Where to find the best family deals for the school holidays

Looking for inspiration for a family break that avoids term-time fines? Lina Molloholli gets expert tips on what’s hot for the school holidays

1. Summer holidays in Bulgaria

Lynsey Jones, national sales manager, Balkan Holidays

What’s the brief?

A family with young kids is seeking a good-value, all-inclusive getaway during the summer holidays. They’d like to go somewhere in Europe with lots to keep the kids busy, plus a choice of attractions outside the resort so they can explore.

We suggest…

Sunny Beach in Bulgaria is the perfect choice for an affordable summer family holiday for so many reasons. Let’s begin with the weather – it enjoys glorious sunshine from late May to September, with temperatures hovering consistently around the high 20s. The resort is situated on a beautiful sandy beach, which stretches for five miles around a bay.

Here, clients will find lots of all-inclusive hotels across various star ratings, catering to different price points. And the low prices for those venturing outside the resorts bring people back to Bulgaria year after year.

There’s also loads to do in Sunny Beach. Besides sunbathing and swimming, clients can enjoy watersports such as jetskiing and banana‑boat rides, while there are two main water parks that appeal to kids of all ages.

For a bit of history and culture, clients can visit nearby Nessebar, a traditional Bulgarian town which is a Unesco World Heritage Site and just across the bay from Sunny Beach.

Book it: Balkan Holidays offers a seven-night stay at the Aparthotel Tarsis & Aqua Park from £3,198 for two adults and two children aged seven or under. The price includes access to the on-site water park, buffet meals, standard drinks, entertainment and activities, plus flights from Gatwick on August 11.

2. October half-term in Corfu

Emilia Berni, head of marketing, Olympic Holidays

What’s the brief?

A couple with active tweens are looking to book an October half-term trip. They’d like to go somewhere warm with plenty of family‑friendly things to do, as well as spaces for parents in search of some downtime.

We suggest…

There’s no better place for active families with tweens during the October half-term than Corfu. There are fewer crowds and the costs are lower, while the temperature remains pleasant.

For families seeking the convenience of an all-inclusive stay, you can’t beat MarBella. There is plenty to keep tweens busy, with a kids’ club, choice of pools, tennis courts, darts, trekking, running club and track, snorkelling and kayaking on offer.

The hotel also gives kids a complimentary session (including one specifically for those aged seven to 12) at a robotics or ceramics workshop.

As the sun goes down, the resort’s underground music venue gets going for the grown-ups (childcare services are available), with live shows, karaoke and dance parties.

For an authentic local experience, guests can join a day trip to explore the charming, cobbled streets of Corfu’s Old Town or embark on an evening visit to the nearby village of Benitses on a traditional kaiki boat. Another great option is an island hop – nearby Paxos is a great place to twin with Corfu.

Book it: Olympic Holidays offers seven nights’ all-inclusive at MarBella from £5,713 for a family of four staying in a Junior Suite. The price includes flights from Gatwick on October 25.

3. Christmas holidays in the Caribbean

Leah Marshall, director of sales, Unique Vacations

What’s the brief?

A family of two adults and a teenager want some winter sun over Christmas. They’re looking for a property with plenty of on‑site activities, but they also want the option to get out and explore the local area.

We suggest…

Jamaica is an amazing destination for a long-haul family holiday in December, with warm and dry weather and lots of opportunities for adventure and exploration. We have two Beaches Resorts on the island – my favourite is Beaches Negril, which is on one of the island’s best beaches and features the most magical sunsets.

Teens can do their own thing, but there are also plenty of activities to do all together. In addition to unlimited dining and drinks – including alcohol-free drinks for under-18s – there are complimentary land and watersports, plus teenage spa treatments (at extra cost).

Beaches Resorts also has its own excursion partner, Island Routes, which offers a wide range of fully commissionable tours and excursions when agents book in advance through Unique Caribbean Holidays. I would recommend a visit to Dunn’s River Falls – Jamaica’s natural treasure.

Book it: Seven nights for two adults and a teenager at Beaches Negril, sharing a Negril Luxury King room, costs from £5,299 per adult and £1,849 per teen (aged 12-15), with transfers and Virgin Atlantic flights from Heathrow on December 19. Availability is limited at Christmas; the same trip departing February 17, 2025, is from £4,625 per adult and £1,045 per teen.

Pictures: Shutterstock/Anna Pekunova, RTCreation, Trabantos

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