How not to spend a fortune during the peak season in France.

If you haven’t had time to organise your summer holiday this year but would still like to get away, don’t despair. In the past it was de rigueur to book your summer break while the snow was still on the ground in order to get an affordable deal, but times change. With volatile situations in North Africa and Greece and the economic slowdown, holiday firms have a number of bargains on their books.

Unless you get a last minute deal, flights remain expensive in July and August. But if you choose a destination such as France, there are some great prices on short hop ferry crossings, reports the Daily Mail.

It may sound hard to believe but DFDS Seaways (www.dfdsseaways.co.uk 0871 574 7211) is offering fares of £50 return for a car and four people on its Dover-Dunkirk route on many crossings this summer. So whether you are taking the family or going with three friends, you can’t cross the Channel for much cheaper than that! And there are no luggage supplements to pay either.

Once there, you can stay within budget by booking with leading camping operator Eurocamp (www.eurocamp.co.uk 0844 406 0402). Hire a tent for a week at the end of August which sleeps six for just £529. If you prefer to rent a mobile home, two-bedroom accommodation for a week in a site on the Vendee costs around £750.

Alternatively, some French specialists are offering discounts on un-booked villas, cottages and gites. Try Susan Paradise (www.susanparadise.co.uk 01395 597759) for properties in Brittany and Provence or browse www.holidayfrance.org.uk for a general idea of what’s available.

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