When is the best time to book flights? Travel experts share holiday money-saving tips

Experts say the earlier you book your holiday, generally, the cheaper it is. Credit: PA/Wales this Week

As travel restrictions ease and with the summer season fast approaching, for many of us, a holiday may be on the cards this year.

But things are different post-pandemic, and not just when it comes to Covid restrictions. There's also Brexit to consider too.

So where should you start? and are there any savings to be had?

Whether it's a staycation or a holiday abroad, here are some top tips for people searching for the best deal when looking to book some time away.

Is there a good time to book?

Monica Stott, who has been a Travel blogger for about 13 years, told Wales this Week "the sooner, the better" is the most cost-effective approach.

She said: "You used to be able to get last-minute deals online the week before or even the day before. But that's not the case anymore."

Monica has travelled all over the world but currently lives in Wales with her children, where she blogs about her adventures and family life.

Less popular destinations could be key to saving money when booking your holiday says Monica. Credit: Wales this Week

"Get things booked in as soon as possible. The earlier you book your holiday, generally, the cheaper it is," she added.

"Always keep an eye on the prices of flights, hotels and pre-booked activities. So you have a good idea of the prices of things you want to book and you can suss out a good deal.

"The less popular destinations that are just as beautiful but are maybe not as well known could be key to saving money when booking your summer holiday."


Check-in one suitcase between you. Or if you are a big family or a large group you could share suitcases as pairs, and use hand luggage where possible.

Watch out for added fees, read the fine print so you know if there are any extras when you get there.

You could bring your own food, to avoid paying for food while in the airport.

Consider a long layover, and you could visit another city during your trip.

Staycations or abroad?

Our travel habits have been forced to change over the last few years, but experts say staycations are here to stay despite us being able to travel abroad in recent months.

Monica Stott says: "In some ways, it can appear that it's cheaper to go abroad but really when you factor in all the other additional things with going abroad, you might book a package deal but then when you think about getting to the airport and perhaps putting your dog in the kennels, all those extra costs they do add up as well, it's not just that first cost you see."

Adrian Greason-Walker from the Wales Tourism Alliance told Wales this Week that booking direct and supporting small businesses when booking a holiday locally could also save you money and support the tourism industry.

Nearly 10% of the Welsh workforce is dependent on tourism.

What is the situation post-covid?

Many countries are lifting restrictions, for example, Greece currently has no travel restrictions, and you don't have to fill out a form.

However entry restrictions and testing requirements remain in force in Spain, so it is advised by ABTA the travel expert advice association to go to your local travel agent who can guide you through your options and the best destination for you.

Sean Tipton from ABTA says the cost of living has had a major impact on the tourism industry.

He said: "Because people weren't able to go out to theatres, restaurants bars, for a long period of time over the last few years.

"People were also saving money and also weren't able to go on holiday. And so now a lot of people are saying they want that trip of a lifetime.

"Our industry is very predictable, increasing demand leads to higher prices so it's best to get in as early as possible, particularly if you want to get in during June and July.

David Child from travel company Thomas Cook says he has seen a change in holiday habits since the pandemic and has noticed people are choosing all-inclusive and longer holidays.

He said "A family of four should expect to pay between £1,600 and £2,000 for a 10-day-all-inclusive getaway in Europe.

"This year we have also noticed 80% of our customers are choosing 4 and 5-star accommodation and a lot of them are also choosing all-inclusive.

"Because of the effect the pandemic had on European tourism, airlines have laid down a lot of flights, hotel rooms are full which means hotels are not having to discount prices to fill up rooms.

"Typically the whole summer would be booked up but our biggest selling month at the moment is June, so holiday booking habits have changed since the pandemic."

Find out more about what Wales can offer and some top tips for your holiday abroad on Wales This Week at 8pm tonight (17 May) on ITV Cymru Wales.