8 ways to save money at Center Parcs

Center Parcs is one of our favourite family holiday destinations. We love the woodland setting, activities on offer and relaxed pace of life. However this all can come at an expensive price especially during school holidays! Here are our 8 tips to help you save some ££££ before you book:

1 - Book early
The best way to save the most money is advanced planning. If you book 12 months ahead of your visit (yes that's a very long time, but it's worth the savings), you have more choice of size and style of accommodation, with an executive lodge at Woburn, sleeping six, starting from £499 for a 4 day break.

2-  Bring your own food and drink
The Center Parcs supermarket is super pricey - a loaf of bread was over £2 on our last trip! I would advise looking for wine and champagne deals online and bulk buying beforehand to save money. To summarise do your grocery shopping outside of Center Parcs and you have more to spend on activities!

3 - Don't feel pressured into paying for activities
There are hundreds of activities to choose from ranging from a few pounds up to £50+. Don't feel pressured into having to book lots of things to do. In my opinion, kids are just as happy playing in the woods, riding their bikes and spotting wildlife.

4 - Swimming is FREE
Swimming is free of charge at Center Parcs and you can go as many times as you like. Pools are normally open from 10am - 9pm and I guarantee that a visit will be a highlight of your holiday. There are flumes, kids pools, water toys to play with, lazy rivers, waves........lots going on and to get the best value from your holiday I recommend visiting in the evening when it's usually quieter and will (hopefully) tire the kids out and ensure they sleep soundly.

5- Buy logs in advance
If your lodge comes with a wood burning stove or fire, Center Parcs will charge you a small fortune to buy their logs on site. It pays to be prepared and buy your logs in advance. Nothing beats warming your toes in front of the fire after a nice long walk but it's even better when you know you've saved money.

6 - Bring your own beach towels
Access to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise is included in the price of accommodation. But it costs £2 per person to hire a beach towel once you’re there - bring your own from home, instead. Buoyancy jackets (read: life preservers) are available free of charge for small children of various sizes, so there’s no need to bring water wings.

7 - Bring your own bikes
Each village has a bicycle rental shop, but at £30 per day per adult and £21 per child, this adds up. Cycling is a lovely way to get around the sprawling car-free villages, but bring your own to save money.

8 Stay term-time, midweek
No surprises, Center Parcs prices jump outside term-time. For example, a two-bedroom lodge in Whinfell was £1,599 in August, compared with £599 in the first week of the September when schools go back. That's £1,000 pricier.
So if you've no kids or pre-schoolers, take full advantage and travel midweek outside school holidays.