The cost of Christmas holidays is skyrocketing but big savings for those who delay
The Christmas holidays have soared with many domestic and international destinations already fully booked as Irish travelers are willing to spend big on a festive holiday.
However, Irish travelers can save over 50pc if they are willing to delay their winter vacation by a week to 10 days.
Families ignore inflation, soaring fuel prices and Covid-19 fears of ‘spilling cash’ during domestic and foreign holidays over the Christmas and New Year period.
Travel industry officials and airlines have admitted they are facing the biggest surge in vacations in nearly five years – with pent-up demand from Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020-21 now outweighing inflation concerns.
Growing consumer demand and reduced capacity due to the pandemic have led to price increases of up to 30% in some festive holiday packages compared to a year ago.
Meanwhile, many travel agencies and hotels said they were already heavily booked for mid-term stays in 2023.
A number of restaurants in Dublin have reported that they have indeed been full for choice dates in the fortnight before Christmas since mid-October.
Dublin, Shannon and Kerry airports are expected to handle their highest passenger numbers since 2019 in the period from December 15 to January 10, with travel approaching 90-95% of pre-pandemic levels.
In some cases, passenger numbers may even exceed 2019 levels.
Click-and-Go reported that there was huge demand for Christmas holidays across all market segments.
But savvy travelers can make significant savings by deciding to travel a few days after Christmas rather than during Christmas week.
A Irish Independent A price survey indicated that travelers can save more than 50% by delaying their vacation by just over a week.
For example, a one-week stay at the Corona Roja hotel in Gran Canaria for two adults and two children costs 52% less for a departure on January 5 compared to a departure on December 23 – €1,651 compared to €3,438 €.
The cost of flying over Christmas has also increased – with significant savings for those who can delay their holiday by a week to 10 days.
A number of Ryanair and Aer Lingus flights on December 23 and 24 are already fully booked.
Those planning to go on a Christmas sun holiday can make significant savings by traveling a few days after Christmas rather than before.
For example, a family of two adults and two children can fly with Ryanair from Dublin to Alicante on January 6, with a week-long return journey costing €453.
The same trip, leaving on December 22, will cost nearly 250 pc more (€1,273).
Claire Doherty, product manager for the travel department, said their Christmas vacations had been exceptionally popular this year – with the company having just a handful of places left for many of their Christmas tours. In some cases, people had booked their Christmas holidays in early 2022.
Families and singles also spent on high-end destinations such as Italy, Austria, Germany and France – alongside sun destinations such as Portugal and Spain.