Now puritanical January is underway, it’s easy to become despondent as festive fun seems a far-off distant memory. Luckily, there is light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of a summer holiday – traditionally booked at this time of year.
With tour operators and airlines vying for your attention, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by discounts and bamboozled by deals. But there are a few things important things to consider. Based on research by holiday comparison site TravelSupermarket (travelsupermarket.com), these are the top tips to follow.
1. Brave the beach in May
If you’re planning a short-haul UK seaside package holiday, it makes sense to go early in the season. Most properties will be open by May, there will be fewer crowds and temperatures can be surprisingly balmy.
2. Fly high on a Tuesday
Departing on a holiday package or flight on a Tuesday will often give you the best prices as demand for flights out of the UK tends to be lowest on this day.
3. Choose shoulder season for long haul
Research suggests May, June and September are the best value months for taking breaks further afield, and there are often some great bargains to be found. According to Travel Supermarket, June is the cheapest time to book a holiday to Orlando, for example.
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4. Move quickly at peak booking times
Don’t wait to book for getaways at Easter and the two bank holidays in May. Prices will only go up, so the earlier you snap up those dates, the less you’ll have to stump up.
5. Less popular package destinations can be pricey
If your destination is a little less mainstream, book early for the best deal. With fewer packages on offer to a destination, prices are likely to only go up, not down, closer to your departure dates.
6. Take a chance last minute
If you’re willing to risk it and don’t have to travel at certain high-demand dates, you can often snap up last-minute bargains. Just be prepared to accept whatever is left, as there may be less choice.
7. Choose the long route
Book longer flights or indirect routes with one or more changes to lower flight and holiday package prices. But be prepared for lengthy journeys to cut into precious holiday time.
8. It pays to be unsociable
Fly at off-peak times during the day to find the best airfares or package holiday prices. The best value fares are often last thing at night at unsociable hours.
- Press Association