WITH consumers more cash-strapped than ever, it's a tough time for those who want to escape the dreary Irish weather this year.
Package holiday capacity has fallen to only a third of what it was a decade ago, with the lower number of seats inevitably translating into higher prices.
But there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, with the launch of two new consumer websites in the decimated travel market.
Families looking for the cheapest deals to the sun can visit sunsearchholidays.ie and trawl through the various offers to find the best prices.
"We will be working with all the major operators and airlines to over 200 destinations," said managing director Matt Corcoran.
"We will also have over 75,000 hotels, apartments and villas on offer, including package holidays, tailor-made flight and hotel deals at the lowest prices available."
And the travel sector has also been given a boost with the arrival on the market of Wings Abroad, a new company specialising in Turkey, a favourite among Irish holidaymakers.
The company, which can be checked out at wingsabroad.ie, features packages to the popular resorts of Kusadasi, Guber, Bitez and Bodrum at many popular hotels including the Pine Club, Melissa and Golden Day Wings Hotel.