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The Sun '£9.50' Holidays Stay in holiday parks in Europe from £60 per family

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You can bag four-day holiday park breaks from just £38 (plus £20ish service charge) for four people, by collecting tokens with The Sun newspaper.

Watch out for a host of extra charges, though. This guide explains how to sidestep these, and save up to £500 on a family getaway.

This is just a limited promotion. For step-by-step help on getting the cheapest holidays at any time, see Cheap Package Holidays, Cheap Hotels and Cheap Villas guides.

Are they really £9.50?

The Sun’s "£9.50 holidays" headline looks stunning, and with park holidays costing up to £600, the savings can be huge. Yet while they're undeniably good value, they rarely work out at £9.50.

Sun offer

So what does it really cost?

Basic charge: though the basic cost is indeed £9.50 per person for three or four nights, when you factor in extras, it mounts up.

You always have to pay for at least four people, even if only two of you are planning to go. So you'll pay at least £38 under this offer. PLUS, nearly all parks add a service charge on top, adding about £20ish (can be up to £50) to the total cost.

This covers caravan cleaning and gas & electricity and nearly all parks charge it.

Plus remember this is accommodation-only, so consider the cost of getting there (read the Cheap Flights and Cheap Trains guides).

Other extras:

The parks also recoup their cash by charging for optional 'extras' such as bed linen and entertainment.

Sun offerBed linen. Bed linen and blankets are not included at any of the holiday parks. Make sure you take your own, or you’ll have to hire them for about £10 per person.

Entertainment. Parks offering entertainment programmes may charge for optional entertainment passes, around £2 to £12 per person per break. Some parks offer free entertainment, so look out for the 'free entertainment' symbol when choosing.

Food. No meals are included in the price, so save by self-catering.

Take your own sheets and a Scrabble board though, and you'll avoid these costs.

Step 1: Collect your tokens & form

To book your holiday, collect 10 unique tokens or codes, printed in The Sun (40p weekdays, or 60p on Saturdays and 70p Sundays) every day until Tue 28 Jan. Therefore the last day you can start collecting is Sun 19 Jan.

Next, book online using the code words on your tokens or download a booking form from The Sun and fill in the info described below. These holidays are always popular, so have everything ready to roll as soon as you get the tenth token.

The Sun says you should get a holiday of some description, as long as you meet the conditions, but the earlier you book, the more chance of getting your chosen break.

Step 2: Pick your dates

One of the reasons these hols are so cheap is that you can’t pick the exact date and place. You have to specify FOUR dates and FOUR parks you'd like, and hope for the best.

The £9.50 hols can be taken on selected dates between March and May or September and November. Weekend breaks are three nights and weekday holidays are four nights.

Friday-Monday (three-night breaks) can start:

Spring: 7, 14, 21, 28 Mar; 4, 11, 25 Apr; 2, 9, 16, 23 May;

Autumn: 12, 19, 26 Sep; 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Oct; 7, 14, 21, 28 Nov.

Monday-Friday (four-night breaks) can start:

Spring: 10, 17 Feb; 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Mar; 7, 14, 21, 28 Apr; 5, 12, 19, 26 May.

Autumn: 3, 10, 17, 24 Nov.

There are also some summer dates available, however, these start from £15 (rather than £9.50).

Friday-Monday (three-night breaks) can start:
30 May; 6, 13, 20, 27 Jun; 4, 11, 18 Jul.

Monday-Friday (four-night breaks) can start:
2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Jun; 7, 14 Jul; 1 Sep.

Step 3: Pick your parks

Sun offerThe holiday accommodation includes caravans, chalets, apartments, tents, lodges, bungalows or cottages at 319 parks in England, Scotland, Wales and throughout Europe. Search the full park listings.

You must pick a shortlist of FOUR. Quality varies, so search the reviews on TripAdvisor, and also compare parks’ service charges.

If you want to take a dog, check directly with the parks first, or your pooch could end up home alone. Also note that the parks will not accept bookings from parties where everyone's under 21. All-male and all-female parties under 25 are not allowed either.

If you’ve been on a Sun holiday before, please add your feedback in the Sun Holiday Parks Reviews thread, so others can benefit.

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Step 4: Send off the form or book online

As soon as you've all ten tokens, post the form to: UK Holidays in The Sun, PO Box 1811, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8LF.

Remember to include a cheque for the basic charge of £9.50 per person and 60p for a stamp. So, for a family of four the total would be £38.60. Service charges will be invoiced later.

Or book online at The Sun, you'll need to enter ten token codes and pay via credit/debit card. There's a £2.25 charge per booking, but the advantage of doing it online is that you're told within minutes whether you've been successful, and you can play around with your booking until you get what you want, whereas by post, you get what you're given and you can't change it.

The closing date for applications is Fri 14 Feb.

The Sun will send holiday confirmation by Thu 27 Feb. If you're unsuccessful, your payment will be returned by that date. If you have not heard anything by then, call 0844 543 9743 (calls cost 5p per minute from BT). Make sure you keep a record of your selected parks and dates.

WARNING! Only book if you really want to go.

There are absolutely no amendments or cancellations whatsoever after you've sent off the form. So only book if you're sure about the five dates and parks, and make sure you read the terms and conditions.

Found a cheaper deal?
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