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Best Time to Book Flights For Cheapest Airfare Deals

05 Jun 2024 0 Comments
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The Points Guy (TPG) experts aim to make finding cheap flights easier. However, getting a good price on your flight depends on many things. Travelling at popular times like spring break, the summer, or holidays usually costs more. There are lots of ideas about when to book to save money but there's no one best day. Prices can change a lot and are affected by where you're going, when you're travelling, and how many people are looking for the same flight.

For flights within the same country, TPG suggests keeping an eye on prices 3-4 months before your trip. And they advise booking one to two months before you plan to fly. If you're flying abroad, start looking at prices 6-7 months ahead. Then, try to book your flight between 3 to 5 months before you leave.

 

Key Takeaways

  • There is no single best day or time to book flights to get the cheapest deals.
  • Prices fluctuate frequently based on factors like destination, travel dates, and demand.
  • For domestic flights, start monitoring prices 3-4 months in advance and book 1-2 months before travel.
  • For international trips, monitor prices 6-7 months early and book 3-5 months prior to departure.
  • Remaining flexible on travel dates and using price tracking tools can help maximize savings.

Wondering when to book flights for the best deals?

Travel experts say there's no magic time to find the cheapest flight deals. Prices change a lot due to the place you're going, when you want to go, and how many people are flying. But, you can follow some tips to find lower prices. Start watching domestic flight prices 3-4 months in advance. Then, aim to book 1-2 months before travel. For flights overseas, begin your search 6-7 months ahead. Experts say it's best to book those flights 3-5 months before travel.

Being flexible with your travel dates is key to saving money. Also, using price tracking tools can help you spot cheap flight tickets. Plus, keeping an eye out for airline discounts is always a smart move.

To get the best flight booking strategies and budget travel tips, be early and alert. By researching ahead and staying flexible, you might snag last-minute flight deals. Or, you could benefit from early bird flight deals. These can save you a lot on your upcoming travels.

Myth of Booking Flights on Specific Days

Many believe booking flights on certain weekdays, like Tuesdays or Wednesdays, is the best way to find cheap tickets. However, this idea is not true. Lindsay Schwimer from Hopper app says, there's no one day or golden rule when to book.

Hayley Berg adds, prices change so often and depend on the route, the travel dates, etc., that there isn't one day that guarantees you the best price. This means there's no surefire way to find cheap flights. The prices of flights go up and down all the time.

No Magic Day to Book Airfare

Thinking there's a specific day or time which gives better deal chances is wrong. The price of flights is always changing. So it can never be predicted with certainty.

Prices Fluctuate Frequently

Airfare prices change as much as the stock market, sometimes even within minutes. The absence of a universal rule about the best time to book is because many variables play a role. These include the airline's pricing strategy, sales, and how popular the flight is.



Best Time to Book Domestic Flights

Experts say you should start looking at prices 3-4 months in advance. Then, book your flight 1-2 months before your trip. Lindsay Schwimer from Hopper explains. She suggests starting to watch prices several months ahead. And she recommends booking a few months before you fly. This way you can catch lower prices but avoid high ones by not booking too early.

Start Monitoring 3-4 Months in Advance

It's wise to begin checking prices for flights early, about 3-4 months ahead. Doing this allows travelers to watch how prices change over time. Plus, it helps find the best time to book.

Book 1-2 Months Before Travel

The perfect time to actually book is 1-2 months before you fly. This is when prices are likely to be the lowest. Also, it avoids paying the higher prices that might come if you book too soon.

Best Time to Book International Flights

The best time to book international flights is different than for domestic ones. It's smart to start checking the prices 6-7 months before your trip. Aim to buy your tickets between 3-5 months before you leave.

Monitor Prices 6-7 Months Early

Hayley Berg from Hopper says people often pay too much, either too early or too late. To get the best deal, start checking prices 6-7 months in advance. This way, you can catch any good sales early.

Book 3-5 Months Before Departure

For international flights, the ideal booking time is 3-5 months before you travel. Prices are usually lower during this period. This gives you the best chance to find a great deal without waiting too long.

If you're flexible with your travel dates, you could save even more. Don't forget to use tools that track flight prices. These can help you find the lowest prices.

Cheapest Days to Fly

Experts say the timing of your flight booking is crucial. You should also think about the best days of the week to travel. Midweek flights, especially on Wednesdays, are your best bet for saving on average about $56 per ticket. These savings can jump to over $60 during busy times.

Midweek Flights Offer Best Savings

The cheapest days to catch a flight are typically Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. If you're looking to book a flight, Tuesday after 2:30 p.m. EST is ideal. Although, research has found that Sundays are usually the most budget-friendly day to book.

Sunday Flights Can Be Economical

Looking to save a dime? Consider flying on a Sunday. Prices are usually lower on this day. Also, catching the first flight of the day, even if it means waking up early, can mean big savings over flights later in the day.

Book Early Morning Departures

One tip for saving money is to book the first flight in the morning. While it might not be the most convenient time, this can lead to lower prices. Early morning flights tend to be more affordable, making them a smart choice for budget-conscious travelers.

Best Time for Holiday Travel Bookings

Planning ahead is key when booking flights for your holidays. For spring break trips, aim to book by early February. This is because prices often go up sharply in the final 3-4 weeks. For summer trips, it's smart to book at least 6 months ahead. Cheap flight tickets can become much more expensive in the last 3 weeks.

If you're flying for Thanksgiving or Christmas, look for deals in September and October. Try to book by mid-October. Getting your holiday flights early is the secret to finding the best prices. This way, you can avoid high seasonal costs.

Book Spring Break Trips by Early February

When planning for spring break, don't wait too long to book. By early February, you should try to have your flights locked in. Prices start to climb quickly closer to the dates. Travel hacking experts suggest keeping an eye on prices and booking as soon as you find a good deal.

Summer Travel: Book 6+ Months in Advance

If your plans include a summer getaway, book early. Experts say start looking 6 months ahead of time. This is to avoid the big price jumps in the final 3 weeks. A long booking window ensures you get the best prices and miss out on any sudden cost increases.

Thanksgiving/Christmas: Book by Mid-October

For holiday flights around Thanksgiving and Christmas, look for deals in the fall. Aim to book by mid-October to find the best fares. Early booking is essential for grabbing those great airfare price tracking rates. Plus, it helps dodge the higher seasonal prices.

Finding Last-Minute Hotel Deals

Booking flights early can save money. But for hotels, waiting might be better. Experts say you can find good deals on hotels, even last minute in big cities. Lindsay Schwimer from Hopper says, "We often see good deals last minute for hotels in big cities. Especially for holiday weekends." During busy times, like Christmas, people might get lucky with great hotel deals in big cities.

Big Cities Offer Great Last-Minute Rates

Travel experts suggest checking out big cities for last-minute hotels. Hotels in these areas might lower their prices during busy times to fill up empty rooms. Staying flexible and booking late can help you get these great deals. Plus, you can enjoy all the city has to offer.

Flexibility is Key for Cheap Flights

Keeping an open mind is vital for finding cheap flights. Experts recommend watching prices and being quick to book. Prices can change frequently. Thinking about different dates and paths can also save you money.

Monitor Prices and Be Ready to Book

Flexibility helps travelers catch deals and find cheap flights. Tools like Google Flights and Hopper make it easier. They show the best times to buy and offer different routes.

Consider Alternative Dates and Routes

Tweaking your travel plans can lead to big savings. Use tools like airfare alerts and Google Flights Explore to find flexible deals. They help you see options you might not have thought of.

Using Travel Tools and Price Alerts

To find the cheapest flights, travelers should use online tools and price alert services. Google Flights and the Hopper app are great for this. They let you track flight prices and get updates when they change. With these, you can figure out the best time to book your flight.

Google Flights and Hopper for Tracking

Google Flights and Hopper let users watch flight prices closely. By setting up your trip details, users get to see price changes. They'll also be notified when prices drop. This arms travelers with the info needed to snatch up the best deals.

Set Price Change Notifications

It’s easy to set up price change alerts on these platforms. This way, you always know when to buy based on price drops. Being proactive can save you a lot of money on flights. It’s a great strategy to use before booking.

Conclusion

The best time to book cheap flights varies based on where you're going and your flexibility. There isn't a single best day to book. But, here are some tips from the experts:

Start looking at domestic flight prices 3-4 months before you fly. Try to book those flights 1-2 months beforehand. For international flights, check out prices 6-7 months early. Aim to book between 3 to 5 months before you leave.

Be open to flying on different days. In general, choosing midweek or morning flights could save you money.

Tools like Google Flights and Hopper can be a big help. They let you track changes in flight prices and get alerts. This way, you can book when prices are lower.

So, keep an eye on prices and be ready to adjust your plans. By staying flexible, you increase your chances of finding great deals on flights.

FAQ

When is the best time to book flights to get the cheapest airfare deals?

According to experts, the best time to get cheap flight deals varies. Prices change a lot because of many reasons, like where you're going and when you're flying. They say you should start looking at flights 3-4 months ahead for trips within your country. Try to buy your tickets about 1-2 months before you leave. If you're going overseas, start looking for deals 6-7 months ahead and buy your tickets 3-5 months before.

Is it true that booking flights on certain days of the week, like Tuesdays or Wednesdays, will yield the cheapest results?

No, that's not true. Different factors determine flight prices, not just the day you book. So, there isn’t a specific day that is always cheaper for flights.

What is the best time to book domestic flights?

To get good deals on local flights, experts say to watch prices 3-4 months before your trip. Then, buy your ticket 1-2 months before you go. This way, you might catch price drops.

What is the best time to book international flights?

If you're flying abroad, start checking prices about 6-7 months before your trip. The best time to book is usually 3-5 months before you leave. Prices are often lower then.

What are the cheapest days to fly?

Flying on Wednesdays can save you about $56 on each ticket, say the experts. Save even more, up to $60 per ticket, by flying midweek during busy times. Also, consider taking early morning flights for bigger savings.

When is the best time to book flights for holiday travel?

For holidays, book in advance. Spring break flights should be booked by early February. For the summer, book at least 6 months ahead to avoid rising prices. Fall and winter holidays are cheapest to book in September and October.

Can you find good last-minute hotel deals, especially during peak travel periods?

Absolutely. Big cities often have great last-minute hotel offers, even during peak travel times.

How important is flexibility when searching for the cheapest flight options?

Flexibility is key to finding cheap flights. Keep an eye on prices. Be ready to book once you see a deal. Also, consider different travel dates and routes. This can save you money by catching price drops.

What online tools and price alert services can help travelers find the cheapest flights?

Google Flights and the Hopper app are great for watching flight prices and getting alerts. These tools help you find the best times to buy and track changes in ticket prices. Setting up price alerts ensures you know when deals pop up.

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