When is the best day to travel for a Christmas holiday? Jet off for your festive break on Christmas Day and you could land you sky-high savings of up to £2,445, new research has revealed.
Travellers who are prepared to forgo the traditional Christmas Day celebrations at home and enjoy their turkey dinner mid-air could bag the biggest savings, which range from £218 to a whopping £2,445, according to Cheapflights.co.uk.
In its festive flight search, the travel website revealed that Christmas Day flyers can save up to 23 per cent on flights to the most popular Christmas holiday hotspots.
Cheapflights looked at the top ten most searched-for Christmas destinations and found that they were all long-haul destinations, with Bangkok in pole position and New York, Dubai, Sydney, Los Angeles, Goa and Cape Town also riding high.
Sydney, which ranked as the fifth most popular Christmas getaway destination, is on average 23 per cent or £227 cheaper to reach on Christmas Day - at £755 - than it is on other days during the festive period, for example 23 December when average fares start from £983.
Sun-seekers heading for Bangkok can save an average of £125 (18 per cent) by flying on Christmas Day when average fares are just £551, versus 23 December when prices are £676.
Similarly, flights to Cape Town are, on average, £112 (12 per cent) lower on Christmas Day at £791 versus £903 on 22 December.
Savings on other popular December holiday destinations include Bali (£191 saving), Las Vegas (£106 saving), Auckland (£200 saving) and Tokyo (£105 saving).
So, where can you find the best Christmas Day flight deals?
Flights from London to Sydney with Qantas, via Dubai, on Christmas Day are currently available from £627 versus £1,141 on 22 December, saving you £514. Flights from London to Bali with Malaysia Airlines, via Kuala Lumpur, on Christmas Day are currently available from £1,144 versus £1,766 on 22 December, saving you £622. And flights from London to Cape Town with Qatar Airways, via Doha, on Christmas Day are currently available from £801 versus £1,019 on 23 December, saving you £218.
The biggest saving can be found on flights from London to Auckland with Emirates, via Dubai, on Christmas Day, which currently cost from £865 versus £3,310 on 22 December, saving you a huge £2,445.
Andrew Shelton, Managing Director of Cheapflights, told AOL Travel: "If you have always wanted to visit Australia, South Africa, Asia or the USA but have been put off by the prices, travelling on 25 December could be the way to get you there."
Shelton adds that holidaymakers should plan ahead and book early to make the most of the Christmas Day savings.
Are there other benefits to flying on Christmas Day?
There are other benefits to a Christmas Day flight, such as practically non-existent queues for airport security and deserted departure lounges, says Andrew. You are also more likely to be able to spread out on the plane with an empty seat next to you.
"There is generally a festive mood so airport and airline staff are extra friendly, while some airlines even serve special festive in-flight meals," he adds.
"A word of warning, however, to those who are swapping board games for a boarding pass this Christmas: don't rely on the airport for any last-minute holiday shopping as most of the shops will be closed; and be sure to plan your journey to the airport carefully, due to public transport restrictions."
Where to go for a white Christmas
Where to go for a white Christmas
For a guaranteed white Christmas, head to the uber-cool ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland. At Christmas, the hotel is lit with twinkling lights, Christmas games are played on the frozen Torne River and there is a special torchlight procession to the village church for a traditional carol concert. Evenings are spent participating in snowy excursions and indulging in festive dinners. A four-night Christmas break departing on 22 December 2016 with Discover the World costs from £1,209 per person based on two sharing (1 night in an Ice Room and 3 nights in a warm Kaamos room), including flights.
Spend Christmas in a picture-postcard chalet in snowy Chamonix, one of the highest mountain ranges in the entire Alps, with sensational views of Mont Blanc. Chalet Rimaye is located in a quiet and peaceful area, within walking distance of local restaurants, bars and a general store, just five minutes’ drive from Chamonix town centre. The chalet for eight people has a spacious open plan lounge and dining area, perfect for Christmas dinner, and a log burning fireplace at its heart. There is a second lounge with a home cinema and flat screen, and the bedrooms have balconies with views out across the mountains. High Mountain Holidays offers a seven-night stay from 3,400 euros for eight people starting on 20 December 2016.
At the foot of the majestic Matterhorn, Zermatt is arguably one of the prettiest mountain villages in Switzerland and wonderful for a snowy Christmas escape. The traffic-free resort is accessed via railway and you can explore the village by modern electric taxis or traditional horse and carriage. On a romantic Christmas break, you can take a walk through the old town Hinterdorf, ride the highest-altitude, open-air Gornergrat Railway and ice skate on natural and artificial ice rinks dotted around the town. Kuoni offers a seven-night Ski Independence holiday at the four-star Hotel Mirabeau from £3,449 per person, including flights departing from London Gatwick on 22 December and First Class Swiss Rail transfers.
Harriniva's igloo-shaped Aurora Domes are the first of their kind in Finland, set on the banks of Lake Torassieppi and far from any bright lights. The transparent wall provides an exceptional view of the surrounding scenery and makes for spectacular stargazing and Northern Lights viewing. The luxury glamping tents invite guests to stay cosy under canvas and enjoy the warmth and comfort of an open fire. The Torassieppi Harriniva Hotels & Safari Taste of Lapland package starts from 828 euros per person and includes one night in an Aurora Dome, return airport transfers, full board, Christmas dinner, lunch in the ice restaurant, snowmobile and husky safaris, and snowshoe hire. Finnair flies to Kittilä airport from London Heathrow via Helsinki from £235 return.
This Christmas, you can go on the ultimate white Christmas holiday to Antarctica, where you will kayak among playful penguins, visit historic sites and working scientific stations, and camp out under the midnight sun. The eleven-day voyage with Aurora Expeditions departs from Ushuaia in Argentina before ending in Punta Arenas. The company only crosses the Drake Passage once on this trip, which means less time sailing and more time enjoying the Antarctica Peninsula highlights. Prices start from £7,122 based on a twin or triple share cabin on the 17 December 2016 voyage.
Thought Christmas on the slopes was too pricey? Think again. You can holiday in Verbier for as little as £599 per person. The snow sure resort is home to lovely chalet Mont Gele, which is located in the heart of the town. This ski-in and ski-out chalet can sleep up to 34 people for the ultimate festive break with your loved ones. Around Verbier, there are many celebrations, from a theatrical visit from Santa Claus to carol singing. On Christmas Day, enjoy a Christmas breakfast while opening your presents before heading out to the untouched slopes and returning to a four-course Christmas dinner with Champagne at the chalet. You can then relax in front of an open fire playing board games while your chalet host takes care of the washing up. Powder White offers a seven-night break at Mont Gele from 20 December 2016 for £599 per person, based on 34 sharing.
If you like the idea of a cosy log cabin to snuggle up in this Christmas, then you'll love staying in the wooden snow-covered camping pods at Camping Flims in Imboden, Switzerland. Located in the Flims Laax Falera region, which is a true winter wonderland, the campsite is surrounded by endless slopes and ski resorts making it ideal for winter sports. There is a restaurant on site and all guests receive complimentary bus travel between Falera and Fidazstops. The fully insulated and heated pods come in two sizes to accommodate groups of two, three or four and cost from £326.63 for four nights for three people over Christmas with Pitchup.com.
Want your white Christmas in the UK? Holidaycottages.co.uk is offering to make your dreams of a white Christmas a reality this year by working with expert teams to use state-of-the-art snow and winter effects right outside your holiday cottage front door, as well as a fully dressed Christmas tree, fairy lights and tinsel galore inside. Book by 11 December and you could have a white Christmas in North Devon at Forches Head Cottage, near Exeter. The delightful rural cottage offers serene countryside views, bright accommodation for a couple or family of four and welcomes two dogs. A seven-night stay costs from £505 starting on 23 December 2016. The White Christmas service starts from £6,000.
Set in the heart of UNESCO World Heritage Site Banff Springs, Fairmont Banff Springs is an incredible place to spend the festive period and guests are always guaranteed plenty of snow. The hotel offers unparalleled skiing in Canada and there are canyon ice walks, fishing and skating for non-skiers. This year's Christmas in the Castle activities include brunch with Santa, a wilderness walk and the Santa Claus Parade of Lights. Wexas Travel offers a five-night stay from £2,355 per person based on two sharing, including flights departing on 22 or 23 December 2016.
Enjoy a Christmas like no other on a journey to Arctic Norway at charming fjord-side hotel Malangen Resort, set amid magical winter landscapes outside the city of Tromsø. On an exciting five-day break, families experience husky and snowmobile safaris, soak up the unique culture and customs of the Sami people and visit remote wilderness camps in search of the Northern Lights. On Christmas Eve, guests are served a traditional Norwegian festive feast, followed by a visit from Santa Claus himself. Wexas Travel offers a Christmas holiday at Malangen Resort from £1,660 per adult and £1,055 per child, including return flights departing on 23 December 2016.