Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: When's best to book my spring easyJet or Ryanair flights to the Algarve?
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Friday 14 December 2012
Q I am going to the Algarve for March and April next year from Bristol. When would be the best time to book my flights with economy airlines, eg easyJet or Ryanair, to get the cheapest prices?
A Probably right now, especially if your trip is likely to coincide with the extra demand spurred by Easter.
In 2013 Easter is uncommonly early, with Good Friday on 29 March and Easter Sunday on 31. Fares immediately before and after are likely to be high, and will only rise further as seats become scarce. The early Easter has implications for school holidays, though most that I have checked are breaking up on or just before Maundy Thursday, 28 March, and returning on Monday 15 April. That means flights on the weekend of 13/14 April will also be in high demand, as will those on the previous weekend because of people starting or ending a one-week holiday on Saturday or Sunday. If you are looking at any of those dates, it makes sense to buy now.
Should your planned dates manage to avoid all these peak times, however, you can afford to be a bit more relaxed - especially if you are prepared to consider flights from other airports, such as Birmingham (on Monarch or Ryanair) or Bournemouth (on Ryanair). But personally I would book now, to lock into a specific fare - and to be able to look forward to springtime in the Algarve.
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