2024 holidays: Travel expert shares the best times to book next year's summer getaway - tips and tricks

A travel expert has shared the best times to book your 2024 summer holiday - as well as tips and tricks to get cheaper deals
A travel expert has shared the best times to book your 2024 summer holiday - as well as tips and tricks to get cheaper deals. (Photo: Getty Images)A travel expert has shared the best times to book your 2024 summer holiday - as well as tips and tricks to get cheaper deals. (Photo: Getty Images)
A travel expert has shared the best times to book your 2024 summer holiday - as well as tips and tricks to get cheaper deals. (Photo: Getty Images)

As the temperatures plummet across the UK as we head further into the warmer months, many will be looking ahead to booking their next summer holiday getaway for next year. Many will be looking for ways to enjoy a holiday on a budget amid the cost of living crisis.

January is traditionally the travel industry’s busiest month for booking. Katy Maclure, a travel expert and editor of The Detour, a weekly newsletter from Jack’s Flight Club, has spoken to NationalWorld about when is the next time to book your holidays for 2024 along with general deal tips and tricks. 

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Here are the “golden rules” according to the travel expert. Ms Maclure lists when is the best time to book your getaway over next year’s school holidays and the best time to book flights for next year.

A travel expert has shared the best times to book your 2024 summer holiday - as well as tips and tricks to get cheaper deals. (Photo: Getty Images)A travel expert has shared the best times to book your 2024 summer holiday - as well as tips and tricks to get cheaper deals. (Photo: Getty Images)
A travel expert has shared the best times to book your 2024 summer holiday - as well as tips and tricks to get cheaper deals. (Photo: Getty Images)

When is the best time to book my 2024 holiday?

Book flights over the festive season

Ms Maclure says it is “common” that “airlines have price drops or sales on specific holidays.” She advises those looking to book their holidays for next year to “watch out for Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year as many airlines are known to offer deals over the festive period.”

When to book for the school holidays

Cheap flights for Easter and summer holidays “often pop up between November and February”, Ms Maclure said. She advises people to look out for flights for their summer holidays now to ensure the best prices. 

When to book long haul flights

When searching for long-haul flights, the advice is to book in advance to save the most money. Ms Maclure said: “Broadly speaking, buying tickets somewhere between eight months and six weeks before your desired departure date will give you the highest chance of securing the lowest prices.”

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She added: “One exception to this rule is airline TUI. Going against the grain, the airline often puts deep discounts on flights less than three weeks away, mostly to beach-type destinations in the Caribbean and Europe.”

When to book short haul flights

The best time to book a short-haul flight is “a few weeks to four months before departure” according to the travel expert. Ms Maclure said: “We’ve found that short-haul flights are more predictable when deciding the best time to book and will often see the best deals, as airlines are consistently competing to sell seats to popular destinations. 

“In the UK, the likes of budget airlines such as Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet, operate a lot of the same routes, therefore among them, flash sales can drop at any moment. As a rule of thumb, we’d recommend waiting and booking short-haul flights with these operators just a couple of months in advance.”

However, if you're planning to fly with national airlines such as British Airways, the advice is to plan in advance. Ms Maclure added: “British Airways have short-haul sales a couple of times a year, usually once in February/March and then again after the summer. Keep these sales in mind as you may be able to get your hands on a bargain.”

Is there a best time of day to book your holiday?

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Ms Maclure told NationalWorld: "It's somewhat of a myth that certain days of the week can be cheaper than others for booking trips. Airlines used to upload all their new fares at the beginning of the week, typically making Monday-Tuesday the best days to find cheap fares. Since this can easily be done at any time now, the same rules don't apply. That said, airlines rarely drop fares significantly at the weekend.

"As for times of day, fares tend to be updated early in the morning, so checking first thing is a good rule of thumb for knowing what the price will be that day. The only exception to this would be during airline sales, which often drop at midday."

Tips and tricks for booking your 2024 holiday

Flexibility is Key

Ms Maclure advises to be flexible with your travel dates as shifting your departure or return date by a day or two can sometimes make a significant difference in fare prices.

Set Fare Alerts

Use fare tracking tools, or deal alerts from platforms such as Jack’sFlightClub as then you'll be notified when deals go live or when prices drop for your desired route.

Research Airlines and Routes

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The travel expert told NationalWorld that different airlines may have varying pricing strategies for the same route so it is advised to do your research and compare prices, even if it means flying with a less well-known carrier.

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