When planning your next holiday that includes air travel, here are a few things to consider that will benefit your back pocket (or wherever you personally keep your money).
You will pay prime buck if you travel “in-season” or rather during a peak season. Mid December to mid January is one of the most expensive times to travel in most parts of the world. The only exception to this is the last minute specials that do come out periodically where you have a limited time to book, such as the last week of November, for say seats from 1 December to 15 January. But even if you do get a good price on flights, weigh up the costs, as the good flight pricing may not be carried through to your accommodation prices.
A really good low season is from February through to mid March. The big season is over and airlines are trying to fill seats. April and May is a shoulder season, an inbetweener with middle-of-the-range prices. June through to July is the second peak season of the year, as it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere and you are therefore not likely to get the best deal.
Avoid travelling on weekends
Friday through to Saturday is a busy time for most airlines. Flights are 75% to 100% full. Cheaper fare levels are more widely available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It’s a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people simply don’t understand why its expensive to leave on their most desired days when they are sitting opposite the travel agent or on the internet looking for a Friday or Saturday flight at a good price and getting frustrated.
Best Times to travel
If you are flying locally on a high-frequency route with flights every hour or so, avoid the peak hour. Flight peak-times for business travellers are pretty much the same as traffic-jam times around the world. 6am through to 8am and 4pm through to 6pm. Late night flights, crack of dawn flights and flights at unfashionable hours for businessmen such as eleven in the morning are cheaper than the ‘traffic jam’ flight times.
Sometimes it is cheaper to book last-minute, other time it is better to book in advance. When you are planning to book over a holiday or special occasion such as Thanksgiving in the United States, book in advance. Book late, and the chance of paying top dollar over these periods goes up dramatically.
While a trip to France is romantic, it is also costly. A cheaper, but equally romantic trip could see you lazing on the beach at Phuket. The Far East and South America are particularly good-value-for money destinations at present.
A good guideline to follow is: out of season, inconvenient and unfashionable. These are the times when it is cheaper to book and you are going to save some money that you will enjoy spending on the actual holiday itself, while there.