Let’s be honest: Booking flights can be a nightmare. We sit down, overflowing with excitement and visualise the dreamy adventures to come. But a sea of fluctuating fares, transport complications and a thousand search options hits us in the face. Well, not anymore… because we talked to our travel data experts here at Trafalgar to get the tried-and-tested tips that’ll make booking travel for 2023 turbulence free.
Booking travel for 2023? Take our 10 top tips
Turn your travel bookings into a joy, not a chore.
Be flexible with dates
It pays off to be flexible when booking your travel for 2023. Both with the dates and destinations. Although we may be initially reluctant to sacrifice our dream vacation days, even shifting your flights a week later can significantly reduce your fare.
Summer travel is notoriously expensive compared to off-season and low-season travel. So if you have the capacity, why not try exploring during a different time of year? For example, you can witness a flurry of pink cherry blossoms (sakura: 桜) light up Japan in late-march/early April spring-time. Or feel the crisp crunch of red leaves underfoot as you explore hiking trials in the Canadian Rockies.
Mix up your destinations
Likewise, often the best adventures come from being flexible with our travel destinations. Popular demand for sunny havens like Spain, Greece and Italy can soar flight fares (and even prices when you are there) – which can put a damper on your trip. But take this as an amazing opportunity to open your mind to new spots and cultures. Whether that’s tasting exquisite orange wine in Georgia’s foothills, discovering the history of crumbling castles in Edinburgh or Stockholm’s sleepy fishing villages – the best kind of travel for 2023 may just be unplanned.
Reverse the usual order
When booking travel, our natural instinct is to choose a destination, then think of the dates we want to go, and pay the price to make our dream travel become reality. But a fun (adventure-inspiring and money-saving) travel tip is to reverse the order!
Bring up a world map of low-to-high flight prices for certain dates – which can help you pick out an exciting a new destination for your next adventure. Whisper it quietly… but we believe open-minded travellers have the most fun.
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The rumours are true. Our indecisiveness when hoovering over flight details online can bump up the prices (thanks to the website’s cookies). So an easy trick to get secure your good deal quick is to operate on incognito mode in Google Chrome. That way you’re in control.
Price comparison websites & flight alerts
It’s true. The sheer volume of flight price comparison websites can give you a headache. But you can reap the rewards if you master this delicate art. We recommend Skyscanner as it allows you to be flexible by searching for all flights during a calendar month, as well as drawing up the cheapest months. Similarly, the ‘Explore Map’ feature on Google Flights is an excellent way to see the best travel options from your local airport. And sites like Momondo, Kayak, Expedia, Priceline and WayAway (for US locals) have value.
An easy tip is to also set up flight alerts for latest deals (and for those to your desired destination). And for the extra inquisitive, sites like Hopper predict future flight fluctuations based on historical data. Thank us later.
Mix and match airlines
How often have we clicked a return flight to see a shock number. You too? Then remember that mixing and matching airline providers for your outgoing and return flight can be an easy way to secure an affordable deal. This often means buying single flights from each airline directly; and while that requires a touch more planning, the money you save might be cause to dine on the finest Italian spaghetti when you arrive.
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Learn the perfect booking time
Evidence suggests booking your flights between 2 and 4 months before departure is a sweet spot for prices. So for the ultra-organised among your or last-minute-bookers – know the being strategic with when you make your booking can make a big difference.
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Get creative with transport types
Who says flying is always the quickest route? To improve your status as a sustainable traveller and save time in the process… it’s time to take the train. For example, the Eurostar from London to Paris is faster than the flight time – as is the train journey from Madrid to Valencia (only 2 hours 15 minutes by train compared to 2 hours 45 minutes by plane… and that’s not including airport time).
Likewise, flying to an airport and taking a cross-border train to your final destination can be a clever way to save money and/or cut time. That’s right. It’s time to get creative when you book travel for 2023.
The temptation to take our entire wardrobe on holiday is real. We find ourselves reaching for a 15 different outfits and pairs of shoes we haven’t worn in years. “Just in case”, we tell ourselves.
When in reality, taking hand-luggage for shorter trips can escape us from long airport queues and reduce our fare. It also means each travel item has a purpose and we don’t have to stress about excess washing or stressful packing and re-packing during our trip.
Keep it light, and your adventures will linger heavy on your heart.
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Go on a travel tour
Are you ready for the ultimate stress-saving tip? In fact, it’s why Trafalgar exists. All accommodation, many meals and a detailed, immersive travel itinerary (planned by day) is organised for you when you join a Trafalgar tour. Meaning we handle the details, and you can focus on having incredible experiences.
From getting inches away from sleeping lions in Namibia to gorging on local wine and homemade tomato sauce in a Tuscan family home – we take away the admin and leave you to do the travelling.
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Are you looking to book travel for 2023? Tell us where you’re hoping to go in the comments below.