Five Questions About: Booking a bargain summer break

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The Independent Online

Is it too early to book my summer break?

Many people wait until the last minute to book a summer holiday and then snap up a deal at a bargain price. However, not everyone can be this flexible. The next-best option is to book as early as possible. Lots of popular resorts are offering "kids go free" deals or other discounts.

Where are the cheapest destinations in 2011?

Sun-seeking holidaymakers may find British favourite Spain the best value this year, as the euro is weak and hotels are fighting for tourists. However, there are also great all-inclusive trips to Turkey, Eygpt, Tunisia, the Algarve and Cyprus, and Morocco is competitive.

Should I book a package?

Many people prefer to book an all-inclusive package as it means they can make one simple booking and the whole trip is taken care of. It also gives greater protection under the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (Atol) scheme. It means that if the tour operator fails, travellers can finish their break and return home, or get a refund if they haven't yet travelled. However, if you have time to compare prices on every aspect of your trip, you can save cash by booking it all yourself.

When is the best time to travel?

If you are not travelling with children, book outside school holidays. You'll pay far more for a break during the few weeks when families can go away together, so if you can be flexible about your arrangements then avoid these peak weeks. Fly midweek as this can be cheaper than at busy weekends.

What else can I book early?

Even if you've bought a package holiday, it's worth looking at how else you can save money on your break. For example, booking your airport parking early and online can save you a fortune, while ordering your travel money in advance and not exchanging at the airport will ensure you get a better deal.

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