Martin Lewis reveals how to bag the cheapest UK holidays despite booking surge

Britons are allowed to travel domestically for holidays from July 4, with many campsites, caravan parks and hotels reopening their doors. As a result, many accommodation providers have reported a sudden surge in bookings, which means cheap deals could be snapped up fast.

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Big-name holiday parks including Butlin’s, Haven and Centre Parcs have already seen web searches on the rise since Boris Johnson announced the latest relaxation to lockdown rules.

Holiday rental site Clickstay reported having more than twice as many UK bookings this June as the same month last year, meanwhile, Airbnb saw its domestic UK bookings double from Monday to Tuesday alone.

While many cheap deals were floating around initially, the popularity of a getaway might mean the bargains are depleted.

Luckily, Martin Lewis and the Money Saving Expert (MSE) team are on hand to offer some insight on how Britons can get the most bang for their buck when arranging a staycation in the coming weeks and months.

It seems the key may be to act quickly, however, the MSE team have some extra tips on how to get down the cost of holiday rentals and hotel rooms.

Holiday rentals

The MSE team suggest four main steps to finding the best holiday rental deal.

Firstly, be willing to search around and check “at least three holiday rental sites”.

It also helps to set a target price and be sure to thoroughly research was is on offer.

With the government allowing two households to merge, two families can go on holiday together which could mean splitting the cost of one rental home.

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As holiday rentals are privately owned, the MSE team suggests trying to reduce costs by contacting the owner directly and “haggling” for a lower cost.

An MSE expert explains: “They are usually more amenable to haggling a few weeks beforehand, though remember aggressive haggling’s usually a mistake.”

Finally, be sure to check the cancellation terms of the property.

Private accommodation rentals normally allow the owners to make up their own cancellation policy, so it is best to be sure one is entitled to a full refund before booking.

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Hotels

One of the most certain ways to bag a bargain room is to be flexible with dates, particularly if the holidaymaker is able to avoid peak time such as school holidays.

What’s more, the location of the stay could play a big role in how much a room sets a person back.

Speaking to MSE, budget chain Premier Inn pointed out: “Cities are particularly great value at the moment.”

MSE propose using a price comparison site to find the cheapest room and compare hotel chains.

They also suggest hunting around online for deals on offer at the moment.

For example, Travelodge offers one million “saver rooms” for £29 or less per night until December 30.

Alternatively, consider getting creative and looking for other types of accommodation.

“One option you might not have considered is to stay at university halls of residence that are otherwise empty during the summer months,” explains an MSE expert.

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