Budget-conscious travelers often wonder how much in advance they should buy tickets to find the lowest airfares. Research reported by Yahoo finance – after an analysis of 560 million airfares, shows that the best time to book flights is:
- 49 days in advance for domestic flights and
- 81 days before your departure date for international flights.
The study also found that domestic airfares started to rise dramatically only about 2 weeks before departure dates. Also, flying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays was found to be cheaper than other days.
Another finding was that the best time to find the lowest prices for your flights for the Thanksgiving weekend in 2012 was 96 days in advance. Following this advice, if you’re traveling within the US, start looking for airfare for Thanksgiving flights in early August.
International flights are not as price sensitive as domestic flights during the Thanksgiving holiday. If you’re planning an international trip, the best time to to book your flights is usually 10 months before your return date.
From our experience, you’ll find the least expensive airfare for international travel during the year end holidays when tickets are first available for sale. For flights within the US and international flights with connections within the US, start looking in early March for the lowest prices.