TUI Holidays Money Saving Guide – discounts and tips!

Dreaming of a family holiday abroad? My TUI Holidays Money Saving Guide is the perfect place to start with 15 top tips to save you money. From free child places, to NHS staff discounts, free activities, discount codes and comparing different package deals – there are lots of ways to keep costs down and travel on a budget this summer and beyond!

Why choose TUI?

Travel company TUI provide a wide range of holiday packages, flights, hotels, cruises (Marella), villas and other travel services. Their holidays are worldwide, so you can browse for a cheap and cheerful Europe beach holiday, or explore further afield in places like Sri Lanka, Cuba or Mexico. If you don’t fancy the beach, then check out other destinations through their lakes and mountains section, book a ski holiday, enjoy trip of a lifetime to Lapland, or opt for Disney fun for the kids. TUI offer something for absolutely everyone!

They have options for family holidays, beach vacations, city breaks, luxury escapes, adventure tours, and more. For ease of booking, they are brilliant at hassle free all-inclusive packages which have flights, accommodations, transfers, and activities bundled together too. We had a really good (and cheap!) TUI package holiday in 2023, so check out my top tips for finding an affordable break.


Is TUI a good holiday company?

Mini Review: Just before I get to my money saving tips, I thought I should add that we had a really good experience when we used TUI for a family holiday last year. But, having said that, we didn’t have any issues so we weren’t in contact with customer services or anything like that. For us, everything ran smoothly. Our flights were both on time, transfers arrived when they were supposed to, and the whole process felt really easy from start to finish.

Baggage and transfers were included – it’s nice to know that when you click through to book the holiday that you haven’t got lots of extras to add on – as is often the case with other providers. The only annoying thing is that they, like the other airlines, charge for you to book seats together which I find really frustrating! It’s another added cost which is a pain for families – as sitting apart would be a disaster with kids, so paying the extra seems somewhat unavoidable unfortunately.

But aside from that, we really enjoyed our bargain holiday to Salou, and TUI offered a better price than anywhere else at the time! The entertainment at the hotel was brilliant for the kids – the staff were lovely and there was always a lot going which is definitely a bonus of a hotel based holiday. I would definitely recommend a TUI break – particularly if you can get a great deal.

tui holidays money saving guide, tips, discounts, villa romana hotel, spain, swimming pool, frugal mum children, photo


How can I save money on TUI holidays?

Here are 15 ways that you can save money when booking your family holiday with TUI…

1. Book early:

TUI often offers early booking discounts and deals, especially for popular destinations and peak travel times, such as the school holidays. Booking well in advance can help you to secure lower prices, and it’ll give you plenty of time to pay for the trip. TUI offer pay monthly direct debit options on lots of their holidays, as long as you’re booking ahead at least six months, so that can be a great way to make the cost more manageable.

I’ve also noticed that more expensive trips, like cruises or long-haul package holidays, are often cheaper the further that you book ahead. Another factor in this is also that you’ll likely to have access to the cheaper accommodation options too (for instance the cheaper cabins on a cruise ship) which will often get booked up first. So, if you’re booking something a bit pricier then planning ahead is probably your best bet.


2. Enjoy free child places:

This brings us nicely onto making the most of free child places. These are usually offered from around Christmas / January time for holidays that year, usually a little in advance, and can be a great way to save money. Particularly if you’re travelling during peak times, like the school holidays when trips are likely to be more expensive, a free child place could save you a lot. You can click directly through to the ‘Free Kids Place Finder’ on the deals section of the TUI website to see what’s available.

tui holidays money saving guide, tips, villa romana hotel, salou, spain, swimming pool, frugal mum children, photo


3. Check your emails:

Subscribing to TUI’s email newsletters or following them on social media is a great way to stay updated on their latest offers, promotions and flash sales. I actually love websites like Travel Scoop too – they’ll round up lots of great deals from tons of holiday providers (TUI feature a lot) and send them to your inbox to guide you directly to the best offers. These are often last-minute so, if you’re able to be flexible, a bit of spontaneity could save you a lot of money.


4. Be flexible with dates:

TUI have added a great calendar section to their bookings now – when you see a holiday you like the look of, and click through for more info, scroll down to compare prices. The green £ shows the cheapest date for travel for each month – you can flick between the months or just compare dates around when you were looking to travel.

The calendar below, for a family holiday in April 2024 to Turkey, shows that one particular date is considerably cheaper, and if you’re taking kids and multiplying the per person cost several times, then opting for a cheaper date to travel could save you hundreds. (With long haul trips, this could even save you thousands!)

tui money saving tips article, frugal mum, calendar selection image to compare prices

So, if possible, be flexible with your travel dates. Prices can also vary significantly depending on the time of year, so consider traveling during the off-peak season or mid-week to find cheaper deals. If you’re able to avoid the school holidays and peak dates, you’ll save a ridiculous amount of money on your TUI holiday. But, if you do need to book around the school holidays, Easter or May half-term is often a lot more affordable than the summer holidays!


5. Book a cheaper accommodation option:

If you’re on a tight budget, try not to get sucked into posh hotel suites and extra perks when it comes to your accommodation. Whilst it’s nice to book a higher standard of accommodation if the price isn’t wildly different, it’s also important to remember that it’s just a base for sleeping (and eating if you’re self-catering) so you’ll likely spend little time inside other than that.

We book what we can afford – getting to travel and make memories with the kids is too important, so I would always recommend reducing accommodation costs if need be – better that than not going at all / getting into debt for it. And, you might even be able to book a longer stay if you can save some money elsewhere!


6. Check out TUI NHS / Holidays for Heroes:

TUI have a whole section of their website ( dedicated to offering discounted travel to those who work in the NHS. So if you are one of the fabulous people keeping our NHS afloat, and you’re in need of a well-deserved break, then you might want to start your holiday search with TUI.

The exclusive NHS discounts run on top of any current deals / savings already available on the selected holiday. Just browsing this morning I’ve seen an extra £30 off, to an additional £100 off – and their ‘Top Deals‘ area of the NHS web page might be a good place to start if you’re looking for a bargain!

tui money saving tips and guide, discounts deals, villa romana hotel, ohtels, spain, pool, frugal mum photo


7. Compare the different packages:

Sometimes an all-inclusive deal can be a great way to save money.  TUI offers all-inclusive holiday packages that include flights, accommodations, transfers, meals, drinks, luggage and sometimes even activities.

These packages can offer excellent value for money compared to paying for each component separately – particularly as lots of holiday providers don’t include hold luggage and transfers etc. However, TUI have recently started offering a wide range of flights with different providers, so do check what’s included as lots of airlines add luggage and extras on separately which can hike up the price. Flying at anti-social times can be a good way to bring down the cost too, if you’re happy to fly overnight.

Half-board holidays can also be a great option. They’re often a lot more affordable than all-inclusive deals, giving you breakfast and dinner. Full-board will include your lunches too, but not the extras like ice-creams, drinks and snacks that come with an all-inclusive package.

Self-catering holidays are usually significantly cheaper than the other options, but you’ll obviously need to factor in paying for food throughout your trip. If you have a kitchen area and are able / happy to cook and prepare your own food then that can be a brilliant way to reduce your holiday expenses. However if you’re likely to be eating out a lot during your trip, then looking at a package that includes your meals will likely be more cost effective.


8. Make the most of discount codes:

Keep an eye out for discount codes or vouchers that can be applied to your TUI booking – they advertise these directly on their own website: things like £100 off when you book before a certain date or for specific locations or types of stay. You can see all of the current reductions on the TUI ‘Discount Codes’ page.

Make sure that you combine deals and discounts too! For our trip last May, to Salou on the Costa Dorada in Spain, we took advantage of a free child place, AND a TUI offer of £100 off which was running at the time of the booking. For us, this deal was really cost effective – the holiday cost us around £1000 for the four of us. This worked out about £250pp which included 7 nights in a 4 star hotel (The Villa Romana – click through to check out my review), breakfast and dinner each day, flights, coach transfers and luggage.

Considering that the hotel charged around £50 per dinner for a family of four, that was worth £350 alone. And the flights with baggage accounted for hundreds more of the cost. So broken down into the separate elements of the holiday, we actually couldn’t have booked it ourselves for less. Bargain!

tui holidays money saving tips and guide, discounts deals, ohtels villa romana pool view photo, frugal mum


9. Limit additional costs:

It’s so annoying that most airlines charge extra for allowing you to even sit together these days, and that’s without the high costs of luggage! Try not to get sucked into expensive extras, and pack lightly to make sure that you’re not spending a fortune on luggage costs too. (Let’s be honest, we never wear half of what’s in our suitcases!)

Be smart with things like toiletries (and washing up liquid if you’re self-catering!) – decant a little into small bottles to avoid needing a lot of baggage allowance. Check-in bags are rarely included these days, so the fewer you take the cheaper your flights will be. TUI’s own flights do include luggage, so it’s certainly worth comparing the cost against other airlines once luggage has been added on.


10. Make a plan:

Making a rough itinerary for your trip is a great way to ensure that you can do all of the things that you’d love to do while you’re away without breaking the bank. For instance – if you’re in Rome you can visit The Colosseum on the first Sunday of the month for free. And, lots of zoos, theme parks and children’s activities will have cheaper weekday prices, so a little bit of pre-planning can vastly lower your expenditure while you’re away.

If you love to explore and move around like we do, then you might also want to consider booking a TUI tour. This is a really simple way to really see a country – with hotels, flights and even a guide typically organised for you, as well as the inclusion of meals in lots of cases too. If there are lots of things that you’d like to see and do during your trip, then a combined package like this may be more affordable than booking it all separately – and a lot less work too!

tui money saving tips article, frugal mum, tui tours itinerary image, multi centre


11. Consider alternative destinations:

Think about exploring lesser-known or emerging destinations that may offer lower prices compared to more popular tourist spots. This might be a slightly cheaper resort, or another destination entirely! If you’re just looking for some sunshine and you’re open to exploring some different options, then use ‘Any Destination’ for your TUI search and find your holiday based on your dates and budget rather than a particular place.


12. Make the most of what’s included:

One thing that I love about TUI holidays is that the transfers to and from the airport are included, not only is this convenient but it saves on expensive taxi costs too. Some hotels will also offer shuttle buses to the beach, nearby towns and for popular excursions, but if not look for those with good public transport links as that’ll usually be the cheapest way to get around.

Lots of hotels also have waterparks, or perhaps allow free entry to those nearby, or they may include shared facilities with other hotels too – so this sort of thing can be a great way to save money on entertaining the kids while you’re away. Many hotels run kids clubs, and offer entertainment in the evenings too – so think about what you’d like from your holiday as picking somewhere with all of these things already included could be a good way to reduce how much spending money you’ll need.

tui holidays discount deals, villa romana hotel, ohtels, salou, costa dorada, spain, waterslides, frugal mum children, photo


13. Shop around for the extras:

Before you book anything, use comparison and cashback websites (such as Quidco and Top Cashback) to see what they could save you. Holidays can be expensive, so even a 5% cashback offer can be pretty significant – and small amounts soon add up too!

It’s not just the cost of the main holiday either – shop around for travel insurance, hire cars, airport parking and any other extras – as well as things like holiday clothes shopping or suncream! Last year, we used Gatwick Airport Parking and were really impressed – it was the same cost as lengthier transfers but instead we could go directly to and from the airport without any extra fuss. The internet is a great tool for money saving, so make sure that you check out all of your options before booking, and hunt out voucher codes too!


14. Consider accommodation only options:

Whilst it can often be cost effective, you don’t have to book a package holiday and they aren’t always cheaper. You might want to book a TUI hotel only deal if…

  • It’s cheaper and easier to drive there:

You can get pretty far in the car across Europe from Calais in the same time it would take to drive to the airport, wait for a few hours, sit on the flight, collect baggage and sort car hire etc. Your best bet may be to hop in the car – this way you’ll avoid car hire fees, luggage allowances, airport parking costs and all the extras that come with flying.

  • You have a big family:

If you have lots of children then the flight costs are going to quickly add up, so if it’s possible to drive and just book accommodation then you might save a small fortune! With young children, driving is often an easier way to travel as you’ll be able to stop and take breaks when needed too.

  • You like an adventure:

Package holidays can be quite restrictive – if you prefer exploring when you’re away, or you don’t like to stay in one place for more than a few days, then planning your own multi-centre holiday might be a better option and it could be more economical too. TUI have options for you to book all of the elements of your holiday separately, so have a look at that if you want to have a trip that’s a little bit different.

For ideas on road trips check out my posts:

Our Italian Road Trip – How to explore Italy with kids on a budget!

Our Swiss Road Trip – How to explore Switzerland with kids on a budget!

st peters basilica, rome, italy, frugal mum and children, italy road trip


15. Travel with others:

Another great way to cut accommodation costs is to travel with friends or family. TUI have a section for villa holidays (offering 1-6 beds) and this might work out more affordable than a hotel for those with a large family, or for families wanting to travel together. Not only that, but travelling with others also enables you to split the cost of transport, food and other extras while you’re away too. So, if you do have to travel abroad during peak times, sharing accommodation costs might be the best way to make the trip more affordable.


Want to know more?

Check out my full review of our TUI holiday at Villa Romana in Salou, Spain.

frugal mum review, title image, villa romana hotel, ohtels, salou, costa dorada, spain, photos


Getting ready for your family holiday?

Check out my Ultimate Family Holiday Packing Guide – with free printable checklist!

frugal mum free printable family holiday travel checklist


Want to save even more on your family holiday abroad?

Check out: 25 tips for travelling abroad on a budget with kids – here’s how to save money on your family summer holiday!

How to travel abroad on a budget, frugal mum title page, save money on family holiday tips


Planning a family trip to Europe?

You might want to check out Eurocamp too – with one accommodation price (instead of per person costs) it can be a really affordable way for families to travel on a budget. Find out more here or keep scrolling for my campsite reviews…

The Ultimate Eurocamp Holiday Guide – and money saving tips!

eurocamp review, complete holiday guide, FAQs, frugal mum


Eurocamp Holiday Review: Camping Cisano San Vito, Lake Garda, Italy

Camping Cisano San Vito, Eurocamp holiday, swimming pool, flume, slides, Italy, Lake Garda, frugal mum review photo


Eurocamp Holiday Review: Camping Village Fabulous, Lazio, Rome, Italy

Camping Village Fabulous, Eurocamp holiday, swimming pool, flume, slides, Italy, Rome, frugal mum children, review photo


Eurocamp Holiday Review: Camping Village Valle Gaia, Tuscany, Italy

Camping Valle Gaia, Eurocamp Holiday, Tuscany, Italy, swimming pool, flume, slide, frugal mum review photo


Eurocamp Holiday Review: Camping La Chapelle, Argelès-sur-Mer, Roussillon, South of France

La Chapelle, Argeles, South of France, swimming pool, slides, flumes, Eurocamp holiday, frugal mum children, review, photo


Eurocamp Holiday Review: Les Lacs du Verdon Campsite, Regusse, Provence, South of France

Les Lacs Verdon, Regusse, South of France, boat, lake, Eurocamp holiday, frugal mum children, review photo


Eurocamp Holiday Review: Manor Farm Campsite, Interlaken, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Manor Farm Campsite, Interlaken, Switzerland, lake, Eurocamp holiday, sunset, frugal mum review photo


Eurocamp Holiday Review: Beekse Bergen Lake Resort, Hilvarenbeek, North Brabant, The Netherlands

Lake Resort Beekse Bergen, Eurocamp holiday, the Netherlands, lake beach, frugal mum with children, photo, frugal mum review, lake resort, hilvarenbeek, north brabant


Eurocamp Holiday Review: Duinrell Theme Park Resort, Wassenaar, South Holland, The Netherlands

duinrell theme park resort, Eurocamp holiday, the Netherlands, rides frugal mum with children, photo, frugal mum review, south holland


Our Italian Eurocamp Family Road Trip: What we spent, tips & how to explore Italy with kids on a budget!

how to explore italy on a budget, our eurocamp road trip, family holiday, europe, frugal mum guide, what we spent, tips


Disneyland Paris Guide / Review: Can it be done in one day? What we spent, money saving tips & is it worth it?

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Cheap family travel: How to explore Rome on a budget – in just one day – with kids!

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Our Eurocamp Interlaken Family Holiday: What we spent, tips & how to visit Switzerland on a budget from the UK

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