The Sun '£9.50' Holidays
Stay in UK/Europe holiday parks from £44 per family
The Sun calls these '£9.50 holidays', 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 holiday park break for just over £44 simply by collecting tokens from The Sun newspapers.
You'll need to collect 10 tokens, codewords or Sun Savers codes, printed in papers every day from Sat 4 Jan to Tue 28 Jan, for holidays between February and November 2020. 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.
We've seen complaints from Sun readers who've been told the holiday they tried to book was not available due to a technical error. In total The Sun says that about 2,000 holidays originally booked on 12 and 13 Jan have been impacted. The Sun says it's working to resolve this, see our MSE News Story for full info.
In this guide
The Sun's headline of '£9.50 holidays' looks stunning, and with park holidays costing in the £100s, the savings can be huge. Yet 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 is indeed £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 £44.11 to get this offer – £38 for accommodation, £5.50 for 10 newspapers (from 55p), and 61p for a second class stamp to send in your form.
115 of the 309 parks across the UK and Europe, have a service charge that'll add £15-£60 to the total cost. The service charge covers the holiday home's cleaning, gas and electricity.
However, you can avoid paying a service charge by looking for dates which are "No extras" dates - listed as either "Pay only £9.50" or "Pay only £15" - or "FREE service charge" dates. These will be listed under each park in the in-paper brochure and on the online park pages.
Some parks also have a peak charge on top, where you could have to pay an extra £3.50 or £6 per person, per break during select dates. These are also listed under each park.
Bed linen and blankets are not included at any of the holiday parks. You should take your own, otherwise most parks offer bed linen and blankets for hire.
The cost of bed linen varies across the parks. The Sun told us that it doesn't quote these prices, so you'll need to check with your park operator if you don't want to bring your own.
Most tent accommodation includes pillows and blankets, but check with the park beforehand. 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, about £2 to £32.50 per person, per break.
Some parks offer free entertainment on selected dates, so look out for the 'free entertainment' symbol 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 between £14.53 and £18 per adult, per day and up to £7.50 per child per day.
Buy the paper, collect your tokens & form
To book your holiday, you need to collect 10 unique tokens, codewords or Sun Savers codes, from 10 different days' papers, printed every day from Sat 4 Jan to Tue 28 Jan in The Sun (55p on weekdays, 75p on Saturdays) and The Sun on Sunday (£1.20).
Therefore, the last day you can start collecting is Sun 19 Jan.
You can book online from Mon 13 Jan, using the code words on your tokens or by printing a booking form and filling in the info described below. These holidays are always popular, so have everything ready to roll as soon as you get the 10th token.
The Sun says it will try to get you a holiday of your choice, but it can't guarantee it. If your postal application is unsuccessful, your payment will be returned by Thu 20 Feb.
Choose your preferred dates & parks - though you may not get to decide exactly when & where you go
One reason these hols are so cheap is you can't always pick the exact location or dates of your holiday. You'll be asked to specify FOUR dates and FOUR parks you'd like to visit, and hope for the best.
Choosing a park
The accommodation includes caravans, chalets, apartments, tents, lodges, bungalows or cottages at over 300 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 this offer, so if you want to take a dog, it'll cost you extra. 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 to check directly with the park.
Also note 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 hols can be taken on selected dates between February and November 2020. Weekend breaks are three nights and weekday holidays are four nights.
Friday-Monday (three-night breaks) can start: Hols from £9.50 Feb 7, 14, 21, 28 Mar 6, 13, 20, 27 Apr 17, 24 May 1, 8, 15 Sep 4, 11, 18, 25 Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Nov 6, 13, 20, 27 Hols from £15 Apr 3, 10 May 22, 29 Jun 5, 12, 19, 26 Jul 3, 10, 17 Aug 21, 28 Monday-Friday (four-night breaks) can start: Hols from £9.50 Feb 3, 10, 17, 24 Mar 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Apr 20, 27 May 4, 11, 18 Aug 31 Sep 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Oct 7, 14, 21, 28 Nov 4, 11, 18, 25 Hols from £15 Apr 6, 13 May 25 Jun 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Jul 6, 13 Aug 24
Note: Not all parks will be available on these dates.
Send off the form or book online
As soon as you've all 10 tokens, codewords or Sun Savers codes, 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 £9.50 per person. So, the total would be £38.
Or... book online at The Sun, by entering your 10 codes and paying via credit/debit card. There's a £2.80 charge per booking.
The advantage of 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.
The closing date for applications for both booking methods is Fri 14 Feb.
For postal applications, parks will send holiday confirmation directly by post or email by Thu 20 Feb. If you're unsuccessful, your payment will be returned by this date. 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! There are absolutely no amendments or cancellations whatsoever after you've sent off the form. So 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.