School holidays are a notoriously expensive time to travel.
In the world of supply and demand, airlines and accommodation suppliers push up their prices during the holidays, forcing parents to cough up, or stay home.
But for those not tied to the national curriculum, there are great deals to be found either side of the vacation period.
Skyscanner introduces some bargain breaks for the childless traveller.
Geneva, Switzerland – from £39
Save: over £200
With snow in abundance in the Alps, a last minute ski trip is a great option right now. Geneva is an ideal landing point for winter sport lovers offering the choice of over 100 ski resorts within two hours’ drive. One of the closest is Lelex, a small resort served by 13 ski lifts, ideal for beginners. At the other end of the scale there’s Morzine, part of Les Portes Du Soleil, a huge interlinked ski area offering some 650 different pistes, served by over 200 ski lifts. Travel the week after half term and you’ll get flights for less than a quarter of the cost during the holiday. Find cheap flights to Gevena
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt – from £318
Save: over £150
With almost guaranteed sunshine and plenty of beach space, Egypt has long been a hit with families. So evade the child invasion by travelling the week before half term and save yourself more than £150. That also means you’ll have much more mullah for spending on dive adventures in the Red Sea, desert quad bike treks, and of course, après sand activities. Find cheap flights to Sharm El Sheikh
Orlando, Florida – from £440
Save: over £500
With the Harry Potter hype reaching magical proportions, Orlando is set to become even more popular, as muggles from all over the world head for Harry’s homeland to enjoy the delights of his ‘Wizarding World’, which is due for completion in spring. For now, you can beat both the Harry Potter and half term crowds and enjoy Orladno’s alternative attractions instead; go gator spotting in the Everglades with an airboat adventure, treat yourself to a little luxury shopping at Tiffany & Co, Cartier, or Jimmy Choo at The Mall at Millenia, then taste the local vintage at the Lakeridge Winery. Find cheap flights to Orlando
Dubai, UAE – from £347
Save: over £50
With all its modern child-friendly attractions, Dubai has drawn an increasingly large portion of the family holiday market. Be sure to avoid all that, and the costs that go with it, by travelling the week before half term. That means you’ll have more to spend in the chic shopping centres, on a champagne brunch or on some cheap nuggets at the Gold Souk. Get your haggling hat on if you want to bag some bargain bullion though, and watch out for fool’s gold! Find cheap flights to Dubai
Jamaica – from £431
Save: over £200
Jamaica has the beaches, the relaxing atmosphere and the cocktails to make all your winter blues disappear. There are hotels to suit all tastes and price ranges, but one of the best is the ‘Breezes Runaway Bay Resort and Golf Club’ where you can have a round on the course before enjoying a round at the bar. You can also swim with dolphins, go river rafting, or visit the Bob Marley Museum. Head to this Caribbean country the week before school’s out and you’ll save over £200 on the flight. Find cheap flights to Jamaica
Marrakech, Morocco – from £160
Save: over £300
Marrakech’s close proximity to the UK has meant it’s become a rising star for those seeking somewhere exotic, yet only a short flight away. In the heart of the old city is Djemaa el-Fna, a busy square with a carnival-style atmosphere with entertainers, performers and delicious Moroccan food from local stalls. Adventurous travellers can even head out of the city to Oukaimeden in the Atlas Mountains for some African skiing. Go the week before the kids come out to play, and you’ll save over £300 on your flights. Find cheap flights to Marrakech
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands – from £162
Save: over £250
You won’t have any problems finding your very own place in the sun on Fuerteventura. This laid back Canary Island boasts over 125 miles of beach and is located at the same latitude as parts of Florida and Mexico with the mercury rising as high as 23C, even during winter. Stake a place on the sand at Jandia, a huge natural beach that extends some 20km along the shoreline. There are also plenty of dunes and lagoons to explore and all just a four hour flight from the UK. Travel outside of the half term holiday and you’ll pay less than half the price for your flight. Find cheap flights to Fuerteventura
Paphos, Cyprus – from £109
Save: over £150
It may be at the cooler end of the temperature spectrum, but it´s still possible to enjoy days on the beach here during the winter months. Unlike other resorts on the island such as Ayia Napa, Paphos is open for business all year round and there are no less than eleven blue flag beaches in this region, making it an ideal base for exploring gems such as Konnos Bay, Cape Greco or nearby Coral Bay. Head off before half term and save more than £150 on your flight. Find cheap flights to Paphos
Luqa, Malta – from £114
Save: over £100
This small Mediterranean Island is fast becoming a popular spot with families due to its child-friendly attitude, year-round good weather and good value. Go the week before half term and you’ll be able to enjoy Malta’s distinct Mediterranean cuisine, intriguing architecture and interesting history that make it a great place for childless travellers too. The fact that you’ll save over £100 by travelling before the holiday helps sweeten the deal. Find cheap flights to Malta
Prices are for return flights and include all mandatory taxes, based on Saturday to Saturday, or Sunday to Sunday departure/return. Departures are from London airports, other options may be available. Prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change. Please check for www.Skyscanner.net for the most up to date information.