Laura French seeks out the best family deals and discounts worth booking now for 2021.
There’s clearly some nervousness around travelling in the current climate, in part thanks to ongoing uncertainty about how restrictions might change in the coming months.
But for those who are willing to book now and travel later, there are rewards to be reaped, with reduced room rates, early-booking discounts and a host of other deals making getaways more affordable than ever.
So where should you be looking for families after a steal? We’ve scouted out some of the best bargains for 2021, from holiday parks for under £50 a head to plush resorts for less than £700 (all rates are per person).
Haven Presthaven Beach Resort, Wales: £33
For families after a beachy UK break at a bargain-bucket rate, it’s hard to beat this three-night deal from Haven. Aerial adventures, archery, pottery, climbing, a lazy river and indoor and outdoor pools are among its draws, with beaches, castles and North Wales’s biggest sand dunes within easy reach – plus all the live shows, kids’ club activities and Rory the Tiger fun you’d expect from this family-favourite brand.
“Aerial adventures, archery, pottery, climbing, a lazy river and indoor and outdoor pools are among its draws, with beaches, castles and sand dunes within easy reach.”
Book it: A three-night Easter break starts at £135 per family, based on up to four sharing a standard two‑bedroom caravan, departing April 9, 2021.
Butlin’s Bognor Regis Resort, England: £144
If Easter egg hunts, themed arts and crafts, and farm animals are enough to tempt families to book, look to Butlin’s, whose Bognor Regis outpost will be hosting all three next year, alongside character-themed parties, live on-stage performances and a roster of other activities. Beyond the Easter fun there are mini Segways, go-karts and a high ropes course to tackle, as well as the newest addition, Splash Waterworld, an indoor waterpark that opened last year with rapids, slides, a children’s pool and lido among its attractions.
Book it: Three nights starts at £577 for a family of four sharing a Silver Room from April 2, 2021.
Camping Des Menhirs, France: £204
France may be off the cards for now, but those willing to look ahead to next year will find some decent deals such as Al Fresco Holidays’ extended early-booking discounts of up to 35% off. For an especially good-value stay, suggest its Des Menhirs park in Brittany, which sits by one of the region’s best beaches on the Quiberon Peninsula, with the resort town of Carnac, famed for its ancient standing stones, a 20-minute amble away. The park itself offers two pools, waterslides, a kids’ club and daily entertainment, with windsurfing, canoeing, sailing and other watersports on the beach and quad-biking, horse riding, cycling and crazy golf close by too.
“Des Menhirs park in Brittany sits by one of the region’s best beaches on the Quiberon Peninsula, with the resort town of Carnac a 20-minute amble away.”
Book it: A week starts at £816 for a family of four sharing a two-bedroom Standard Lounge mobile home, with return overnight ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo on April 3, 2021.
Villa Colbryca, Spain: £399
Operators have, unsurprisingly, reported rising demand for private villas in recent months, and if clients are prepared to book outside the current travel corridor list in the hope things recover by next year, they’ll find prices that are hard to turn down.
“Set on a lush hillside in a quiet, rural area, it has a pool, built-in barbecue and beamed ceilings, with sandy beaches, golf courses and a host of family-friendly attractions.”
James Villas suggests this three-bedroom property just outside the quaint fishing town of Moraira on the Costa Blanca for an authentically Spanish stay. Set on a lush hillside in a quiet, rural area, it has a pool, built-in barbecue and beamed ceilings, with sandy beaches, golf courses and a host of family-friendly attractions (including Terra Mitica, Aqualandia and Terra Natura) easily reachable by car, while Alicante airport is just over an hour’s drive away.
Book it: A week costs from £1,596 in total, based on four sharing, with flights from Stansted, departing April 3, 2021.
Protur Bonaire Aparthotel, Majorca: £489
Majorca knows how to do bargain family breaks – but for an especially showstopping deal, Tui points to the award-winning Protur Bonaire Aparthotel in Cala Bona, whose centrepiece is a huge, winding pool that meanders through the grounds like a lazy river. There’s also a splash park, kids’ club and à la carte restaurant, with the beach right in front of the resort and Cala Bona a 10-minute stroll away.
Book it: Seven nights’ half-board costs from £489 per person based on two adults and one child sharing, including transfers and flights from Luton on April 7, 2021.
Almyra, Cyprus: £575
Covid rates in Cyprus remain remarkably low, in part thanks to a strict testing policy, so it’s a wise suggestion for those concerned about travelling in the current climate. For a stylish stay at exceptional rates, Planet Holidays recommends the five-star Almyra in Paphos, which is currently offering a free upgrade to half-board and boasts plenty to keep the brood occupied – from kids’ clubs and baby packs to children’s menus and adventure tours – as well as a spa, gym and adult‑only area for parents in need of some quiet time. The attractions of Paphos are right on the doorstep, while Coral Bay, Pissouri and Latchi are in close proximity too.
“Almyra boasts plenty to keep the brood occupied – from kids’ clubs and baby packs to children’s menus and adventure tours – as well as a spa, gym and adult‑only area for parents.”
Book it: Planet Holidays is offering seven nights’ half‑board from £575 per person, including flights from Gatwick on July 31, 2021, based on four sharing an interconnecting Inland View room.
Avanti Holiday Village, Cyprus: £619
Elsewhere in Paphos, Jet2holidays recommends this sprawling, village-style resort for its impressive range of facilities, spanning a lazy river, lagoon-style pool, tennis court, games room, spa, swim-up bar and open-air taverna, all a quick stroll from the beach. Archery, mountain biking and scuba diving all feature on the activity list, while nightly entertainment livens things up.
Book it: A week’s self-catering costs from £619 per person, based on four sharing with transfers and flights from Stansted, departing July 30, 2021.
Neilson’s Aeolian Village Beachclub, Greece: £666
Active resorts can come with a price tag, but search around and you might just find some decent deals. Neilson is offering some double-take-worthy rates at its Aeolian Village Beachclub on the Greek island of Lesbos, recently added to the list of quarantine-free corridors, with windsurfing, dinghy sailing, kayaking, fitness classes, tennis and mountain biking all included in the price, as well as kids’ clubs and a creche. The resort is tucked into a sandy bay, and clients after a slice of traditional Greek culture will find plenty to please in the local village, Skala Erresos, a 10-minute walk away and overlooked by crumbling castle ruins.
“The resort is tucked into a sandy bay, and clients after a slice of traditional Greek culture will find plenty to please in the local village, Skala Erresos, a 10-minute walk away.”
Book it: A week in a hillside sea view family room costs from £666 based on four sharing on a club-board basis, with flights from Stansted and transfers, departing May 27, 2021.
Push the boat out
Good value doesn’t always mean cheap prices, so it’s worth considering resorts that might tempt your clients to spend a bit more for the sake of standout facilities or an array of sports and activities.
Mark Warner’s Paleros Beach Resort in Greece reopened last summer after a spruce up and offers waterskiing, paddleboarding, wakeboarding, windsurfing and sailing among its comprehensive list of inclusions, plus free childcare for kids of all ages. A week starts at £896 per person for departures on May 23, 2021, or from £1,285 per person in the October 2021 half-term, both based on four sharing a Family Room on a half-board basis with flights from Gatwick.
Ask the expert
“Clients will certainly be able to find good value for money across European resorts over the next year, as countries look to entice visitors back post Brexit and as part of their Covid-19 recovery. We’re already seeing strong offers available in some of the hardest-hit tourist resorts across Spain and Italy. We have early-booking offers of up to 10% off most of our properties for 2021 holidays, with additional savings of up to 30% on some locations, so it’s a perfect opportunity for families to book early and bag themselves a bargain or consider lesser-known resorts to get more for their money.”
– Danny Waine, commercial manager, Interhome