When to get the best deals
31 August 2010 11:02
When planning a holiday it is best to purchase a travel insurance policy as soon as the holiday has been booked. That way it’s easy to make sure all travellers are covered for the type of holiday and the destination selected.
But when it comes to the actual holiday, people have mixed views on whether it is best to book well in advance or find a last minute offer.
Research by Japanese economist Makoto Watanabe and his colleague Marc Möller has revealed that the best time to book a flight is exactly eight weeks before departure, and during the afternoon.
The full findings from the research are yet to be published, but the hypothesis and formula for the calculation were published in the Economic Journal earlier this year.
The two economists have taken into account all of the factors that can cause ticket prices to fluctuate. They found that the best prices are available in an eight week window before the departure date, and that prices are more reasonable in the afternoon than in the morning. The researchers speculate that this is because business travellers are more likely to book flight tickets in the morning, with leisure travellers tending to book in the afternoon.
Commenting on their findings, the economists said: "When we book our flight to London weeks ahead we have to account for the possibility of unforeseen events which make our trip to London impossible. In order to make consumers take their chances, airlines have to offer advance purchase discounts. As a consequence, ticket prices increase as the travel date approaches."
Martin Rothwell, Managing Partner of World First Travel Insurance said: “No matter when you book your holiday, making sure you buy the right travel insurance to go with it is essential. The best time for buying travel insurance is as soon as you have booked a holiday, when you know where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing.
“There are no ‘last minute deals’ or ‘early booking discounts’ with travel insurance but you can get a good deal by shopping around and finding the best policy to suit you.”