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Get more for your cash in the school holidays FAMILIES locked into travelling during school holidays can dramatically reduce their bills by shopping around for free children's places.

These deals will help stretch your budget during the busiest weeks of summer when tour operators often add as much as 50 per cent to the price of package holidays.

Free child places are also being added to Easter and this year's extended Jubilee half-term, so you could save hundreds of pounds by taking your main break earlier.

Free places usually apply to just one child in the family although some tour operators offer further discounts for siblings. Such is the competition between holiday firms this year that some are dangling freebies for ALL the kids... and even grandparents.

But act quickly because the best offers are snapped up early and are rarely repeated later in the season.

EASTER BIDEFORD BAY, DEVON: Pool kayaking, giant inflatable balls that kids climb inside to walk across the pool, sea scooters and water sessions for tots are just a few of the free activities on offer at Bideford Bay. On dry land there are cheer-leading courses, dance classes, plus track and field sports. After dark there's a bar, restaurant and cabaret shows.

THE DEAL: Free kids' places take the cost of a seven-night self-catering holiday at Easter, starting April 9, to pounds 294 per family (se www.parkresorts.

com). CHALET L'OURS BLANC, MONTGENEVRE: Cut the price of a ski holiday by taking advantage of free kids' deals from Zenith Holidays. Stay at the Chalet L'Ours Blanc near the border between France and Italy in Montgenvre.

It's one of the highest resorts in the Alps so you're likely to have good snow late in the season.

THE DEAL: Free children's places save pounds 385. A halfboard holiday for two adults and one child costs pounds 770 including Eurotunnel crossings (, 01737 852 242).

JUBILEE HALF-TERM (EARLY JUNE) IBEROSTAR CLUB CALA BARCA, MAJORCA: A toy library and 10kg free baby luggage allowance cut down on excess baggage when you take the kids to the four-star Iberostar Club Cala Barca with Thomas Cook. Rooms in this family-friendly resort also have microwaves and fridges so you can heat up bottles and baby food. A free kids' evening club gives parents time for a quiet drink.

THE DEAL: Thomas Cook's FamilyWorld offers a free kid's place when two adults book a week's all-inclusive at the Iberostar Club Cala Barca near Cala d'Or. The price of pounds 1,630 includes flights from Newcastle on June 3 (, 0844 412 5970). CHATEAU DES ORMES, BRITTANY: Swimming and cycling lessons, arts and crafts and other clubbie activities give mums and dads plenty of time to relax at this country park. The kids' clubs are free for children aged six months to 12 years. Cots, decking gates, bed rails and high chairs are also included. For grown-ups, Keycamp's Chateau des Ormes has an 18-hole golf course, tennis and a gym to work off the Breton crepes. Take the kids to medieval Mont St Michel or shop in the pretty town of Dinan.

THE DEAL: Up to four kids travel free with two adults paying full price, so a two-bedroom Villanova mobile home, including return Dover-to-Calais ferry crossings, costs pounds 589 (, 0844 406 0319). SEMIRAMIS VILLAGE HOTEL, CRETE: Celebrate the Queen's Jubilee by taking the family to Hersonissos in Crete. Stay at the Seriramis Village Hotel with sweeping views of mountains and sea, a gym, swimming pool, plus billiards, darts and table tennis. A local bus will take you to several small coves along the northern coast.

THE DEAL: Olympic Holidays offer two free places for children aged two to 11 on 80 per cent of their holidays to Greece. The cost of seven nights' half-board for four, including flights from Gatwick on June 1, is a total of pounds 1,495 (, 0844 576 2386).

HOTEL ATLANTICA PRINCESS, RHODES: An adventure playground, lagoon pool, football and beach volley ball keep kids diverted while you relax on a lounger. Atlantica Princess is a family-friendly hotel just a few metres from the beach. There are special child menus and cots and highchairs available at no extra cost. THE DEAL: The free child place is available at intervals throughout the summer season. Adult prices for a week's all-inclusive start at pounds 429 including flights from Gatwick or Manchester late May (www.cosmosholidays.

ALL YEAR ROUND POLURRIAN BAY HOTEL, CORNWALL: Grandad and Grandma stay free (room only), as well as the children, if you book a family deal to this Cornish hotel during the first three months of 2012. Otherwise, the free-kid offer runs throughout the year. The seaside hotel looks across Mounts Bay and has indoor and outdoor pools plus a spa for Mum. Even better, there's a free Ofsted-registered creche and Blue Room club for over-eights.

THE DEAL: Kids under 12 stay free sharing their parents' room. B&B costs pounds 130 per room, per night. Kiddie breakfasts are free for under-twos, a fiver for kids aged two to seven and pounds 7.50 for children aged eight-plus (

SUMMER HOLIDAYS PARAISO ALBUFEIRA, ALGARVE: Snooze in the sun while the kids go wild in their own club. There's a daily children's entertainment programme and evening shows. Challenge the family to a game of mini-golf or whizz around in the slot cars. The resort has indoor and outdoor pools, you can hire bicycles and later unwind in the spa. Free Kidsworld sessions in the evening give Mum and Dad a night off and free 10kg infant luggage allowance helps with all the baby paraphernalia.

THE DEAL: One child travels free with two adults on a seven-night, all-inclusive stay at Airtours' four-star Paraiso Albufeira. Flights from Gatwick on July 28 are included in the price, from pounds 1,966 for a family of three (

HOLIDAY VILLAGE, DALAMAN: Sign the kids up for the football academy, stage school or even a DJ workshop when you take advantage of free child places at Holiday Village, Turkey. The all-inclusive resort near Dalaman specialises in family breaks. There are two children's pools, clubs covering ages from birth to 15 years, plus Shrek-themed clubrooms. THE DEAL: A week's all-inclusive with flights from Gatwick on August 24 starts from pounds 1,064 per adult with the first kid free and the second paying pounds 574 (

DINGLE HARBOUR COTTAGES, CO. KERRY: Four children aged up to 16 travel free when you take the family to Dingle Harbour Cottages with Irish Ferries Holidays. There are about 20 whitewashed cottages, rated four-star, built in terraces above Dingle's natural harbour. Build sandcastles at Inch and Ventry beaches and take a boat trip to look for Fungi the friendly dolphin. For rainy days, there's a leisure centre with indoor pool and 10-pin bowling.

THE DEAL: Free child places take the price of a week's rental of a cottage sleeping six in August to pounds 1,087, including ferry crossings from Holyhead to Dublin (about four hours drive to Dingle) or Pembroke to Rosslare (five hours to Dingle) for the car, two adults and four children under 16 ( - to go straight to the right page, use DAISH'S HOLS, ENGLAND: All kids under six and a further child aged six-15 stay free at Daish's Holidays seaside hotels.

Pack their buckets and spades for a break at either the Barrowfield in Newquay, Sands Hotel in Bournemouth, Daish's Hotel on the Isle of Wight or the Devonshire Hotel in Torquay. All have play areas and the Isle of Wight and Newquay properties have indoor pools.

THE DEAL: Kids bunk in with two fullpaying adults in standard rooms. A fournight, half-board break at the end of July for a family of four will cost pounds 408 without transport or pounds 438 including coach fares (

PARADISE BEACH RESORT, KOH SAMUI: Free accommodation for as many as three kids up to 16 years brings down the cost of a family holiday in Koh Samui, Thailand. Even better, the kids have their own room. The four-star resort is near Bophut and has a private beach, two freshwater pools, sailing and other watersports. There's also a kids' pool and play area. You can upgrade to all-inclusive for pounds 26 per adult and pounds 15 per kid per night.

THE DEAL: The offer through Tropical Sky means the total cost for adults is pounds 799pp for seven nights' B&B and kids are charged for flights only at pounds 499pp. Flights are from Heathrow and prices include transfers (, 0844 332 9349).


Wheely good fun...cycling at Chateau des Ormes Fourstar... Dingle Harbour Cotts Two kids go free... Daish's, Isle of Wight All-inclusive on offer... Paradise Beach Resort Make a splash... water sports at Bideford Bay Family-friendly... Club Cala Barca, Majorca Sweeping views... stay at Semiramis Village Hotel Tons for the kids... Paraiso Albufeira Blue lagoon... Hotel Atlantica Princess
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 8, 2012
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