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When is the Best Time to Book a Flight?

SmarterTravel

It’s a question that every traveler struggles with: When is the best time to book a flight? It’s definitely something to think about when buying your plane tickets. If you book too early or too late, you could significantly overpay for your fare. 

Fortunately, CheapAir.com has come up with a definitive answer as to the best time to book a flight. The flight booking site analyzed almost a billion airfares across 10 global regions in order to figure out how far in advance you should book flights in order to get the cheapest deal. 

How Far in Advance Should You Book International Flights?

A color coded map showing the best times to buy international plane tickets, organized by destination
CheapAir

According to CheapAir, the best time to book international flights varies by destination. Here’s what the study found:

Africa

CheapAir recommends a wide range for the best time to book flights to Africa—between 2 months to 10 months before your departure, but they narrow it down to 213 days in advance of travel as the cheapest time to buy tickets. You’ll find the best deals when traveling to Africa in October and November, and the most expensive plane tickets in July and December. 

Asia

The earlier the better to buy tickets to Asia—the best time to book flights to Asia is 10 months in advance—ideally 314 days from departure. The cheapest months to travel to Asia are generally January and April, and the most expensive months to visit are December and August. 

 from departure. The cheapest months to travel are January and April while December and August are the most expensive. 

Europe

The best time to book flights to Europe is 1 month to 6.5 months before travel—ideally 79 days from departure. If your dates are flexible, the cheapest months to travel are October and November. Unsurprisingly, the sunny months of May and June tend to be the most expensive months to fly to Europe. 

South America

This year might be the time to finally book that bucket list trip to Argentina or Chile. CheapAir found that tickets to South America are trending almost $300 less on average compared to 2021. To get those bargain tickets, the best time to book flights to South America is 1.5 months to 4.5 months before departure. The best day to book is around 79 days before your trip. September, October, and May are when you’ll find the most affordable rates for South America, and July and December are when tickets will be the priciest. 

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Domestic Plane Ticket?

How far in advance should you buy a domestic plane ticket? A different study by CheapAir found that you should book tickets for travel within the U.S. an average of 76 days before your travel date. 

What Are the Cheapest Days to Fly?

A color coded table showing the cheapest days of the week to fly, organized by destination
CheapAir

No matter where you’re headed, the cheapest day to fly will be on a Tuesday. This was one of the least expensive days to travel for every destination in CheapAir’s study. Wednesday was the other cheapest day to fly for all destinations except for the South Pacific, where Tuesday was the only consistently inexpensive travel day. 

If you can, avoid flying on a Sunday, which was deemed the most expensive day to fly for all regions except for the Middle East—where Saturday is the priciest. 

What Is the Cheapest Day of the Week to Book Flights?

Are Tuesdays the best day to book flights? According to CheapAir, there is no magical cheapest day of the week to book flights. Their data showed that the average low fare only varied by about $1 over a week.

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