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How to bag cheaper flights this summer, including when to book and the best day to travel

Swapping your holiday dates or departure airport can result in big savings, research shows

Benjamin Parker
Tuesday 06 June 2023 19:42 BST
There’s still time to book a summer holiday for this year
There’s still time to book a summer holiday for this year (Getty Images)

Holidaymakers could be missing out on savings by not taking advantage of the cheapest times to travel this summer, according to new research from Skyscanner.

According to the price comparison site, almost three-quarters of Brits are planning to jet off on a trip, but only 10 per cent of searches are for the cheapest week of the school summer holidays – despite a deep-dive survey showing that those who have booked think they found a good deal.

With 31 per cent of those planning a getaway yet to book, Skyscanner has shared its findings, based on the 80 billion prices searched on its system every day.

The first two weeks of the school holidays are by far the most popular weeks to head away this summer, despite it being the most expensive time to travel. Skyscanner’s data shows that, on average, travellers can save 16 per cent by travelling in the last week of the holidays versus the first week, meaning an average saving of up to £220 for a family of four.

Meanwhile, for those who are flexible, opting to travel on the less popular days of the week can mean savings of around 15 per cent, with Sunday usually the cheapest day – meaning forking out less money and enjoying a quieter airport.

Skyscanner say that it “really pays to do you research” around the cheapest days and weeks, especially as 84 per cent of those surveyed would be willing to change their dates for a bargain. As a comparison, the research shows that flying to Spain on a Tuesday instead of a Friday would result in a family of four saving up to £372 on average for their return travel this July and August.

Another method to bring your holidays costs down is by adjusting your departure airport. Northerners who head across the border to Scotland could save a substantial chunk; for example, return flights to Alicante from Edinburgh (22-29 August) cost £170 per person on average, whereas from Newcastle they come out at £218.

In the south, you can spend less by switching London airports. Skyscanner reports that holidaymakers could save £226 on a trip to Spain for a family of four on return flights to Malaga between 15-22 August by travelling from London Gatwick (£219 per person) instead of London Southend (£276 per person).

Laura Lindsay, Skyscanner’s travel trends and destination expert, said: “Our research shows that over a third of Brits cut back elsewhere, including fewer meals out and less takeaways and coffees, in order to save for their summer holidays, but are less likely to shop around for holidays in the way they would when doing their weekly shop or clothes.”

Ms Linsdsay added that “we encourage all travellers to take note of our savvy tips”.

The research coincides with the launch of Skyscanner’s “Savings Generator” tool, which the company says “help travellers save big this summer”.

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