If you're already day dreaming about those beautiful summer days, you might be ready to plan your next holiday to a warmer locale. If you're planning a last-minute holiday to top up the vitamin D, which destinations have affordable last-minute fares from Manchester? And when is the ideal time to buy flights heading towards the sun if you live in or near Manchester?
We've scoured data from Skyscanner to identify ideal travel windows for different destinations when flying from Manchester, and to discover how far out you should buy your tickets according to destination. Ticket prices can rise 5X or more the closer you get to take-off day, but they don't always. For some destinations, you can actually secure a lower price when you buy last minute—we've identified these locations as well, for spontaneous Manchester travelers.
Destinations with cheaper last-minute tickets from Manchester
Surprisingly, the Skyscanner data showed you can save money by purchasing a last-minute ticket from Manchester to a number of hot spots, including Gran Canaria, Menorca, Cancun and Santorini. For these destinations, buying just a month or so ahead of your travel date will typically secure you the lowest fares as opposed to buying further ahead of time. Spontaneous travelers should consider these destinations when looking for a good deal on a last-minute trip.
How Far in Advance Should You Book Flights from Manchester?
|Book this Far Ahead for the Best Deals (months)||Destinations|
|0||Gran Canaria, Menorca|
|1||Cancun, Gran Canaria, Santorini|
|2||Ibiza, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Thessaloniki,|
|7||Alicante, Cairo, Corfu, Los Angeles, Malaga, Miami, Palma, Cathage, Toulouse, San Francisco, Rhodes|
|9||Barcelona, Kos, Miami, Venice|
|More than 12 months||Abu Dhabi, Bali, Houston, Marrakech, Tel Aviv|
Don't fly last minute to these destinations
At the other end of the spectrum, there are some warm destination to which you should never fly last minute if you're budget conscious. When traveling to these destinations from Manchester, you'll typically pay the most expensive fares when purchasing your ticket with less than a month to go before your flight:
- Abu Dhabi
- Los Angeles
- Las Vegas
- Tel Aviv
- San Francisco
Best month to travel to these warmer destinations
Visiting a destination at the right time can bag you the best deal. For example, those traveling from Manchester to Menorca will lock in the lowest prices for flights in July or September. Travelers to San Francisco and LA will pay the least if they go in February. Corfu and Ibiza flights are the cheapest when you go in April.
Cheapest Travel Months from Manchester, by Destination
|Destination||Cheapest Travel Month|
|Gran Canaria||January, November|
Using Price Alerts to Get a Good Deal
Ticket prices generally trend upwards as you get closer to holidays like Christmas. But you can take advantage of the fact that ticket prices actually fluctuate quite a bit by setting up price alerts on certain itineraries. If a price drops, you'll be able to take advantage and book.
There are a number of price alert tools in the market, including Google Flights, Expedia.com and SkyScanner.com. Enter your home airport, your desired destination and the potential dates of travel to get an email when the price on your trip dips.
You may not want to take the first dip, unless of course you think it's a good discount and it's a price you're happy to pay. Knowing when to buy can take some guessing, but watching price alerts can help you get a feel for when it's a good time to buy.