A little planning could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your next trip. If you’re wondering “When is the best time to book a flight?” read on!
As much as us Americans love fall, the colder weather sure can make you start dreaming of jetting off on vacation.
And, the good news is that plane ticket prices are falling faster than the leaves outside. How come? Well, there are now more flights and airplanes with a greater passenger capacity. This results in increased competition between airlines, and cheaper plane fares for you.
Getting a good deal on your vacation can mean a lot of research, from comparing hotel reviews to searching for the cheapest plane tickets.
But, when is the best time to book a flight? Check out this guide to find out!
While the best day to buy plane tickets used to be a Tuesday, that’s no longer the case. Now, booking on a Sunday offers the biggest savings for both domestic and international flights. In contrast, Wednesdays are the most expensive day to book a flight.
As for the cheapest time to book flights, that’s at the early hour of 5.00 am. If you’re not keen on getting up early, just make sure you avoid booking between 7.00 and 10.00 pm, when flights are the most expensive on average.
Domestic flight prices tend to be quite volatile and can go up and down several times a week. But, on average, the best time to book domestic flights is around three weeks in advance. Although, this can vary depending on the destination, as well as where you’re flying from.
For example, the best time to book a flight to New York is an average of 15 weeks in advance. Although, if you’re headed to NYC from San Francisco, booking 4 weeks before offers the best deals.
For the easiest way to get good deals on flights to New York, check out Just Plane Tickets, who searches the web for the cheapest airfares.
For domestic flights to Las Vegas and Chicago, fares are cheapest around two weeks before you fly. Flights to Los Angeles are cheapest around seven weeks before, and aim to book a flight to Miami about 11 weeks before for the best deals.
But, you’d better get searching early if you want to fly to Orlando. On average, the cheapest time to book your flight is 41 weeks before.
Although international flights don’t go up and down as much as domestic flights, you should compare flight prices a few times a week to get the best deal.
But, for the best prices on average, here’s how far in advance you should be booking your international flights:
Aim to book flights to Central America or South America around 70 days before you want to fly. And, if you want the best value for money on your trip, it’s often better to visit during the US winter months.
For example, flights to Argentina are often twice as expensive in August and July as they are in January or February. And, it also means you get to enjoy their summer weather while we’re all scraping ice off of our cars.
If you want to fly north of the border for a Canadian vacation or down to Mexico, the best time to book your flight is around 75 days in advance.
It’s also worth noting that flight prices to Mexico vary a lot throughout the year. If possible, you should plan your Mexican trip during school term time for the cheapest airfares. And, while some areas are cheaper during the US winter period, for some Mexican destinations, this is their peak tourist season.
If you dream of a romantic walk along the Seine or eating pizza in Rome, you need to book your flights to most European destinations around 120 days in advance.
But, if you plan to visit Europe in August then you might need to get checking earlier to find the best deals. Residents of Italy, Spain, and France often take the whole month of August off for their annual vacation. As a result, flight prices can increase by extortionate amounts during this peak month.
Tickets to Asia are cheapest if you aim to book them around 120 days before departure.
And, if it’s possible to fly from larger cities such as New York and Los Angeles, you’ll find that flights are often more affordable from these major hubs.
Flights to destinations across the Middle East and Africa are often cheapest about 215 days in advance.
You’ll also find that certain countries and cities within these regions are now much more affordable than they used to be as a result of political unrest and terrorism. For example, Egypt and Turkey now have excellent flight deals making them a bargain for US travelers.
If you’re dreaming of delicious Caribbean dishes, white sands, and turquoise water, you’d better start searching online now to get the best flight deals.
The cheapest flights to the Caribbean are typically found around 320 days beforehand. And, you should also bear in mind that while a lot of destinations within the US and around the world are cheapest during the US winter, the Caribbean is most expensive at this time of year.
Flights to Australasia, which includes Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific, are most reasonably priced around 320 days before.
The cheapest time to head down under is during their winter season, from June to August. Be warned though, while you might still find warm weather in Northern Australia and some Pacific Islands, expect snow in New Zealand at that time of year.
Now that you know the answer to the question, ‘when is the best time to book a flight?’, you need to act on this advice and get booking!
Remember, your destination has a big impact on how far in advance you need to get searching. But, it’s worth setting an alarm for 5.00 am on a Sunday if you want to guarantee the cheapest price possible.
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