For 2023 we analyzed more than 917 million airfares across every continent to help you book cheap international flights. Here’s what we learned so you can buy cheap flights at the best time for your trip.

the best time to buy international flights

2024 International Airfare Study key takeaways

  • How far in advance you should book international flights to save the most money.
  • The most and least expensive months to travel internationally
  • How seasonality can affect international flight costs
  • Cheapest days of the week to travel internationally
  • How CheapAir.com determines the best time to buy international flights

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the best time to book international flights

The Best Time to Book International Airfare – Overview

This year, the best time to buy a cheap international flight to most regions is a mixed bag. Some destinations could benefit from shopping early, while others give the best value a lot closer to your travel dates. At the same time, quite a few regions of the world aren’t seeing a ton of volatility.

Keep in mind people increasingly want to travel to international destinations, and supply to some destinations is still struggling to meet demand. But people seem to be willing to pay a little more to travel internationally. Let’s look at things region by reason and find cheap international flights.

when to buy international flights by region

The Best Time to Book Flights to Canada

the best time to buy flights to canada

Canada flights aren’t terribly volatile, so if you prefer to wait you can get a well-priced flight all the way up to around a month before your travel dates.

  • Best Time to Buy Canada Flights: About 2.5 months from your travel date
  • Prime Booking Window for Canada: About 1 to 6 months before your travel date
  • The average airfare: $517
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to Canada: The cheapest flights to Canada are on Tuesdays, saving $53 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Sunday
  • Cheapest months to travel to Canada: January and February
  • Most expensive months to travel to Canada: June and July
  • Seasonality for Canada flights: Prices for travel in the fall are slightly better than the other seasons, but the differences are minimal. You can save about $29 by traveling in the fall, rather than another season.

The Best Time to Book Flights to Mexico

the best time to buy flights to Mexico

Mexico will be popular as it always is for international travelers from the U.S. In 2024, a trend seems to illustrate that deals can be available very close to travel dates. You can shop around 1.5 months out and still see reasonable cheap international flights depending on your specific plans.

  • Best Time to Buy Mexico Flights: About 2 months from your travel date
  • Prime Booking Window for Mexico: 1.5 to 10 months before your travel date
  • The average airfare: $542
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to Mexico: The cheapest flights to Mexico are on Tuesdays, saving $53 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Sunday.
  • Cheapest months to travel to Mexico: January and February
  • Most expensive months to travel to Mexico: June and July
  • Seasonality for Mexico Flights: There isn’t a lot of seasonal differences for Mexico flights. Keep in mind that Christmas and Thanskgiving weeks can be quite expensive. Shop early if a holiday vacation is in your future.

The Best Time to Book Caribbean Flights

the best time to buy caribbean flights

The Caribbean is a good deal in 2024. With a little bit of advance planning, you can actually put together a relatively affordable last-minute international trip with very little hassle.

  • Best Time to Buy Caribbean Flights: About 1 month from your travel date
  • Prime Booking Window for the Caribbean: About 3 weeks to 2.5 months from your travel date
  • The average airfare: $591
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to the Caribbean: The cheapest flights to the Caribbean are on Wednesdays, saving $103 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Sunday
  • Cheapest months to travel to the Caribbean: January and February
  • Most expensive months to travel to the Caribbean: July and June
  • Seasonality for Caribbean Flights: Fall and winter offer the best airfares, but your savings are rather small – just $24 on average over traveling in spring or summer.

The Best Time to Book Flights to Central America

the best time to buy flights to central america

Central America is another relatively good value international travel destination for 2023, with average prices up about 10%. Once again, planning and shopping early will be the key to snagging a reasonable price on flights.

  • Best Time to Buy Central America Flights: About 1.5 months from your travel date
  • Prime Booking Window for Central America: About 3 weeks to 2.5 months from your travel date
  • The average airfare: $616
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to Central America: The cheapest flights to Central America are on Wednesdays, saving $103 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Sunday
  • Cheapest months to travel to Central America: January and February
  • Most expensive months to travel to Central America: July and June. June tickets will run you about $142 more on average than in January.
  • Seasonality for Central America Flights: Fall is the most affordable time to travel to Central America, with ticket prices running about $36 less than the average of the other 3 seasons.

The Best Time to Book Flights to South America

the best time to buy flights to south america

South American airline tickets follow the trend of flights being more expensive than they were last year. You don’t have to book early for the best possible deals in 2024!

  • Best Day to Buy South America Flights: About 1.5 months from your travel date
  • Prime Booking Window for South America: 1 month all the way out to the publish date
  • The average airfare: $798
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to South America: The cheapest flights to South America are on Tuesdays, saving $82 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Saturday
  • Cheapest months to travel to South America: December and May
  • Most expensive months to travel to South America: July and June
  • Seasonality for South America Flights: Fall is the most affordable time to travel to South America. Fall air ticket prices to South American countries are about $63 less than the other seasons on average.

The Best Time to Book Flights to Europe

the best time to buy flights to venice

Demand is way up for travel to EU countries this year along with prices. So while airfares to Europe might be more than you expect, once you’re on the ground you’ll find your dollars go further. To get the best airfares you’ll want to avoid the summer months. And you’ll want to buy as early as you can.

  • Best Day to Buy Europe Flights: About 10.5 months from your travel date
  • Prime Booking Window for Europe: There is no true prime booking window for Europe this year. Buy flights very early, as close to their publish date as you can in order to get the best value.
  • The average airfare: $1,112
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to Europe: The cheapest flights to Europe are on Tuesdays, saving $145 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Saturday
  • Cheapest months to travel to Europe: December and February
  • Most expensive months to travel to Europe: July and June
  • Seasonality for Europe Flights: Winter flights to Europe will save you a whopping $395 on average over taking a summer trip across the pond.

The Best Time to Book Flights to Africa

the best time to buy flights to africa

Fares to Africa tend to be higher than to other global destinations, so keep that in mind when timing your flight search.

  • Best Day to Buy Africa Flights: About 10.5 months from your travel date when fares are published
  • Prime Booking Window for Africa: There is no true prime booking window for Africa this year. Buy flights very early, as close to their publish date as you can in order to get the best value.
  • The average airfare: $1,429
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to Africa: The cheapest flights to Africa are on Tuesdays, saving $100 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Fridays
  • Cheapest months to travel to Africa: February and March
  • Most expensive months to travel to Africa: July and August
  • Seasonality for Africa Flights: The best time of year to get a deal on Africa flights is fall. You can save $112 an airline ticket if you plan a trip in autumn.

South Pacific: The Best Time to Book Flights to Oceana

the best time to buy flights to oceania

The South Pacific is one of the few destinations on our radar that is significantly less expensive than it was in 2023. In fact, you can see airfares that are almost ⅓ less than they were in 2022. That means you can expect savings of almost $1,000 on airfare purchased in 2023. You can even wait a while to buy to South Pacific destinations – with good deals appearing as close as 2.5 months ahead of your travel dates.

  • Best Day to Buy South Pacific Flights: 8 months from your travel date
  • Prime Booking Window for the South Pacific: 1.5 to 8 months from your travel date
  • The average airfare: $1,917
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to the South Pacific: The cheapest flights to the South Pacific are on Tuesdays, saving $100 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Friday
  • Cheapest months to travel to the South Pacific: February and March
  • Most expensive months to travel to the South Pacific: July and June
  • Seasonality for South Pacific Flights: Your best cheap international flights to South Pacific destinations can be found in winter, when you save close to $154 than flying in other seasons.

The Best Time to Book Flights to Asia

the best time to buy flights to asia

Asia flights are expensive in 2024. But it’s not critical to buy your flights early to get a good deal on cheap flights to Asia.

  • Best Day to Buy Asia Flights: About 2.5 months from your travel date
  • Prime Booking Window for Asia: 1.5 to 4 months from your travel date
  • The average airfare: $2,353
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to Asia: The cheapest flights to Asia are on Wednesdays, saving $221 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Friday
  • Cheapest months to travel to Asia: December and November
  • Most expensive months to travel to Asia: August and September
  • Seasonality for Asia Flights: Airfare prices in the summer months are around $444 more than flights for the other seasons, but there isn’t too much difference between the seasons on when you should buy. You can also wait a little while and still get cheap international flights to Asia.

The Best Time to Book Flights to the Middle East

the best time to buy flights to the middle east

To get cheap international flights to Middle East destinations, book early.

  • Best Day to Buy Middle East Flights: About 8 months from your travel date
  • Prime Booking Window for the Middle East: 6 to 8 months from your travel date
  • The average airfare: $1120
  • Cheapest Days to Fly to the Middle East: The cheapest flights to the Middle East are on Tuesdays, saving $112 dollars per airline ticket on average compared to flying on Sunday
  • Cheapest months to travel to the Middle East: February and December
  • Most expensive months to travel to the Middle East: July and August
  • Seasonality for Middle East Flights: Traveling in spring, fall and winter will give you better fares than traveling in summer. Expect to pay about $200 more per ticket for summer flights to the Middle East.

Cheapest days to travel internationally

When you’re choosing the days you’ll fly, be mindful of any holidays or big events, as that can really impact the costs for your trip. If you can be flexible with your travel dates, even by a few days, you can really save a ton of money and book your cheap international flights.

You should also pay attention to the days of the week you choose to travel. Mid-week flights (Tuesday and Wednesday departures) will usually be a better price point than any other days of the week.

Region Least Expensive Day(s) to Travel Most Expensive Day to Travel Average Savings Booking Least Expensive vs. the Most Expensive Day of the Week
Canada Tues, Wed Sun $53/ticket
Mexico Tues, Wed Sun $100/ticket
Caribbean Wed, Tues Sun $103/ticket
Central America Wed, Tues Sun $84/ticket
South America Tues, Wed Sat $82/ticket
Europe Tues, Wed Sat $145/ticket
Africa Tues, Mon Fri $100/ticket
South Pacific Tues, Sat Wed $239/ticket
Asia Wed, Mon Fri $221/ticket
Middle East Tues, Wed Sun $112/ticket

What does CheapAir.com do to help make international flight shopping easy?

We keep our advice customer-focused. When you shop for cheap international flights, all the flight and fare information is straightforward with a unique, simple display that easily compares apples to apples between flights and classes of service.

We share everything – the good, the bad, and the challenging – so you can see exactly what you’re paying for with every ticket. You’ll never have to deal with any unplanned surprises at the airport or extra fees when you book with us. That’s our commitment to you.

Once you’ve booked, we offer U.S.-based travel advisors who are available for any of your post-purchase concerns or questions. And should the price of your ticket go down after you book, we offer Price Drop Payback protection so you don’t miss out on a better deal. We’re here to help!

Finally, we offer payment flexibility. You can book travel with Bitcoin (something we’ve been doing since 2013), and we now have a roster of curated coins you can use to pay for flights and hotels. We also offer a way for you to book international flights now, and pay later. Our intent is to always give you the best options across the board – from shopping for cheap international flights to purchasing, to traveling.

That covers how we operate. We love to share airfare insights so you can be confident you purchased the right ticket for your next trip.

What’s the methodology that gives CheapAir.com an edge with international airfare trends?

Like everything we do for travelers, we aim to make airfare intelligence simple and transparent. We examine close to a billion airfares across thousands of markets in every region on the globe – so you have up-to-date, accurate data. We want to help you with international travel planning and purchasing your next international flight. If you have specific destinations in mind, leverage this helpful “when to buy” tool. It will provide accurate flight information for your itinerary.

Finally, some people will want to stick closer to home in 2024. If you’re planning on a stateside vacation, make sure you reference our Best Time to Buy Domestic Flights for the 2024 report. It’s an invaluable tool to help you make better air travel decisions. To learn some helpful shortcuts for booking a deal, check out our post on the Top 10 Tips for Booking Cheap Flights.

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41 Comments

    • Book soon. Going around the holidays can be pricey, try to be as flexible as possible. If you are not in a major city consider first flying to a market with lots of flights to Brisbane, like Los Angeles. Good luck.

  1. Looking to get a cheap flight to Sydney Australia around Dec 18th (Flexible) to Jan 5th(flexible). I just went to see family end of June to july15th and got a ticket for $1500. Now tickets are $4K-5K, crazy.
    When would be the best time to find a ticket and best days to fly?
    Thank you in advance

    • Hi Steve, from which city are you flying and we can take a look? You are going peak Christmas season so fares will be higher. June and July are actually Australia’s winter so typically cheaper to go then than in their summer so that’s also a reason for the major airfare difference as well. However, we are seeing fares from about $2100 to $4000 from Los Angeles, depending on the exact dates and connections you choose. Play around with dates, Tuesday and Wednesday are generally cheaper travel dates. Good luck!

      • Thank you

        Flying out of newark nj.
        I have not seen flights for $2100. looking to fly out around week of Dec 19 and back around the 5th or so.

        Thanks again

  2. 2 Seniors traveling to Bangkok for the Christmas season with family. When is best to book the tickets and 5o fly there.

  3. Hello. I am from USA & I will be traveling to the Philippines sometime in Oct 2022 but I cannot find the cheap $600-$700 dollar ticket. Are you saying Tuesday-Wednesday is the best days I should be on?

    • Hi Clos, Tuesday and Wednesday tend to be the cheapest days to travel but play around with dates as they can vary depending on your origin and destination. Quite frankly, there may not be $600-$700 fares. I am seeing most fares to Manila start at $825. Airfares are higher than they have been in the past and will likely remain that way. Keep monitoring airfares and buy when you see a decent fare. However, we recommend not waiting too long. The good news, if you book on CheapAir.com and the fare drops on the itinerary before your departure, you qualify for our Price Drop Guarantee.

  4. want to travel 2 seniors from Montreal to Ft. Lauderdale the end of November 2022. what is the best price business or upgraded coach.

    • Hi Ellie, Since you are traveling around Thanksgiving in the United States, you probably want to book your flights sooner than later. Start monitoring fares now and plan to book in the next month or so. On CheapAir.com you can view different fare cabins at once. Let us know if you have any questions at [email protected]. Thanks

    • Hi Peggy-Ann, to the Caribbean we recommend buying around 75 days prior to departure. However, if you traveling during Thanksgiving time we recommend buying much sooner. Airfares increase with demand and more people travel for the holiday. Start tracking your fares now. If you see an airfare you like jump on it. You can track your flights on CheapAir.com. It is generally better to purchase sooner than later. We have our Price Drop Guarantee, if the airfare drops on our site after purchase on CheapAir.com you can get a travel voucher for up to $100. Thanks

  5. Looking for cheap flight in November 2022 fro
    Raleigh-Durham, MC to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    • Hi Rachel, if you are buying for early November you probably want to get those flights about 2 to 3 months before your trip. However, if you are planning to go to San Juan around Thanksgiving we recommend buying much earlier. Start monitoring rates now. You can track your searches on CheapAir.com. When you see a low rate jump on it. If you purchase on CheapAir.com, we do have a price drop guarantee to help you buy with ease. Let us know if you need assistance by emailing [email protected]. Thanks

  6. I won’t to go to Jacksonville Florida at the ended of the month it to Detroit mi to Jacksonville Florida i need a chaper flight it $475 may 28 may 29 or may 27 to may 29 thank you

    • Hi Monifa, are you just looking into a one-way flight from Detroit to Jacksonville? Because you are flying into a popular vacation spot on Memorial Day weekend, Sunday is actually the cheapest day to fly into Jacksonville, however, it is a pricey day to fly back to Detroit. To get a cheaper rate to return to Detroit, you would need to be flexible, perhaps return on Tuesday. You can search dates on CheapAir.com or email us at [email protected] for further assistance. We do recommend you lock in your flights soon as travel is approaching and that is a popular travel weekend. Thanks

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