The best time to book flights for Christmas: 5 top tips

Couple on a tropical beach at Maldives

If you're planning a trip over theChristmas period - whether it's to visit relatives, head off on holiday or fly home - it can be confusing trying to find the best deals.

While some people suggest booking months in advance, others rely on last minute deals.

See also: TripAdvisor reveals the best time to book a Christmas holiday

See also: Revealed! The perfect time to book a flight

As Philipp Brinkmann, CEO of Tripsta explains, "Getting the best flight deal is never an exact science as prices are generally always changing, driven by specific consumer demand at any one time. A good rule of thumb is to assume any flights which are more convenient, whether they fall on a Bank Holiday, are direct or don't involve getting up while it's still dark, will be more expensive."

With all flight prices being driven by demand, travel booking site Tripsta share tips on how to beat the system and snag a bargain.

The best time to book flights revealed - plus 15 money-saving travel tips to help make your holiday even cheaper

1. Travelling on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve – steal or save?

Don't presume that by sacrificing a national holiday for a flight you will automatically find the best money saving.

Last year the chance of bagging a great deal for a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day flight was 50:50 with buying an overpriced ticket.

Booking your Christmas Day travel in advance also made no difference, with November bookings for the day rather than in December also seemed to make no difference with 65 percent of good flight deals for travel on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve booked in December.

2. Worst day to book?

Last year, the worst day to book was a Saturday. Out of all flights, the ones booked on a Saturday resulted in the highest number of people paying over the odds for their travel.

Out of all Saturday bookings made in November and December for Christmas travel, 92 percent were way over the average price with only 8 percent representing a good deal.

Other days which offered better value flight tickets were Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Even booking on a Sunday was preferable to a Saturday although still not ideal, with 69 percent of tickets booked on this day not offering an affordable price.

Credits: Getty Images

Getty Images

3. Best time to book?

Although it seems booking on a Tuesday or a Friday is your best bet, the week also plays an important factor.

Last year it seems the highest ratio of reasonably priced Christmas flight bookings were made during the week commencing the 2nd November.

During this week, 60 percent of bookings made were of an average or below average price.

In contrast, the week beginning the 16th November appeared to offer the worst flight prices with a huge 87 percent of bookings made significantly higher than average prices. It seems that even just a few weeks can make all the difference.

4. Most popular Christmas travel periods

Last year, the most popular Christmas travel period was from Christmas Eve until the 28th of December, closely followed by the 21st December until the 28th of December.

By far the most popular return date (56 percent of bookings) was the 28th of December (a Bank Holiday which falls on the 27th of December this year).

With flight prices driven by demand, it would be wise to think a little more creatively about when to leave and when to return for the best flight deals.

5. Get alerted to flight prices as they change with Tripsta's iOS app

As well as useful sites such as Tripsta and Skyscanner, you can also get real-time notifications sent to your phone which let you know when specific flights you're after change in price.

If you have an iPhone, you can also download Tripsta's iOS app, which alerts you when flight prices change.

Simply add a price alert for a specific destination and travel period and you will be informed as prices go up and down.

Celebrity Christmas and New Year holiday destinations
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Celebrity Christmas and New Year holiday destinations

Celebs love Barbados for a winter escape and the likes of Simon Cowell, Sir Philip Green and Rihanna celebrate New Year's Eve on the Caribbean island. Simon likes to stay at posh Sandy Lane, where he has been pictured jet-skiing, strolling the white sands with girlfriend Lauren Silverman and browsing art from local beach vendors. Rihanna returns to Barbados, where she was born, to spend Christmas with her family.

The Beckhams like to swap the cold British Christmas and New Year for the idyllic sands and sunshine in the Maldives. In 2012, David splashed out £250,000 for a family Christmas at the One&Only Reethi Rah. A source told The Sun that the priciest suite was booked for their 11-night holiday. Last year, they returned to the Indian Ocean for a New Year's getaway, where Brooklyn shared snaps of the exotic location on social media. Holiday like the Beckhams at One&Only Reethi Rah where you can enjoy dolphin watching, snorkelling and scuba diving with from £3,800 per person for seven nights including flights.

The parties, fireworks, beaches - Sydney is one of the hottest celebrity destinations to ring in the New Year, where the likes of Rebel Wilson, Alessandra Ambrosia and Sam Smith have celebrated this time of year in the sunshine. Sam was last year pictured climbing the Harbour Bridge before the New Year countdown, while Kelly Brook took to Bondi Beach to party.

A-list celebs including Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney and Lea Michele prefer to escape the limelight for the privacy of Mexico on their romantic Christmas breaks. In 2014, George and Amal invited Jennifer and Justin over for dinner at his house inside the gated El Dorado community in Cabo San Lucas. Singer Jessie J also hit the beaches of Mexico for a festive break and shared her Christmas Day snaps with her Instagram followers.

Kate Hudson, Mariah Carey and Antonio Banderas have all spent Christmas on the ski slopes at Aspen, opting for the snowy resort for a festive break with their families. The resort's celebrity pack are often spotted shopping, dining and skiing in the winter wonderland, as well as strutting through the town wearing fur and high heels. 

Kate Moss appears to have fallen in love with Brazil and is reportedly returning to Rio de Janeiro with friends to celebrate the New Year for the second year in a row. While there, Kate can party with over two million other revellers as the city hosts one of the largest NYE celebrations in the world. According to The Sun, the supermodel will be jetting off to Rio with her new boyfriend Nicolas von Bismark's mother and has invited Fran Cutler, Sadie Frost and the Primrose Hill set to join her. Last year, Naomi Campbell and Victoria's Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio also spent New Year's Eve in Brazil.

While St Barths is the Caribbean island where the stars like to be seen at Christmas, neighbouring isle Anguilla is perfect for those who like to escape the paps on an exotic festive break. Paul McCartney, Beyoncé and Jay-Z have spent Christmas on this hidden gem, with the Viceroy Anguilla and Malliouhana popular hotels among the celebs. Home to some of the Caribbean's best beaches and superb dining, we can see why the A-listers choose to escape to Anguilla for Christmas.

For glitz, glamour and fun in the sun, the stars head for Dubai to celebrate Christmas and New Year in style. Gigi Hadid and Selena Gomez were pictured sitting on the beach outside the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in their New Year's dresses, where they were joined by fashion designer Olivier Rousteing and Kendall Jenner. The group partied on the hotel's private beach as they watched the fireworks overhead. Book a stay in the Beit al Bahar villas, where celebrities often choose to stay, from £1,650 per person for seven nights including flights with The villas come with an 18-carat gold plated bathroom with a sunken circular bath and the exclusivity of a private, shaded pergola.
Movie stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are allegedly spending Christmas in the rolling mountains of Montana with their young children to escape the prying eyes of the media following their split earlier this year. According to US Weekly, the family will stay at the exclusive Yellowstone Club in Big Sky. You can follow in their footsteps and enjoy a celeb-inspired trip to Montana by staying at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Missoula - Edgewater, located on the banks of the Clark Fork River in the heart of the Northern Rockies and just minutes from beautiful countryside, snowy mountains and world-class fly fishing, from £59 per night.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z travelled to Phuket, Thailand for their Christmas break in 2014. The couple were spotted on the beach, where Beyoncé had her face painted and rode an elephant. One eyewitness said the pair looked "very much in love" and were "having a blast" on their festive trip with daughter Blue Ivy. The family topped off their Christmas and New Year break by moving on to Burma to visit the sites.


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