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Why now is the best time to book for next summer

Southeast Asia offers great value into 2023 as pre-pandemic crowds are yet to return.

Summer 2023 may seem a long way off, but now is the time to start thinking about your family holiday. Because although travel is happily well and truly back, prices are surging, surpassing 2019 levels this year, as demand escalates and airlines struggle to keep up.

Online travel agency Expedia has published its air travel hack report for 2023 with plenty of tips for bagging a bargain. Hot hacks include booking flights up to six months in advance to save around 20%, compared to leaving it just a couple of months before you want to jet off.

Other tips include making bookings on a Sunday for savings of around ten percent on international flights. However, Friday is the optimum day to depart - Expedia claims those who fly out on the last day of the working week save around 15%.

Off-peak travel is of course always guaranteed to lower the price of a holiday, particularly when you avoid the peak summer holiday months of July and August. Not only will off-peak travel save you money, it may also ensure a smoother trip. Flight disruption peaks in July, with average flight delays of more than an hour, while March is the most reliable month to fly.

Nikki Pang, who heads up business development at bespoke travel agency Lightfoot Travel, agrees that when it comes to accommodation, booking ahead can snare the bargains.

“In a lot of cities, hotels use dynamic pricing whereby the fuller they get, the more the rates increase. So it absolutely makes sense to book in advance as you will likely save quite a bit,” she told Asia Family Traveller. “Non-city hotels tend to be a bit more stable but that said, when resorts hit a certain capacity, they will remove offers and perks used to entice guests earlier on, so you might end up getting less bang for your buck despite paying the same rate.”

According to Pang, big ticket trips like Antarctic cruises, great migration safaris and Japan during cherry blossom season need to be booked more than a year in advance. “These ‘bucket list’ type trips sell out incredibly early on and we’ve had to turn quite a few clients away this year because there is simply no availability left. Post-Covid, even simple holidays like a beach resort in Phuket or a villa in Bali are harder to book as flights are still not up to capacity,” she said.

So, if you’re looking to make 2023 the year you get back to travel, the advice is to book early (with a decent cancellation policy) - and make sure you have that flight reserved.

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