Cheap flights – The optimum time to book before departure – Money tip #204

1 min read Published: 13 Dec 2012
Buying flights at the right time can save you money

We've all been there, scouring the internet in search of cheap flights or monitoring prices in pursuit of a bargain. 'You're better off booking early' some will exclaim, while others swear the best deals are nabbed by those leaving it to the last minute. So when is the best time before departure to book a flight? Well the answer is none of the above.

The optimum time to book flights

Flight comparison website Kayak compared over a billion search results on their site and found that the optimum time for securing the cheapest air fares is:

  • 21 days prior to departure for domestic fares
  • 34 days to prior departure for international flights

Booking too early will cost you

The research also showed that the average fare on a domestic flight booked 6 months prior to departure was 19% higher than those booked 21 days before the flight.

Cheapest week long breaks

Those planning week long domestic trips can save 16% off the average flight price by departing a Saturday and returning on a Monday. While those flying internationally can cut 21% on average off the cost of flights by departing on a Tuesday and returning Wednesday.

So there you have it. There are no guarantees but clearly if you buy your flights at the right time you can save a small fortune.