Airline ticket prices are the lowest they have been in several years, and that could mean big savings for Hong Kong travelers – especially if they pick their destinations wisely. Read on for additional travel and booking tips.
November is the cheapest month to travel for Hong Kong travelers for five of the 10 most popular travel destinations from HKG, a study by SkyScanner concludes.
Next in line is May, for three of the top travel destinations, followed by June and July, which are tied for third place, with one of the 10 most favoured travel destination each.
Average savings on airline tickets runs from 8.9% to 23.6% to these destinations. Tickets should be purchased from four to eight months in advance.
Unfortunately, for some of these destinations, you might have to put off travel until next year.
As the saying goes, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!” And a trip to what is arguably Asia's most festive country could, in fact, also represent excellent value.
Keep in mind that the Philippines is a vast country, and three of its islands – Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan – have been ranked as among the world's top travel destinations by travel magazines in recent months.
Plus there's no big rush to book tickets. You will have plenty of time to research where you want to stay and what you want to do.
According to the study, Manila represents the biggest potential savings, and November would be the best month to travel.
Not only that, you wouldn’t have to book your airline tickets several months in advance.
Hong Kong travelers booking flights to Manila need just one month in advance and could save nearly one-fourth off their airline ticket!
What's more, Manila is just about a two-hours' flight from Hong Kong so a quick weekend get-away is well within reason.
Other viable travel options within the immediate region would include Bangkok, Osaka, and Taipei.
Hong Kong travelers can also reap big savings on some long-haul routes, as well.
Travelers flying to Sydney, Australia, could save to 18%. Travelers flying to Vancouver, British Columbia, could save up to 16%.
Most Popular Travel Destinations
Here’s a look at some of Hong Kong’s most travel destinations as well as when to travel, how far in advance tickets should be booked, and how much money can be saved.
- Taipei, Taiwan – if travelers book tickets six weeks in advance they could save 11.4% off airline tickets by flying in November.
- Osaka, Japan – if travelers book tickets seven weeks in advance they could save 14.7% off airline tickets by flying in November.
- Bangkok, Thailand – if travelers book tickets 18 weeks in advance they could save 15.5% off airline tickets by flying in November.
- Seoul, Korea – if travelers book tickets 20 weeks in advance they could save 10.3% off airline tickets by flying in June.
- London, England – if travelers book tickets 14 weeks in advance they could save 13.9% off airline tickets by flying in November.
- Paris, France – if travelers book tickets 14 weeks in advance they could save 8.9% off airline tickets by flying in May.
- Bali, Indonesia – if travelers book tickets 17 weeks in advance they could save 14.1% off airline tickets by flying in November.
- Manila, Philippines – if travelers book tickets four weeks in advance they could save 23.6% off airline tickets by flying in November.
- Vancouver, British Columbia – if travelers book tickets 24 weeks in advance they could save 16% off airline tickets by flying in November.
- Sydney, Australia – if travelers book tickets nine weeks in advance they could save 18% off airline tickets by flying in November.
As the above figures indicate, there is still time to book flights to save money for travel this year to Taipei, Osaka, Bangkok, London, Manila, and Vancouver.
Sydney and Paris would be tight so you’d better rush.
For travel to Bali and Seoul you would have to wait until next year. Keep in mind, however, that airline tickets don’t go on sale that far in advance. Airlines usually put tickets on sale 11 months before their scheduled departure.
Don’t Book Too Early!
But make sure not the jump the gun!
CheapAir advises against booking flights TOO early. Airlines usually launch tickets with “really high fares” and then introduce discounts a few months before departure, the travel booking website says.
Once you decide WHEN you want to travel, you should consider what day is the best day to book airline tickets.
Is there a best day? If really depends on whom you ask.
Expedia recommends booking tickets on Sundays, especially if you are reserving flights at least 21 days in advance. Friday, however, is the worst day to book an airline ticket, the booking website says.
FareCompare is very precise about when to book a ticket, suggesting booking it on Tuesday afternoon at 3 pm. That’s because on Monday morning, airline officials start evaluating how many seats were sold over the weekend.
On Tuesday morning, they start checking out what their competitors are charging and readjusting their fares. The dust starts to settle in the afternoon, the website says.
FareCompare also advises that the cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The most expensive days to fly are Fridays and Sundays.
Needless to say, comparative shopping is always a good idea. And don't forget to compare prices after all fees and taxes are added in.
Some airlines advertise really low fares and then sock it to you with really high fuel surcharges.
Talk about sticker shock at check out!
What many travelers don't realize is that unlike taxes, which are set by governments, fuel surcharges are set by the airlines themselves, and they are NOT standardized across carriers. Some airlines DO, in fact, use fuel supercharges to camouflage high fares.
Also pay careful attention to such things as whether you'd be better off to check your bag or carry it on board. Add-ons can really add up.
“At Skyscanner we are dedicated to providing travelers with all the information they need to have the best possible trip,” Fang Fang, Senior Marketing Manager, Skyscanner, Greater China.
“Our ‘Best Time to Book’ data enables Hong Kong consumers to plan ahead and save significant amounts on airfares. By combining these findings with tools like Skyscanner Price Alerts and Whole-Month View, users have all they need to secure the best deals.”
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