Travel Insider: Why April is the kindest month for travel bargains
Travel tips & advice
April is the sweet spot for travel bargains in 2016, says our Travel Editor. Here, he outlines why.
If I had a cent for every survey 'revealing' the cheapest time to book a flight, I'd be a business class regular by now.
Most recently, search site Skyscanner.ie concluded that booking seven weeks ahead was the optimum time to bag a bargain.
It also found November to be the cheapest month in which to travel.
Finding the best time to book a flight is far from simple, however. Airlines keep their cards close to their chests, and prices can be influenced by everything from demand to fuel costs, exchange rates and terrorist attacks (the cost of holidaying in the Canaries has risen considerably since events in Egypt and Tunisia, for instance).
There is one sweet spot, however - and we're in it.
April is a month that comes after 2.5 weeks of school holidays, and at the start of the airlines' summer schedules. That means more capacity is opening up just as fewer families are travelling... for a limited time.
Travel now, particularly midweek, and you could save a fortune.
April sees new Ryanair summer services from Dublin to Amsterdam, Athens and Vigo (from €19.99 as we print). Aer Lingus is now flying from Dublin to Murcia, and new services to Pisa, Montpellier, LA, Newark and Connecticut will follow.
WOW air is flying four times weekly from Dublin to Reykjavik, with lead-in fares from €69 each way. Don't forget the baggage fees, though - they can vary hugely across airlines and routes.
If April isn't an option, take a look at May. Package prices rise with the weather, but sun holidays and city breaks are still a lot cheaper than in high summer.
Sun holiday deals
The Canaries have shot up this year, but savvy travellers can still find spring deals in the Algarve. Granted, the temperatures are a bit lower in April (11-22 degrees, versus 18-22 for the Canaries), but it still feels like a nice Irish summer.
Going to press, GoHop.ie had week-long, 3-star packages from €158 departing April 24. ClickandGo.com had a seven-night, 4-star package in Praia do Vau from €246pp departing the same day.
Falcon (falconholidays.ie) is also offering up to €250 off April holidays.
City break specials
Fancy a city break? The mercury hasn't quite risen high enough for lazy dips in the Med or Atlantic, but April does offer ideal temperatures (not to mention off-peak crowds) in Europe's cities.
Going to press, Budget Travel (budgettravel.ie) had a three-night, 3-star break in Lisbon from €299pp, Lowcostholidays.ie had a two-night, 4-star break in Rome from €215pp, and Cassidy Travel (cassidytravel.ie) had three nights in Prague from €135pp.
Another site worth bookmarking is the Irish Travel Agents' Association's itaa.ie/offers - it's regularly updates with members' latest deals.
NB: Prices subject to availability.