Travel Advice: January is discount month, so take advantage

There’s no need to feel baffled by the array of offers available during this month’s sales

Most airlines are having sales or offering special deals in the coming weeks. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images

Most airlines are having sales or offering special deals in the coming weeks. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images

 

This is the busiest month of the year for booking holidays, and also the most confusing. Unless you have a good idea of where you want to go and what you want to do, you could be baffled. Every airline, tour operator, travel agent and hotel group is having a sale and offering discounts, special offers and more to tempt you.

Aer Lingus has its biggest sale of the year in January, with up to 50 per cent off European fares and transatlantic fares on offer from €249 one-way. Buying fares upfront means paying at the same time, though Aer Lingus has an option for transatlantic fares whereby you can pay 50 per cent at time of booking and the balance up to 120 days before travel.

In conjunction with Click and Go, Aer Lingus offers the option of booking European package holidays or city breaks with accommodation and transfers for a deposit of €1 on holidays booked 10 weeks in advance.

Ryanair recently launched package holidays that can be booked on its website. All the elements for a package can be booked, but be careful: it takes time, and the website can time you out before you are finished. Do your research first on hotels, transfers, insurance, suitcase sizes, and so on, and have all the details to hand before you start booking.

A useful tool on the Ryanair site is the “cheap flights from?” option which helps you find low-cost fares by the month.

January is discount month. Tour operators and travel agents can take the legwork out of booking holidays by supplying all the necessary elements in brochures, by telephone or on websites. Many of them will also allow you to stagger payments over months. Just choose your resort and dates, and they will do the rest. Be careful to book with licensed agents, preferably registered in Ireland.

jscales@irishtimes.com

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