The cheapest places to fly to this summer – and the most expensive

The school summer holidays are only 11 weeks away. But if you haven’t booked your flights yet, fear not – there are still some great value options available during the peak months of July and August.

We looked at the 30 most popular European summer holiday destinations for British holidaymakers. We also looked at a selection of 10 other popular cities and found the cheapest and most expensive prices for flights departing on Saturday, July 27 and Saturday, August 24, both for a week.

Despite the school holidays just around the corner, you can still find return flights on the most popular dates of the year for less than £100, if you know where to look. We’ve also identified the month and time of day for the cheapest flights and the airlines and airports serving the best value options for summer 2024.

We used the flight search website Skyscanner for this study. Prices are dynamic and can go up and down, so please remember that although the below is an accurate representation of the prices listed at midday on 9th May 2024, prices may have changed by the time you search you them.

The small bay of Cala Llombards on Majorca, Spain

Majorca is the most cost-effective holiday destination for a July 27 event. Pictured: The small bay of Cala Llombards on Majorca, Spain – Dennis Fischer Photography

The cheapest flights? See the Balearics

The most cost-effective holiday destination for a July 27 departure, returning a week later, is Majorca (£89, flying with Ryanair from Leeds Bradford). Barcelona (£92), Ibiza (£99), Valencia (£102) and Malta (£104) have surprisingly low prices. The cheapest flights in late August are Menorca (£74, with easyJet from Belfast International), plus Valencia (£84), Ibiza (£94), Majorca (£119) and Malta (£136). So anyone looking for an affordable beach holiday this summer should look first to Spain, and especially the Balearic Islands, for the best deals. For a city break, Venice (£70 in August) and Copenhagen (£66 in July) are among the cheapest options.

At the more expensive end of the scale, we found steeper prices for trips to Greece. The cheapest return flights to Crete are £417 (27 July) and £343 (24 August), while flights to Zakynthos (£327/£346) and Kos (£291/£396) are also high. This is partly because flight times are an hour or two longer than the flight times to Spain; although the best flights to Bodrum, even further afield than Greece, are still around £100 cheaper on average than the cheapest flights to the main Greek islands. High demand and low availability are likely driving up prices.

Ryanair is the cheapest of the group

Of the 80 cheapest flights to 40 destinations surveyed in July and August, almost half (37) were with Ryanair. EasyJet offered 27 of those flights, with Wizz and on five each. One of the 80 cheapest fares we found was not with British Airways.

This does not mean that low cost airlines always offer affordable options, however. Around 25 of the most expensive flights available were listed by easyJet and 20 by – more than BA, which had 14. to the low cost monitor. We also found some of the most expensive flights with Tui, including a £1,012 flight to Mallorca in August from Bournemouth and a £956 flight to Fuerteventura from Birmingham in July.

The best value airport (and it’s not Luton)

Edinburgh had the largest share of holiday flights (16 out of 80) and Belfast International (12). Of the English airports, Gatwick came up 10 times, but Heathrow didn’t have a single cheaper offer across the routes we surveyed. Luton and Stansted came up four and seven times, respectively.

However, Gatwick had the most expensive flights (20) followed by Birmingham and Manchester, with 10. Teesside, Liverpool and Luton only served on one occasion each.

Cheapest month and time of day to fly

While package holidays are traditionally cheaper towards the end of the summer holidays – and families are keen to get away as soon as possible – our research found that slightly cheaper flight deals can be found in July. On average, the most affordable flights departing on 27 July to our 40 destinations cost £224; however, the cheapest flights departing on 24 August averaged £243. Similarly, the most expensive flights in August (£535 on average) were higher than those in July (£483).

Through our study, we found that the cheapest flights are usually later in the day. The average departure time for the cheapest flights was 6.07 pm, while the average departure time for the most expensive was 12.54 pm. Later flights probably mean later arrival times, sometimes after dark, which is unattractive – it also means almost a whole day of vacation time is lost, so earlier departures are in higher demand. Earlier flights are also less likely to be subject to consequential delays.

Some destinations outside the box

If you’re willing to shop around for another destination this summer, you could try Zadar in Croatia, where we found flights departing on July 27 for £99 with Ryanair from Leeds Bradford. Other cheap options include flights to Perpignan (£128), Girona (£112), Agadir (£112), Santander (£122), as well as options in northern Europe including Aalborg in Denmark for £ 58, and Oslo for £80. Take a look at, searching for “Everywhere” as a destination, and you might find yourself some other good options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *