Frequent travellers know flights will typically be cheaper when booked further in advance, but there are certain days of the year which will always cost more than others.
It is useful to know when the seasons change, as the price difference between a few days can mean savings of hundreds of pounds per person.
Some periods are fixed, particularly those around the Christmas holidays, but most change each year, tying in with events such as the Easter and Bank Holidays, along with school half-terms and summer holidays.
Flight Centre UK analysed airfare data to calculate the 10 worst dates to travel in 2016:
- 12 February: A popular date for skiers, prices are reaching the peak price-point for half term school holidays.
- 24 March: As the Thursday before the Easter long weekend, travellers should expect peak pricing due to the extra demand.
- 13 April: Busy date for travel to Thailand as the country celebrates Songkran, which is their traditional New Year’s Day and is favoured time to travel to the region.
- 27 May: Spring bank holiday weekend is a favourite time of year to seek some early sunshine in the Mediterranean.
- 11 June: England’s opening game in the UEFA Euro 2016 is going to mean that travel to France is likely to be in demand and therefore expensive – likewise on the 10th July for the final!
- 1 July: This is the start of the summer travel period and peak season prices kick in for most destinations. Given the large jump in fares, it can also mean that the last few days of June are extremely busy as well as travellers look for the best travel deals.
- 21 October: Start of the Autumn half term school holidays. If you don’t need to travel during the school holidays, this is a date to avoid.
- 6 November: A weekend away in New York will be expensive on this date as people travel to attend or watch the city’s prolific New York Marathon.
- 24 November: New York will also be expensive on this date as people travel to take part in the national celebrations for the Thanksgiving holiday.
- 22 December: Prices will have started to rise as early as the 12th December if you are travelling as far as Australia & New Zealand, however, by now they are reaching their peak. They will begin lowering again when most are back at work and school in early January.
Last year, several headteachers planned to change term dates to allow families to make better use of off-peak travel, after more than 60,000 families were fined for taking children out of school without approval.