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Getting to Europe on a budget: flight, ferry and car hire deals | Travel – Best Place Vacation

Getting to Europe on a budget: flight, ferry and car hire deals | Travel


Jet2 flight deals

Jet2 has extended, until 11 April, a special online offer giving 10% off flights on selected dates between now and April 30 2018. Although the offer doesn’t apply to the school summer holidays, it still applies to most of June and early July, depending on the airport. The airline is based at Leeds/Bradford airport, and launched 50 new routes from two new bases this week – 27 from Stansted and 23 from Birmingham. It also flies from six other UK airports. Thanks to its expansion there are plenty of low fares available, even in peak weeks, such as Stansted to Alicante from £107 return or Birmingham to Palma from £86 return.

Ferry and gîte savings

Plage de la Hoguette, St-Malo, France

Plage de la Hoguette, St-Malo, France. Photograph: LE GAL Yannick/Brittany Tourism

Save 20% on sailings to France and Spain with Brittany Ferries by booking your accommodation with Holiday France Direct. The website features more than 2,500 gîtes, apartments and villas, all independently owned, and has a special partnership with the ferry company. The 20% saving could means as much as £200 off for a family of four taking their car to Spain in the height of the summer, or £110 on return crossings from Portsmouth to Saint-Malo.

Fast train to Bordeaux

Le belve?de?re, La Cite? du Vin, Bordeaux, France

Le belve?de?re, La Cite? du Vin, Bordeaux. Photograph: Anaka/ La Cité du Vin/ XTU Architects

Take high-speed trains from central London to Bordeaux – changing in Paris – from just £110pp return. A new service launching on 2 July will reduce the journey time from Paris by 75 minutes, to under six hours. The trip involves taking the Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord, catching the metro to Montparnasse stations, then taking the TGV Océane to the centre of Bordeaux, avoiding the hassle and cost of getting to and from airports. Bordeaux is a gateway for superb Atlantic beaches and is in the midst of a revival based on its enduring high-quality food and drink and the opening of the amazing wine wonderland Cité du Vin.

Short break offer on P&O Ferries

The port of Dover and moored Cross-Channel Ferry boat Dover, Kent

Photograph: Getty Images

Go with a bunch of mates on a cross-Channel short break and, providing one of you has a car big enough, the return ferry could cost you less than £8 each. As part of a campaign to encourage people to “rediscover” ferry travel, P&O Ferries is offering a special return fare of £70 for a three-day short break on its Dover-Calais route, for a car and up to nine passengers – yes, that’s nine passengers – as long as you book by 30 June and travel before 10 July. Even if there are only four of you, that’s still only £17.50 return, and there’s also a five-day return offer of £80. The deal doesn’t apply during the Easter and Whitsun breaks.

Mallorca from £78 return

Lemon trees, Biniaraix, near Soller, Majorca, Spain

Biniaraix village near Soller. Photograph: Alamy

With low-cost airlines still switching flights away from Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia, there are more seats available on western Med favourites this summer and more competition means lower fares. Monarch, for example, says prices on some of its routes are as much as 30% cheaper this year, even in the school holidays. Hundreds of seats are still available with the airline in July and August: to Alicante for £86 return, to Mallorca for £78 return, and to Menorca for £72 return, from Gatwick, Luton, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds Bradford.

Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry price cut


Photograph: Sergey Borisov/Alamy

Book with ferry comparison site aferry.co.uk by 8 May for 30% off the price of five-day return crossings with DFDS from Newcastle to Amsterdam. The offer applies to selected departures until 29 June and means two adults sharing a car will pay from £57.50pp, and that includes an en suite cabin. The site has deals on other routes, too.

Book your car hire early


Photograph: Matt Lloyd/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Car hire firms operate like airlines, so the earlier you book, the cheaper it’s likely to be. Book before 9 April with Europcar and you’ll still get the benefit of its early booking discounts for car rentals between now and 30 June in many popular European holiday destinations, including up to 20% off in Italy, Spain and Portugal. The deal is not available between certain dates, including Easter.

Package promotion saves £££

Praia do Castelo, Albufeira.

Praia do Castelo, Albufeira. Photograph: Alamy

Act quickly and you can take advantage of a package holiday promotion with easyJet Holidays. Book before 5 April using the code HOLIDAY120 for £50 off a holiday costing over £900, or £120 off one costing over £1,200. At the time of going to press, a seven-night room-only stay at the three-star Pateo Village Hotel in Albufeira, departing from Southend on 26 July, costs £1,092 for a family of four, a saving of £120.

£195 coach card comes up trumps

Old Town, Vilnius, Lithuania

Old Town, Vilnius, Lithuania. Photograph: Jon Arnold Images/Getty Images/AWL Images RM

Get 15 days unlimited, hop-on hop-off travel across Europe with coach company Eurolines from £195. There are 50 destinations to choose from, including favourites such as Barcelona and Florence but also lesser-known cities including Brno in the Czech Republic and Vilnius in Lithuania. A 30-day pass costs from £265. Teachers and students get 10% off if they hold a valid Isic or Itic card. For longer trips across France, Belgium and the Netherlands, a discount card costing £23 (three months) or £43 (six months) gets 25% off all fares.

First-timers’ car hire discount

Female learner driver adjusting rear view mirror

Photograph: Getty Images

Car hire firm easyCar sells car rental with all the main car hire firms and has a lowest price guarantee (certain conditions apply). Until 31 July it’s running a special deal for new customers with £10 off your first booking for rentals up until the end of August. Just put in a special code SPRING10 to apply.


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