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As you start to browse expensive flights and holiday packages for next year, you’re probably wondering if you’re looking at the right time. Should you pay attention to what others are doing, or should you just hit “buy” based on your gut feeling?

Believe it or not, there are actually good times and bad times to plan your next trip, depending on various circumstances. By monitoring flight prices, watching crowd trends, and generally paying attention to how people travel, experts have legitimately discovered the “best” times to pack your suitcases and venture somewhere new.

Many people fail to go through with their travel plans for two reasons: because they don’t have the time or because they lack the funds. However, if you play your cards right, you can combat both of those problems with careful planning.

Do research to find the “best” time for your holiday and you’ll be able to find cheaper flights, better hotel deals, and less-crowded destinations. Here are some helpful tips that will make booking your next holiday simple, cost-effective, and stress-free.

When Is The Best Time To Book A Holiday..? | My Travel Monkey

If You Want to Save Money…

For most people, money is the biggest factor when and if they book their next holiday. January and early February is usually the cheapest time to bag yourself plane tickets – many airlines have sales at this time. However, if you don’t want to commit to a holiday that early on in the year, don’t fret. There’s are times called “dead zones” in the world of travel. This phrase refers to the off-season periods for destinations, which can vary depending on their location and popularity. Before booking a flight to your dream spot, do some research to determine when their cheapest flights are available.

If You Have Children…

Once you become a parent, planning a holiday isn’t all about what you want and it’s worth considering choosing a destination or resort that will make every member of the family happy. Deciding when to travel with children is less about picking a time of year and more about taking their ages into consideration – school holidays also play a big factor, while some parents want to wait until their children are old enough to deal with long-haul flights. While I would disagree, I do understand the fear associated with flying with little ones.

If You Want to Avoid Work Stress…

Do you feel guilty at the thought of jetting off on holiday when so much is happening at work? If the stress of abandoning your job is going to take a toll on your holiday, consider booking a trip during the least productive month of the year: January. After everyone comes back from Christmas, offices tend to lose steam and take things more slowly for a few weeks. This gives you a great excuse to extend a break without ditching important business.

When Is The Best Time To Book A Holiday..? | My Travel Monkey

If You Hate Airport Crowds…

During the holiday season, airports can be a nightmare. Security lines are packed, flights are overbooked, and everyone’s in a rush to get to their final destination. If you’re looking to plan a relaxing getaway, consider flying outside of June, July, August, November, or December, which are all incredibly busy (especially on the weekends). Go for the more laidback spring months when people are less likely to schedule their flights.

If You have to Plan a Summer Trip…

Although summer is always popular and the most expensive time to travel, for families there really isn’t much choice outside of the summer months. To cut down on flight costs and avoid crowds, try to travel during May, early June, or late August. Based on 2017’s trends, those tend to be less busy times of the summer, but you’ll still get to reap the benefits of warm weather and summertime excitement.

When Is The Best Time To Book A Holiday..? | My Travel Monkey

If You Plan to Take a Cruise…

If you’re looking to save money on a cruising holiday to the Caribbean, head out in late spring or during autumn. If you’re looking into Alaskan cruises, try to book yours during May or September since both months are less popular and more affordable. Mediterranean cruises tend to be cheapest in April or October, although you can sometimes find good deals during other times. Interested in going to Mexico? Attempt to find a trip in early January when others are still recovering from the holidays.

*This is a collaborative post