Travel is so expensive these days that you’re probably looking to shave anything you can off the cost. One of the biggest expenses for any trip is airfare. Many people don't know that when you book your airline tickets, even down to the time of day, can have a huge impact on what you end up paying. To help you find the sweetest deals possible, we dug in to find the best day to book airline tickets.
While you definitely don’t want to fly on a Saturday if you don’t have to, Saturday is the best day to book. That’s according to Skyscanner, a travel search site that analyzed flights booked in 2018 to find out which day had the lowest average cost. Saturday was closely followed by Sunday, so you might have to cancel your weekend plans if you want to get the best deals.
But getting the lowest price on airline tickets isn’t just determined by what day you buy. There are many other factors that go into it. “The more important item during an airfare search is to clear cookies and cache each time,” Suzanne Wolko, travel consultant and blogger at PhilaTravelGirl, told The Active Times in an email. When she looks for flights, she “will first research on Google Flights for price and then sort out best flights and prices before going to the airline’s website to find the same itinerary and cost.”
If you’re the kind of habitual procrastinator who doesn’t even have your passport photos yet, you might want to shake that habit when you book your next flight. According to a study by CheapAir.com, the best time to book a flight is between 115 and 21 days before departure. Once you get closer than 21 days, prices start to climb — fast.
The day on which you choose to fly will also affect the price of your flight. The same study points to Tuesday as the cheapest day to fly, with an average of an $85 difference between that and Sunday, the most expensive day to fly. If your plans allow for flexibility, those are some major savings.
If you don’t have a trip planned already and you’re just window-shopping for your next vacation, note that the Skyscanner study points to August as the best month of the year to grab your tickets — assuming, of course, you can plan your trip at least 21 to 115 days ahead of time. It’s approximately $20 cheaper to grab your tickets in August than during the most expensive month, June.
Armed with these booking tips, you’ll be flying to your favorite destinations with a few extra bucks in your wallet. And to keep from draining your patience and sanity, follow our tips to surviving a family vacation.