After two complicated years, 56% of French people consider that going on vacation in 2022 is a “vital need”, according to a survey carried out in January by the firm Raffour Interactif for the travel agency Opodo.
But the pandemic has been there and changed the way we travel. A few days before the start of the Easter holidays, we take stock of these new practices (shorter stays, less far away, with relatives, booked at the last minute, etc.) which are also sometimes an opportunity to save money. Here’s how.
1. Find the cheapest plane tickets
The tendency to book holidays at the last minute intensified in 2021, as tourists waited to see the evolution of the health crisis before making decisions. Thus, 55% of customers of the Opodo travel agency have booked their stay less than 30 days in advance, as indicated by its director Benoît Crespin at a press conference on March 15. But is it really the best solution to find low prices?
The travel agency Expedia.fr has released data obtained in partnership with the Airline Reporting Corporation, about the prices of air tickets for travel anywhere in the world. It indicates that for flights in France, fares are starting to increase 28 days before departure. For flights abroad, you have to plan a little earlier still: prices rise from 42 days before the flight. To book a plane ticket, it’s the Sunday that we will find the most advantageous rates, and on Friday that the prices will be the highest.
The travel agency also lists the best times to travel at a reduced price: in France, it’s in april that the flights are the cheapest, instead of may for international flights. The ideal is to take off on a Friday, because it is on that day that the tickets are the cheapest.
2. Book your stay at the best time
But air travel is not necessarily the most popular, especially with the health situation which encourages people to stay in France. According to the survey presented by Opodo, 68% of French people who went on vacation in 2021 stayed in mainland France, while this was the case for only 48% of tourists in 2019.
Expedia.fr also gives some tips for these stays in France: the agency notes that the ideal day to book accommodation in France is Thursdaywhere fares tend to be lower, while it is the Wednesday which is to be preferred when going abroad. In France, the best day to arrive at your holiday destination is Monday, which is much cheaper than starting your stay on a Saturday. In another country, it is the Wednesday that it is better to start his vacation.
In terms of other transport solutions, Expedia.fr notes that the best day to book a rental car is fridayand that we will obtain the most interesting rates if we recover the car a Saturday.
3. Think about new forms of holidays
In 2021, the number of French people who made a non-commercial stay, that is, for which they did not pay for accommodation, broke records. A great way to save money! According to figures provided at a press conference by Opodo, 42% of French people made a non-commercial stay of more than four days this year, while this was the case for 34% of French people in 2019. This figure does not had never been so high in more than ten years that Opodo carried out this poll.
Guy Raffour, who led the study, sees several reasons for this: first of all, there is the need to meet up with family or friends to recharge your batteries, but it is also an ease of organization. When we go to relatives, we are less worried about possible health restrictions that would force us to cancel our vacation. Many French people also bought a second home during the health crisis, for these same reasons.
In 2021, the French also broke the record for the number of short stays (of less than three days): 39% of French people have chosen this type of stay, exceeding the levels of 2019 and 2018, which were the highest observed over the last decade.
Finally, Guy Raffour notes another trend: that of hybrid stays, where we mix work and leisure. This new type of stay is made possible thanks to the generalization of teleworking. Some people choose to telecommute to a vacation spot, and enjoy leisure time in the evenings or on weekends with the rest of their family.