Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to plan a trip months in advance to get the cheapest rates on airfare and booking earlier might not always mean that you get the cheaper fare. Travel experts Kayak.sg have found that biding your time can be nicer to your wallet – especially when you’re looking to travel during the festive season.

With Christmas just around the corner, travel search engine KAYAK.sg reveals the top festive destinations for Singapore travellers and crunches the numbers on the best time of year to book, as well as the best and worst days of the week to travel when looking for the best air fares.

Taking a break overseas during the festive season doesn’t necessarily mean that you break the bank and spend that year-end bonus at one go (or even before you receive it). Pricing patterns show that if you book your airline tickets in September, you’re likely to get a better deal than January, March and June when prices soar sky high. The next best options, on average, are October and November.

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Now that we’ve identified the best months, take note that the day you’re travelling matters as well – you could save up to 48% if you choose right.

Tokyo remains a favourite to travel to from Singapore for the festive season, with Manila, Taipei, Bangkok and Seoul popular choices as well. When travelling to popular destinations, it pays to target off-peak travel days in order to secure the best deals.

For example, travellers to Taipei can save an impressive 48% on average when they depart and return on a Wednesday and travellers to Bali can save up to 46% by departing and returning on a Tuesday. Those flying to Bangkok from Singapore for a year-end city break should consider departing on a Thursday and returning on Monday, saving 41% on their airfare compared to those who depart Thursday and return Sunday.

The busiest days to travel during the festive period are 23, 24 and 25 December. Nearly 50% of flights searched for by Singapore travellers during the holiday season depart on those dates.

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If you’re a spur-of-the-moment kinda guy/gal, Kuala Lumpur and Penang are your best bets for a cost effective vacation followed by Ho Chi Minh City.

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Remember, when it comes to booking air tickets, procrastination might actually work in your favour.

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