When’s the best time to book Summer Holidays for the best deals?

When it comes to booking a summer holiday, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there. Some travel experts advise you to book a summer holiday as early in the year as possible to secure the best price. Others tell you to wait until the last minute for even cheaper discounts.

Here at Plans Change, we believe that the best time to book a Summer Holiday largely depends on your circumstances, and there are deals to discover no matter the time of year. So join us as we share some of our top money-saving tips and how to find the best summer holiday deals.

What is the best month to book a summer holiday?

Generally, January and February are considered the best months to book a summer holiday. This is down to the fact that many travel companies have January sales to encourage bookings after Christmas.

One of the advantages of booking a summer holiday in January or February is that more options are available. You’ll have your pick of the best summer holidays! For many people, January also marks the start of their new annual leave, so it’s also an excellent time to book a holiday and get it in the work diary before someone beats you to it!

When’s the best time to book summer holiday flights?

If you have chosen not to buy a package holiday and are purchasing your flights separately to your accommodation, you will need to consider the best time to book flights. Travel experts advise that you book flights 3 months before travel or 6 months if you’re jetting off on a summer holiday during the peak season. So, essentially, you must book your summer holiday flights in January.

To score cheap summer holiday flights, it’s best to try and book mid-week. Tuesday has long been regarded as the cheapest day for flights overall. However, data from Expedia suggests that the best day of the week to book international flights is a Sunday, saving 20% compared to the most expensive day - Friday.

If you can be flexible, it’s also wise to book an early, late or overnight flight, as these tend to be less expensive due to being a little more inconvenient for passengers.

How far in advance should you book a summer holiday for the best price?

While January and February are considered the best time to book summer holidays for the best deals, if you aren’t ready to book your trip just yet, don’t panic! There are always last-minute summer holiday deals to snap up at a later date.

However, if you leave booking your summer holiday until the last minute, it pays to be flexible on the destination, your travel dates and flight times. Spontaneous travellers often benefit from cheap deals a couple of weeks before departure, when hotels and airlines are desperate to fill their quota and, therefore, drop their prices considerably.

Do summer holiday prices go up the more you look?

There’s long been a theory that online travel companies use browser cookies to increase prices for returning visitors. This has led many consumers to browse ‘incognito’ or clear their browsing data and cookies to prevent it from happening.

We can’t say whether this is something online travel companies do. However, the consensus is that this isn’t common practice. Fluctuating prices for summer holidays, hotels and flights are often down to dynamic pricing - meaning prices are altered based on demand.

For instance, if an airline carrier had many seats to fill on a particular flight, it may lower its price to make it more attractive to passengers. On the other hand, if a hotel was nearly at total capacity and only had a couple of rooms left to sell, it may increase the prices, knowing that demand for their rooms is high and they’re likely to get booked, even at a slightly higher rate.

What month is the cheapest to go on holiday?

Now we’ve discussed the best months to book a summer holiday; it’s worth looking at the cheapest month to book for. As you’ll likely expect, summer holiday prices are lower when children are still in school. So, if you can book a summer holiday for May, June or September, you’ll likely get a cheap deal on hotels and flights.

If you have school-age children or want to go away in August, the best time to book a summer holiday is the last 2 weeks of the summer holidays. There is usually less demand for hotels and flights during these 2 weeks, so prices tend to be slightly lower!

Shall I book my summer holiday now or later?

To book your summer holiday in advance or last minute - that is the question! Here’s our advice…

If you…

  • Want to make the most of the January / early bird sales
  • Have to travel at a specific time / on specific dates
  • Want to go on a summer holiday to a particular destination
  • Are booking for a large group of people

Book your summer holiday in advance. The wide range of choices in January / February means you’re almost guaranteed to get a good deal on the destination you want to visit. By booking your summer holiday now, you will benefit from competitive prices. You may even take advantage of some extras travel companies throw in, like free luggage allowances, children go free or a fancy room upgrade!

And remember, if you book your summer holiday and your plans change, you can always re-sell your hotel room on our marketplace. Visit our Resell My Room page to find out more.

If you…

  • Can be flexible on dates or are happy travelling out of peak season
  • Don’t mind what destination you visit
  • Can fly early in the morning or late at night

You might benefit from booking your summer holiday last minute. Prices often plummet a few days before departure to fill empty plane seats and hotel rooms, so you can secure a fantastic deal! It’s also worth checking out our Resale Deals to see if you can bag a one-of-a-kind offer on a hotel room for your summer holiday. We’re constantly adding new hotel listings, so keep refreshing the page and popping back to find the best summer holiday deal for you!