When it comes to airfare everyone loves scoring a great deal and often times that is a cheap flight. There are countless strategies of how to book a cheap flight and many websites that alert you to when cheap fares become available.
The difficulty in all those comes down to timing. Many cheap fares do not last long and if you do not book your trip as soon as you are alerted then you are out of luck.
Timing is everything when it comes to booking a flight and airlines often release tickets about 1 year in advance. While you may think the earlier you book the better this is not always the case.
Airlines price flights dynamically based on the amount of demand they can expect as well as how much they think someone will spend for a given flight. This is why prices are so high at the last minute even if the airplane has plenty of seats available.
Whether you are looking to travel to Rome, Istanbul, or Paris, there are often common strategies based on how airlines price flights that can allow you to score a better deal.
While we recommend everyone to use credit card points as the best way to score a cheap flight, if you are looking to travel by paying cash here are some of the best ways to get a better deal.
The best day of the week to book
This is historically the best day to book flights generally towards the evening. Airlines do a lot of research on when people are searching for flights and the weekends tend to be higher as everyone has time to plan.
The cheapest day to travel domestically
Tuesday or Wednesay.
Often times people plan for weekend trips or business travelers plan to get to a destination on Monday. This leaves the middle of the week as the cheapest time to fly as those flights tend to have less business travelers and many less vacation travelers.
The cheapest day to fly internationally
When you fly internationally you need to consider the length of the flight and the timezone you are crossing into. The benefit to flying on Thursday is the amount of airline flights is generally higher as more people want to go for the full weekend. Fridays tend to get more expensive since many people don’t want to skip a day of work but if you can leave on Thursday you are more likely to get a cheaper fare.
The cheapest month to fly domestically
After the holidays airlines see a slow down in travel, especially domestically. With everyone back to work this is a great time to find cheap deals throughout the US and often times hotels are the cheapest as well.
The cheapest month to fly internationally
While this may come as a surprise in the middle of summer August is generally a vacation month in many parts of the world. This means major cities are looking for visitors when the locals depart and will allow you to find better airfare. Note if you are traveling to a vacation heavy destination like the beach then the airfare may be at its highest in August.
Summary & Takeaways
Given how airfare pricing works there will be countless resources out there to help you find cheap flights. Many users suggest going in private browsing mode or searching from a different country via VPN but we haven’t seen that have too much of an effect.
If you are looking to score cheap flights its as simple as planning accordingly and setting price alerts to know when that fare becomes available you can book right away.