Monday to Wednesday is the best time to board a cheap flight while moving your travel back or forward a day can cut costs by 20%, a travel agent has revealed.
2022 has seen an unprecedented demand for travel, with bookings for 2023 already looking busier than usual. To help those looking to book trips in 2023, travel agent and co-founder of multi-center holiday specialists, eShores, Gavin Lapidus, explains the best ways to save money on flights.
1. Book soon for next Christmas
Christmas is the busiest two weeks of the entire year for travel and prices are often hiked, significantly closer to the time. In some cases, you could pay three times more booking for Christmas in December than if you did it earlier in the year.
To get the cheapest prices for Christmas, flights need to be booked as soon as they come on sale. So, for Christmas 2023, you should ideally be booked in January or February. From October onwards, prices will be at their highest.
The days before and after a seasonal holiday are also the most expensive days to travel, so if you can be flexible with your travel dates or extend your trip, that can cut costs.
2. Fly early to mid-week
To take advantage of the best deals, be careful of the days you’re flying. It’s often cheaper to fly in the middle of the week; recent Google data shows that flights departing between Monday and Wednesday are cheaper than at the weekend. Of course, this varies depending on your destination. If you’re flexible with your dates, always double-check departure days, as flying a day sooner or later could save you up to 20%.
Due to travel limitations in 2020 and 2021, 2023 is looking busier than usual. When booking, January is often more affordable due to lower demand, so booking your next holiday in the new year is an excellent time to catch deals.
3. Don’t rely on last-minute deals
Always book as far in advance as possible. While there are occasionally good ‘last-minute’ deals on flights and holidays, it’s very dependent on how many seats are left on a flight – there may be none, or demand may be high so that prices can spike closer to the date of travel and you can end up paying more.
Last-minute deals do exist and can be great for booking cheap, impromptu trips, but relying on them for a planned holiday is a huge risk that no travel agent would recommend.
4. Book summer holiday trips 10 months in advance
Book as early as possible if you’re looking to take a summer holiday during peak school holidays. For long-haul flights, 10-11 months in advance is when you’ll find the cheapest deals, while 8-10 months in advance is best for European trips. If you miss this cut-off, you can often find cheap fares for long-haul in January and February when demand is lower.
Generally, it’s always recommended to book holidays at least a season or two in advance. So, for summer, start looking at flights in winter or early spring, as that is when the best deals will pop up.
5. Be savvy when booking for peak times
With the return to regular travel, school holidays in 2023 are in high demand. February half-term and Easter are particularly busy, with prices more than double their usual cost due to low availability. Summer is also busier than usual for this time of year, with prices starting to rise.
December is the last month to get a good deal on these peak dates, as prices will spike even further from January. If you’re not planning a holiday with children, then if you can, avoid travelling during the school holidays to get cheaper deals.
To discover more travel inspiration, and information, or to book your next holiday, visit eShores.