When the travel bug bites and the world beckons, aside from renewing any potentially expired passports in time, one of the biggest dilemmas we face is when to book those long-distance flights for our dream holiday. Is it best to seize the deal early or wait for last-minute offers? Should you book during a specific season or precisely on a particular day of the week? Let’s unravel the mysteries and discover the ideal time to secure your long-haul flight for the upcoming 2024.
Early Bird or Last Minute?
For many travellers, booking long-distance flights well in advance can be a wise move. Airlines often release their flight schedules and seats around 11 months before departure. As ABTA advises, booking anywhere from three to six months prior to your intended travel date can yield benefits in terms of availability, options, and potentially lower prices.
This approach is particularly advantageous if your travel plans coincide with peak seasons or holidays and particularly applies to long-distance flights, especially if the airline anticipates strong demand. However, if you end up booking last minute, you might occasionally stumble upon a last-minute deal that was not previously available.
Days of the Week Matter
Research suggests that the day of the week you choose for your long-distance flight can significantly impact the cost of your ticket. It’s a matter of timing and strategy that could make a notable difference in your travel budget. Whether you’re planning a UK-wide trip or heading overseas, midweek days, specifically Tuesdays and Wednesdays, tend to offer better deals. Airlines often introduce fare sales early in the week, and by Wednesday, competitors have usually adjusted their prices.
While Tuesdays and Wednesdays usually offer better fare options, weekends can be somewhat trickier. Many travellers plan their trips and search for flights during the weekend, leading to higher demand and potentially higher fares.
Flexibility is Key
Remember that flexibility can be your greatest ally when booking long-distance flights. Being open to flying on different days or from nearby airports can often lead to substantial savings. To keep your finger on the pulse of fluctuating flight prices, consider setting fare alerts with travel websites or apps. This way, you’ll be notified when fares drop, helping you seize the opportunity when the price aligns with your budget.
Choosing the best time to book a long-distance flight also depends on the season and destination. On the Opodo website, you can find an informative research report about this topic, with additional insights to help you make informed decisions regarding your long-distance flight bookings. Their user-friendly online portal also offers an extensive search engine to help you explore an array of flights, accommodations, and even discounted flight and accommodation packages.
In the end, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the best time to book long-distance flights for your holiday. It’s a puzzle influenced by factors like destination, season, and personal preferences. However, keeping an eye on airline schedules, being aware of your travel season, and staying flexible with your plans can help you unlock great deals and ensure your dream holiday becomes a reality.