3 ways to get value for money on villa holidays

Clients keen to get the best bang for their buck on villa holidays? Laura French asks three villa specialists for tips on booking a budget-friendly home away from home

1. “Remind clients they don’t have to pay everything upfront”

Zoe Towers, head of product, Jet2holidays

Zoe joined Jet2.com more than 15 years ago as market development manager, before becoming general manager of product. In her current role, she is responsible for overseeing the development and management of Jet2holidays’ products – which include more than 2,200 villas across 65 destinations. She says:

“Our data continues to show that many see holidays as an essential purchase, but customers are looking for value for money. A villa holiday is a great option for those looking to keep an eye on their spending – using self-catering facilities and splitting the shopping bills between the group is a smart way of saving.

“We see lots of demand from couples as well as families, multigenerational groups and groups of friends. For some of the best-value destinations, I’d recommend Lanzarote, Menorca, Paphos and Kefalonia. There’s a wealth of incredible, good-value villa options to choose from in all four, and they’re stunning destinations with something for everyone.

“One of my top recommendations for families and groups is Villas Begonias in Menorca, where each three-bedroom villa has its own pool and is located close to the attractions of Cala’n Bosch. Seven nights’ self-catering costs from £919 per person, including car hire and flights from Manchester on August 20, based on four adults and two children sharing.

“It’s also worth reminding clients they don’t have to pay everything upfront – Jet2Villas offers deposits from £60 per person, and we offer free child places so they can make further savings. We also recommend booking early for the best deals, as villas in the most popular destinations always go first!”

Villas Begonias, Menorca

2. “For the best savings, be open to different locations”

Becci Aldridge, general manager, Villa Select

Becci joined Villa Select – which features properties in Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece and Croatia – in 2000 and has almost 25 years’ experience specialising in the villa industry. Following a variety of roles, she has headed up the business as general manager for the past eight years. She says:

“Villa holidays can be a great way to make savings; all of our properties come with self-catering facilities and barbecues for alfresco evenings, so clients can dine in if they choose. In terms of specific destinations, Cyprus, Kefalonia and the Algarve offer great value. I’d especially recommend Villa Dora in Kefalonia; it sleeps six and it’s a good base from which to explore the island, with a private pool overlooking the Ionian Sea.

“Seven nights works out at only £396 per person from August 21 for six sharing (excluding flights). For bigger groups and multigenerational families, Villa Les Tires in Pollensa in Majorca is an excellent option – it sleeps up to 10 and is a peaceful oasis with a huge outdoor space boasting amazing views; prices for a week start from £470 per person from August 10 (excluding flights).

“For the best savings, I recommend being flexible with travel dates and open to different locations. September and October are great months to travel, with cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, alongside lower prices (we get lots of couples, groups and pre or post-school children booking around this time).

“Clients can also find some really good last-minute deals if they’re open to travelling soon, and they might just discover a new destination.”

Kalamar House, Kalkan

3. “Villas offer exceptional value, especially for larger groups”

Oliver Bell, co-founder, Oliver’s Travels

Oliver co-founded his first business, Simply Chateau, in 2003. Later, he and co-founder Ravi Sabharwal launched Stately Escapes, and then Simply Italy. In 2014, they decided to bring all the brands under one umbrella – Oliver’s Travels – which now features more than 9,000 luxury villas, chalets and apartments in 21 destinations. He says:

“When the cost is split between guests, villas can offer exceptional value, especially for larger bookings. Our properties average £59 per person per night, and we offer regular promotions – I recommend booking in advance to make the most of early-bird deals. The UK is proving especially popular for us this year, with domestic bookings up 112% year on year.

“For one of our best UK deals, I recommend Oak Tree Cottage in Scotland, which overlooks the River Tay and Birnam Hill woods and boasts an outdoor whirlpool bath, barbecue area and fire pit with beautiful interiors; 2024 rates have been reduced by 40%, with nightly rates from £43 per person.

“For clients wanting to get some sunshine, I’d recommend Kalamar House in Kalkan, Turkey. It sleeps up to eight and offers breathtaking views over Kalamar Bay, with a terrace, pool, whirlpool bath and bar; prices start from £33 per person per night in the shoulder season and £60 per person per night in summer.

“We’ve noticed a big spike in booking numbers for Greece and Croatia. Other European destinations such as Portugal, Spain and Italy are also seeing an increase in bookings during the shoulder seasons, as travellers look to save on costs and enjoy the slightly cooler temperatures of April, May and October.”

PICTURES: Stamenis Nikiforos; Laetitia Jourdan

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