15 October 2010

Cheap Flights Around Christmas

When are flights cheapest over Christmas?

Pick your days carefully when booking flights, and you could save over £400

Research into the cost of festive season flights has busted the myth that you save money by flying on Christmas Day. While some destinations are cheaper on December 25, others dip in price on the days either side.



We asked travelsupermeerkat to look into finding and booking low cost of flights to four key Christmas-time destinations between December 18 and 28. You can see the results of our research here

Pick your days carefully when booking flights, and you could save over £400 on a return ticket.

Those looking for winter sunshine in Thailand should forget turkey on the beach on Christmas Day and push their arrival back to December 25 or 26, when flights to Bangkok can drop by over £150 one-way.

By contrast, the cost of flights to Florida is less predictable. Orlando flight prices appear to peak on December 19, 20, 22, 25, 26 and 27. The best days for cheaper flights are December 21 and 28, when one-way prices drop to just over £400.

Flights to Sydney, another popular Christmas destination for both sun-seeking Britons and Australians returning home, maintains high flight prices of at least £600 one-way for the entire Christmas period from December 19 to 28. Marginal savings are apparent on December 23, 25 and 26 but these are likely to fluctuate with seat availablity.

Malaga, where December temperatures can reach a relatively balmy 15 degrees C, is consistently good value, with flights under £80 one-way, until Christmas Day, when they increase to around £100 one-way.

The lesson? To shop around and be flexible with your dates if possible. Not all destinations, particularly short-haul, are served on Christmas Day so don’t assume you can fly on 25 until you’ve confirmed it.

Finally, always check availability to alternative airports - an extra hour’s transfer time can mean large savings on flight costs.

01 October 2010

School holiday ideas for families

October half-term
Go leaf-peeping in Kew Gardens. From the four-star Chiswick Moran Hotel, 15 minutes’ walk from the gardens, you can tiptoe through the treetops on a walkway 18m above ground, warm up in the tropical palm house and visit Kew Palace.



Christmas

Book now to meet Father Christmas. On a day trip to Finnish Lapland you’ll be kitted out in thermal suits and snow boots. An Arctic Circle crossing ceremony in a tepee is followed by a sleigh ride pulled by reindeer. After lunch Santa Claus will give presents to children aged 2 to 12. UK flights from London and various regional airports but

February half-term

Experienced riders (aged 12-plus) can see mountains, lakes, waterfalls and vineyards from horseback in the Andes. Day rides set out from a new, comfortable fixed camp in Mendoza Province, Argentina, far from roads at 2,400m above sea level. The seven-night holiday is from £2,640pp, including flights, full board and guided rides with cazenove+loyd (020-7384 2332, cazloyd.com).

Easter

Discover where the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin came from. Visit the rat catcher’s house and see the clockwork figures of the carillon re-enacting the story in the medieval German town. Sail from Newcastle on April 21 for three nights’ dinner and B&B in a hotel in Hameln, including coach transfers, from £289pp (0871 8220885).