale with up to €200 off selected holidays to Spain, Portugal and Greece. I particularly like their Greek offers. They have a package deal staying in the Stella Hotel, Rhodes for €473 departing the 12th of September and the Katarina Palace in Zakynthos from €471 on the 18th of September.
Salou is one of the most popular destinations for families due to the short flights and proximity to Europe’s largest theme park, PortAventura. TUI have a good deal departing the 14th of August, staying in the Villa Romana Hotel. This is one of Salou’s most highly rated hotels ( no 2 on tripadvisor). Price for flights, hotel with breakfast and evening meal included is €2414 based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.
Attraction Tickets Direct are offering 20% off selected tickets to Port Aventura. The 3 day, 3 park ticket to Port Aventura, Caribe Waterpark and FerrariLand is now only €68 adults and €56 per child = €248 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children.
If you are looking for something a bit more low key, Donabate Travel has a great offer to Corfu on the 3rd of August. Price for flights and a seven night stay in the family owned Loulas Village apartments is only €1659 including transfers and checked baggage, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing.
Long haul holiday deals
There is also great value in long haul travel and many travel agents and tour operators have been given preferential rates with long haul carriers. You may find that it is cheaper to book a package deal than book a flight and hotel separately. Sunway have a special offer of three nights in Dubai departing the 6th of September for €525 per person sharing. This includes return flights to Dubai and three nights accommodation in the Arabian Park Hotel. It is only a 3* hotel but it gets great reviews on tripadvisor and they even offer free airport transfers and a free shuttle bus to the beach. To book a flight only to Dubai is €533 at the same time.
Tropical Sky have a week in the five star Centara Grand Beach Resort in Krabi, Thailand from €1,159 in September and €1,299 in August. This is an amazing hotel, on a paradise island, only accessible by speed boat. Flights alone would be close to €1000 on their own, if booking direct with an airline.
TUI have direct flights to Cancun Mexico for two weeks in June and July. If you can get away on the 18th of June, the price for flights and a two week all-inclusive stay in the 4* Riu Dunamar Hotel is only €1234. This includes all meals, drinks, transfers and checked baggage too. You also get a free upgrade to extra leg room and extra space seats! Prices on the 9th of July for 2 weeks start at €1422 for a junior suite in the 4* Grand Bahia Principe Coba, also on an all-inclusive basis. If you would prefer to do your own thing, you can take a flight only for two weeks to Cancun from €299 on the 18th of June or €529 in July.
Marella Cruises is offering a seven-night cruise on Marella Dream from €969 on the 17th of July. Price includes flights from Dublin and cruise with all entertainment and meals included.
Itinerary: Palma, Seville, Portimao (Algarve), Gibraltar, Cartagena, Valencia, Palma
Princess Cruises have a Med cruise offer on Crown Princess, staying in a balcony stateroom for only €1299 on the 4th of August. Price includes flights from Dublin and a seven-night cruise with all entertainment and meals included.
Itinerary: Barcelona – Gibraltar – Marseille – Genoa- Florence – Rome
Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world and you could be on it from €1499, departing the 26th of August. Price includes flights from Dublin and a seven night Med cruise with all entertainment, meals and drinks included.
Itinerary: Barcelona – Palma De Mallorca – Provence – Florence – Rome – Naples – Barcelona
Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my best travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.