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As we reach the end of what has felt like the longest January in history, many of us are beginning to think about booking a holiday for later in the year. While the nights are long and the weather is cold, having something to look forward to can really help to chase those January blues away.

Of course, holidays cost money and it’s always a good idea to try and get the most you possibly can out of your holiday budget. This can be done by shopping around and booking wisely. We all know that when you take your holiday is one of the biggest cost deciders, but did you know that the day you book your trip can also have a huge impact on prices? Save money from the very start with our top timing tips!

When is the best time to book a holiday?

You may have heard that it’s cheaper to book your holiday at the very last minute, or really far in advance. The truth is that you can usually find some kind of deal if you know where to look, no matter how long it is between booking and departing.

As a general rule, booking flights on a Tuesday or Wednesday can see you paying much less for your ticket. This is because most airlines will announce their new flights and costs on a Monday, and by Tuesday rival airlines will have already started competing on price. By Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, you’re likely to find some much cheaper standard fares compared to just 24hours beforehand.

The best savings can be found if you’re brave enough to book just a few days before you go. Of course, your choice is much more limited, but if you don’t have a particular country in mind this can be a very fun and extremely cost effective way to see the world. Savings of 70% or even more can be possible, saving you hundreds of pounds!

When is the cheapest day & time to fly?

The day you fly can have a big impact on cost, and you’re likely to see this when you’re at the pre-booking stage. Where possible, view flight times and prices for as many days as possible either side of your preferred holiday days. You could find that certain days are much, much cheaper than others. This can be due to a number of reasons, like public holidays in the destination country, undersold flights, and limited time offers - to name a few.

You may also find that flights covering a long weekend may be more expensive than those going mid-week. This is likely due to the higher demand for long weekend trips, thanks to the fact that less time needs to be taken off work or school.

It’s also not unheard of for airlines to accidentally list the wrong flight price due to computer or human error. Once these are available, they legally have to take the advertised cost until the mistake is rectified, so keep your eyes peeled for slip ups!

When it comes to flight times, prices can vary throughout the day. Flights at more unsociable hours do tend to be cheaper, but this may not be the case with all destinations. If you’re prepared to fly very early or very late in the day, you can find it’s cheaper than flying at a more sociable time.

In general, it’s almost always cheaper to fly outside of school holidays. It’s a common misconception that it’s cheaper to fly on Christmas day and New Year’s Eve – these dates can actually be more expensive than days either side, although it’s always worth checking.

What is the best length of holiday?

If you’re able to play around with the length of time you are to be away for, you could find that staying longer works out cheaper in some cases. For instance, you may find that there are much cheaper flights every Tuesday (a common day for low fares) and that instead of a traditional 5 night holiday, it’s actually cheaper to stay for 7 nights. Of course, the cost of your chosen accommodation will affect this, but in some cases it’s actually more cost effective to have a longer holiday!

It’s also worth looking at package holidays to your chosen destination. This is because it’s sometimes cheaper to book a package holiday than flights on their own. Where this is the case, you can book the package holiday to get the cheaper flight, but you don’t have to stay in the specified hotel if you don’t want to. This will dictate the length of your holiday somewhat, but you could find the perfect match if you’re prepared to shop around.

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By H&T Pawnbrokers