The Sun '£9.50' holidays
Stay in UK holiday parks from £47 per family
The Sun calls these 'holidays from £9.50', but in reality they're never quite this cheap. That doesn't mean it's not a decent deal though – you can bag a four-day break at over 160 parks from £47, simply by collecting tokens from The Sun newspapers.
You'll need to collect 10 tokens or codewords, printed in papers every day from Saturday 8 July to Tuesday 1 August, for holidays between July 2023 and June 2024. They start from £9.50 per person and you have to pay for a minimum of four people. You also need to watch out for extra charges – this guide explains how to sidestep those to save £100s on a family getaway.
Are they really £9.50?
The Sun's headline of 'holidays from £9.50' looks stunning, and with park holidays costing in the £100s, the savings can be huge. While undeniably good value, truthfully, they're never actually £9.50 all-in. The sections below explain why you'll end up paying more:
Though the basic cost indeed starts from £9.50 per person for three or four nights, when you factor in extras, it mounts up.
For example, you always have to pay for at least four people, even if only two of you are going. So you'll pay at least £47 to get this offer – £38 for accommodation and £9 for 10 newspapers (from 90p). If you're booking by post, you'll need to factor in an additional 75p for a second class stamp to send in your form.
Plus, not all parks have a basic rate of £9.50 per person – these range in price from £9.50 to £59.50 per person, depending on which park you want to go to, the accommodation type and the dates you choose. The parks have two price bands – Band A (the cheaper one) and Band B. You'll be able to see the price of your chosen park when browsing the different parks online.
Bed linen and blankets are not included at all of the holiday parks – only 70 of them. You should take your own if you can, otherwise most parks offer bed linen and blankets for hire.
The cost of bed linen varies across the parks and The Sun wasn't able to confirm to us how much these cost, so you'll need to check with your park operator if you don't want to bring your own. MSE Forumites say they've paid £10 to £17 for single-bed linen or £15 to £24 for double, to give an idea of cost.
It's also worth knowing cots, cot sides and high chairs may also require a supplement.
Parks offering entertainment programmes may charge for optional entertainment passes, which can cost up to £12.75 per person, per break.
Some parks offer free entertainment on selected dates, so look out for mention of these dates listed under the park when choosing.
No meals are included in the price, so save by self-catering. Some parks have catering facilities for breakfast and evening meals (listed as half-board), but this will be charged on top for £17.50 per adult, per day and £8.75 per child per day.
How to do it (step-by-step)
Buy the paper, collect your tokens & form
To book your holiday, you need to collect 10 unique tokens or codewords, from 10 different days' papers, printed every day from Saturday 8 July to Tuesday 1 August in The Sun (90p on weekdays, £1.20 on Saturdays) and The Sun on Sunday (£1.50).
Therefore, the last day you can start collecting is Sunday 23 July.
You can book online from Monday 17 July using the codewords on your tokens, or by printing a booking form and filling in the information described below. These holidays are always popular, so have everything ready to roll as soon as you get the 10th token.
Choose your preferred dates & parks – though you may not get to decide exactly when & where you go
When booking, you'll be asked to specify FOUR dates and FOUR parks/areas you'd like to visit.
If booking online, you'll know instantly if your park/date choices are available and if none of your choices are, you're able to just search again. You can check all options and book a specific location and date.
With postal applications, one of your choices will be allocated to you, if available. The Sun says it will try to get you a holiday of your choice, but if they aren't available you won't have the option to select other choices. If your postal application is unsuccessful, you'll be notified by Wednesday 30 August and have your payment returned. If you meet the conditions, fill the application in correctly and book as early as you can, you have a greater chance of getting your chosen break.
Choosing a park
The accommodation includes caravans, chalets, apartments, lodges, bungalows or cottages at over 160 parks in the UK and Europe (search the full park listings on The Sun's website). You'll need to pick a shortlist of FOUR preferred parks, but ultimately you won't be able to choose the exact park (unless you book online), and quality does vary, so do check reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor first.
Pets are not included in the basic price, so if you want to take a dog, it'll cost you extra and you'll have to check dogs are welcome at your chosen location. You can add dogs and pay the extra when booking online, but not via postal applications. Though some parks do allow you to add dogs after you've made a booking, so it's a good idea to check directly with the park.
It's also worth noting the parks will not accept bookings from parties where everyone's under 21, and it's always down to each park's discretion whether to accept all-adult parties at all.
Choosing your dates
The holidays can be taken on selected dates between July 2023 and June 2024. Weekend breaks are three nights and weekday holidays are four nights. The prices vary between £9.50 and £59.50 per person (for Band A), depending on which dates and parks you choose. See below for the full list of dates you can choose from:
July From £49.50 21, 28 August From £49.50 4, 11, 18, 25 September From £19.50 8, 15, 22, 29 From £29.50 1 October From £19.50 6, 13 From £29.50 20, 27 February From £9.50 23 From £19.50 9, 16 March From £19.50 1, 8, 15, 22 From £39.50 29 April From £19.50 19, 26 From £29.50 5, 12 May From £19.50 10 From £29.50 3, 17 From £39.50 24, 31 June From £29.50 7, 14, 21 From £39.50 28 July From £49.50 24, 31 August From £39.50 28 From £49.50 7, 14, 21 September From £9.50 4, 11, 18, 25 October From £9.50 2, 9, 16, 30 From £39.50 23 February From £9.50 2, 9, 16, 30 From £39.50 23 March From £9.50 6, 13, 20, 27 April From £9.50 15, 22, 29 From £29.50 1, 8 May From £9.50 6, 13, 20 June From £19.50 3, 10, 17, 24
Note: Not all parks will be available on these dates.
Book online or send off the form
As soon as you've all 10 tokens or codewords, book online at The Sun, by entering your 10 codes and paying via credit/debit card. There's a £3 charge per booking.
The advantage to booking 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.
Or... post the form and tokens to: UK Holidays in The Sun, PO Box 1811, Colchester, CO2 8LF.
If you book by post you must pay by cheque or postal order and remember to include the basic charge of your chosen park per person.
The application closing date for both booking methods is Friday 25 August.
For postal applications, parks will send holiday confirmation directly by post or email by Wednesday 30 August. If you're unsuccessful, your payment will be returned. If you have not heard anything by then, call 0344 543 9743 (calls cost the same as a landline). Make sure you keep a record of your selected parks and dates.
WARNING. You're unable to make amendments or cancellations after you've sent off the form. See the Sun Holidays T&Cs page for full details. Only book if you're sure about the four dates and parks, and make sure you read the terms and conditions that IPSO (Independent Press Standards Organisation) enforces.
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