The Definitive Guide to Booking the Cheapest Flight
We’ve all read up on travel advice and that advice has obviously included how to get the best deals on airfare. We’ve seen tips like “booking weekday mornings will ensure the lowest price” or “if you’re willing to sit through two painstaking stopovers you can get a cheaper flight.” Low cost airfare usually means inconvenience—and that’s if these tips are actually effective. According to KAYAK.com, you shouldn't believe everything you read.
Contrary to urban legend, the day of the week you book doesn't make a difference in what you pay. In other words, there's no noticeable difference between booking on a Tuesday or a Saturday, or any other day.
Inconvenience and misleading advice stops here. KAYAK, one of the largest travel booking sites in the world, has analyzed data for a year to discern the facts from the myths when it comes to saving on travel. They process more than 100 million queries a month, which gives them a solid data set, and they have compiled the data for all to see (and save).
According to a post on their website the best time to book depends on your destination:
Domestic: Book between 3-7 weeks out
Europe: 8-10 weeks out
Asia: 9-10 months out. If you miss this window, shoot for 3-4 months out
South America: 6 months out
Central America: 6-8 weeks out
Africa: 3-5 weeks out
Caribbean: 2-3 weeks out, but unlike all other regions, you can still get a deal one week out (i.e. it's a great last-minute destination)
The same post notes the best and worst dates for travel. Surprisingly, Friday is the best day to take off if you are traveling domestically, Tuesday or Wednesday are the best days for international departures. They suggest returning Monday or (for Europe) Tuesday. And they confirmed what we already know; traveling on a Friday or Saturday will usually cost you extra.
The best months for travel are January, February and April, in that order according to KAYAK. If you must travel in the summer, August is the best option and could save you up to 13 percent over June and July travel dates.
In an internet world full of bad travel advice and unsupported claims, KAYAK’s data is invaluable. Now that they’ve shared it, go book your next adventure.