The best time to book flights
So you’ve decided where your next trip is going to be – now all you need to do is book your flights. Travelling is expensive and so you’ll want to get the best deal wherever you can and so I’ve put together this resource to help you find the best time to book flights for wherever you’re going.
For this blog post, I’m assuming that you’re booking to travel from the UK – so this might not apply to other countries.
The best month to book flights
According to statistics from Skyscanner and Opodo, the best months to book flights are September and January. The cheapest month to actually fly is June and the most expensive is December.
The best time to book domestic flights
Apparently the best time to book domestic flights is just two to three weeks in advance so, if you’re planning a trip to Scotland or maybe even Newquay, it may be best to leave booking your flights until quite late.
Short haul / Europe flights
According to Skyscanner, the best time to book international flights is five to six months in advance. If I’m booking with Ryanair or Jet2, once I know where I’m going I check the website every day and look at flying from all of my nearest airports to find the cheapest flight. However, I’ve often missed out on cheap flights by hesitating for a couple of days before booking so if you see flights for what you think is a good price, get them booked!
I really like flying with Easyjet, they’re definitely one of my favourite budget airlines and you can definitely bag yourself a deal here. Easyjet flights are at their cheapest when their flight schedule is released as they operate a supply and demand pricing policy, so plan where you want to travel a year in advance to get the best price. I booked my flights to Venice this way last year and got them for just £50 return each.
Keep an eye on their flight schedule release dates and set yourself a reminder on your phone so that you don’t forget. The prices literally go up by the hour, so make sure you don’t hesitate before booking else you could lose out.
Long haul flights
Statistically, the best time to book flights to Thailand is 17 weeks in advance and the cheapest month to visit the country is November.
16 weeks in advance is the perfect time to book flights to Australia and you still might be able to find cheap flights up to four weeks before you plan to travel. However, after this time flight prices tend to increase above the average for that route.
The best time to book flights to the USA is about four to five months before you plan to fly. Keep your eyes peeled for sales too, British Airways did an amazing one on some of their USA routes last year which was flights for £100, but they were really limited so you have to be quick off the mark.
How to find cheap flights
My favourite tool for finding cheap flights is the Skyscanner app. With this, you just pop in your departure and arrival airports and it will give you a list of flights that match your criteria. If you’re not particular about which dates you travel, you can even view the whole month to see when flights are at their cheapest. With Skyscanner, you can also sign up to alerts so you will get emailed when your flights either drop or increase in price.
I can also recommend signing up to the mailing lists for both Holiday Pirates and Jack’s Flight Club – both of which send out alerts when they find cheap flights. They also sometimes highlight fare errors, so you can grab a flight for even cheaper than usual.
Be as flexible as you can be with your travel dates – this will allow you to pick the dates with the cheapest flights. Also, flying very early in the morning or very late at night can work out more cost effective. I love jumping on the earliest flight as you’ve then got pretty much the whole day at your destination.
I’ve also been reading up on travel hacking, which is travelling the world for free (or almost free) by using airline loyalty points. I’ve just signed up to an Avios account and I’ll share my top tips for travel hacking in the UK once I’ve learned more.
So now that you know the best time to book flights, what’s stopping you?!