Timing is everything when it comes to scoring the cheapest prices for flights and hotels in 2017, according to new analysis by travel search engine KAYAK.co.uk.

By analysing data based on millions of searches, the company has found that with a little planning, travellers can save huge amounts of money.

For example, Brits can save up to 80% on flights to Europe and internationally by booking their airfares at the right time. The best prices for mid-haul flights can generally be found just one or two months in advance.

The biggest savings can be made when flying to the popular destination of Faro in Portugal, where flights are 80% cheaper when booked one month in advance compared to the worst time to book. And similar savings can be made for other key destinations. Flights to Mallorca can be 75% cheaper when booked two months in advance compared to the worst time and flights to Tenerife and Rome, are 66% and 61% cheaper respectively when booked one month in advance.

However, more forward planning is required for certain destinations to get the best deals. When it comes to the increasingly popular destination of Reykjavik for example, five months in advance is the best time to book, which offers savings of up to 61% with an average price of £69.

To get the best savings on flights to the most popular long-haul destinations, the best deals can also be found by waiting until nearer to the departure date. The research found that booking two to four months in advance of the departure date secures the best deals on the majority of destinations in the top ten.

For certain popular international locations huge savings can be made if Brits are prepared to wait until two months before departure to book. Orlando can be as much as 41% cheaper, while travellers to Los Angeles can save up to 40% and for Bali the savings can go up to 45%.

Again, there are some exceptions. Holidaymakers aiming to visit New Zealand can secure the best price if they book a trip to Auckland seven months in advance, resulting in savings of up to 58%, when compared to the most expensive booking time.

The analysis of the best days of the week on which to travel answers the ‘when to fly’ question, showing that with a bit of flexibility and the right itinerary, the best flight prices can be secured.

On all routes, both long and short, flying out in the middle of the week is the cheapest option.

The best departure and return days generally fluctuate between Tuesday and Thursday. Huge savings can be made - for example, flights to Mallorca departing on a Tuesday with return on Tuesday, can be up to 75% cheaper than those booked to depart on a Saturday with return on Wednesday. It is a similar story for Rome, where the savings are up to 72% for departure on Tuesday, returning Thursday compared to departing and returning on a Saturdays.

As with flights, Brits can save up to 60% by booking three- or four-star hotels at the right time. On average, booking accommodation in the most popular holiday destinations one to two months before arrival can result in significant savings. For example, booking a hotel two months in advance can result in savings in Benidorm of up to 50%, in Dublin up to 46% and in Krakow up to 56%.

Those happy to leave it until even nearer to their trip can score the highest savings on some of Brits’ most popular destinations. By booking Venice one month in advance, savings can be up to 60% on the hotel room per night. Booking one month in advance is also the golden rule to save money on accommodation for Amsterdam, Barcelona or Paris. However, if Brits want to stay in Reykjavik or Maspalomas they should be prepared to book well in advance as six and eight months respectively, can offer savings of up to 38% and 41%, in comparison to the most expensive month.

Destinations further afield can have quite different levels of flexibility depending on where the traveller is heading to. Cancun or Dubai require the most planning and pre-booking is vital; securing a three- or four-star hotel six and nine months in advance respectively is needed to score savings of up to 22% and 16%.

Less planning is required to reduce spending for certain destinations. New York offers savings of up to 47%, Orlando up to 38% or Singapore up to 25% when booked one to two months ahead.

For Brits looking for the ultimate budget trip, the company's research also identified the cheapest destination to fly to, both within the EU and out. Madrid (£66 on average) is the cheapest destination for Brits wanting to travel mid-haul in 2017, while perennially-popular Marrakech in Morocco (£93 on average), tops the list as the cheapest airfare internationally. For both destinations the best airfare can be secured one month prior to departure, resulting in savings of up to 55% and 62% respectively. The best days to travel are Sunday to Tuesday for Madrid, while Brits planning a trip to Marrakech should book a Friday to Friday trip to score savings on their airfare.

Image source: kzenon, fotolia

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