Land on the right price: when to book your flight

Timing really is everything. If you’ve ever wondered when the ideal time to book your trip is – or when the best days to fly are – KAYAK has analysed millions of online flights to find out the answers for you. With just a little forward planning, you can save a lot of money.

When to book the best fare in advance

For the majority of long-distance flights, planning is required well in advance. KAYAK recommends that on average, British travellers should book around three months ahead of their departure date. Some destinations require very extensive planning, with the best online flight deals for Asia found seven months in advance.

For South America and the Middle East, the most attractive prices for can be found around five months in advance, four months in advance for the Caribbean, and three months in advance for Central America and the South Pacific. Travellers can be more spontaneous for trips to Europe and North America, with best prices as late as two weeks before travel.

Region Time before travel
North America 2 weeks
Central America 3 months
Africa 2 months
Asia 7 months
Caribbean 4 months
Europe 1 month
South America 5 months
Middle East 5 months
South Pacific 3 months

When to fly: the best weekday for departure and return flights 

On all long-distance routes, flying in the middle of the week is the cheapest option. Generally you will land the cheapest flights if you depart on Thursday and return between Tuesday and Thursday.

Region Depart Return
North America Wednesday Tuesday
Central America Thursday Tuesday
Africa Monday Thursday
Asia Tuesday Tuesday
Caribbean Thursday Thursday
Europe Thursday Sunday
South America Thursday Monday
Middle East Wednesday Monday
South Pacific Tuesday Wednesday

While travelling on the weekend is generally more expensive – a lucky exception exists for those long weekends in Europe. Here, the best combination is departing on Thursday and returning on Sunday, just in time for the beginning of a new week.

All results are based on return flight searches from November 2013 to February 2015 on KAYAK.co.uk from the UK, for travel dates between November 11, 2013 and February 2015.

(Preview photo cred: iStock.com/de-kay)

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