Unlock the Secret to Affordable Travel: The Best Time to Book Cheap Flights

17 March 2023

Untitled design 2023 03 17T083932.303

As someone who loves to travel but also wants to stick to a budget, I understand the importance of finding cheap flights. After all, the cost of airfare can often be the biggest expense when planning a trip. But how do you find the best deals? One of the key factors is timing. In this article, I will share with you the secrets of when to book cheap flights, including the best months, weeks, and days to book, as well as tips for saving money on additional travel expenses.

Understanding the Factors that Affect Flight Prices

Before we dive into the best time to book cheap flights, it's important to understand the factors that affect flight prices. One of the biggest factors is supply and demand. When demand is high, prices tend to go up, and when demand is low, prices tend to go down. This is why you'll often see higher prices during peak travel seasons, such as summer and holidays.

Another factor is competition. When there are multiple airlines flying a particular route, prices tend to be more competitive. On the other hand, if there's only one airline flying that route, they may have more control over the prices.

Lastly, airlines use sophisticated algorithms to set prices, taking into account factors such as historical data, current demand, and competitor pricing. This is why prices can fluctuate so much, even within a single day.

The Best Time to Book Cheap Flights

Now that you have a better understanding of the factors that affect flight prices, let's talk about the best time to book cheap flights. Generally speaking, the earlier you book, the better. However, there are some specific guidelines you can follow to maximize your savings.

Best Months to Book Cheap Flights

According to a study by CheapAir, the best time to book domestic flights in the US is 76 days in advance, which is about 2.5 months. For international flights, the sweet spot is a bit earlier, at around 77 days in advance.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you're traveling during a major holiday, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, you'll want to book even earlier, as demand is much higher during these times.

Best Weeks to Book Cheap Flights

If you can't book your flight exactly 76 or 77 days in advance, don't worry - there are still opportunities to save. Generally, the best time to book is during the "Prime Booking Window," which is 3 weeks to 3.5 months in advance for domestic flights, and 5 weeks to 5.5 months in advance for international flights.

If you're booking last minute, you may still be able to find a deal. According to Skyscanner, the best time to book a last-minute flight is within two weeks of your travel date.

Best Days to Book Cheap Flights

Believe it or not, the day of the week you book your flight can also impact the price. According to a study by CheapAir, the cheapest days to book flights are Tuesday and Wednesday. On the other hand, the most expensive days to book are Friday and Sunday.

The Worst Time to Book Flights

Now that you know the best time to book cheap flights, it's important to also understand the worst time to book. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is waiting until the last minute to book your flight. Not only will prices be higher, but you may also have fewer options in terms of flight times and seats.

Another mistake is booking too early. While it's generally better to book early, booking too far in advance can actually backfire. Airlines often release their schedules and prices around 11 months in advance, but prices can fluctuate greatly in the months leading up to your travel date. If you book too early, you may end up paying more than you need to.

Tools and Websites to Help You Find the Best Flight Deals

Now that you know when to book cheap flights, it's time to start searching for deals. There are a number of tools and websites that can help you find the best prices.

Secret Flight Club

Secret Flight Club uses technology and a team of experts to find deals from airlines, curate trips and sends its members in the moment deals for popular destinations across the world. You will never miss a good flight deal and membership is super cheap vs the savings you receive on each set of deals.

Google Flights

Google Flights is a powerful tool that allows you to search for flights across multiple airlines and dates. One of the best features is the ability to see a calendar view of prices, so you can easily identify the cheapest days to fly.


Skyscanner is another popular flight search engine that allows you to search for flights across multiple airlines and dates. One of the unique features is the ability to search for flights to "Everywhere," which can be a great way to find inspiration for your next trip.


Hopper is a mobile app that uses predictive analytics to help you find the best deals on flights. You can set up alerts for specific routes and dates, and the app will notify you when prices drop.


Airfarewatchdog is a website that specializes in finding and sharing the best flight deals. They have a team of experts who scour the internet for the best prices and share them with their subscribers.

Tips for Booking Cheap Flights

In addition to using the right tools and websites, there are several tips you can follow to maximize your savings on flights.

Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates

One of the best ways to save money on flights is to be flexible with your travel dates. As we discussed earlier, the best time to book can vary depending on the season, so consider adjusting your travel dates to take advantage of the cheapest times.

Consider Alternative Airports

Another way to save money on flights is to consider alternative airports. For example, if you're flying to New York, you may be able to save money by flying into Newark instead of JFK or LaGuardia.

Book Connecting Flights

While direct flights are often more convenient, they can also be more expensive. Consider booking connecting flights instead, which can sometimes be significantly cheaper. Just be sure to leave yourself plenty of time between flights to avoid missing your connection.

Sign up for Airline Rewards Programs

Many airlines offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points or miles for each flight you take. These points can then be redeemed for free or discounted flights, hotel stays, and other travel expenses.

How to Save Money on Additional Travel Expenses

In addition to saving money on flights, there are several ways to save on additional travel expenses, such as accommodations, transportation, and activities.

Book Accommodations through Airbnb

Airbnb is a great way to save money on accommodations, especially if you're traveling with a group. You can often find entire homes or apartments for the same price as a single hotel room.

Use Public Transportation

Instead of renting a car or taking taxis, consider using public transportation to get around. This can be a great way to save money and also experience the local culture.

Look for Free Activities

There are often plenty of free activities to do in a new city, such as visiting museums, parks, and landmarks. Do some research ahead of time to find out what's available.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Booking Flights

Finally, there are some common mistakes to avoid when booking flights.

Not Checking Alternative Dates or Airports

As we discussed earlier, being flexible with your travel dates and airports can save you a lot of money. Don't be afraid to explore all your options before booking.

Not Clearing Your Browser Cookies

Some airlines use dynamic pricing, which means that prices may change based on your browsing history. To avoid this, clear your browser cookies before searching for flights.

Not Checking Airline Websites Directly

While third-party booking sites can be useful, they may not always have access to the best deals. Be sure to check airline websites directly to compare prices.

Conclusion and Summary of Key Takeaways

In conclusion, finding cheap flights is all about timing. By understanding the factors that affect flight prices and following the guidelines for the best time to book, you can save a significant amount of money on your next trip. Additionally, by using tools and websites to search for deals, being flexible with your travel plans, and avoiding common mistakes, you can maximize your savings on additional travel expenses. Happy travels!

Ready to save money on your next trip? Start by researching the best times to book cheap flights and exploring your options. With a little planning and flexibility, you can save big on your next adventure.


Join Now