More than a million people are expected to leave the country during a four-day hiatus
The holiday season is upon us, which means airfares have reached their peak. Over the coming week, it is estimated that more than a million people will leave the country for a four-day break as the UAE celebrates its Golden Jubilee on December 2.
Dubai Airports (DXB) have announced 11 exceptionally busy days as 1.8 million passengers are expected to travel via DXB between November 25 and December 5.
Etihad Airways has opened a dedicated early check-in facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport to make the travel experience as smooth as possible during peak travel season in the coming weeks.
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Even though air fares have doubled to some busy destinations, that doesn’t mean travelers can’t get good deals on fares.
What travel experts suggest
Executives in the travel industry are suggesting that residents take a few steps when planning their vacations during peak travel seasons, which can help them save a lot of money.
Mamoun Hmedan, commercial director and general manager of Mena and India for Wego, said travel plans are subject to change due to the Covid-19 scenarios. As a result, most airlines waive cancellation fees, offer flexible refunds and change fees.
âWhile some airlines offer cash refunds, others provide it in the form of ‘travel credit‘ or vouchers that can be used for future trips with a specific validity period. Consider your needs and choose wisely, âhe said.
He said residents can save a decent amount if they are flexible with their travel dates, either by booking well in advance or by avoiding travel during peak dates.
âMost people are naturally wary of advance bookings these days. Travel rules can be reversed and countries can be blocked like this. That said, we believe that as long as you keep up to date with the latest news, you can easily make timely and informed adjustments.
According to the CEO of Wego, some destinations tend to be much more expensive during the holiday season. So, get off the beaten track and opt for a resort holiday. Another option is to choose a stay and explore several neighboring towns in the home country.
Hmedan says that taking a few extra minutes to compare flight prices can, sometimes, also save a good amount of money.
Mir Wasim Raja, Director, MICE and Holidays, Galadari International Travel Services, also advised residents to pre-book their flights well in advance of their departure date and also be flexible by booking flights a few days before the start of the holiday. He also recommended flying to smaller airports across the country, if possible, and choosing a low-cost carrier over a full-fledged airline.
It is also advisable to book a hotel far from the city center as downtown hotels are usually quite expensive.
âIf travelers do the right research, they can save a decent amount of money while on vacation. But they have to plan well in advance. If you have a lot of time and you like to fly, you can opt for transits that will save you money that can be used to explore more places, âhe said.
âIn addition, tickets for smaller airports are more economical and people should consider this option as well. But they should do good research before choosing this option.
Raheesh Babu, director of operations at Musafir.com, suggested residents remain flexible and also look for flights from other emirates in the UAE.
He, too, recommended that travelers plan their vacations well in advance. âIf you plan to travel in December, book your tickets around September to take advantage of the great rates. Plan trips in the middle of the week, as the fares are lower on weekdays than on weekends, âBabu added.
Helpful travel tips:
>> Consult the airline’s cancellation and refund policy
>> Book your tickets well in advance
>> Have flexible travel dates
>> Book a hotel far from the city center
>> Avoid traveling during peak dates
>> Resort vacations may be a better choice than opting for downtown hotels in high season
>> Opt for stays during high tourist season
>> Compare flight prices
>> Fly to smaller airports
>> Always take out travel insurance
>> Research your trip
>> Check 1-2 transits on the way to your vacation destination
>> Low-cost airlines offer cheaper plane tickets
Source: Wego.com, Galadari International Travel Services, Musafir.com, KT Research