When is the cheapest time to book a holiday?

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As the price of flights and hotels fluctuates so much these days, it can really pay to do your research and work out when the constantly changing costs will be at their cheapest.

The problem is that travel and hotel companies change their prices all the time due to different factors like the time of the year, the current demand and what major events are going on around the world. Thankfully though, there have been a few recent studies that shed light on what month and even what day is best to book the cheapest holiday possible...

What is the cheapest month to book a holiday?

Travel agent Opodo have recently conducted a study that analysed the data from all return flights departing from the UK between November 2015 and October 2016 in an effort to identify the cheapest month to book a flight.

Their results show that September is the cheapest month to book, followed by October and then April and August. Discounts of up to 14% are on offer for long haul flights that are booked in September, and 8% for short haul flights booked in September.

Opodo said of their results:

"It's no secret that high seasons and low seasons dictate a great swing in flight prices. The best time to book flights fall much like the leaves: in September and October. Book in October to save 10.6% (13.89% domestic, 13.29% short haul, 4.62% long haul) or in September to save 10.18% (9.07% domestic, 13.67%, 7.81% long haul) off the yearly average price."

view from aeroplane window

September offers the cheapest prices for long haul flights

What is the cheapest day to book a holiday?

According to Opodo's data, Saturday is the cheapest day to book your flight - offering saving of up to 6%. Savings can also be found by booking on Sunday, which offers an average discount of 3.4%.

However, a separate study by Confused suggests that Tuesday is the cheapest day to book a holiday - specifically Tuesday morning at 10am.

Confused say that booking before 11am means you still get yesterday's prices, as most travel websites update their prices around lunch time. Tuesday is thought to be the cheapest day to do this as this is the day travel companies adjust their prices according to demand.

So if you want the best chance of getting a good deal, it's worth booking your holiday at the weekend or early in the week - before Tuesday afternoon.

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Is it cheaper to book in advance or make a late booking?

Another factor to consider is whether you can get a cheaper price if you book your flights, hotel etc... well in advance, or leave it late and hope for a tasty late deal.

This will depend on a number of factors, including the destination, the demand and what sort of holiday you are hoping to book.

For the most part, if you are looking for a very simple beach holiday with no strings - then leaving it late to book your quick escape is often the cheapest options, especially if you don't really mind where you go (as long as it's sunny!)

In contrast, if you want to arrange a specific holiday for a certain amount of people and want to book a destination and hotel that you have researched closely, then booking well in advance can be the cheaper option as you could end up paying more later on to get your holiday exactly as you want it.

It all depends on your flexibility as a holiday goer - the more flexible you can be about any aspect of you holiday - flight time, destination, hotel, activities, amenities etc... the later you can leave the booking process to wait for a great bargain.

The less flexible you are, for whatever reason, the earlier you should book to avoid missing out on any of the aspects of the holiday you need.


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