Everyone wants to jet off on a vacation every now and then, but among the many factors to consider is cost. Vacations can run you a hefty sum, but one thing you can control is when you book your flight so you can save the most money. KAYAK analyzed over a billion search queries and shared the best time to buy and fly. Here are the results found from 2015:
First things first, compare airfares. I'm not sure why, but I've encountered many people who only look at Southwest when booking flights because they assume it will always be the cheapest. That's not true, at least not every single time. I use Google Flights to find the cheapest airfare but alternate tools you can use to track airfare drops include:
"the cheapest days to fly are unpopular travel days; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays."
To no surprise, the most expensive days to fly are when most people get off work and/or don't have work - Fridays and Saturdays. The cheapest times to fly are at dawn, overnight (red-eyes), and around dinner time - when most people don't want to fly.
Now that you have an idea of when to fly, here's the best time to book your flight. According to a new study conducted by Cheap Air, 54 days was the best number of days in advance to book a flight in 2015 for travel within the U.S.. More accurately, they noted that:
If you look at all 3 million itineraries, the best times to buy were all over the map (no pun intended). For a lot of them (about 13,000 in total) 54 days out was indeed the best time to buy, but for almost as many the best time to buy was 53 days out, or 52 days, or 45 days, or 60 days. In fact, for almost 30,000 trips the best time to book was actually the day the flight first went on sale! And for a fraction of them (a tiny, tiny fraction) it was best to book at the very last minute.
Overall, Tuesdays at 12 p.m. (PST) is when airlines share the most sales and price matches are plentiful. With that being said, domestic flights should be bought between 3 months and 30 days before departure, while international flights should be bought 5 1/2 months and 1 1/2 months before departure. During the most popular seasons (i.e. June, July, August, and December), book your flights two months in advance.
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