The Best Time To Buy International Flights
The Tuesday tip we've all heard is a convenient but outdated myth that ignores the fact that airfare pricing is constantly changing. Airlines tweak their pricing by the hour to try to win over more customers and undercut their competitors. So don't assume you're getting the best deal on your flights just because you're booking on a Tuesday night.
the best time to buy international flights
Take it from us: Our team of flight deal analysts spends all day, every day searching for the cheapest fares to send to Thrifty Traveler Premium members. There are no best days to book flights: The best fares and sales don't just happen on only one day of the week. In fact, we find cheap flights, mistake fares, and unadvertised award sales every single day of the year.
Stop clearing your cookies when you're shopping for flights. Seriously: Clearing your cookies or searching incognito for flights won't make cheaper flights magically appear. This is another travel myth about booking flights that has long been rampant in the travel world. It's time to put this myth to rest.
If you don't have the time to commit to searching for cheap fares frequently, we've got you covered. Get instant alerts to the hottest domestic and international flight deals, mistake fares, and award sales we find with our Thrifty Traveler Premium+ service. We find flight deals seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we're already seeing deals for travel for winter 2024.
Never bank on getting a last-second fare. Instead, we recommend booking your flight at least 45 days to 60 days before a domestic trip. For international flights, give yourself even more time: start looking at flight prices at least two to six months beforehand. These general rules of thumb will help make sure you're not paying too much.
According to some Google Flights analysis, the lowest prices for Thanksgiving are usually found 36 to 74 days before departure, with the lowest point on average about 52 days out. For the lowest fares, those numbers mean you'll want to start searching for Thanksgiving flights around Sept. 10. The lowest fares are typically found around Oct. 2. And the best deals are all gone by about Oct. 19.
With the Christmas holiday, the range is even bigger. If you're looking to travel domestically over the Christmas holiday, the lowest flight prices can be found, on average, between 20 and 88 days ahead of time. For the lowest fares, you want to start searching for domestic Christmas flights around Sept. 28 and the best deals are all gone by about Dec. 5. Need to get home for Christmas?
So you want to head across the pond? The best time to buy is, on average, 160 days before departure. Another nice perk of Europe is that in addition to Tuesday and Wednesday, Monday is also one of the best days to travel. July is the most expensive month; March is the cheapest, with an average savings of $371 per ticket. Finally, the full prime window is between 1.5 and eight months ahead of time. Not bad!
Instead, research by Expedia shows the ideal day to book a flight is Sunday. For domestic flights, you can get the best airfare by booking at the end of the weekend. Doing so can save you around 5%. For international flights, the savings are nearly 10%.
Looking for the best time to buy tickets to Europe or other international locations? Book a summer trip. Expedia data shows that August is the cheapest warm-weather month to fly, with average ticket prices nearly 10% lower compared with July. Tickets are also cheaper in August than during the December rush.
Sunday is widely considered the overall best day to book flights, according to most airlines and travel reporting agencies. Other analyses have pointed to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday being the best days to book flights, at least domestically.
Hopper, a travel booking app, did some flight cost analysis of their own using nearly 8,000 of the most popular domestic flights. They found that Thursday was the best day to book flights overall with a modest cost savings of around $10.
The Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) found that how far out you book your flight has big implications for your total trip costs. You need to aim for the perfect window of opportunity to get the best price on flights.
Feel free to step into your role as the early bird and cast the airline ticket as the worm. You might be able to save a few bucks by booking around 5:00AM, especially if you do it on the best day to book flights (Sunday).
There's no real rhyme or reason to booking flights a specific time of day, since airlines adjust their rates on a demand-driven basis. However, you may have luck finding slightly lower rates when booking your flight around 5:00AM.
If you want to see the world, go see it! You're not guaranteed tomorrow, and, often times, you can buy an international plane ticket for less than a domestic one. Traveling to new places has changed our lives, and we hope to share our experience, insight, and passion with you in order to inspire you to change yours as well!
The rumors are true: finding the cheapest time to fly is no easy task. Most of you will have heard from people who have their own 'tips' on the best time to book flights; your super-organized friend will tell you booking early can save you a fortune. Another, less prepared pal will tell you to book as late as humanly possible.
We've found that short-haul flights are more predictable when deciding the best time to book: the best time to book a short-haul flight is a few weeks to four months before departure. The price variations for short-haul flights are consistently competitive, especially for popular destinations.
We've written a guide on finding the absolute best time for the best chances to score a cheap flight from the USA to some of the most popular countries worldwide. It's worth bookmarking for your next trip!
Finding the best time to book is deceptively simple on the surface, but it comes with a few caveats. To get the thrill of securing a massively impressive deal, keep an eye out for the distance of the flight, the high and low seasons, and the right window for holidays. If you'd like more tips and tricks on how we find great deals, check out our ultimate guide to finding cheap flights.
Flight search websites compare fares available at multiple airlines, online travel agencies, or both, then sort them by price. I've tested a number of them on a variety of journeys, both transatlantic and within Europe. Overall, Kayak has the best results for both intercontinental and intra-European flights on a combination of mainstream and budget carriers. An alternative is Google Flights, which has an easy-to-use system to track prices and lets you see how much you'd save by departing a day earlier or later.
Consider flying into one city and out of another. Since it rarely makes sense to spend time and money returning to your starting point, this strategy can be very efficient. For most "multicity" flights, the fare is figured simply by taking half of the round-trip cost for each of those airports.
While it's possible to book your flights on most search sites (they certainly hope you will, to garner their commission), I typically use these sites only as a first step. Once I've zeroed in on which airline has the best deal for my trip, I check the airline's own site to compare fares. You can often avoid added costs by booking direct (the commissions are charged either as higher prices or in the form of fees for booking through a third party). And airlines may offer bonuses (such as extra frequent-flier miles) to those who book direct.
Buy your tickets at the right time (to the extent possible). Airfares flex like crazy, but in general it's wise to start looking for international flights at least four to six months before your trip, especially for travel in spring, summer, or fall. Good deals on winter travel (November through March) can usually be purchased a month or so in advance, with the exception of winter breaks and holidays, which require even earlier booking. Year-round, it's generally cheaper to book midweek.
All that said, knowing the best time to buy is still a guessing game, though you can improve your chances by taking advantage of Google's Flight Explorer, which shows the best prices to your destination in an easy-to-read graph and can be tailored to your time frame. And several search sites, including Kayak and Expedia, offer price-trend graphs.
However, if you want to ensure that your seat will be available, then Friday evenings are the best time to book flights because most airlines stop selling seats after this point, in preparation for weekend departures.
In general, booking flights on a particular date works best. However, certain seasons, such as Christmas and summer vacations, have higher airfare costs. From December to February, the cheapest price for an international trip to Europe is around $1,000.
One of the reasons that Tuesday is the cheapest weekday to buy flights is that major airlines release their seats on different days and at different times of the year. This means you may find a better deal booking flights for a specific time or month.
Skyscanner discloses that you can find the best flight deals on Saturday. If you want the cheapest fares, book your trip as soon as possible. The best time of day to book flights is at 3 p.m., according to Skyscanner.
If you want to find the absolute best prices, you might want to try booking your holiday travel by the end of October for a cheaper fare. Experts recommend booking Christmas flights 61 to 90 days before the holiday. The airfare will be lower than when you book before or after this prime booking window.
The prime booking window for U.S. domestic flights is typically 3 to 3.5 months in advance, but many books at 5 weeks successfully. The prime booking window for international flights is around 2 months before the travel dates. This is when you can find the cheapest airfare. Watch the fare closely when you search flights for your timeframe. 041b061a72