You may have read different recommendations about the best time to book a flight. Of course, you don’t want to book too early, only to discover some months later that the price for your flight dates has plummeted. Booking too late is also risky, as prices can skyrocket as seats become increasingly filled. If you want to avoid that feeling of ‘flight booking regret’, where you wonder if you should have booked earlier or later, it’s important to know the current trend for booking the cheapest flight. In the past, you could save the most money by booking your flight 6-8 weeks before your departure. But things have changed recently. Also, where you are travelling to and the day of the week and the time you book your flights can make a difference too.
How many weeks in advance should you book?
According to research carried out by Opodo, if you’re in the UK and have a destination in mind for your holiday in 2019/2020, here’s how far in advance you should book:
- Domestic flights: between 71 and 80 days in advance
- Flights to Europe: also between 71 and 80 days in advance
- Flights to Asia: between 26 and 30 days in advance
- Flights to the Americas: between 31 and 36 days in advance
- Flights to Africa: between 61 and 70 days in advance
- Flights to Oceania: between 21 and 25 days in advance
As we can see, there are many far-flung destinations where it’s better to book sooner compared to if you were flying within Europe.
What month should you book flights?
For domestic flights, you should book your flights in September. If you’re flying within Europe, then booking in January will land you the best deals, whereas, for holidays planned in another continent, it’s recommended that you book in February.
The best day of the week to book
Again, there is no one day of the week when it is best to book your flights. It depends greatly on your destination. Firstly, if you’re planning to travel within Europe or to Australia, then it’s important to keep in mind that average prices for days in the week can fluctuate widely, although booking on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday tends to give you the best deals. For trips to the Americas, Africa, or Asia, Sunday is the cheapest day to book. In previous years, booking a flight on a Tuesday to, say, America would save you the most money. But this is no longer the case.
The best time in the day to book
According to Skyscanner, the best time to book a flight is in the afternoon, whereas it’s most expensive to book in the morning. In order to find out which time is ideal to find the cheapest flight, check different prices throughout the afternoon, starting from noon to 6pm, as this will give you a sense of when you should be booking.
With all of these tips in mind, you can create a plan for booking flights with confidence and avoid that nagging feeling of what if I had booked last month or waited a bit longer? Flight booking regret will become a thing of the past.