Winter is approaching and whether longing for a sunny getaway to help overcome the grey days, or a weekend trip to a vibrant metropol to unwind and refuel, for many, this period is the high season for travel planning.

Even though the cost of getting to destinations is likely to increase this year as flight and fuel prices go up, there are still many deals to be snagged. To help travellers hack their winter 2022 holiday budget, Cheapflights.co.za has analysed travel searches to reveal the best time to travel with the biggest savings on flights and hotels. 

Laura Bornet, VP and GM EMEA for KAYAK, which manages Cheapflights, comments: “As flight and hotel prices have tended to rise compared to the previous years, travellers are becoming even more keen on scouting for good travel deals. With flight searches being up by about 40% compared to pre-pandemic, consumers don’t appear to be willing to compromise on their travel plans this winter. They’d rather question when to embark on a journey to balance their travel budget. Our analysis shows that huge savings can be had by planning your trip to the second part of summer. Given that it’s a high season in the popular northern hemisphere destinations, travellers can enjoy the summer bliss and pay less for their holiday.”

Save up to 73% for stays outside of South Africa

For international destinations, a little planning really goes a long way with savings of as much as up to 53% on average on a hotel stay during week 32 of 2022 (w/c August 8). This is compared to the first week of July (week 27, w/c July 4), which is the most expensive week to stay in the winter period. The average hotel price for week 32 is landing on about R2,150 for the overnight stay. Early August is also said to be the best time to stay in a hotel in the African region with an average saving as big as 73% compared to the most expensive stay one week earlier. Paying less for holiday accomodation in South Africa is possible when planning a trip to the end of July ( week 30, w/c July 25) – it can save travellers up to 36% of their budget on average compared to the trips planned to week 36 (w/c September 5). 

Book long-haul flights for mid-September and flights in Africa for July and August

For SA’s holidaymakers planning a winter trip overseas, booking a flight departing mid- September (week 37, w/c September 12) can help to save up to 15% of their travel budget compared to the most expensive international flight options found for early July. Those who are eager to explore closer to home can cut the return flight price by approximately 17% when departing on week 30 (w/c July 25). Beginning of Autumn will be the least profitable time for flying domestically. Price cautious travellers considering a trip across the African region can win back up to 21% of the highest flight price if departing in week 32 (w/c August 8).

Thursdays are the cheapest to fly

If flying out on a Thursday, the deal becomes even sweeter, and savvy planners from South Africa can approximately cut the price by an additional 5% compared to flying out on a Saturday, which is the most expensive day. 

Treat yourself with a vacation in the Maldives for discounted price

Despite the popular belief that cheap flights are history, a look at average flight prices shows that a trip to some top destinations can be very worthwhile as fares are even lower than pre-pandemic. The Maldives leads the list of destinations that are seeing the biggest flight-price drop compared to 2019, with South Africans scoring savings of up to about 31% this year. Nelspruit in South Africa – a perfect starting point for a safari game drive at the Kruger National Park – takes the second spot with the average flight price down by about 24% this winter compared to the same period pre-pandemic. Travelling to Harare, Zimbabwe, can cost adventure seekers about 21% less than three years ago. And those who can’t wait to flock to Europe should consider visiting Athens, Greece, and Budapest, Hungary, given that flight prices to these cities are about 17% and 16% lower, respectively.