With most people now back to work and the nights gradually getting shorter, thoughts will inevitably be drifting to Easter breaks, summer holidays and sunnier climes. By making use of a few simple tips, it’s easy to save big when booking a break – experts suggest Sunday could be an ideal day to book. This is based on data from Expedia.co.uk, who analysed billions of data points to find that for those travelling within Europe, savings on average ticket prices by booking on a Sunday can be around 30 percent compared to other days of the week. Meanwhile, January is the best month to buy economy round trip tickets starting in Europe for all regions except the US, meaning great value on a holiday can be found this Sunday.
To help save even more on your booking, here are five more top tips on how to get the most from your travel budget.
Book your trip at the right time
Purchasing airplane tickets 21 days or more in advance offers the best prices-especially for trips within Europe and the United States. Some trips can give discounts of as much as 30 percent for booking three weeks before the departure date. A recent fare search also indicated that a ticket between Europe and the United States cost £1,558 when booked less than 21 days before departure but cost around £1,027 when booked more than three weeks in advance, saving £531.
To get the best deals on trips within Europe, you need to book flights almost two months ahead (at least 56 days) so for short haul Easter breaks its best to start booking now. For travel to Asia and the US it’s best to book flights around 6 months ahead (+ 171 days for Asia and + 180 for the US) so now is also a great time to plan your big summer break.
Get money back on bookings and travel
To save even more, why not look into whether you are able to collect frequent flyer miles, cashback, points on credit cards or Nectar points? The rewards on a typical family holiday can return up to £200 off your next trip.
Book flights and hotel at the same time
One critical – but often overlooked – method to drive savings is for travellers to simultaneously book their flight, hotel and/or rental car on an online travel agency. “flight+hotel” bookings can be offered at a steep discount, with average savings on Expedia.co.uk of £140 and often exceeding it depending on the route in question.
Those savings can be lost if travellers book these elements independently, which is common, so flight+hotel bookings remain the single easiest way for travelers to save hundreds on travel, both domestically and internationally.
Include a Saturday night stay
After evaluating terabytes of data regarding the impact of including a Saturday night stay on average ticket prices, Expedia has concluded that the urban myth is true and most tickets including a Saturday stay offer the lowest prices and best deals. In Central Europe, average ticket prices for itineraries that include Saturdays can be as much as 74 percent less and 47 percent less for flights within the UK and Ireland. The impact of Saturday night stays exists independent of what day of the week a ticket was booked and how many days in advance it was purchased.
Head to an alternative neighborhood on your city break
By checking out the alternative areas of a city you can save even more on your hotel. Expedia’s local experts have provided advice – such as booking in a business district for a weekend stay – to help travellers to find money-saving alternate destinations that aren’t too far from the downtowns or most popular areas of the cities in question. For example, staying in the Financial District or Battery Park City when travelling to New York can offer savings but still offers the chance to stay in two spots that are fast becoming the city’s new must-visit areas.