Going on holiday – abroad or at home can be a stressful time. Especially financially. It can easily and quickly all add up. Granted Center Parcs may not be the ‘cheaper’ option for a family holiday. However I do believe that you get what you pay for and in most ways and terms, this rings true with Center Parcs. Though that’s not to say that saving money here and there wouldn’t go amiss and there’s definitely the opportunity to.
I am no way claiming to be an expert. Neither is this post in association with Center Parcs. These are purely the thoughts of my husband and me through what we have learnt over our three visits, which I thought would be helpful to share. So here are our 5 top tips for Center Parcs.
Book a year in advance.
This may be something you already do. As I mentioned above, I’m aware Center Parcs isn’t the cheapest place to visit, however with the ability to book near a year in advance, it surely makes me a little more possible. As with most holidays, a deposit is paid at the time of booking and then you have up until two months before your visit to pay the remaining balance. We chose to pay monthly. Dividing the amount into the months left. This made it easier to pay than one large lump sum.
Book restaurants in advance.
I wouldn’t say this is an imperative one for the length of your stay, as there’s always the possibility of enquiring in places whilst you’re out and about. However, I would suggest in booking your first night, especially if you plan to visit The Lake House, at Whinfell Forest, as they do get booked up pretty quickly. As we’ve found in the past.
Shop before you arrive.
This is something we’ve done from our first visit. We have shopped at the Parc Mart once, but never again. Not for the big shop. It’s great for forgotten items, or you’ve run out of milk etc, but the prices are considerably more than what you’d pay at the nearest supermarket. For us, we always stop at Morrisons in Penrith, with a written shopping list that we put together before we set off.
Unless it’s a seasonal visit/school holiday, don’t panic on booking all activities.
Having visited at Christmas we were very aware of supply and demand of activities. Everyone wants to see Santa right! So it was a no-brainer that we had to book such activities pretty sharpish to get slots that we’d like over slots we’d work with. However, our other visits to Center Parcs have been during term time. Although still busy with children we’ve never found an activity full booked. Just booked up for particular days. If you’re looking to make an itinerary then book in advance. If there’s an activity that you 100% want to do, then book it. Failing that, just play it by ear.
Download the app.
The Center Parcs app is something we became aware of on our visit last year. After downloading, simply entering your booking details gives you access to a sitemap, your itinerary (if you’ve booked things), the ability to book activities and restaurants, take pictures and general Parc information. It was great to just have quick and easy access to booking activities and also see day to day what we had booked to plan our day around.
Have you visited Center Parcs? – Do you have any tips of your own? –