This is the best time to book flights in the January 2019 sales

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Moya Crockett
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All the hacks you need to know to find cheap flights in the January sales.

Thanks to the January sales, the first month of the year is a prime time for booking an affordable holiday - whether you’ve got your eye on an elegant European weekend break or a lengthy trip to far-flung shores. But with so many variables out there (where should you go? When should you book? What day should you travel?), it can be hard to know where to begin.

International travel search engine Skyscanner recently released a load of data on the most purse-friendly way to navigate the January sales, giving you some solid facts to work with when it comes to booking your next trip. We’ve rounded up the most useful highlights below. 

When is the best time to book a flight in the January sales?

Make sure you choose a sensible day to book your flight

Sundays tend to be the best day to jump online to book a cheap flight, whereas Wednesdays tend to be the most expensive day to book a flight. Travellers could save 4% on average flight prices if booking a flight from the UK on a Sunday versus a Wednesday.

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What is the cheapest day to fly out of the UK? 

According to four years’ worth of Skyscanner data, Friday is the cheapest day of the week to fly out of the UK.

In contrast, Sunday is the most expensive day to fly – meaning that you could save up to 21% by swapping your departure day from Sunday to Friday (based on average flight prices). 

What are the best value destinations to book in the January 2019 sales? 

Wander the ancient streets of Malta in 2019 

You should be able to bag some great deals in the January sales if you’re on the hunt for a European minibreak. The average cost of return flights to the German cities of Frankfurt, Cologne, Bremen and Dortmund has dropped significantly over the last year, as has the cost of flights to Genoa and Cagliari in Italy.

It’s likely that you’ll also be able to get relatively affordable flights to the ultra-desirable travel destinations of Malta and Iceland in the January sales. Per Skyscanner’s data, a return trip to the Maltese International Airport has dropped by 11% over the last 12 months, while flights to Rejijavik are down 14%.

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Been dreaming about a road trip through the States for years? Flights to certain US cities have seen the biggest price drops over the last year, meaning that now could be the time to snap up a plane ticket. Return flights to the southern hipster mecca of Austin, Texas have dropped by almost 30%, followed by Chicago (-19%), Detroit (-17%), Seattle (-16%), Denver (-15%) San Francisco (-9%), Los Angeles (-7%) and Oakland, California (-6%).

If you’re more interested in travelling through South America, return flights to the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo in Brazil are expected to offer the best value in the January sales. 

Other tips for finding cheap flights in the January sales 

Choose a different airport 

Have a look around at alternative UK airports that offer connections to your destination. You could save hundreds of pounds by flying from Stansted rather than Heathrow, for example, or from Luton instead of Gatwick. 

Mix up your airlines

You don’t have to book a return ticket – double check that it isn’t cheaper to fly out with one airline and back with another.

Look everywhere

If you know what your budget is and when you’d like to travel, but are less sure of where you want to go, Skyscanner’s Search Everywhere tool shows you the cheapest travel destinations within a specific period. Simply pop in your dates and it will throw up the most affordable flight options for that time. 

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