Revealed: how to cut holiday costs in 2017

23 January 2017
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Timing is everything when it comes to scoring the cheapest prices for flights and hotels in 2017, according to new research by travel search engine Kayak.

By analysing data based on millions of searches, Kayak has found that with a little planning, travellers can save huge amounts of money.

Suzanne Perry, travel expert at Kayak says: “The research shows that generally, those who are happy to leave their bookings until later can secure the best deals. Especially on long haul, most Brits tend to plan their holidays well in advance for peace of mind, so if they still have empty seats left a couple of months beforehand, airlines will often begin reducing prices to make sure they get filled.” 

However, she warns that these tricks might not work for all destinations. “There are some real anomalies with some destinations, so signing up to tools such as Price Alerts from Kayak can really help travellers get the best deal, no matter where they are travelling.”

Other websites you can use to compare the cost of flights, hotels, car hire and more include TravelSupermarket.com, Skyscanner.net and Momondo.co.uk. 

 

Here are Kayak’s top four holiday cost-cutting tips.

1. Fly between Tuesday and Thursday

On all routes, both long and short haul, flying out in the middle of the week is the cheapest option. The best departure and return days generally fluctuate between Tuesday and Thursday.

For example, Kayak found that flights to Mallorca, Spain departing and returning on a Tuesday can be up to 75% cheaper than those booked to depart on a Saturday with return on Wednesday.

It is a similar story for Rome, Italy where the savings are up to 72% for departure on Tuesday, returning Thursday compared to departing and returning on a Saturday.

 

2. Book short haul flights one or two months in advance

When looking at the top 10 international and European destinations for Brits, Kayak found that the worst time to book was between eight and 11 months in advance.

In comparison, the cheapest prices were available between one and five months prior to travelling.

Breaking the data down further, the best prices for mid-haul flights can generally be found just one or two months in advance, according to Kayak.

The biggest saving it found was on a trip to Faro, Portugal. Flights cost £171 booked eight months in advance of travelling, yet cost only £35 booked one month in advance – a saving of 80%.

See the table below for Kayak’s best times to book European flights.

European destinations (top ten most popular for Brits)

DestinationAverage return price if booked in worst monthNumber of months in advance it is worst to bookAverage return price if booked in best monthNumber of months in advance to book for best priceSavings
1) Reykyavic£17711£69561%
2) Amsterdam£9011£52242%
3) Barcelona£1189£45262%
4) Tenerife£1889£64166%
5) Faro£1718£35180%
6) Mallorca£15411£40274%
7) Rome£12311£48161%
8) Luqa£17411£53270%
9) Lisbon£1339£60255%
10) Prague£1218£50159%

3. Book long haul flights two to four months in advance.

To get the best savings on flights to the most popular long-haul destinations, Kayak says the best deals can be found by booking two to four months in advance of the departure date.

For example, Orlando can be as much as 41% cheaper booked two months in advance, for Los Angeles travellers can save up to 40% and for Bali the savings can go up to 45%.

See the table below for best time to book your international flights, according to Kayak.

International destinations (top ten most popular for Brits)

DestinationAverage return price if booked in worst monthNumber of months in advance it is worst to bookAverage return price if booked in best monthNumber of months in advance to book for best priceSavings
1) New York£3768£317516%
2) Orlando£59811£353241%
3) Dubai£35011£271323%
4) Auckland£91511£381758%
5) Los Angeles£57011£343240%
6) Las Vegas£67911£340450%
7) Sydney£85111£584331%
8) Tokyo£56911£458320%
9) Manila£4698£333229%
10) Denpasar£61011£333245%

4. Secure accommodation two months before arrival

As with flights, Brits can save up to 60% by booking 3 or 4-star hotels at the right time.

On average, Kayak found that booking accommodation in the most popular holiday destinations one to two months before arrival can result in significant savings.

For example, booking a hotel two months in advance can result in savings in Benidorm of up to 50%, in Dublin up to 46% and in Krakow up to 56%. However, destinations further afield can have quite different levels of flexibility depending on where the traveller is heading to. Cancun or Dubai require the most planning according to Kayak; with 3 or 4-star hotels needing to be booked six and nine months in advance respectively to score savings of up to 22% and 16%.

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