juliamhammond

Three ideas for school summer holiday trips

Much has been written in the press about the excessive prices charged by tour operators for the privilege of taking a holiday when school’s out.  Many parents are opting to take their children out of school during term time, some even missing exams and GCSE coursework as a consequence.  By planning ahead, the cost of travelling in school holidays doesn’t have to be prohibitive – but it pays to be a bit creative.  Here’s three ideas for ditching the “fly and flop” vacation for something a little different.

Option 1: Lake Ohrid, FYR Macedonia

Lake Ohrid at Sveti Naum

Lake Ohrid at Sveti Naum

Getting there:

Fly Wizz Air to Skopje from London Luton and catch a bus on to Ohrid.

Where to stay:

The Mal Sveti Kliment House bed and breakfast is conveniently located right in Ohrid’s Old Town, a couple of minutes’ walk from the lake.

Boats tied up at Ohrid's Old Town

Boats tied up at Ohrid’s Old Town

Things to do:

  • Rent a bike and ride along the lake shore
  • Climb to Ohrid’s hilltop fortress
  • Spend the day at the beach
  • Hire a boat and head out on the lake
  • Take a boat trip to Sveti Naum monastery
Christopher the boatman

Christopher the boatman

The lowdown:

Flights departing 16 August and returning 23 August with Wizz Air from London Luton currently £240 per person

Two rooms at the Mal Sveti Kliment House £467 for the week, bed and breakfast

Bus transfers about £6 per person

Cost per person approximately £357

 

Option 2: Cappadocia, Turkey

Fairy chimneys near Goreme

Fairy chimneys near Goreme

Getting there:

Fly Pegasus Airlines from London Stansted to Kayseri connecting in Istanbul with onward hotel shuttle to Goreme

Where to stay:

At the Kelebek Cave Hotel in Goreme, you are right in the heart of Cappadocia’s fairy chimney country, a strange but beautiful landscape in central Turkey.

Balloons over the Cappadocian countryside

Balloons over the Cappadocian countryside

Things to do:

  • Hike through countryside dotted with fairy chimneys
  • Take a balloon ride
  • Visit an underground city and head eight floors below ground level
  • Watch Whirling Dervishes
  • Take a Turkish bath
Whirling Dervishes

Whirling Dervishes

The lowdown:

Flights departing 4 August and returning 11 August with Pegasus from London Stansted currently £239 per person

Two rooms at the Kelebek Cave Hotel £610 for the week, bed and breakfast

Bus transfers about £8 per person

Cost per person approximately £399

 

Option 3: Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Timanfaya National Park

Timanfaya National Park

Getting there:

Fly Ryanair to Lanzarote from London Stansted and catch a bus to the island’s volcanic centre.

Where to stay:

Casa Tomaren is a collection of villas and apartments nestled in a hollow in the volcanic setting of central Lanzarote.

Teguise

Teguise

Things to do:

  • Visit the weekly tourist market at Teguise, the island’s former capital
  • Head to Timanfaya National Park to see volcanic cones
  • Take a trip to a beach with its own green lagoon at El Golfo
  • Explore the work of artist and architect Cesar Manrique
  • Island hop to the sand dunes of Fuerteventura
Manrique's former home complete with lava

Manrique’s former home complete with lava

The lowdown:

Flights departing 12 August and returning 19 August with Ryanair from London Stansted currently £247 per person

Sari Wanga Villa for four people £1110 for the week, bed and breakfast

Bus transfers via Arrecife about £3 per person (you may wish to consider hiring a car)

Cost per person approximately £527

Note:

I have stayed in all the accommodation featured and followed the means of transport stated, so they all come personally recommended (even Ryanair!)  Whilst all prices and availability were correct at the time of writing, they may not remain that way for long.  The first rule of independent school holiday travel using budget airlines is book early.  Don’t forget to add on the cost of seat reservations and baggage where applicable and read the terms and conditions very carefully.  Make sure you have adequate insurance at the time of booking in case anything goes wrong.  If you have other recommendations for budget-friendly trips for the school holidays, please feel free to share them using the comment box.

 

 

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