Flights and package holidays to roster of in-demand destinations are available at rock bottom prices
A number of airlines and travel companies have slashed their prices in order to persuade nervous travelers to book a holiday this year, research by Telegraph Travel has found.
The cost of flights and package holidays this year has dropped by as much as two thirds, according to spot-checks. The bargains come ahead of the lifting of travel restrictions in a number of countries, and raised hopes that Britons may be able to squeeze in a last-minute summer holiday.
Flights to popular destinations have never been more affordable; return flights to Venice are £30 in late July and £38 throughout August and September. A return to Malta in September comes in at £30.
“There are more than 5million seats on offer for flights departing the UK in July alone, so airlines are starting to pump-prime the market and persuade consumers to fly again as soon as the FCO advice changes,” Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy, The PC Agency, told Telegraph Travel.
“Great value prices are emerging, such as Malaga for £22.99 one-way, and for the early birds there will be plenty of bargains, both on flights and package holidays.”
Spain and Italy have particularly compelling prices. Those interested in catching the last of Europe’s summer heat can travel to Palermo for £49 and Pisa for £39 in September, or either Bari or Brindisi for £42 in October, while anyone optimistic about a return to Spanish tourism this summer is in luck. Returns to Malaga, Alicante and Palma de Mallorca are available for £20 in July and August.
As for Greece, which sees prices climb as high as the temperatures in summer, return flights to popular islands like Corfu or Zante are under £50 via WizzAir in August and September, and return flights to Athens start from £30 with Ryanair. Flights to Mykonos – a famously popular summer hotspot – are dearer, but still come in at a reasonable £94 for a return with EasyJet.
Ryanair is unsurprisingly responsible for the majority of the rock bottom prices, but EasyJet and WizzAir also have their fair share of budget options.
Flights to Croatia this July are only £39 with easyJet. Or get a little winter sun with £125 return flights to Tel Aviv over December, again with EasyJet.
Still anxious about booking a holiday this year? Low prices appear to extend into next year too: return flights to Sardinia with EasyJet in April 2021 start from an unbelievable £44. Further afield destinations also offer good value for both this year and next. April 2021 return flights to New York are £256 with British Airways, and the carrier is also offering return flights to Barbados and Cancun for around £400 in February 2021 and October 2020 respectively.
All-inclusive holidays are similarly well priced. An all-inclusive holiday to Golden Sands in Bulgaria for seven nights this September costs £346 per person with TUI. Other all-inclusive packages in September and October include a seven night trip to the Costa Dorada for £400 and a seven night trip to Crete for £421.
Travel agent Travelzoo is offering a number of deals, including a £99 wine tasting package on an estate in Tuscany, and around 40 per cent off a luxury package holiday to Tenerife. The latter costs £699 for five nights in a Ritz-Carlton property, flights included, between January and March 2021.
The company is selling its deals on fully refundable vouchers, meaning travelers are still able to cancel and receive a full refund, whatever their circumstances.
Anyone hoping to take advantage of upcoming deals would be wise to do so with caution. The UK introduced a two week quarantine for arrivals on June 8, and Foreign Office (FCO) advice continues to advise British nationals against all but essential foreign travel.
Those arriving into the country from abroad now have to supply contact details, travel details and the address of where they will self-isolate. Border Force officials will carry out spot checks and can impose fines of up to £1,000 on travellers who cannot provide appropriate details at the border or who later break self-isolation rules.
Britain is in talks with a number of countries about the possibility of opening up ‘air bridges’, resulting in a reciprocal agreement which would allow tourists to visit without needing to quarantine.
The quarantine itself has been roundly criticised and despite it being in place, Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary recently confirmed the airline has seen bookings rise for this summer in a potential sign that English holidaymakers are paying little heed to it.
“The British people, their families, typically who go on holidays abroad in July and August, they’re travelling. Our bookings this weekend doubled, particularly in the month of July.”
“I don’t think anybody in the UK is bothered by, interested in or worried at all by what even the Home Office admit is a useless quarantine,” he added.