Can you believe there’s only 62 more days until Christmas? It’s true. That means we’ve only got a couple short months to check off everything on that shopping list.
And what about travel plans? If you’re thinking about flying off to spend the holidays with family and friends, you’re going to want to find the best deals on airfare.
But finding great travel deals can be difficult this time of year. With so many people hitting the skies, prices usually skyrocket. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a plan in place on when to buy tickets. If you thought you had a great plan, you might want to check this out; there’s new research that determines when to book the lowest airfares.
Best time to get cheap airfare
People are always trying to crack the code of when to get discounted airfare. About the only thing most everyone agrees on is you can’t wait until the last minute to buy tickets. You’ll most likely get price gouged if that’s how you handle your travel bookings.
There is some good news though. CheapAir.com recently conducted a massive study to find out the best times to book flights, with an emphasis on international travel.
The online travel agency looked at over 350 million airfares for more than one million trips to over 3,000 international markets in the study. All to determine when you’ll find the cheapest airline tickets. Here’s what it found:
Domestic holiday flights
If you’re looking to travel for the holidays, you still have a little time to find decent deals on flights. For Thanksgiving, the average domestic flight purchased in September runs about $393.
Buying the same ticket in October would cost you an additional $37 per ticket on average. But if you wait until November, the price jumps up quite a bit.
Purchasing airfare for the week of Thanksgiving in November will cost you about 22-percent more than if you bought the same ticket in September. So get those Thanksgiving travel plans locked down ASAP.
For Christmas, you have a little more time. Domestic flights for the week of Christmas cost an average of $411 when purchased in September. Waiting until October to buy them will only cost you around $5 more per ticket on average. So still not bad.
The price starts to seriously climb in November. Most Christmas week flights go up nearly $50 per ticket then. That’s about 12 percent higher than you would have paid in September.
But the really bad news comes if you wait to buy them in December. Each ticket will cost approximately $120 more in December than if you would have bought the same ticket in September.
The big takeaway here is the sooner you buy your holiday airfare, the less you’ll pay. Not only that, but you’ll have less flight options the closer we get to the holiday. Flights sell out and those prime slots won’t be available the closer we get to Thanksgiving and Christmas. You definitely don’t want to end up on a red-eye flight that lands on Christmas morning.
Obviously, traveling for the holidays isn’t the only time you’d like to save money on airfare. There are plenty of chances to get out and see the world throughout the entire year.
Here are some money saving international travel tips from the Cheapair.com study.
Have you ever spent time in the Caribbean? If not, you should definitely put it on your bucket list. Beautiful beaches, sparkling water and powdery sand are just a few things that will let you know you’re in paradise.
Here are some ways to keep the trip within budget. The best time to buy tickets falls between 36 and 321 days in advance, but buying airfare 207 days from departure is considered the least expensive day. The average low fare is $545.
(Pro tip: The least expensive days of the week to fly for most international trips are Tuesday and Wednesday, so shoot for those days if you can.)
Mexico and Central America
The best time to buy tickets to Mexico and Central America is between 14 and 174 days in advance. With the least expensive booking day being 70 days from departure. The average low fare for these destinations is $489.
For Europe, 50 to 252 days in advance is the best time for low prices. The least expensive booking day is 160 days from departure and the average low fare is $1,151.
You’ll find the cheapest tickets to Asia from 40 to 231 days in advance. The least expensive day to book is 120 days from departure and the average low fare is $1,113.
Middle East and Africa
If heading out for a Safari is more your thing, you’ll want to fly over to Africa. These money-saving tips work for both Africa and the Middle East.
Getting the best deals to these destinations falls between 96 to 287 days in advance. The least expensive booking time is 199 days from departure and the average low fare is $1,238.
Now that you know these helpful tricks, use them wisely and plan ahead. That dream vacation you’ve always wanted to take is in sight.