Planning on travelling long-distance? Then you'll need to book your flights three months ahead, according to a travel blog which claims to have found the secret to hassle-free holidays.
Travel comparison website Kayak analysed millions of online flights to reveal the ideal time to book, and the best days to fly.
And rather than snapping up last-minute deals, they recommend that British travellers should, on average, buy air tickets three months ahead of their departure date – unless they're planning to go to Asia.
The best online flight deals for the region, they reported, could be found seven months in advance.
For South America and the Middle East, the most attractive prices can be found around five months in advance - and four months in advance for the Caribbean.
Whereas those wanting to go away to Central America and the South Pacific should book three months in advance.
|Region||Time before travel|
|North America||2 weeks|
|Central America||3 months|
|South America||5 months|
|Middle East||5 months|
|South Pacific||3 months|
According to the website, spontaneity isn't completely dead, however - and late bookers will find the best deals for Europe and North America two weeks before travel.
In pictures: Top ten long-haul holiday destinations
In pictures: Top ten long-haul holiday destinations
1/10 1. Maldives
Why do people go? The Indian Ocean archipelago is a perennial favourite among honeymooners seeking blissful beaches and, crucially, seclusion. With scores of private islands to chose from, and a notable absence of kids’ clubs on many, this is tropical hideaway territory. And those almost implausibly perfect beaches – talc sands and sea turtles paddling below the waterline – make the Maldives a once-in-a-liftetime escape from reality.
2/10 2. Thailand
Why do people go? This seductive South-east Asian nation welcomes visitors with beatific smiles, divine cuisine and affordability. Luxury comes at a fraction of the price of other Asian countries, while backpackers can play out 'The Beach' fantasies on a shoestring budget. Days spent splashing about in emerald-green waters and evenings back on shore indulging in Thai massage, fragrant curries and ice cold Chang beer – what could be better? And when the islands and beaches have been exhausted, there are golden temples and wildlife-rich hill country to explore.
3/10 3. Sri Lanka
Why do people go? For a beach holiday with cultural frills. Sri Lanka has a little bit of everything: laid-back golden beaches, surf breaks, dazzling wildlife, piquant cuisine, tea plantations, Buddhist temples, ancient citadels, graceful colonial architecture and a vibrant capital. And it’s possible to experience most of that on a two-week holiday.
4/10 4. United Arab Emirates
Why do people go? For beaches and sunshine without the hassle of a long-haul flight. There’s only a four-hour time difference to contend with and you can fly there in under seven hours, so short breaks are viable without the anxiety of jetlag or losing days to travel-time. The watchwords here are sun, sand, sea and shopping. Culture is much further down the agenda: a Louvre and Guggenheim are in development in Abu Dhabi, but are years off completion.
5/10 5. USA
Why do people go? Geographical diversity, culture and wide open spaces. The big lures are New York for shopping, Florida for Mickey Mouse and California for, well, pretty much everything you could possibly want from a holiday, including fantastic wine. And, just in case you’re wondering: no foreign language skills required, and the food is supersized.
6/10 6. Mauritius
Why do people go? Because they’re in love. Couples converge on this Oxfordshire-sized Indian Ocean island to make the most of warm seas, sandy beaches and complex spa offerings delivered by the luxury resorts that line the coast. For local fizz, visit bustling Port Louis to experience the island’s peculiar African/Indian cultural mash-up. For nature, try Black River Gorges National park. And always remember the tragic history of the dodo, now commemorated on Mauritius’s currency and flag.
7/10 7. Malaysia
Why do people go? Because they find it difficult to make decisions. Kuala Lumpur is the travel hub that lures many travellers en route to elsewhere, or those keen to sample the nation’s culture and cuisine. Here the Petronas towers stand as a beacon of South-east Asian confidence. For something more off-the-beaten track, the Malaysian Borneo offers astonishing jungle terrain and stunning beaches.
8/10 8. Cuba
Why do people go? The only outpost of communism in the western hemisphere is a nation caught in time, and Havana is the most extraordinary city in the Caribbean, if not the world. The crumbling architecture and vintage American cars are being spruced up, but Cuba’s revolutionary history still captures the imagination. Oh, and if that doesn’t do it for you, Varadero and Guardalavaca are resort towns that deliver much the same experience as you’d be able to find anywhere else with a Caribbean climate.
9/10 9. Antigua
Why do people go? Direct flights from the UK make this an easily accessible part of the Caribbean, with virtually guaranteed sunshine. Nelson’s Dockyard offers a glimpse of the British colonial past, but the big reasons to be here are the beaches, the snorkelling, the windsurfing, and the golf. Familes can get enough of the place: kids clubs and all-inclusives rule.
10/10 10. Singapore
Why do people go? En route to Australia. Singapore is the ideal stopover destination. Adjust your bodyclock, acclimatise to the heat, stretch your legs and pack in a couple of days of Asia-in-a-nutshell. There’s air-conditioned shopping, the cuisines and cultures of Chinatown and Little India, verdant gardens, a resort island, treetop walks in the forest and gleaming colonial architecture repurposed as boutiques and design-focused hotels. And for longer stays, Malaysia and Indonesia are close at hand.
It also analysed the best time to fly long-distance, and found that travelling in the middle of the week is the cheapest option. The best day to fly is Thursday – returning between Tuesday and Thursday – except for long weekends in Europe.
The best combination for those sees travellers departing on Thursday and returning on Sunday.
Kayak based its research on flight searches conducted between November 2013 to February 2015, from the UK, for travel dates between November 11, 2013 and February 2015.
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