The 5 Best Last Minute Breaks in Europe

Planning a last minute summer getaway? Here’s where some of our favourite travel bloggers recommend you jet off to…

If you still don’t have plans for the summer, fear not, because you could still bag a cheap last minute deal with travel agents like Thomson Holidays – but time is of the essence so get booking. Here’s a dose of holiday inspiration, helping you to whittle down your options, whether you’re a party animal or history buff, beach goer or culture vulture.

1. Dubrovnik, Croatia

The 5 Best Last Minute Breaks in Europe

So much more than a filming location for Star Wars: Episode VIII and Game of Thrones, where the King’s Landing scenes unfolded and dung was thrown at King Joffrey. Dubrovnik is a UNESCO world heritage site, famed for its seafood, freshly plucked from the Adriatic Sea. From September to October, you can expect sunny skies, warm sea and fewer crowds, so why not catch the cable car up to Mt Srđ for a bird’s eye view of the Baroque churches in the medieval walled city?

Travel blogger Natalie Redman from Up Your Vlog is planning a trip, telling us, “Known for it’s distinctive old town and gorgeous views, this city is fast becoming a popular tourist spot. I think this is also a place I’ve been looking at for mine and Sam’s holiday so keep your eyes peeled for a holiday post to find out where we decided to go!”

2. Budapest, Hungary

The 5 Best Last Minute Breaks in Europe

How about a trip to the Hungarian capital, Budapest? The city’s bursting with neo-graphic and art nouveau architecture, from Roman ruins to the Jewish District. And there’s plenty to keep you entertained, whether you feast on fresh goulash soups and Palinka fruit brandy at The Great Market or catch the river cruise past Parliament, cross the iconic Chain Bridge over the Danube River or watch a fountain light show on Margret Island in the middle of the water.

There’s no better place for a spot of rest and relaxation, enjoy the massages and wellness treatments on offer at the famous thermal baths, such as Szechenyi. Rhian Westbury has visited Budapest twice in September, saying, “There’s plenty to explore in the city, but with so many natural hot springs, you can spend a day relaxing in the warm waters and getting a massage.”

3. Barcelona, Spain

The 5 Best Last Minute Breaks in Europe

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without one of the oldest cities in the world. Barcelona has it all, from tapas bars and white sand beaches to one of Spain’s most iconic shopping streets, Las Ramblas. Take in the sites, like La Sagrada Família, Park Güell and iconic Gaudí landmarks on a bike tour through the narrow streets or climb hilltop Montjuïc for panoramic views, sculpture gardens and a trip to the castle.

Emily Ray, The Cosy Traveller, couldn’t imagine a better last minute holiday hot spot than Barcelona. “Colourful, world-famous art, delicious food on every corner – and when you get tired of that, just head to the beach! I’ve never visited a city that’s offered so much. It’s great for those who want to sunbathe, for those who want to shop, and for those who want to sightsee.”

4. Ibiza, Spain

The 5 Best Last Minute Breaks in Europe

If your idea of a good time involves a whole lot of sun and partying, Ibiza is your rite of passage this summer. Imagine dancing the nights away with a Pina Colada in hand at Club Pacha, throwing shapes at the Bora Bora parties on Playa D’en Bossa or tucking into Spanish Paella on Sunset Strip in San Antonio. And if you need to recharge, hop across for a mud bath on the neighbouring island, Es Palmador.

Travel blogger Rachel Nicole visited Ibiza a few times, seeing every side of the Spanish island, “From the insane superclubs, incredible sunsets, picturesque beaches and charming capital city, there’s something for everyone…  Aside from pushing myself out of my comfort zone to go parasailing, experiencing the beautiful sunset at Cafe Mambo and seeing David Guetta at Ushuia were highlights of the trip. I do have to admit, it’s quite an expensive island but it’s well worth it!”

5. Naples, Italy

The 5 Best Last Minute Breaks in Europe

Naples boasts three castles and a plethora of world class museums, such as the Museo Archeologico Nazionale showcasing frescoes, sculptures and mosaics from excavations in Pompeii. And it’s also home to the best pizza in the world, so venture down to Naples Harbour and wrap your lips around a slice.

Travel blogger Oana Roua has been to Italy more than 15 times, from Alpine top to volcanic bottom, but it’s Italy’s third largest city that keeps her coming back. She explained, “Love food? Then head down to Napoli and enjoy the city which gave pizza to the world: a stone oven baked dough topped with tomatoes which grow on the volcanic soils at the base of Mount Vesuvius, mozzarella di Bufala Campana, basil and olive oil. So simple but so delicious!”

Cover image of Barcelona copyright Rceluch, licensed for use under Creative Commons. Dubrovnik image copyright Jorge Franganillo, licensed for use under Creative Commons. Budapest image copyright ParisSharing, licensed for use under Creative Commons. Barcelona image copyright Umberto Nicoletti, licensed for use under Creative Commons. Ibiza copyright Michela Simoncini, licensed for use under Creative Commons. Napoli image copyright NWojtowicz, licensed for use under Creative Commons.

How to Get Cheap and Cheerful Thomson Holidays

Pay less for your Thomson Holidays by taking your child for free, haggling with your travel agent or going to the right place at the right time. Here’s how to get yourself a bargain summer break, winter holiday or 2018 Thomson trip…

1. Chose a cheap place to visit

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Surprisingly, it could be cheaper to whisk your family away to Bali than Spain this summer 2017. Thanks to a risky exchange rate, long haul exotic adventures could prove cheaper than a traditional European break. So if you’re serious about saving money, why not trek through jungle, sail around tropical islands or explore Bangkok in Thailand with Thomson Holidays?

2. Go all-inclusive

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Depending on your package, Thomson all-inclusive holidays promise three meals a day, as well as snacks like afternoon tea, soft or alcoholic drinks and all manner of fun. Think volleyball or football and evening entertainment, like stage shows, barbecues and quizzes – leaving you to relax knowing everything’s paid for and also stay on budget.

3. Explore Thomson last minute deals

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Didn’t book nine months in advance? Browse Thomson late deals up to eight weeks before you want to go – the ‘Last Minute Holiday’ filter gives you a choice of summer and winter 2017 deals, last minute long or short haul trips, city or beach breaks. Save £425 per person on a week-long Thomson all-inclusive holiday to Greece, for example.

Call Thomson Holidays before booking, to check the price online is actually still available.

4. Be flexible with your dates and flights

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Searching for your Thomson Holiday online? Tick ‘flexible by +/ -3 days’ to see if you could get the same trip for less. Plus, Thomson Holidays’ Flexible Flying program lets you chose your flights with other airlines – giving you the chance to fly for less mid-week or at a more convenient hour. Use the ‘Flight Insight’ tool on ‘momondo.co.uk’ to compare 150 routes or try to predict the best time to buy your flights on ‘kayak.co.uk’ which tells you whether the cost is likely to go up or down within seven days.

When you book your own flights, Thomson Holidays will take 70% of the cost as your deposit, leaving you to pay just 30% of your flight cost eight weeks later.

5. Take your kid for free

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Book a Thomson Holidays trip for two full-paying adults and your little one could come for free – flying for free, sleeping free in selected hotel rooms, apartments or villas, eating for free on the same board as you and riding the free transfers to and from the airport. Thomson’s free child places sure are generous.

6. Spread the cost of your Thomson Holidays

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Take advantage of Thomson’s Low Deposit Scheme to help you split the cost of your holiday. Pay a partial deposit to secure your holiday and hand over the rest eight weeks later. That’s £75 per person for your short or mid-haul holiday, for example, or £125 per person to book your long-haul trip. And if you decide to cancel your holiday within 14 days, you should get a full refund.

7. Haggle with Thomson Holidays’ travel agents

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Decide the highest price you’re willing to pay for your Thomson Holiday, before calling today. Aim for the biggest discount by asking them to improve the cost per person, not the total cost of your holiday. And if that doesn’t work, ask if there’s a discount for paying the full amount immediately or whether extras like car hire and days out can be included in the price.

You’re more likely to whittle the cost down on long haul trips, because travel agents have to sacrifice their commission to give you a discount. But a slim chance is still worth taking for cheaper Thomson Holidays.

7 Kid-Friendly Events to Make the Most of Summer

School’s officially out for summer!

While your kids are doing the happy dance with gusto, you may be at your wit’s end already. The next six weeks will be tough on you parents, whose job it is to keep them entertained around the clock.

But it’s easier than you imagine to make the most of your time together. Here’s our round up of some of the best kid-friendly events on this summer. If they hit the spot, you can book online at See Tickets and get your day out in the diary.

Doctor Who Experience

If the family gathers around the TV to catch the Time Lord defending the universe on a regular basis, then a trip to Cardiff Bay, where Doctor Who is filmed, is an absolute must. It’s where you’ll find the real life Tardis parked and adventure calling.

Whovians can explore 40 sets that you’ll instantly recognise from the small screen, and the world’s largest collection of Doctor Who props and costumes. Save the day on an interactive adventure with the twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, which sees you up close and personal with daleks and the most fearsome creatures in the universe. Brave enough?

For 75 minutes every day, between July and August, 10:30 – 3:30. For more information, click here

The Best of Barmy Britain

First came the smash-hit Horrible History books, then the CBBC shows, and later, two-sell out stage productions. The Best of Barmy Britain, is back at London’s Apollo Theatre this summer, bringing the ‘nasty bits of history’ to the masses. You’ll have to get in quick to bag a ticket.

Although they’re on holiday, the kids can still be learning. They’ll be thrilled to bits by this immensely silly show, where Boudicca, Henry VIII and Guy Fawkes, among others, delve into our island’s bonkers history, and bring it to life. You parents may even learn a thing or two.

Showing twice daily in August, except Sundays, and the beginning of September, at London’s Apollo Theatre. 

Kidz Fest, 6th August 

Cooping your kids up inside over the summer holiday will only give you a headache. Pack them up and let them burn off some steam at the dedicated children’s music festival at Essex’s Orsett Showground. Bust some moves to live music, hone your circus skills as a family or get crafty in the arts village. You’ll find mouth-watering street food to power your afternoon too.

If the bouncy castles have anything to do with it, everyone will be tuckered out by the day’s end. With face paint, and the chance to transform into a superhero or princess, you’ll not be short of things to do.

Running 6th – 7th August 2016. 

Zippos Circus 

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As far as modern, travelling circuses go, Zippos is up there with the best. The two hour extravaganza has everything from deaf-defying trapeze artists and a heavy horses show, to knife throwing and comedy. There’s even a Star Wars style laser battle, which is bound to leave your little ones awestruck.

The troupe have been delighting crowds for thirty years, perhaps since you were a kid yourself. So expect all the bells and whistles at this brand-new anniversary show. They’re experts.

Starts in Stevenage on 2nd June 2016, before passing through Falkirk and ending in Glasgow’s Victoria Park on 14th August 2016. Check online for details

Matilda the Musical

Catch Matilda the Musical at London’s Cambridge Theatre, and your kids will soon thank their lucky stars that they don’t go to Crunchem Hall Primary School. There the evil, child-hating head mistress Miss Trunchbull bullies Matilda, giving you and your family plenty to ‘booooo’ at.

You know the story. It comes complete with songs penned by Tim Minchin, telekinetic powers and the award-winning acting prowess of The Royal Shakespeare Company – who certainly do Roald Dahl justice.

Every day except Monday at Cambridge Theatre London, this July and August 2016. Click here, for more information.

High Jinx Magic & Illusion Family Show 

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, prepare to be amazed! One time Young Musician of the Year Michael Jordan, is ready to conjure up a magical afternoon for your family. Having performed at the World Championships of Magic, and on ITV’s Penn and Teller: Fool Us, he’s at the top of his game with all-sorts up his sleeve.

Watch his assistants do the disappearing act, thrilling escapology and circus skills – which leave you wondering precisely how he managed it.

Taking up residence in VIVA Blackpool from 2nd June 2016 – 12th November 2016

The Wizard of Oz

Immerse yourself in outdoor theatre this summer! Just roll out a rug, or sit on your deckchair under the sky, and watch Dorothy make her way to Emerald City on the stage within touching distance.

With the brainless scarecrow, cowardly lion and heartless tin man, all sticking to the original script, encouraging your brood to get involved with the action on stage and in the workshops – it should be a blast. Ruby red shoes are optional.

Touring everywhere from Peterborough to Warwickshire, Cambridge, Suffolk and London this July 2016. Check online for details of these lunchtime productions. 

Cover image copyright Roderick Eime, licensed for use under Creative Commons.

Flight Compensation & Rewards Few People Claim

You’re so close to your holiday, you can practically feel the sand between your toes and the bounce of your hotel bed already. Then disaster strikes, your plane is delayed or cancelled altogether and you’ve missed the first day of your holiday. It’s hellish.

You’re not alone – Which? reports that 37 million journeys, to or from the UK, were delayed by 15 minutes or more last year, which is an inconvenience at best. Good luck if you’re leaving from Gatwick Airport this summer, the biggest offender in the country. Or using airlines like Thomas Cook, EasyJet and Ryanair, who can struggle to get their short-haul flights into the sky on schedule.

900,000 people are eligible to claim for compensation, but only 38 per cent bother to claim.

Perhaps travellers don’t fully understand their rights or they hold such little faith in the system and don’t bother exercising them – bailiffs threatened to impound a Thomas Cook Boeing 747 in Salzburg, Austria, over unpaid compensation claims last month. You’re actually entitled to your legal rights as early as check-in.

When you’re entitled to compensation, you can lodge a claim for anything that the airline could have foreseen and prevented on the day, but didn’t. Anything from airline strikes when notice was given, to poor flight turn-around times and overbooking.

The European Court of Justice ruled that delays caused by technical problems are no longer ‘extraordinary circumstances’ either – because airlines ought to inform you of air carrier problems 24 hours before you’re due to take off.

This new addition bolsters your chances of a fair settlement, of up to £437 per head if you were delayed up to three hours. Sometimes compensation can exceed the cost of your fare, depending on the length of the delay and how late you reach your final destination.

Delay on the Day

If your short-haul flight is delayed by two hours, your mid-haul by three hours, or your long-haul by four hours – you’re entitled to a minimum of £190 cash compensation when the airline is at fault. Don’t feel pressured to accept vouchers.

But even during exceptional circumstances, such as extreme weather conditions beyond their control, your airline must provide two free phone calls, free meals and refreshments when your flight is delayed by three hours. If you’re kept overnight, because of technical problems for example, you should receive free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers as well.

When your flight is delayed for 5 hours or more, you don’t have to take the flight, regardless of what’s to blame. By law, you can request a full refund on this flight and your return journey with the same airline. And you’re entitled to a flight back to the airport you originally departed from. Fly anyway, and you can still claim up to £470 if there was a technical fault.

Cancelled flight? Your airline must legally provide a full refund, including the fare value, taxes, surcharges and optional extras, as well as a replacement flight to get your destination.

Back to 2010

You have six years to lodge a claim for flight delays to or from the UK, and five years to or from Scotland. So if your case was put on hold, don’t panic, there’s plenty of time to rectify it. You simply need to demonstrate that the airline company didn’t do all that it could to prevent a delay.

The final amount depends on when the flight was cancelled, the distance of the flight, and the departure or arrival times of the rescheduled flight.

Write to the airline Chief Executive, quoting the EC regulation 261/2004 and request your compensation or full refund. You’ll find some cracking templates to help you online – on Which? and Money Saving Expert. While Virgin Atlantic have forms on their website.

Fobbed off?

If you’re at logger heads with the airline, you can escalate it. The Civil Aviation Authority can take your case after eight weeks of launching your claim. Or else you can contact the small claims court – who will take commission from your reward.

To speak directly with a customer service professional, call EasyJet, Emirates Airways or Thomson Holidays.

Happy holidays and safe travels!

9 Must-read eBooks this Summer

Going on holiday this summer? Lucky you! Don’t forget to pack your Kindle to make the most of your down time. You can take your personal library to the poolside or beach, airport or hotel room for no extra baggage cost whatsoever. And if you’re staying at home, why wouldn’t you want to escape on an imaginary adventure?

Yes, you can download hundreds and thousands of eBooks. But with so many on offer, you need to separate the wheat from the chaff and bury your head in a real page turner. That’s why there’s a round-up for you below, full of crime, romance and everything in between, all ready to fire up your imagination while on your vacation…

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2, Jack Thorne & J. K. Rowling

Okay, so we’ll level with you muggles, you can’t read the eighth book of the legendary Harry Potter series until 31 July 2016 – but your summer reading list simply won’t be complete without it. It’s a script book of the first Harry Potter stage story, soon to hit Palace Theatre’s West End stage.

Picking up where Deathly Hallows left off two years ago, The Boy Who Lived is now a married father of three, worked to the bone at the Ministry of Magic. His youngest son Albus grapples with the family legacy, so expect darkness, uncomfortable truths and, of course, magic.

Get it hot off the press, or pre-order, here.

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016

Chances are you’ll settle down in one destination this summer. But why not return home a global expert and really impress your mates? Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016 is a must for holiday makers. Learn about everywhere from Botswana to Bavaria, ‘Best Moustache Destinations’ to ‘Best Places to Seek Silence’ – reading about (sometimes literally) the hottest holiday trends.

The global travel guide is widely touted as ‘a year’s worth of travel inspiration’. Although you can just as easily do as the locals do, by downloading Lonely Planet guide specific to your summer holiday location.

Download it to your eBook here.

Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop, Abby Clements

You shouldn’t have to do anything taxing on your summer holiday, it defeats the point. So here’s a super easy read, with a sunshine and sea twist, for you to unwind too. Vivien’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop sees sisters Imogen and Anna inherit their grandma’s ice cream parlour – The Brighton shop. For once in their lives, they work hard together to save their family legacy from melting away… like, well, ice cream. You’ll see one go to Italy non a gourmet ice cream making course, and the other at Glastonbury. But who finds an unlikely romance?

Get the scoop here.

A God in Ruins, Kate Atkinson

This isn’t what you think it is. It’s a sprawling saga of post-war Britain, mingled with family drama, which covers more than a century. The God mentioned in the title is actually the enormously likable main character himself – Teddy Todd. The Kindle eBook is split into to, with the first part recounting his 70 bombing runs over Nazi Germany and action-packed glory days, while the second sees him living his current life as a widowed provincial journalist.

A God in Ruins put Kate Atkinson on the map. Surly the book which earned her wide acclaim as ‘one of the greatest novelists of her time’ deserves a spot on your summer holiday reading list?

Read it here.

9 Must-read eBooks this summer

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert

Summer holidays are your time for rest and recovery. So if you’re feeling stuck in a well-worn rut at home, here’s how to jump start your creativity for when you get back – Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. You needn’t paint, write, dance or sing to get the most out of it. Well written and laced with anecdotes, you’ll devour it in no time. Gilbert’s book of mantras and inspiring quotes shakes you awake by the shoulders, reminding you to trust yourself, to be curious and to ignore the nay-sayers.

Unleash your creativity here.

The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins

Here’s one to read on your journey, whether you’re jetting off or returning home from your summer holiday. You see, the dark and haunting psychological thriller wouldn’t exist if not for a train ride. Divorcee and blatant alcoholic Rachel travels to London, past her old neighbourhood every day. She sees a glamorous couple living in her old home and invents a life of them. Then the woman, Megan, goes missing, dragging Rachel into the investigation and you into the story.

The Girl on The Train is told from three unreliable women, who all have skeletons in their closet. That makes for interesting reading. They’re nasty characters, so expect back-stabbing, innuendos and lies.

Jump right in to the thick of it here.

The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith

The first in this mystery crime thriller trilogy sees a troubled model fall to her death from a snowy London balcony. It’s widely, and wrongly, assumed suicide. But her brother doesn’t buy it, and you won’t either. He forks out to hire downtrodden Private Investigator Cormoran Strike for double his usual fee. But the deeper the borderline bankrupt war Veteran delves into the case, the more danger he becomes embroiled in. Reckon you can suss out the culprit before your summer holiday ends?

Dive in here.

Before I Go To Sleep, S J Watson

Don’t judge a good book by its bad film version. It’s crazy how a mundane suburb twists and turns its way to a chaotic, whopper of an ending in Before I Go To Sleep. After an accident, which is barely touched upon, Christine suffers amnesia. Can you imagine losing your memory, having to relearn your name, identity and the past twenty years of your life every morning? The person she loves only tells her half the story, and soon you just won’t know who to trust.

Read it and weep here.

Me Before You, JoJo Moyes

Whatever you do, don’t watch the Me Before You blockbuster due in cinemas on 3rd June 2016. At least not until you’ve read the book on your kindle. Louisa Clark loves black and yellow stripped tights. Despite lacking qualifications and experience, The Job Centre tells her to work as an assistant for quadriplegic Will Turner. Yes, it’s heart-wrenching. But the New York Times Number 1 bestseller is better than you’re imagining. They open each other’s eyes to the world, and develop quite the relationship.

Download it to your kindle here.

So there you have it, your list of nine must-reed eBooks this summer. Need advice about your Kindle? Speak to an expert.

For help with your holiday outfits, click ASOSVery, and Next.  Or to speak with an advisor about your flights, click EasyJetEmirates Airways, or Thomson Holidays

Pay Less to Jet Off on Holiday

Itchy feet and a hankering for sunshine are classic symptoms of the Travel Bug that’s rife this time of year. But help is at hand if you’ve caught it. With careful planning and a pinch of insider knowledge, you can save money on actually getting to your getaway!

Whether you’re hatching a weekend city break or a once in a lifetime trip to a far flung destination, you may expect flights to take a large chunk of your budget. But before you click ‘book’, try a few tricks of the trade to see if you can grab a bargain.

Always start with flight comparison websites

Skyscanner.net is a holiday makers’ number crunching best friend. It compares millions of flights to find you the cheapest deal as quick as a flash. No matter where you fancy travelling, it’ll show you every low cost flight out there. Better yet, you can book directly with the airline or trusted travel agent – so there are absolutely no hidden fees or charges.

On average, you’ll find the cheapest flights five weeks before you’re due to take-off. But it varies wildly on your destination. In fact, they recommend waiting to book thirteen weeks before you fly to Turkey and up to five months before your trip to the States. So it’s best to keep checking.

Why not compare your results on Kayak and Google Flights as well? They tend to be time and money-saving too.

Set up a price alert

Flight prices fluctuate all the time, but you don’t have to keep a beady eye on them to get the best deal. At least, not when you search for a seat on Skyscanner and opt in for price alert emails.

They’ll check the price of your journey and email you every time it goes up or down. Once you’ve got your hands on the best possible deal, you can stop the messages at a click of a button.

Be flexible with dates and times

The more flexible you are, the cheaper your flights are likely to be. Those who search ‘whole month’ or ‘whole year’ when they’re looking will always get to cherry-pick the purse-friendly results.

Holidaying off-peak in Europe during May, June and October will not only save you money, but you may get more room on the beach and less hassle exploring local attractions. Don’t forget, quiet midweek flights and Sunday travel tend to be cheaper as well!

Delete your browsing history

Websites are sneaky. They notice when and why you visit airlines online, and then they can subtly bump the prices up on that flight you’ve been eyeing. But you can be just as sneaky. Sometimes you can avoid price hikes just by deleting your search history or using the incognito private window in your browser.

Jet off for less

Check one way fares, only take what you can carry & avoid added extras

Sometimes single journeys are cheaper than round trips. Yes, you may fly home on a totally different airline, but the focus here is purely on getting a mighty fine price.

That goes for your luggage too.  You’ll get to keep more of your hard-earned cash if you take hand luggage only. EasyJet have an unlimited weight limit for your 56x46x25cm bag, while Emirates Airways give you 30kg for free.

Opt out of added luxuries like speedy boarding, fast track security, seat selection and a chauffeured drive to the airport to save even more.

Long-haulers should get in quick

If you have a have a specific destination and a specific date in mind, the safest option is to book as soon as the tickets go on sale. Especially if you’re travelling long-haul – you’ll rarely find a better deal on sites like Skyscanner. Most tickets go up ten months to a year in advance. But then, you might want to gamble on the January sales? It’s a tough game, finding cheap flights.

Sign up for email updates

Sometimes it pays to be in the know. If you sign up for email updates from your local airport and EasyJet for example, their newsletters may well hold the key to saving. Whether they’re launching a new route or discount sale, you’ll be one of the first to know.

Break up families or groups into smaller, separate purchases

Group discounts are few and far between, each plane has only a few discounted seats after all and the chances of you snagging them all is rather low. While searching for flights for your entire group is a worthwhile starting point, there’s an alternative. Although it’s a hassle, if you split up into pairs or even sit individually, you may well fly cheaper.

Remember that the cheapest flight isn’t always the best value

Every now and then, a cheap flight is too good to be true. If it is, you should walk away. If the first flight of the day is cheapest, way it up against a stopover in a hotel and the price of a taxi across in the morning. Is it still cheaper? And what if your overnight bargain flight doesn’t connect with travel links at the other end?

All in all, there are bargains to be had if you put the work in to find a cheap flight.