Overlooking unpredictable weather and rampant Covid-19 infections, travellers from the UAE have made the UK their preferred destination for a summer holiday this year, according to data from online travel agency Skyscanner.

There is a pleasing reciprocity to the UK’s number one spot in the list. Last week The National revealed that, to date, Dubai was the most-booked holiday destination from the UK in 2022.

For those in the Emirates still pondering a European break in 2022, the data also shows that average prices on holidays to the region have plunged by over 50 per cent since 2019.

This gallery shows UAE travellers’ top five preferred places in Europe and also discloses the percentage fall in average holiday prices in 2022 compared to 2019.

Top 5 European destinations for UAE travellers this summer

Now that so many bargain deals are to be found, Skyscanner’s global travel expert, Laura Lindsay, spoke to The National to offer her five tips for finding one..

Five tips for finding a bargain holiday

1. Be flexible with dates

“Searching by multiple dates and airports will give you the best chance of a bargain. Setting up price alerts will ensure you’re the first to know as prices drop with any additional discounts or added supply. You can mark a flight you’re interested in and Skyscanner will email you whenever the price goes up or down.

2. Consider a new destination

“We’ve seen new destinations rise in popularity as recently announced corridors are shining a light on some surprising gems. Swapping your usual break for somewhere on a travel corridor could be an unexpected delight.

3. Mix and match

“Varying the airlines you choose to fly with can seriously cut costs. Fares don’t have to be booked as returns; look at flying out with one airline and back with another to save money. You can easily compare prices on Skyscanner’s cheapest month tool.

4. Widen your gaze

“Flight prices are all based on supply and demand. Because some dates are more popular than others, prices will vary. The ‘whole month’ search tool allows you to see cheap flights at a glance and pick the right deal for you. Consider travelling a day before or a day after your original departure dates, flying on less-popular days of the week is always cheaper.

5. Know your rights

“In the past, being flexible with travel might have meant flying at anti-social times to get a good price. But now, with a constantly changing travel landscape, it’s important to know what the change policies are on flight tickets and accommodation. These policies are highlighted on Skyscanner searches, so booking travel can be changed easily.”

Mitigating Covid disruption

The threat of Covid-19 disruption looms large, regardless of how good the bargain snared is.

“It’s key to purchase a travel insurance policy that suits your needs; there are policies which have been designed for post-coronavirus travel and can cater for last-minute changes – but it’s really important to read the small print in advance,” Skyscanner’s global traveller rights expert Martin Nolan told The National.

It pays to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the country of travel too.

“Before booking your flight, check verified online resources like Skyscanner’s Covid information pages and interactive map to check the up-to-date status for places you’re looking at travelling to,” said Nolan.

“And always check the terms and conditions for your travel supplier thoroughly to see how they’ll respond if something goes wrong.”

He also advised flying direct to reduce exposure to delays and cancellations.

Updated: February 9th 2022, 10:51 AM


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