Executive hotel room upgrade

A global recession means tough times for the travel industry, but top treats for the traveller.

With hotels and airlines struggling to get bums on seats, we haven't seen as many opportunities for bargain-hunting Brits for years.

From pre-booking your airport hotel and meals to staying in a luxury villa for less, there are countless ways to upgrade your holiday this summer and still save cash.

Late deals

Many tour operators and travel agents are offering cut-price packages to fill empty beds and lure us away from the promise of a balmy British summer.

Just a quick search online brings up these last minute travel bargains: more than 40% off the price of a seven-night Crete villa and flights package with James Villas flying from Gatwick; more than 50% off a seven-night self-catering package with the Co-operative Travel in Majorca flying from Manchester; and a saving of £353* on a seven-night family stay on the Costa Dorada with Thomson flying from Gatwick.

Look outside the Eurozone

With a strong Euro and weak pound, it makes sense to broaden your holiday horizons if you want to make the most of your holiday budget.

luxury champagne upgrade

Mid-haul destinations such as Egypt, Morocco and Turkey offer sunshine, sights and a touch of the exotic, yet are reached within a few hours from the UK and will give you value for your holiday pound.

Florida is also seeing an increase in bookings with British travellers rediscovering this family favourite as the pound strengthens against the dollar. Check out our Destinations pages for more inspiration on where to go.

Pre-book your holiday extras

It's always been a good idea to pre-book your travel add-ons to get the best deals. And with airport parking and hotel prices at their lowest for a long time, you really can afford to upgrade your entire holiday.

Airport parking

Airparks Meet and Greet

Meet and Greet parking can set your holiday off to a smooth start, for not much more than standard park and ride airport parking. All you'll have to worry about is getting to the departures terminal in time to check-in and relax before your flight.

Return Greet is a fantastic service which allows you to take advantage of the same benefits, but just on the return leg of your journey so it's cheaper.

Airport hotels with upgrades

Breakfast upgrade

Can you think of a better way to start your holiday than sampling some fine dining and then sinking into a sumptuous hotel bed before jetting off in the morning? Or maybe you're due back in the UK on a late flight and need to recuperate before continuing on your journey home?

Booking an overnight stay in an airport hotel with your parking often costs very little more than parking alone - and can make a real difference to the start - or end - of your trip. Prices start from just £39* for a room including up to eight days holiday parking.

Holiday Extras now offers an upgrade service with many airport hotels to save you even more cash. By pre-booking all those little extras that add up during your hotel stay, you can enjoy more of a luxe experience for less. Breakfast, wine or champagne in your room, or even an upgrade to an executive guest room will all cost you less when booked from the comfort of your sofa.

Airport lounges

For a real taste of the VIP lifestyle, use some of the money you've saved to indulge in an airport lounge. For a few hours before you fly you can escape to a haven of tranquility complete with comfy sofas, complimentary drinks and snacks, newspapers, television and the chance to research your destination online, from only £14.50* per person. Many lounges welcome families too.

And remember...

Most UK schools have a seven-week summer holiday this year and won't go back until Monday September 7. By searching for family holidays during the last week of the break you could grab a recession-busting off-peak deal.

Written by: Maxine Clarke

*Please note: These prices are correct for searches made on July 15, 2009. Prices are subject to change and availability. Book in advance to secure the best price and availability.

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Top tips to upgrade your holiday

Late deals and holiday add-ons