Every traveler dreams of that moment when they stumble upon an ultra-cheap airfare and snag a bargain for their bucket list destination. Finding cheap flights can be difficult, especially if the dates you want to book aren’t flexible or fall during the high season. The best way to get cheap airfares is to be selective about when to book and when to fly. These are the best times of the year to find cheap flights to your dream destination.
8th Black Friday
Black Friday is known for being the Friday before Thanksgiving when retailers across America slash their prices in hopes of boosting sales. Luckily for travelers, this also applies to many airlines, making this an ideal time to start looking for flight deals to many cities around the world. Many airlines offer discount codes specifically for Black Friday, giving passengers a lower price at checkout. To get the best deals on Black Friday, be flexible about travel dates and destinations.
7 cyber monday
Cyber Monday closely follows Black Friday and falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving every year. Oftentimes, retailers drop their prices even further on Cyber Monday to clear out the deals that didn’t sell on Black Friday. Prepare to get online early on Cyber Monday and look for the discount code required for the airline you are planning to book with. Some major airlines known for offering Cyber Monday discounts include United Airlines, Air Canada, Air Transat, Delta, Icelandair, and WestJet.
6 January (for domestic flights)
There are certain months of the year when it is also cheaper to book flights and travel due to lower demand. For domestic flights within the United States and Canada, travelers can expect discounted fares during the winter months. Domestic flights are 10% cheaper in January than in June, according to data from the Airlines Reporting Commission (ARC).
5 August (for international flights)
Likewise, travelers looking to book international flights will find that August is one of the best months to book and travel outside of North America. August marks the end of the high season in many places around the world, particularly in European destinations, so prices start to fall and crowds thin out. According to ARC’s report, travelers will find that international flights are 20% cheaper in August than in December.
4 Christmas Eve or Christmas Day
Most people know that demand for domestic and international flights is high during the holiday season, so finding affordable flights from North America in November and December is usually difficult. However, according to Nerdwallet, there is still a chance of striking a deal if you book a flight departing for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (December 24-25). This is because 68% of people fly ahead of these public holidays on December 21-23.
3 Back to school (September)
It’s no secret that the summer months (July and early August in particular) are peak tourist season in many parts of the world, thanks to North American families taking their children abroad during the summer school holidays. However, once the summer rush subsides and schools ramp up, demand for flights falls and so do prices. For a better deal on idyllic summer destinations like Greece, Italy or Portugal, book flights for early September when families are home and kids are back to school. Not only are airfares cheaper at this time, but many hotels also offer better prices for accommodation.
2 64 days before any departure date
A study by CheapAir found that the best time to book a domestic flight ticket is, on average, 64 days before the departure date. That’s when prices are usually the lowest, no matter what time of year you travel or where you travel to. However, the booking of the seasonal travelers affects this average low price point. So consider whether booking more than 64 days in advance is required to get the best price. The study found that in summer the lowest fares were offered 67 days in advance of a flight, while in winter it was cheaper to book a domestic flight 94 days in advance.
This window changes for international flights, with the best booking time from the US to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean being two months before departure. For Central America, Americans should book between a half and three months in advance of their trip to get the best rates, and three months in advance for a trip to Africa. Americans typically find the best deals on Asia and Europe by booking around 120 days (4 months) in advance of departure.
1 Second day of Christmas
Another fantastic day of the year to snag a bargain is December 26th, Boxing Day in North America. After the holiday shopping season, many companies, including airlines, are looking to sell out their seasonal stock and offers at discounted prices so travelers can find some extremely low ticket prices on the day. Put the holiday gift money to good use (or ask about holiday gift cards) and get online early on Boxing Day to find bargain deals to the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe and more.