This is the best time to book your next flights

March 26, 2018
Jess

Over the past few years, I’ve booked flights from all sorts of places. And one thing I’ve found is that the price of my flights greatly determines how much my entire trip will cost. Flights are generally the most expensive part of any trip, so getting these right will mean you can afford to stay in nicer hotels, do more activities once you’re there, or simply travel for longer.

But it turns out that there really is a best time to book flights. In fact, opodo.co.uk has done the research. The online travel agency looked at the annual price analysis for return flights from the UK from all destinations. These flights departed between November 2016 and October 2017.

It turns out that if you book six weeks before you’re due to depart, you could save some serious moolah. People who are booking 42 days in advance save up to 50% on their flights. That’s massive. And if you’re thinking you’ll get a last-minute deal, think again. Prices spike seven days before your departure date, and only get more expensive leading up to the date you fly.

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If you’re looking for a great deal on long-haul flights, it turns out that September is the month to book. For domestic flights, start looking in October for the best deals. And for short-haul flights, the best deals seem to be in January.

There’s even a best day of the week to choose from. If you purchase domestic flights on a Sunday, they’re likely to be the cheapest. For short haul, book on a Wednesday, while long-haul flights should be booked on Tuesdays.

I personally find that the further in advance I can book the better, although I’ve been known to book last-minute flights. When I worked as a travel agent, people would often ask me to predict when flights would be the cheapest. My advice: Avoid booking for peak season, skip the school holidays, and check if there are any local celebrations that people could be flying in for around the same time.

Another thing to consider? Stopovers. If a direct flight is important to you, or you’re hoping to avoid a long layover, you may want to begin searching for your flights a little earlier. If you’re travelling more spur-of-the-moment, it may be a good idea to consider building a stopover into your trip. I’ve done this through key stopover destinations like Hong Kong and Dubai, and this can work out cheaper, plus give you time to have a rest or explore a new city.

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