When is the cheapest time to travel abroad?

cheapest time to travel abroad

Whether for business or pleasure, if you have the choice to travel when you want then clearly there are more affordable times to do that than others. 

That is dictated by factors outside of your control – the cost of air or train travel, the affordability of accommodation, demand in high season, etc., and the current forex trading conditions will partly determine the cost of your travel.

How is pound sterling faring against the currency of the country you intend to travel to? Is it better to buy your euros, dollars, yen, etc., now or wait until you depart?

These are just some of the considerations you should have in mind, and so in the lead up to your trip, you should be keeping tabs on the latest forex trading news

When it comes to international travel, here are some other things to consider:

Fly during the week rather than at the weekend

If you can avoid it, we recommend avoiding flying at the weekend where possible.

The vast majority of operators will charge more to fly on a Saturday or Sunday than any other day. Most holidaymakers want to travel at the weekend to help with their work schedule and, as we know, if demand is high then so too, usually, is the price.

Typically speaking, the cheapest days to travel are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so if you want to save some money on your next holiday or business trip then consider planning your itinerary around that.

Some travellers will embark on trips outside of the usual seven, ten or fourteen-day duration, and on some of the travel sites (and Google’s own Flights channel), you can search for specific dates on which to fly. 

Book in advance

It’s common and time-served advice, but it is true that the earlier you book, the better the deal you will get. 

According to Hopper, you can shave as much as $250 (around £200) on the cost of your flight if you book at least 25 days in advance, and so it’s worth remembering that booking at the last minute isn’t always the savviest of things to do. 

If you know where you want to go and when, try and book as early as possible – to avoid disappointment, but to get your flights as cheap as you can. 

Rental car conundrum

Like air travel, it tends to be cheaper to hire a rental car in advance of your trip, so once again get your booking in at least 30 days before you are due to depart.

What many holidaymakers don’t realise is that the big rental firms are changing their rates all the time, even daily, to reflect demand and availability of their fleet.

By booking in advance, you can lock in a fixed rate that is unlikely to be available as you get nearer to your travel date. 

Travel out of season

You are no doubt abundantly aware of this already, but each location will have its peak and off-season.

Beach getaways in the Mediterranean are busiest during July and August, of course, and naturally trying to book a trip to Lapland is much easier in the summer than in December.

The seasons dictate demand, and demand dictates price, so you can see how the two elements impact upon each other.

If possible, avoid travelling during school and public holidays – your bank balance will thank you later. 

Split the difference

Some travellers choose to get their hands on their international currency before they depart the UK, whereas others wait until they have landed at their destination before exchanging their money.

The truth is that both parties are leaving them exposed to the perils of currency fluctuation. Pound sterling and the euro, in particular, have been very volatile in recent times, and nobody can predict where these currencies will be at your point of travel.

One option is to split when you secure your travel money – half in the UK before you leave, and then the other half when you land. That way, you are less at risk of forex fluctuations.

Also, don’t be tempted to use the bureau de change services at your destination airport – the rate they offer tends to be below par. Instead, do your research before you leave and make sure you find a bank or shop in your trip location that provides the best possible rate available. That way, you will have more money to spend on your holiday.