As the January blues kick in and Brits start planning their next holiday, Kayak, the world’s leading travel search engine, has analyzed search data for 2024 summer holiday destinations and reveals when to book to get great prices.

The good news is that flight ticket prices for this summer are currently relatively the same as they were last year, on average only increasing by around 2%*, but that could change. KAYAK has analyzed price data from 2023 flight searches to provide insights on when travelers are likely to find great deals for popular destinations this summer.

Generally, based on last year’s searches, travelers who booked their summer European flights around two months before departure found some of our best deals.


Kayak’s Chief Commercial Officer for Kayak Annie Wilson commented: “If you’re planning on booking a summer holiday to Greece, then you may want to wait a few more months, as our data shows that travelers who booked their trip around two months before departure saved on average 16% more than booking 9 months before they traveled.”

Those planning on spending the summer in Thailand could get a great deal by booking now, eight months before travel, which could see savings of around 25% based on flight searches last year. For a holiday ‘across the pond’ to the United States, travelers previously found booking four months in advance led to savings of 12% on average.

When to book flights for summer holidays, based on 2023 searches for economy flights from UK airports   
Most searchedcountries for summerholidaysBooking window(months in advance oftravel)Average price of return economyflightsAverage savings found
1.  Spain2 months£179-22% (vs. booking 9 months before departure)
2.  United States4 months£620-12% (vs. booking the month of travel)
3.  Italy2 months£153-24% (vs. booking 4 months before departure)
4.  Turkey2 months£273-18% (vs. booking 7 months before departure)
5.  France2 months£141-19% (vs. booking the month of travel)
6.  Thailand8 months£744-25% (vs. booking the month of travel)
7.  Portugal2 months£166-20% (vs. booking 6 months before departure)
8.  Greece2 months£266-16% (vs. booking 9 months before departure)


To fund a holiday in 2024 60%** of people plan to reduce their non-essential expenses, according to KAYAK research. Those include cutting out takeaway meals (68%) and dining out (53%), and not buying new clothes or shoes (46%).

The top searched destination in Europe for next summer is Faro, Portugal, where average flight prices are £226***. Sacrificing two months of dining out should save you more than enough for economy return flights to Faro****. You have plenty of time to save for flights to Portugal as KAYAK data shows the best time to book flights for this summer holiday season appears to be two months before travel.

Annie Wilson, Kayak’s Chief Commercial Officer added: “January tends to be one of the most popular times of the year for travel searches. Our Vacay Valuator tool helps travelers with their holiday savings goals as well as finding destinations in their budget. Almost a quarter of people (23%) said they want to eat healthier this year, and perhaps swapping takeaways for funding a holiday resolution could be a great way to kickstart that New Year’s resolution and fund a summer holiday. Why not give it a go, you might not have to make cut-backs for as long as you think.”




Methodology

*Based on flight searches made on Kayak.co.uk and associated sites in the period between 01/12/2022 – 15/09/2023, for travel dates 01/06/2024 – 15/09/2024. Prices are on average for return flights on economy departing from any UK airport. Prices may vary and savings cannot be guaranteed. Percentages for changes in searches are approximate.

**An online survey was conducted by PureSpectrum, amongst 1,200 respondents in the UK who plan to travel in 2024. The sample was weighted proportionately by region for direct comparison. The research fieldwork took place between November 15th – 23rd, 2023.

***Based on flight searches made on Kayak.co.uk and associated sites in the period between 01/06/2023 – 20/11/2023 compared to 01/06/2022 – 20/11/2022, for travel dates 01/06/2024 – 15/09/2024. Prices are on average for return flights on economy departing from any UK airport. Prices may vary and savings cannot be guaranteed. Percentages for changes in searches are approximate.

****Vacay Valuator saving of £278 from two months of dining out. Two months of football matches is a saving of £250.



About Kayak
Kayak, part of Booking Holdings (NASDAQ: BKNG), is the world’s leading travel search engine. With billions of queries across our platforms, they help people find their perfect flight, stay, rental car, and vacation package. Kayak also supports business travelers with its corporate travel solution.