How to get cheaper family holidays with Free Child Places at Tui, FirstChoice and more

Free Child Places could be your ticket to the family holiday of your dreams - here's what you need to know

Family On Summer Holiday With Two Girls Eating Ice Lollies By Swimming Pool Splashing Parents
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Dreaming of a family holiday but wondering how you’ll ever afford it? Three magic words: free child places.

Did you know there’s a way to make your perfect family holiday a whole lot cheaper? Possibly the travel industry’s best-kept secret, free child places are a savvy marketing tactic used by holiday operators to lure in families, but they're also a fantastic way to save serious money on a family holiday.

In this article, we’re spilling the tea on how to uncover the best holiday deals where kids go free, plus any sneaky restrictions to watch out for, so you can finally make that family getaway of your dreams an affordable reality.

What are free child places?

Free Child Places are family-friendly deals that are designed to make holidays more affordable for those travelling with children. When you book a qualifying holiday for two paying adults, one child goes free. The exact details vary from one provider to the next but it's usual to get the child's flight and accommodation completely free of charge.

Free child places: where to find the deals

Many UK travel companies offer Free Child Places deals but working out where to find them isn’t easy, so we've rounded up details of some of the top providers:


TUI offers Free Child Places (one standard flight ticket and free accommodation for one child per two paying adults) on all sorts of holidays, from all-inclusive holidays to package deals. Look out for their Blue Price Tags which indicate kids-go-free offers, or use the Free Kids Place Finder on their website to search for relevant holiday deals.


When two full-paying passengers book a package holiday through Jet2holidays, one child gets their flight, return hotel transfers, and accommodation free of charge. Use the search tool on their website to find qualifying offers. The deal is available across all destinations (including Italy, Turkey, Malta, Bulgaria and the Balearics) as well as all seasons and all months, including school holidays.

First Choice

First Choice allows one child to stay free per two full-paying adults. The deal applies to selected hotel rooms, apartments and villas and cover the child's food and drink too on the same board basis as the two full-paying adults. Destinations with free child places include the Canary Islands, Greece, Spain and Turkey.


EasyJet offers thousands of holidays with Free Child Places. The deal applies to selected 4-, 7-, 10-, 11- and 14-night holidays. Look out for the Free Child Place label for deals where one child can share a room with two paying adults - and pay nothing. Destinations include Turkey, Spain, Greece and Egypt.

Hays Travel

Hays Travel offers Free Child Places holidays to a range of family-friendly destinations including Menorca, Majorca, and Ibiza. Children must be aged between two and 12 years old on departure and upon return to the UK, and a minimum of two adults need to stay in the same room as the child.

A family on the beach together laughing in the sunshine

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Free Child Places: are they worth it?

There's some debate among parents as to whether Free Child Places holidays offer any real savings. Critics argue that the cost is simply absorbed by the full-paying adults. 'My husband thinks the base price for the paying adults gets inflated to soak up the cost of the child so they can claim they go free,' says our Family Editor, Stephanie Lowe. 'And a friend says every time she looks at Free Child Places holidays, the dates are outside school holidays which defeats the purpose for most people.'

It's a valid point and one to factor in when you're pricing up the cost of a family holiday. To check if a deal is genuinely saving you money or not before you book, compare the total cost of the holiday against similar packages without the Free Child Places offer to be sure it's a genuine saving and not a marketing trick.

For mum of two, Aileen Farrell, booking a Free Child Places holiday for her family of four meant they could afford a holiday in a destination that would otherwise have been beyond their budget. They went to a four-star resort in Lanzarote and price-checked with friends before they booked to confirm that they had paid the same rate for a half-board holiday without a child - so their daughter was definitely going free. 'Decent places seemed to cost about £900 per person minimum which was way beyond our budget so when a resort that our neighbour had recommended came up on the Free Child Places list, we booked it,' Aileen says. 'We got good accommodation in a lovely location and good food, so it was well worth it. Lots of Free Child Places apply to basic holidays with nothing fancy but this Free Child deal made a more expensive resort possible for us.'

Tips for booking free child places holidays

If you've never booked a family holiday with a Free Child Places offer it can be tricky to work out when is the best time to do it. Use these tips to time it just right:

  • Book early - Holidays with Free Child Places are super-popular with parents and competition is fierce. For your best chance of bagging a cracking holiday where kids go free, be prepared to book well in advance - by even a year or more.
  • During school holidays - it's widely assumed that Free Child Places only apply to term-time holidays but that's not true so check with each provider. Places are limited during the peak summer season and tend to get booked up far in advance but if you're prepared to plan far ahead you could save during school summer holidays too.
  • Stay flexible - If you can be flexible on your destination and travel dates and are willing to travel at the last minute, you can sometimes get lucky with companies offering last-minute deals with Free Child Places included.

Free Child Places: what about restrictions?

Always read the small print before you book a holiday with a Free Child Places deal because restrictions usually apply. These vary between providers and travel companies but typical terms and conditions include age restrictions (e.g children must be under two or over 12 years old) and room occupancy rules (e.g there must be two full-paying adults per room). Make sure you know exactly what's included and what additional costs you might have to pay, such as excursions or transfers.

Looking for more family-friendly travel inspiration? Check out Eurocamp - is it worth it? or Are you worried about school fines for holidays?

Heidi Scrimgeour
Deputy Editor

Heidi is a seasoned parenting journalist with over 15 years of experience. She has contributed to numerous UK national newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times, and The Telegraph. Her work has also appeared in a variety of print and digital magazines, such as Psychologies and Mother & Baby, where she was Shopping Editor for six years. In this role, she specialised in consumer features, including buying guides and baby gear reviews. Heidi is also mum to two teenage sons and a ten-year-old daughter.