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Is January Really the Cheapest Month to Travel?

Today I’m excited to bring you a guest post from Marie Nieves, a fellow student and travel blogger. She is a girl after my heart, another bookworm on a quest to experience the world’s magic.

She has done extensive research to determine the cheapest month to travel to destinations around the globe and is sharing her discoveries with you. The good news is that, if January really is the best time to travel, then now is definitely the time to start thinking about booking those flights. Check out Skyscanner to uncover the best deals for your budget.

In the meantime, I will pass over to Marie so she can inspire you with some great ideas.

When is the cheapest month to visit the States?
Source: Pixabay

Cheapest month to travel…?

For any travel enthusiast who likes to spend most of their days on the road, there’s no bad time to travel. However, some months seem to be more travel-friendly than others, in terms of prices, crowds, and other details that can make or break your holiday. The best time to travel may vary according to the destination, but many experienced passengers claim that January is the cheapest month of all when it comes to travelling. Let’s see if this is true.

When is the cheapest month to travel to Asia?

Whether you choose to enjoy the sunny beaches of India or the vibrant nightlife of Shanghai, Asia is a feast for the senses and a friend to your wallet if you plan your holiday properly. If you decide to have a holiday in China, winter months offer the best deals when it comes to accommodation.

If you choose to travel to India, the January hypothesis again seems to be true. The off-peak season in India encompasses a period from January 20 till May 15, and from September 1 till October 30. During this time it’s possible to find relatively cheap flights with a price starting from 340$. However, the lowest deals are most likely to be achieved in April and May.

Hong Kong Skyline
Hong Kong Skyline (Source: Pixabay)

Anne: the great news about January in India is that it also outside the monsoon season. Whilst this typically means slightly higher prices on accommodation, if you take Marie’s advice and opt to visit in April and May you will likely pick up some awesome deals as monsoon season sets in.

When is the cheapest month to travel to Africa?

Travelling to Africa in winter months means low flight fares but quite expensive accommodation due to the fact that it’s midsummer there and that it is the peak of the season. You’ll have a reversed situation if you decide to explore Africa in June or August.

When it comes to Africa, the golden middle is the best. Travelling in May will offer the perfect weather for safaris or gorilla trekking and there will also be a wider choice of accommodation at lower prices, since it’s the in-between season.

When is the cheapest month to travel to Africa?
Source: Pexels

When is the cheapest month to travel to Australia?

The cheapest flights to Australia are usually available during May, June, and September, while good deals can also be found in November, February and April. However, flight fares in December and January are usually very high (Anne: this I can confirm having spent Christmas in Australia on  a number of occasions. Eye-watering!).

Spring in Australia (September-November) is the most favorable time to travel budget-wise, although there may be instances of rainy weather. As November is the beginning of the Australian summer you won’t have to deal with overly hot weather and floods of tourists.

What you should avoid are Australia’s school holidays, during which it is quite difficult to find a place to stay and prices can skyrocket. If you wish to avoid pricey hotels, one of the best ways to save money is to share accommodation with others. You can book long- or short-term accommodation and split the costs.

Anne: I could not agree more. I personally love Airbnb for this. Sign up here for £30 credit when you sign up. I’ve just booked a fabulous place with seaview in Albania. Splitting the cost with friends made it incredibly reasonable.

When is the cheapest time to travel to Australia?
Source: Pexels

When is the cheapest month to travel to Europe?

Winter is the off-peak season in Europe, which makes it the cheapest time to travel. The low season lasts from November till March and during this period you can find cheap flights, accommodation and packages, with the exception of New Year and Christmas holidays, when prices are much higher.

The downside of this period is that winter weather can be unpredictable and inconsistent (Anne: ah but think of those picture perfect Christmas markets covered in a sprinkling of snow!).

Fall and spring are much safer in terms of weather and it’s possible to find lower deals, so it’s definitely worth considering. Prices change towards the end of the season, so if you plan to visit Europe in November, it’s best to book a couple of months in advance.

When is the cheapest time to visit Europe?
Source: Pixabay

When it comes to deciding which time of the year is the cheapest when it comes to travelling, there are many factors to consider. For some destinations, flight costs are low in January, but accommodation costs are high, and vice versa. Additionally, great deals in winter months may come with the possibility of bad weather. Travelling in January has its pros and cons, but if you don’t want to risk the weather, fall and spring are safer yet not too expensive.

Anne: thanks so much to Marie for contributing. I really love the idea of figuring out the best months to travel the globe for less. I’m a big fan of a January break if only to distract from those long, dark days! It’s definitely a great time for a mini break to a European city but equally a perfect time to escape to the sun.

About the author

Marie Nieves is a student and a blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Marie loves to share her experiences and talk about practical solutions. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.

Marie shares her tips for the cheapest month to travel
Say hello to Marie

What are your favourite months to travel?

That’s enough from Marie and I though. Which month do you prefer to travel in, and why? Come chat with us below.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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  1. Love how informing this post is. I always wondered when it was the best time to travel to certain destinations. I always just assumed it was the same everywhere, but now I know this is not the case 🙂 I especially love the info on Australia since I have been wanting to visit Australia. I will def avoid going during school holidays.

  2. Although the weather can be very harsh, January is a great month for traveling in Europe. It’s the beginning of the year, there are also less business travelers and the popular locations are not packed with tourists – everything is very calm and quiet.

  3. This is such a helpful guide! Even with the unpredictable weather I like travelling in Europe over winter as the crowds are so much smaller – especially in places like Rome. I usually stay at home and explore locally during the summer months to keep my budget low.

    • Same here. I always think it seems pointless to travel overseas at the time of year when the weather is best at home! Not to mention it’s so much more expensive then.

  4. I do agree that winters offer a different perspective to travels. I just returned from Finland . However , it is sometimes not too easy to travel because of the snow and many “things-to-do” things don’t get done. I love these spectacular photos especially the second one.

    • That’s really true. Travelling out of season can limit the options although I’m a fan of DIY travelling so don’t need organised tours. I once went to Norway in February and it was dire. Boring and expensive!

  5. My favorite months to travel are March and September. I don’t like the harsh weather extremes of winter and summer!

  6. This is a great cheat sheet. I love traveling in the shoulder season to enjoy good weather but still save. My next trip might be Japan so not sure if Jan will work but I’m a wimp when it comes to winter!

  7. I’m always on the look out for cheap flights and tend to book them when they come up – regardless of destination! A good flight deal is sometimes too hard to pass up!

  8. In Europe, January certainly is the cheapest month to travel. I loved the night photo of Budapest you posted. It makes the castle looks so big from the back.

  9. What a great list. I’ll be sure to bookmark it for when i book my next trip. Some fantastic tips.

  10. Great tips. I travel a lot around Europe between November and March and prices are very low especially on flights. Before you go check if there is a big exhibition in town that they tend to rise the prices in hotels

  11. Great job to Marie. This is very interesting and although offseasons tend to be cheaper I believe you can always find some good deals.

  12. This is definitely food for thought, Anne! Can’t wait for next January to check this claim!

  13. Not sure which month is the cheapest, so I just try to travel every month of the year to be safe.

    • ha ha Lee, I am so with you on this. I try to squeeze in as many trips as I possibly can work permitting. Those extra holidays over the weekends, Easter etc got to put them to good use. Days off staying at home are a waste of good exploration time!

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