THE time of year that you travel could make a big difference to how much you pay for a trip – and it’s not just about avoiding the school holidays.
In fact, the cheapest months to travel will also vary depending on whether you’re flying, going on a cruise or travelling by train.
This is because there’s a different “shoulder season” for each type of holiday – a time of the year where demand is generally lower and so travel companies lower the price as well.
Here, Sun Online Travel reveal the best months to travel whether you’re going by plane, cruise or train:
Travelling by plane
Next time you book a long-haul flight, you should choose May, June or September to travel, according to research by TravelSupermarket.
Their stats revealed that these months are the “shoulder months” for flights as they are often before or after the busy peak period.
The destinations are generally quieter and cheaper too.
A short-haul holiday is best booked in May, with package holidays in Europe up to 50 per cent cheaper.
Previous research also revealed that January is one of the cheapest months to travel, as few people want to go abroad following an expensive Christmas.
But if you’re flexible enough to book a last-minute break, there are some fantastic deal to be found.
While not specific to a particular month, the dates right after a Bank Holiday can be particularly cheap.
Most people are rushing to take advantage of the extra day, and therefore pushing up the prices of holidays.
But because of that, there’s hardly anyone going on holiday just after the Bank Holiday, meaning it’s often much cheaper.
Travelling by cruise
A cruise holiday can also be much cheaper if you travel during the “repositioning” period.
Repositioning cruises, also known as “repo” cruises, are when ships head to a different port for a new route.
As the route is only one way, and you might not stop in as many ports, it can mean discounted prices.
Ian Crawford from CruiseDeals.co.uk told Sun Online Travel: “The shoulder seasons for cruising are April and October, when cruise ships move between their winter and summer destinations and there are amazing deals available.
“These are known as repositioning cruises and prices are lower because they are typically longer in duration, spend more days at sea and are adult only.
“But, they also visit two parts of the world, such as the Caribbean AND the Mediterranean, and during sea days passengers can really unwind and get the most out of their ship.
“For example Marella Celebration’s Atlantic Sunsets repositioning cruise from Barbados to Cyprus has a 20-night duration and includes stops at amazing islands in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, yet prices start from just £1,656 per person and all food, drinks and tips are included.
“Marella Explorer 2 makes its own journey from the Caribbean to Southampton with a 17-night Atlantic Voyage itinerary starting 26 April 2020 that includes stops in Dominica, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Azores and France, with all-inclusive prices from only £1,911 per person.”
Travelling by train
When it comes to travelling by train overseas, such as the Eurostar, it’s the time of day that makes a big difference.
Mark Smith, from The Man in Seat Sixty-One, explained: “On Eurostar I often find the first very early train of the day (and sometimes, the last evening train) has the cheapest seats.”
He also said that the cheapest times to travel are often lunch times on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday – Friday and Sunday afternoons are the worst, along with Monday mornings.
Mark also added that months such as February and November are often the least busy therefore companies will offer bigger discounts.
Also, they avoid the major holidays such as Easter and Christmas.
Another way to save money on your next holiday is to move hotels halfway through your trip.
A travel app reveals how, by utilising low demand for a hotel, switching rooms can save hundreds of pounds.
Travellers have also revealed their tips and hacks on how to avoid holiday stress, such as taking a photo of your airport car park zone to using pill boxes to avoid tangled jewellery.