Celebrated after the holy month of Ramadan on the first of the Hijri calendar’s Shawwal (the month that follows Ramadan), Eid Al Fitr is marked as a public holiday across the GCC. While dependent on moon sighting, the 2023 public holiday will likely fall between Thursday 20 April and Sunday 23 April, giving residents who work a five-day week extra days off. Combined with Saturday and Sunday, this gives residents of the GCC a four-day long weekend – and is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a long-weekend break and jet off for an Eid escape. In anticipation of the number of travellers leaving the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other GCC nations for the Eid holiday, online travel comparison site and booking agent Skyscanner‘s travel expert Ayoub El Mamoun shared its seven essential tips for holidaymakers keen to maximise their short breaks during Eid.
7 travel tips for the Eid holiday 2023
Pick the fastest route
“There are multiple ways to get to a destination – direct flights, stopovers and airport switches. But when it comes to mini breaks, speed is key. Find the fastest flights to your chosen holiday spot by filtering the results via journey times, so you can see which flights will get you there the fastest. The speediest options will jump to the top of the page, making it easy to pick the most efficient option for you.”
Be flexible on destinations
“Unless you have a specific location in mind, keeping your options open is a great way to keep your mini break at the right price point. Select the ‘explore everywhere’ option in the destination box when using Skyscanner flight search to see a whole host of tempting destinations alongside their lowest flights fares. Select the drop-down arrows to see which cities you can fly into, as well as various accommodation suggestions.”
Find an airport near you
“As soon as you get off the plane, it’s time to get into holiday gear straight away. Pick a destination airport that’s as near as possible to your chosen accommodation. Most major cities have multiple airports, so chances are you’ll be able to disembark somewhere convenient for travelling on to your holiday pad. Do the research before you book, then use the airport filter when searching to see which flights work best.”
Use loyalty points to save money
“If you’re a member of any travel loyalty schemes (such as Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, Emirates Skywards or Etihad Guest) chances are you’re sitting on some valuable points just waiting to be used. Log in and check your balance to find out which airlines or hotels you can redeem them against – as well as how far they might take you. Most points cover multiple airlines and a plethora of accommodation types, so you could cut your costs significantly, or even bag the trip for free, by using them.”
Optimise your travel
“Mini breaks might be mini, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot out of them, so planning your flights strategically is key. Aim for a flight that lands late the day before the holiday starts, or early on the first day. The departure times filter in Skyscanner’s flight search allows you to see these options easily, displaying landings and departures within certain time brackets.”
Be smart with your holiday allowance
“Holiday days are precious, so it’s important to save as many as you can by utilising bank holidays where possible. Look up where the public holidays fall this year, then search for flights either side of those dates. Make sure to try various date combinations to maximise your options.”
Travel light: pack hand luggage only
“For some of us, heading on holiday with only hand luggage is a big ask, but packing light is worth it. Without sizeable suitcases, there’s no need to queue to check in bags, or wait around at baggage reclaim after landing – it’s as simple as walking off the plane and heading out on holiday.” Read our guide to the best luggage brands for travel, that ship to the UAE.