Listen, we love the long bank holiday weekend and we are eternally grateful for the cosy few days around the Christmas period, but let’s be honest here, in terms of holidays, the summer break reigns supreme. And after several years of restricted travel, we were looking forward to jetting off to soak up our fair share of sun, sand and sea (or pool and bar, no judgements here). Then what happens? The cost of living rises by 9% (the highest ever inflation rate) and suddenly our summer funds don’t seem as abundant as before.
However, we’ve had a tip off about the latest travel trend that might just revive your summer jet-setting plans, help you save money and ensure you have a banging break all in one. Hello, flex travel.
Yes, we know this sounds like one of those rail cards that means you can travel whenever you like, but this isn’t about the fast train to Birmingham, it’s all to do with how willing you are to be adventurous and keep an open mind as to where and when you go to find the best deals.
Highlighting the desire to explore all the options available to them, flight searches to ‘Everywhere’ on Skyscanner is currently the most searched ‘destination’ for UK travellers, showing that holidaymakers are just keen to find the best flight and hotel deals, rather than having their heart set on one specific destination.
New research from the travel brand and OnePoll reveals that 45% of UK respondents say they don’t necessarily have a specific destination in mind for their trip when they start their planning and 50% of them are totally flexible when it comes to the where and when they travel. And with one in three participants stating that cost was one of the most important factors when booking a trip abroad it’s no wonder this money-saving tool is number one as travellers research where and when to go to secure the best prices.
Easily ordered by price, a search to ‘Everywhere’ gives sunseekers the very cheapest way to get away this summer, enabling easy exploration of all the options available across hundreds of destinations.
“In the past, being a flexible traveller might have meant flying at anti-social times or from a different airport to get a good price. But in the last decade we’ve seen a seismic shift to more spontaneous and last-minute bookings,” Skyscanner’s Travel Trends Forecaster, Naomi Hahn, explains. “The effect of the pandemic and the ever-evolving travel restrictions have continued to accelerate this shift with flex travel becoming a new travel norm. In 2021 we saw some surprising destinations rise in popularity as corridors shone a light on restriction free destinations – keeping your options open is a trend we expect to continue beyond pandemic considerations and play a major role in summer 2022.”
Sound good? Yeah, we’re pretty sold, too. So the question is now, how do we make sure we’re saving the most money we possibly can? Well firstly, don’t be afraid to do a bit of travel booking pick’n’mix’ing (it’s a word, ok?!); for example, mix and matching the airlines you choose to fly with can seriously cut costs. Fares don’t have to be booked as returns, look at flying out with one airline and back with another or out of one airport and back into another.
Plus, and we know this sounds like a pretty obvious one but it’s one we ourselves often forget, being flexible with your dates as well as your location will ensure you leave as much money as you possibly can, firmly in your bank account (or in a piggy bank on your desk, again, no judgements). Search by multiple dates and airports as flight prices are all based on supply and demand, so if you’re willing to fly from a smaller airport or on dates, or at times, less popular than others, you’re likely to bag cheaper seats. Try and find a website that lets you view an entire month so that you can see where the best deals are – this might mean you fly on a Tuesday rather than a Saturday but, really, once you’re poolside with a Margarita in-hand and no plans to move apart from to reapply your sunscreen, we can’t imagine you’ll really give it that much thought.
See you, er, somewhere, soon.