If you were looking for a one sentence answer, we’re sorry – it’s not here. Truthfully, it doesn’t exist. But if you want to know everything there is to know about when and how to book the very best flight deals, you’re in the right place. Here you’ll find all the rules, tricks and ideas for getting the best deals on plane tickets anywhere in the world.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Travel Tuesday, Boxing Day: if you’re looking for a major flash sale, November, December and January are your best bets. Holidays aside, winter is quiet season for travel in most of the world, and airlines offer many of their best prices during these times to drum up extra business. For example, Singapore Airlines, offered $399 round trip tickets to Tokyo.
Don’t just assume the word sale means a flight is “cheap”. Airlines have “sales” 365 days a year, and the prices are hardly ever genuinely discounted. Study the average prices ASAP to learn what’s below average and know if it’s worth booking. How do you study? Just make a habit of looking up prices to the place you want to go. Try different months and lengths to get a feel.
There is no perfect day to book airline tickets. The best deals often come in flashes lasting 24 hours or less, and many aren’t announced. To keep up, create easy, free price trackers as soon as you have a flight in mind. These send you emails or notifications whenever the prices change, so you’ll always have a sense of what’s going on. We also post all the best deals here.
For best practices, book domestic tickets somewhere around 21 days or more in advance, and book international tickets roughly 56 days or more in advance. But keep in mind, the best flight deals can pop up anytime! 355 days away, 21 days away or anywhere in between, so setting price trackers early is key. Inside 21 days, advanced purchase fares which are often the lowest, begin to disappear.
Ever notice that some months never seem to offer good deals? Travel is almost entirely based on seasonality. The more demand, the higher the prices. Look to leave a few days early, return a few days late – or better yet, visit in the slightly off peak season, when school children and major holidays are nowhere to be found! Less tourists, too!
Quite often, simply changing the day of the week you’ll jet off can make a huge difference in price. Mid week flights are often the very cheapest, so think Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday for your departures and arrivals. Sites like Google Flights allow you to see an entire calendar month of prices at a time, so you can see for yourself.
Have you followed all the tips above yet still never seem to find a brilliant deal? It’s possible you’re searching for a route which for a variety of reasons never gets discounted. Leisure only routes, such as Europe to places like Orlando are common for this symptom. Consider flying into or out of nearby cities to save.
What’s your best tip for saving on plane tickets?