THE BLOG

What Month Is Cheapest to Book Your Summer Holiday?

29/01/2014 15:31 GMT | Updated 31/03/2014 10:59 BST

At this time of year, everyone seems to be getting preoccupied with booking their summer holidays. Now, don't get me wrong, we ALL need something to look forward to. It is cold, damp and gloomy and we are all feeling flat after Christmas. However, should we be spending even MORE money straight after the festive season on so-called 'bargain holiday offers' or is there a savvier time to be booking our holidays? Could we in fact be saving hundreds of pounds by waiting? Well, the answer is a resounding YES! In fact, travel search site Skyscanner has revealed that the 12.5 million Brits predicted to book their summer flights this month may not actually be getting the best prices...

Skyscanner's analysis of nearly 200 million searches (now that is robust data!) shows that the cheapest flight tickets are in fact typically available five weeks in advance of travel.

However, it can vary HUGELY between destinations...

Spain

Average return flight price for summer is £153

Best time to book is 5 weeks

USA

Average return flight price for summer is £764

Best time to book is 21 weeks

Italy

Average return flight price for summer is £185

Best time to book is 6 weeks

France

Average return flight price for summer is £160

Best time to book is 6 weeks

Greece

Average return flight price for summer is £228

Best time to book is 3 weeks

Turkey

Average return flight price for summer is £256

Best time to book is 13 weeks

Portugal

Average return flight price for summer is £195

Best time to book is 5 weeks

Although waiting until a few weeks before appeals to some people, a massive 40% of people still like to book well in advance but don't worry, this can sometimes pay off. There are no guarantees so it is important to research prices and track fares for your chosen route by signing up for price alerts, allowing you to see when low fares become available. The Skyscanner price alert saved me £650 this week on flights to South Africa at Easter!

However, waiting doesn't always pay off. In the case of trains, booking in advance is ALWAYS cheaper! The optimum time to book a train ticket is 12 weeks BEFORE travel. To put it into context for you, last Friday the 24th was 12 weeks before Good Friday. If people wanted to travel from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, tickets booked in advance cost £12.50 for an advance single compared to an on the day single ticket which would cost £160 - a MASSIVE 92% saving!

Some GREAT NEWS though, if you need to book last minute then National Express buses are a great option. Their cheapest fares are often available even if you are booking for the next day. To find the cheapest deals look at the website for their low fare finder. I found London to Manchester for £4.99 one way for most days between now and the end of April. Exceptional value!

However, if you want to take a gamble, Megabus currently has a free seat sale until 20th February where you type in the route you want and you just might get your ticket for FREE!

To find out more about the best time to book travel, read my 1 minute guide on LetsSaveSomeMoney

Top 12 Hottest Travel Spots For 2014