We’re all going on a Sun £9.50 holiday

Life's a beach for just £9.50

Life's a beach for just £9.50

OK, not all of us. But MSE Paloma, myself and our respective other halves will be heading off to Somerset for four hopefully-sunshine-filled days over the August bank holiday, and for the headline price of just £9.50 each.

Like most here at MSE Towers, I’m a sucker for a cheap holiday. Which is why I’m a huge fan of The Sun‘s £9.50 holiday offers. In fact, this upcoming break away will be the third one I’ve been on (with another booked for September).

If you don’t know much about the offer, check out our The Sun £9.50 holidays guide for a round-up of how the offer works. There’s still time to collect tokens if you want a late summer getaway.

The first Sun £9.50 holiday I went on was back in May 2011, just before I started here at MSE.

Myself and three friends spent five glorious days exploring the Isle of Wight and all it had to offer (including the Needles and the infamous Garlic Farm). It was a great week away, costing us about £70 each for everything, including the accommodation, the ferry, petrol, entrance to the attractions we visited, food and drink.

In 2012 I collected the Sun‘s £9.50 tokens again, and (in spite of my French faux pas earlier in the year) managed to persuade my boyfriend to let me organise a trip away.

We headed back to the Isle of Wight (to the same caravan park in fact, as I enjoyed it so much the first time around) and spent a long weekend there in September. This time we visited Seaview Wildlife Park and Amazon World, where I had an up-close-and-personal encounter with a lemur (it turns out getting pooed on by a lemur is as lucky as getting pooed on by a bird, as we won £10 on the lottery that night!).

So this year we’re packing our bags twice and going away for two long weekends: one in Brean Sands in Somerset, and one in Weymouth Bay. Oh I do like to be beside the seaside, especially when it’s cheap.

How much does a Sun £9.50 holiday really cost?

I love the £9.50 holidays offer, and kudos to The Sun for making family holidays affordable for all. But as I’ve mentioned, £9.50 is only the headline price. The actual amount you pay can work out a lot more if you don’t pick and choose your holiday carefully.

The extras you’ll have to pay for aren’t that expensive, and you’ll still save hundreds compared to standard Pontins and Butlins prices, but you need to factor these in when budgeting for your break.

The price of these extras varies. They’ll depend on the park, the time of year you’re going, and whether things like bedding and entertainment passes are included. Be sure to read the small print of each park you’re considering before applying, as the costs can mount up, and your £9.50 per person deal can quickly become £60+pp, and that’s before food, travel and any outings you go on.

Here’s a breakdown of the costs for our four-person break in August to give you a rough idea:

  • £60 for three nights’ accommodation. As we’re going over a bank holiday, and in the school holidays, the £9.50pp goes up to £15pp. If you want to keep the price down, go out of season.
  • £20.85 for three nights’ service charge. This basically gets you hot water and electricity in your caravan/chalet. The charges will vary depending on the resort, though some places don’t have a service charge.
  • £31.80 for four entertainment passes. These are optional, but without them you won’t be able to get into the park’s clubhouse or use any of its facilities (swimming pool, crazy golf hire, etc).
  • £18 for bedding. Again, this is optional, but to save the faff of bringing our own sleeping bags and pillows, we paid extra for bedding and linen.
  • £15 for an extra room. We paid more so we could get a chalet with 2 bedrooms (without it, one of the couples would have had to sleep in the living room).

There was also a fee of 50p to pay by debit card over the phone. So in total, our holiday works out at just £146.15 for four people, or £36.54 each. Not bad at all. Though obviously we’ll have to pay for things whilst we’re there (attractions, food, drink, etc).

Have you ever been on one of The Sun’s £9.50 holidays? Please share your experiences and tips for keeping the costs down in the box below or in the forum discussion.