Getting a great deal on airfare can make or break a travel decision. Find a low fare and you’re much more likely to pull the trigger on a trip, right?
The key is figuring out the optimal time to book airfare so you can snag that sweet rate.
Recent research from the travel booking site Expedia offers insight into not only the best day of the week but also how far in advance to make your airline reservations in order to get the best deals.
Here’s a brief breakdown from the report, which was conducted in partnership with the Airlines Reporting Corporation:
What are the best days to buy plane tickets?
The study analyzed data from 10 billion passenger flights between October 2014 and October 2015. The conclusion? Weekend days are now the best time to purchase leisure airline tickets.
Previously, most studies pointed to Tuesdays as being the optimal time to buy for those looking for the lowest rate. Of course, airline fares are constantly fluctuating so timing is everything (see more on that below).
What’s the best time to book a flight?
- Within North America: 57 days in advance, for a savings of 10 percent
- North America to Europe: 176 days in advance, for a savings of 11 percent
- North America to Caribbean: 77 days in advance, for a savings of 5 percent
- North America to Asia-Pacific: 160 days in advance, for a savings of 13 percent
Industry experts also recommend budget travelers practice persistence if they want to secure the best rates.
George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog, says, “There is no secret time. You need to look four times a day—minimum—every day of the week, as far in advance as you can.”
Don't let those savings go down the drain
If you want to save even more money, be sure to book your airport parking well in advance, too (ideally as soon as your airfare is secured). Otherwise, you could end up overpaying at the airport and negate what you were able to save on your plane ticket!
Quick links to get you started
Cheap Airport Parking 101 – Details on our top 4 airport parking savings strategies
Top Travel Deals – The page you must visit before booking to grab current coupon codes for airport parking and other travel needs
More helpful travel planning resources
- Hotels.com and Jetsetter.com
- Allianz Travel Insurance
- The Regal Card
- Priority Pass – Airport Lounge Access
P.S. Need some budget travel inspiration? Check out our awesome boards on Pinterest!