Times are hard and have been for some time, so how is it that the travel industry is still growing? Despite the recession, high-end airlines continue to expand, to say nothing of the budget carrier market’s ongoing quest to redefine how far and how cheap a no-frills flight can be. Research shows that while we tighten our belts in other ways, we’re unwilling to sacrifice our foreign escapes.
There’s evidence to suggest, though, that we’re becoming more and more travel savvy the longer the fiscal downturn goes on. Sites such as Sky Scanner and Expedia are the first port of call these days when a trip down the high street for brochures was the way of the past. We’re more willing to put the package together ourselves, and we’re more likely to pull strings to save money. Our bosses are becoming more flexible regarding time off and schools are reporting an epidemic of parents wishing to excuse their kids during term time. In short, DIY off-peak is the new high season all-inclusive.
With this in mind, we’ve conveniently been able to channel our recent mild addiction to Momondo.com. The aggregator with the facts at its fingertips is a powerful force for procrastination if you’re a travel buff with a fetish for price fluctuations. Suffice to say, we’ve managed to crowbar in an excuse to present your need-to-know seasonal flight tips for some hot spots around the world…
High summer (July-September) is the priciest time for a stroll down Fifth Avenue, but strike in May or June and there’s deals to be had. Similarly, an early December shopping trip beats the Christmas rush and high fares, especially if you can fly in and out on weekdays.
The west coast comes out to play a little earlier with June being comparatively expensive. However, LA prices plummet as soon as August ends so look out for some hot deals on early September getaways.
Momondo reports almost no fluctuation in price during winter whether you book two months or a week in advance, which spells only one thing- last minute bargains! Add to that the high competition and range of airlines in the market and you’re looking at a short notice booking paradise, especially off-peak.
A perennial favourite, Prague doesn’t suffer seasonality fever the way other destinations do. The depths of winter are cheap but undesirable and flights almost double in price at Christmas. However, spring and autumn are a great time to go and prices fluctuate then making a quick dash affordable if you shop around.
Another popular choice all year round, particularly spiking during Christmas and Oktoberfest. Yet booking at least a month in advance and being willing to vary your U.K. departure point could help you take advantage of a competitive budget airline field.
Off-peak-friendly Morocco is glorious all year round though somewhat unbearable during our summer. Spring and autumn are ideal however and prices are particularly low during September, October and either side of Christmas.
Surprisingly unseasonal and with a host of European carriers offering deals throughout the year, Egypt is a fine choice to investigate early and late summer. Temperatures soar in June to August.
It’s not a cheap route but it is a malleable one. As such, book significantly in advance, shop around and you’ll find a return deal well below £800, even at the height of summer.
In demand all year round, there seems no way around high prices to reach China’s capital. However, the stats reveal afternoon flights are most sought after from Europe, most likely as they arrive in time for business and beat jet lag. If you’re robust enough to keep unsociable hours you’ll be doing your pocket a favour.
For London to Sydney, Momondo’s analysis of 10 million fares suggests the expected- it’s all about the airline on this red letter route. Don’t take any aggregator’s word for it- use them as a guide and then go direct to the airline for a quote. In this case you have every major international carrier to choose from.