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Yorkshire Times
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Phil Hopkins
Group Travel Editor & Theatre Correspondent
@philhopkinsuk
12:00 AM 29th December 2023
travel

Best Price Flight Hacks For 2024

 
Monday to Wednesday is the best time to board a cheap flight, while moving your travel back or forward a day can cut costs by 20%, a travel agent has revealed.

To help with booking your holidays in 2024, travel agent and director of multi-centre holiday specialists, eShores, Gavin Lapidus, explains the best ways to save money on flights.

Buy luggage at the right time
It’s well-known that flight prices fluctuate a lot but did you know that luggage prices do too? Ryanair, for example, offers the option to buy a priority ticket that includes a cabin bag and a 10kg luggage you can bring with you onto the aircraft. The prices for this package, however, vary between £6 to £24 depending on timing and the number of people who have already purchased the option.

It can often work out cheaper to buy the 10kg bag when you first book your flight. However, on less popular flights the ‘additional baggage’ offer you get at check in may be significantly cheaper than the one you were initially offered so it’s worth considering how busy your flight is likely to be!

Fly early to mid-week
To take advantage of the best deals, be careful of the day you fly. It's often cheaper to fly in the middle of the week; recent Google data shows that flights departing between Monday and Wednesday are cheaper than at the weekend. Of course, this varies depending on your destination.

If you’re flexible with your dates, always double-check departure days, as flying a day sooner or later could save you up to 20%. When booking, January is often more affordable due to lower demand, so booking your next holiday in the New Year is an excellent time to catch deals.

Don’t rely on last-minute deals
Always book as far in advance as possible. While there are occasionally good ‘last-minute’ deals on flights and holidays, it’s very dependent on how many seats are left on a flight – there may be none, or demand may be high, so prices can spike closer to the date of travel and you can end up paying more.

Last-minute deals can be great for booking cheap, impromptu trips, but relying on them for a planned holiday is a huge risk that no travel agent would recommend.

Book summer holiday trips 10 months in advance
If you’re looking to take a summer holiday during peak school holiday dates, book as early as possible. For long-haul flights, 10-11 months in advance is when you’ll find the cheapest deals, while 8-10 months in advance is best for European trips.

If you miss this cut-off, you can often find cheap fares for long-haul in January and February when demand is lower. Generally, it’s always recommended to book holidays at least a season or two in advance. So, for summer, start looking at flights in winter or early spring, as that is when the best deals will pop up.

Be savvy when booking for peak times
February half-term and Easter are particularly busy booking times, with prices more than double their usual cost due to low availability. Summer is also busier than usual for this time of year, with prices starting to rise.

December is the last month to get a good deal on these peak dates, as prices will spike even further from January. If you’re not planning a holiday with children, then if you can, avoid travelling during the school holidays to get cheaper deals.

Book soon for next Christmas
Christmas is the busiest two weeks of the entire year for travel and prices are often hiked, especially closer to the time. In some cases, you could pay three times more booking for Christmas in December than if you did it earlier in the year.

To get the cheapest prices for Christmas, flights need to be booked as soon as they come on sale. So, for Christmas 2024, you should ideally be booking in January or February. From October onwards, prices will be at their highest.

The days before and after a seasonal holiday are also the most expensive days to travel, so if you can be flexible with your travel dates or extend your trip, that can cut costs.

To discover more travel inspiration, information, or to book your next holiday, visit https://www.eshores.co.uk/