When should you book an international flight?

Our latest When to Buy Flights study analyzed over 921 million domestic airfares, but a lot of travelers planning international trips are also looking for advice on when to buy an international airline ticket.

To help you find cheap international flights, here’s what we did:

We reviewed 351,568,000 airfares for 1,098,650 international trips over the last year. These airfares covered 3,010 international markets. For each trip, we studied all the possible days you could buy that airline ticket – to uncover when international flights have the lowest fares.

While the “Prime Booking Window” for buying domestic flights is about 3 weeks to 3.5 months in advance, international flights are generally cheaper when you buy a little earlier. How early you should buy varies by the region you are traveling to, and we will detail each region for you below.

International flights are different than domestic flights
International flights go on sale about 11 months in advance, so you could choose to buy your flight anywhere from 11 months in advance up until the day of your flight. What we see in the trends is that buying very early can be almost as costly as buying a last minute airline ticket. The sweet spot for the lowest airfares is somewhere in the middle, and as noted earlier it varies based on international region. Here we break down the average best day to buy your international airline ticket:

when to buy international plane tickets

Specific regions and when to buy

Canada
The Canadian market is very similar to the U.S. market – it’s best to buy your airline ticket to Canada 59 days in advance, on average.

Mexico
Mexico is also similar to domestic U.S. flights – you can generally wait about 61 days out for the best fares to Mexico.

Central America
On average, airfares to Central America are also cheapest at 61 days in advance.

Caribbean
The cheapest flights to the Caribbean are, on average, found when you buy that tropical airline ticket 76 days in advance.

South America
Airfares to South America will set you back the fewest dollars on average at 81 days out.

South Pacific
A vacation to the South Pacific is best planned about 3+ months in advance, since the cheapest airline tickets, on average, were available 89 days before takeoff.

Asia
Airline tickets to Asia are cheapest right around 3 months (90 days) in advance for the best fares. It’s probably worth noting here that this is a new development. In some past years, both Asia and the South Pacific destinations were better priced 7-9 months out. This gives you more flexibility in planning a trip to Asia.

Europe
The cheapest airline tickets to Europe are, on average, found 99 days before departure.

Africa
If you’re traveling to a country in Africa, you want to plan a little further in advance, as the best airfares to Africa were found 119 days in advance, right around 4 months, on average.

Middle East
Flights to the Middle East, similar to the results for Africa, are on average cheapest at 119 days in advance, or right around 4 months before departure.

The Summer Exception
Summer brings high demand and high prices for many international flights. If you’re heading to Europe, in particular, you might want to look at buying a little earlier than the average. For more guidance on the best days to fly to Europe this summer, see our Europe Summer Flights page. Conversely, if you’re traveling in the off-season there isn’t the same degree of urgency and you are more likely to be okay waiting longer.

There you have it. In case you want to do further research, here are a few more airfare tools for you to check out:

When to Buy Domestic Flights Study

Guide to Summer Flights

Summer Flights to Europe

Happy travels! Please let us know how we can help you in the comments section below.

Start an international flight search

117 Comments

    1. When is the best time to book flights to Korea? I want to be there around Dec 16-Jan 9. Would it be a stupid thing to buy the tickets now?

      1. Hi Mina, Not at all. In your case you should definitely be looking sooner rather than later. You’re going to be flying around the busy holiday season and flights tend to be priced higher at these times. Start your search soon for the best fares.

  1. What about flights to New Zealand? How far out should one book when traveling just before the start of a high season?

    1. IN 2017, we’re looking at about 3 months out as being the best lead time for affordable flights to New Zealand. If you’re traveling “just before” high season, you can use the 3 month guideline.

    1. Hi KG, We put Israel in the Middle East so the best time to buy is going to be about 4 months before departure dates. If you are planning your trip in the summer months or around the Jewish high holidays, plan to purchase earlier as these times are more expensive and most popular.

    1. Hi Joann, It’s not too early to be looking now. Christmas and New Years weeks are quite expensive and tend to sell out early. On the other hand, the further into the week you go in the new year (3rd, 4th, etc.) prices do start to go down pretty quickly. Our conservative advice is to start looking now, and plan to buy as soon as you see a good fare. You might also use our Holiday Flight page as a good reference tool. Here’s the 2016 version as a teaser (https://www.cheapair.com/blog/holiday-flights/) – the 2017 version is coming out very soon. Bookmark us and check back!

    1. Good question, Gayle! For our purposes, we do count PR as part of the Caribbean destination “family” of islands.

  2. Going on a cruise Sept 17-24, leaving from Barcelona. When should buy tickets, what airline with a good track record have the best deals

    1. Hi Annette, It’s probably best that you’re looking at your airline tickets right now. Flights to Europe in the summer are both in more demand and higher priced straight out of the gate. So the longer you wait to buy, the more expensive the flights will be because the lower priced seats will sell out. The good news is that the end of summer tickets are more reasonably priced, so you’ll probably still be getting a relatively good deal. Good luck to you!

  3. Planning to go to Porto, Portugal around the end of September. I would like a direct flight from JFK. I am in east Texas and my daughter and sister are in California. What would be the shortest way to meet?

    1. Hi Deanna. I’m not sure I understand your question. I think you are correct to plan to fly out of New York if you want a direct flight. I would probably just meet your daughter and sister in New York. That would seem to be the most economical way to get you all in the same place from the airport with the best prices to Porto.

  4. Planning on a Nov. trip to Mexico including Thanksgiving week. Beneficial to book before the recommended two months?

      1. Hi I need help,im planning to go Hawaii nextyear feb 13 ,2018,is it good to book a ticket now?or should I wait until Dec to book my ticket.,I’ve read somewhere that it’s best to book 60 days before your flight.,please I need advice..thanks

  5. I am looking to purchase travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil Christmas Day or the day after and staying through January 9th or so. Should I be purchasing these flights now (Minimum $1600 each!! Ouch!), or should I be waiting a bit longer? I am starting to get QUITE nervous!

    1. Hi Shelby, It’s probably a good idea to be thinking about purchase right now. Though we generally suggest 2.5 months for South American destinations, Christmas week can be another time where buying early is going to give you the best fares.

    1. Hi Joy, Flights to African destinations are best booked around 4 months out in 2017. I’m not sure of your return date, but if you plan to return at some point in late December, you might want to be shopping for flights earlier (as the last week of December and the first week of January tend to be more expensive and book up more quickly due to demand).

  6. I’m planning to fly to London from CA on Nov 16 – Nov 25, and have noticed prices increasing significantly in the last 2-3 weeks. should I purchase now before they keep going up? Is there a chance prices will drop again?

    1. Hi Jay, Without knowing the specifics for your itinerary, we’d have to suggest that you assume prices will continue to climb and plan to buy now. It may be that some event in London is making your particular dates in higher demand, or it may be that your particular itinerary is more attractive (better connection times, departure and return times, etc.) and therefore driving demand/higher prices. It is also possible that this is just regular volatility and the fares may decrease again. If you do choose to buy now, we have a feature called Price Drop Payback that protects you should the fare go back down after you buy (up to $100/ticket).

  7. I’m planning to fly to Cancun from Dallas. Leaving From Dallas on Aug 31 and returning on Sept 4. When is a good time to get cheap air fare.

    1. Hi Sandra, in 2017 we are recommending buying flights to Mexico at around 2 months from travel. It’s probably not too early for you to start looking now, however. Good luck to you!

  8. Hello. Need suggestion. I’m planning to visit Philippines by Mar 2018. I’m from Canada. When should I buy our tickets. You mentioned 3 months in advance, so meaning I need to buy on December 2017 to get the March flight. Is it advisable to buy during Christmas/Holiday seasons.

    Thank you

    1. Hi there, Yes, buying during the holidays does not affect price negatively (unless your flight is during the holidays). You should remember that we’re offering general advice and that you should always watch your specific itinerary closely for changes before you plan to buy.

  9. Hey! I want to buy a ticket from nyc to bangkok departing the first days of december and returning the first days of february, should I book it now since it is at the end of the year and prices tend to go up? or should I wait a few months?

    1. Hi Guillermo, I would say buy very soon. There are fares available under $600 round trip for your dates and that’s about as good as it gets for New York to Bangkok. Fares will not go down at that price. As we get closer to December, the fares are definitely going to go up. Buy soon.

  10. When is the best time to book a flight to Philippines from Italy? Planning next year on July and good for 2 months. Thank you

    1. Hi Amerex,

      For flights from Italy to the Philippines, it would generally be best to book about 3 to 5 months in advance, or earlier depending on what your exact cities are.

      Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  11. Hi,
    I am planning a trip to Beijing around March/June 2018 and this article says to book around 318 days ahead. Would it be bad if I booked around November/December. I am also planning to fly from Beijing to Seoul while there. When would be the best time to book a roundtrip flight from Beijing to Seoul also around March/June?

      1. Hi Motunrayo,

        Based on your routing and dates, it’s probably best to aim for about 3 to 5 months prior to your departure. If you can be flexible with your travel days and try to fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday, flights tend to be cheaper. And if you book on CheapAir.com, if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

    1. Hi Motunrayo,

      Where are you departing from? If from the U.S., then no it wouldn’t be bad to book around November/December time. It’s recommended with international flights to check the fares early and often to get a good sense of the costs. Flights to Asia can be booked anywhere from 330 days out from your departure date, but it’s probably best to aim for about 3 to 5 months prior to your departure. For flights to Seoul from Beijing, we’d suggest around 90 days prior. Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  12. What is the best time to purchase tickets from NYC to Hawaii? We’re planning on visiting in mid August 2018. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sue,

      Travel to Hawaii in the summer months is considered the peak season, so it would be wise to book earlier than normal. With that said, we’d suggest checking flights early around the New Year to get a good sense of pricing. Ultimately booking 3-6 months prior to your departure or earlier is a good rule of thumb. Keep in mind, when you book on CheapAir.com, if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  13. Hello,
    I am planning to fly to Bangkok with Buisness Class from Cleveland around July 2018. When is the best time to book and what airline would be the cheapest?
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Joe, The good news is that business class travel prices are far less volatile than economy pricing, so you can pretty much know that the prices you see now will be the prices you see later. The downside is that these fares are limited in number and will very likely sell out. The airlines do not tend to lower the prices on Business Class fares if they don’t sell, rather keeping them as gifts to frequent flyers or saleable upgrades on the day of travel. We usually just recommend you buy a business class fare when you can – it’s worth the peace of mind, especially if you are eyeing specific flights and itineraries for your destination.

  14. Hi, when would be the best time to buy a flight to Copenhagen from Chicago? I’m planning on departing on December 26th or 27th, so I assume prices will rise closer to the holidays. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alex, It’s definitely likely the closer we get to the holidays that those fares will rise. The last week or the year and the first week of the next are sort of a special zone. The airlines tend to price airfare those weeks at a premium to start, and then the demand tends to keep the fares higher. At other times of the year, I see round trip fares to Copenhagen as low as $400, but generally in the $500-600 range. Christmas week fares are more like $775-800. I would keep a close eye on the fares and plan to buy when you see incremental movement in either direction. The fares are not likely to go down, but a small dip will pull everyone watching out and some of those travelers will bite. Be one of those biters! A spike, will also likely indicate that the lower priced fares sold and may not be back (the much more likely scenario). A very conservative strategy would be to buy now (we’re conservative) and use the CheapAir.com price drip payback feature. We will give you up to $100 back if the fare should go down after you buy. Good luck to you!

  15. Hi, i am planning to visit Toronto from New Delhi on 20-Dec-17. ( Tentative)
    when can i buy flight ticket to get the best price.
    pls suggest??

    1. Hi Chetan, It’s not too early to be looking now. Do you have a return date in mind so we can offer more personalized advice?

    1. Your best bet is flying RyanAir or easyJet between cities in Europe. There are a ton of great deals and you don’t have to book too far out (summer flights should be booked sooner because of high demand). It’s probably fine to wait until January or February 2018 before you start a serious search.

  16. Hi there!
    When would be the best time to book this itinerary?
    Nov. 18th-19th: Reno to Dusseldorf
    Nov. 26th-27th: Zurich to Reno

    Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Julie, In 2017 we are recommending about a 3 month lead on flights to Europe if you’re looking to snag the best fares. Now, if you have specific itinerary requests (preferred flights, connection times, seating arrangements), you’ll probably want to start the search a bit earlier. It’s not too early to start looking now, in fact.

  17. Hi! Planning to honeymoon in bali on specific dates in May 2018. Prices are around $1,100 pp (from colorado) roundtrip. Does that sound reasonable or should I wait?

    1. Hi Katie, Flights to Bali do tend to be quite pricey. If you can find anything in the $1000-1100 range, that’s quite reasonable.

  18. Hi, this is a while away, but I am planning to go to NY/NJ for the holidays from early December 2017, to Jan ’18. Around what time next year do you think I should start looking for cheap tickets? Also, I’ll be flying from Australia, if that makes any differences. Thanks!

    1. Hi Vanessa, Book your holiday tickets as early as you can. The airlines publish fares about 11 months out from the departure dates (so you should start to see fares for your dates come out in early January 2018), but the holiday fares are generally priced at a premium to begin with and once those lowest priced tickets sell, the fares start to climb. Christmas week into the 3rd or 4th of January are the dates most often affected by this phenomenon with the early weeks in December less apt to be priced high to start. You can also take a conservative gambler’s approach and plan to watch and wait – until you see some movement in the fares at which time would be the best point to buy.

  19. Hi. Traveling to Denver from London, Early June 2018.looking at flying Norwegian Premium class.
    When would be the best time to book the flight. Thank you.

    1. Hi Chris,

      For international travel to the states, it would be wise to book early 2018. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be checking the fares to get a sense of the costs. We’ve found that about 3-4 months is the average time frame to book, but depending on if you have set dates in June 2018 or are flexible with your dates can impact the costs. Definitely try to have your flight booked around 100 days prior to your departure. Norwegian is a low cost international carrier so they tend to offer a lot of sales, so I’d also keep your eyes peeled for that. Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir.com if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  20. I’m hoping to go to Australia for 4 weeks in June 2018 when would be the best time to book. Starting in Cairns for the barrier reef for a week and ending up in Melbourne. 3 adults thanks

  21. My husband and I are going to Venice in late February. When would be the best time to purchase tickets? It’s off season, so I’m wondering if the rules are different. Thanks!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Being that it is off season, you’re more likely to find a great deal on flights. Where are you departing from? Are you flexible with your dates? Or do you have set dates in February?

      1. Our dates are set. We are flying from LAX on February 24th with arrival into Venice on February 25th. We’ll stay for 2 weeks and then fly from Rome back to LAX on March 9th. Prices are going up and down so much, I just don’t know what to think or when the best time to buy would be! Thanks for you help!

        1. Our dates are set. We are flying from LAX on February 24th with arrival into Venice on February 25th. We’ll stay for 2 weeks and then fly from Rome back to LAX on March 9th. Prices are going up and down so much, I just don’t know what to think or when the best time to buy would be! Any ideas on when the flights will be the least costly?

  22. Hi, We are a family of four( three over 12 and one aged 7) looking to fly from Bengaluru, India to LA around 16th June 2017 and from thereon to Chicago and then New York returning to Bengaluru around 7th June. When would be a good time to book? Thanks

    1. Hi George,

      For international flights in June 2018 from India to the U.S., we’d suggest checking the fares early and often to get a good sense of the costs. Our data shows that booking on average about 100 days prior to your departure is optimum, however since you’re looking for 4 seats we’d recommend booking early in 2018 to ensure you get a good price for all 4 passengers. Definitely make sure to have your flights booked by February 2018. Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir.com if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  23. whew, lots of info here. So, holidays will generally be more expensive. I already took a look at this link posted:
    https://www.cheapair.com/blog/holiday-flights/
    I’d like to be in Thailand for either Christmas, New Years, or possibly both. Flying on Christmas eve would be cheaper, but how far in advance should I purchase my ticket, September, or sooner? Thanks for any help.

    1. I would definitely start your search sooner rather than later. Since you read the holiday flights post you know that the last week of the year and the first week of the new year are always priced at a premium to start, and those flights do not tend to be discounted or go on sale. Start monitoring the flights now…and plan to buy as soon as you can.

  24. I am interested in Panama next March (from the Midwest, USA) and I am noticing that the prices are steadily increasing. Should I buy now?

    1. Hi Gay, Yes! If the prices are already going up it can mean only one thing_ the lowest fares for a flight are already selling out and people are still buying. Because March is Spring Break for many families and college students, these warmer places usually see a spike in popularity and cost. Buy soon.

  25. We’re headed to Belize in late January. It looks like for the cheapest fares, we should book about 2 months out. My concern is, we are departing from a small airport (San Luis Obispo, CA), and have fixed connections we need to make once we get to Belize. If we wait, are we still likely to be able to fly on the day / time we want? Or does it make more sense to book now when we know good connecting flights are available?

  26. Hi! Sorry if you already answered this one… But I am planning to buy tickets for the whole family from Dublin to Montreal, Canada for early June 2018 (most precisely May 31st to June 11th with Air Transat!). When should I plan on buying the tickets? Also we are traveling with 2 kids (8 months and 3 yo) and I want the chance to have the best seats on the plane to be as comfortable as possible and to not disturb too many passenger. I’m scared that is I wait too long then I wont be able to choose? Thanks

    1. Hi Anne Marie, So we are based in the United States which means the bulk of our customers are flying outbound from the U.S. Our data does not (yet!) include really accurate metrics for inbound flights in the “when to buy” category. One thing that we can tell you is that in terms of choice for seats on the plane, the earlier you buy the better your chances of getting a fair price and the seats you want. Usually, in the U.S. you wind up paying a small premium for the additional options. But for families with young kids, buying early to get those best seats can be well worth the few extra bucks. I also know that June-August is high season for north American travel. All signs point toward buying on the early side. One strategy we always tell people who aren;t sure if the price they see is a good one or not – try not to fall into the trap of searching for the BEST fare and plan to get a good fare. If the fares are static for a long while, that typically means that seats are not selling down and they might go on sale (though, we caution you to not expect this for summer flights). If the fare dips a bit, hop on it. If it starts a slow climb, again, time to buy. Once the fare starts a slow climb it rarely comes back down. Good luck to you!

  27. Hi, we are looking to book southwest, seems to be cheaper than most for a spring break March 31- April 7 trip to Jamacia. The buying is available now.. suggestions???

    1. Hi Meredith, What city are you traveling from? We can give you specific advice if we know what city pairs you are looking at….

  28. My daughter will be travelling from Chicago to Mumbai on 10th Dec 2017 & back to Chicago on 12th of Jan 2018. two days +/-, which is the best time to buy…

    1. Hi Sandesh, it’s definitely not too early to be looking right now. In 2017, we are recommending buying international flights to Asia about 3 months out for the best prices but you are perilously close to “holiday” travel – the last week of December and the first week of January. To be safe, we think you ought to be looking now even just to keep an eye on the fares. Keep the middle of September in mind as the most optimal timing/date to purchase.

  29. Hi there! I wanted to buy a ticket to the UK in mid-November on an international budget airline and noticed a fantastic price, but it went away right when I went to purchase it. Would it be worth it to wait until midnight on Tuesday or another day/time of the week? Thanks!

    1. Hi Zayn, was this using our site or another? That can happen at times, but I’d like to try and recreate the original fare you saw. Our best advice is always to keep checking back for low fares, and buy when one comes up.

  30. We are planning a trip to Australia next July/August 2018. I would like to know when would be the best time to purchase airline tickets. Should I get them now? We will be flying out of Philadelphia, PA or the surrounding area

    1. Hi Richard, Airlines publish fares 11 months out so you probably can’t buy that ticket just yet. However, if you are the type of traveler who likes to have the most choice available (seat choice, itinerary, etc.) it might be a good idea to buy your flights just as soon as they are available. If the cost of the ticket is the most important criteria, it’s likely that the best fares will appear around 3 months out from your travel dates.

  31. Hi! This is all so helpful – THANK YOU! I’m planning my honeymoon from LAX to London leaving around mid-May 2018 and coming back in the first few days in June. I’ve seen prices for our dates so far at about $775-$815 for Virgin or $1050 for British Airways. Our dates are relatively flexible, but we do have tickets to a play in London on 5/31 so we can’t miss that (sadly since June tix seem more $$). Just wondering if you thought those were good prices or if you thought they might go down as it gets closer? (I’ve seen $550-650 range but for March or April…wasn’t sure if it was because it’s closer or because those are colder months.) Thanks again!

    1. Hi Kate, Your instincts are solid on this one. Don’t compare flight costs in May or June to those in the Spring – prices definitely go up a third and often even 50% as early as May. The airlines know that most Americans head to Europe in the summer and college students start heading over as early as mid-May (depending on when school lets out). Honestly, from Los Angeles $775 is not bad. I’d be tempted to buy now at those prices, especially if you have specific flights/seats you want to take. Prices might go down a bit more, but the longer you wait the less choice you’ll have on the remaining flights.

      1. Thank you so much!! The $775 went up to $810 so I think I’ll just keep an eye on it and if I see it below $750 I’ll probably just jump on it. I’ve been debating back and forth between economy on Virgin 787 vs British Airways upper deck A380. Guess there’s probably not that much difference but the VA flights have consistently been less so far. Thanks so much for the reassurance and advice!

      2. I am looking to fly to London (LHR) Feb 27-Mar 13 and the prices have gone up $200 in the last 2 weeks.. I feel like I should’ve purchased but I was not 100% set on price. Is now the best time to buy or should I wait? It says 99 days out is best which is about another month but I just cannot afford $1,000 on a ticket. Any help is greatly appreciate!

        1. Hi Angelis, It’s hard to say if the prices will dip again but, in general, once prices start to go up they tend to continue to rise. I would definitely keep a close watch on the fares – February in London should not be a very popular/busy time to go, but you never know what might be driving the prices up. Be prepared to buy soon if you can. If the fares go back down, you can probably afford to wait a while. Good luck to you!

  32. Question- If I am trying to buy round-trip from Spain to the US, Orlando, would the best time be 99 days? The map says 99 days is the best time to purchase going to Europe, with the same be true coming from Europe to the US? I am buying two tickets for friends. Thank you for all the research that you have done and published!

    1. Hi Jana, Thanks for the kind words! Unfortunately, our data is based on outgoing airfare from North America so don’t get too hung up on our numbers. To give you some general advice, if you are buying in the summer you can expect to pay a premium for those flights. Starting a search in the 3 months to 6 months range is going to be your best bet if getting the lowest price is your main goal. If you have particular requests on seat selection or itinerary, you might want to purchase on the early side (before the choices start to be more limited).

  33. Hi there,

    We are looking to make a family trip to Taiwan this year, but our flight pattern is a little complex. Can you let me know when the best time to book flights would be?
    May 18: Des Moines, Iowa > Taipei (any airport)
    May 30 (flexible date): Taipei (any airport) > San Francisco or San Jose
    June 3: San Francisco > San Jose > Des Moines, Iowa

    I appreciate any advice you may have!

    Thank you.

    1. HI Summer, It’s not too early now to start looking at your flights. Because you mentioned a family trip and 4 travelers, if you need the group to sit together, it’s probably a better plan to buy as soon as you can. I see flights for around $1,300 round trip with your connections through San Francisco (SFO will generally be better priced that flying through San Jose). These best priced itineraries have a few layovers (Des Moines to Minneapolis with a short layover. Minneapolis to Seattle with a short layover. Seattle to Seoul with a 3.5 hour layover. Seoul to Taipei.)

  34. Hi there,
    Great article with lots of useful advice. I am looking at a business class flight from London to Melbourne for Christmas 2018. When would be a good time to buy the ticket?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Mark, Normally we advise that you might have a little extra wiggle room in timing on when to buy as a business class buyer. Those tickets do not have anywhere near the volatility in price that Economy fares do. However, because you’re flying for Christmas, it’s a bit of a different story. Christmas flights usually sell out in both Economy and business. We’d recommend starting your search early for an international fare such as this. Airlines publish fares right around 11 months out. Because you’re not likely to see sales on business class fares, it’s probably not much of a gamble to buy as early as you can. Good luck to you.

    1. I’m not sure I understand your question. It is not cheaper to purchase your tickets on any one day over another. However, flying on weekends is definitely more expensive than flying mid-week. In fact, flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, on average, tend to be more inexpensive.

  35. I am traveling to Roatan Honduras from Miami on September 22, 2018 – October 3rd, 2018. This is my first time flying out of country like this, so forgive the newbie questions:-p Honduras is Central America, but Roatan is an island part of it, in the Caribbean. So any advice on the cheaper times to buy being the Central America timeframe (61 days) or the Carribean timeframe (76 days)? Also, I know that for many places, September travel is still consider the peak Summertime traveling, so there really is not a good time. With your expertize, will that be the case with he my dates and travel location? Any info would be much apprecaited!

    1. Hi Johanna, I would look at Honduras as part of Central America. There’s not a huge difference in average number of days to buy for central America or the Caribbean. Airlines put their fares up about 11 months out, so you’d be able to start shopping for these fares in November or so of this year. Probably too early to think about buying, unless you prefer to have the most choices available (or have a specific flight itinerary in mind). To get the lowest fares, keep the 60-80 day range in mind, but check back here and there as you get closer to those dates to see if fares are trending upwards or down. Good luck to you!

  36. l am planning on flying from jfk to shannon on august 23,2018 and returning from dublin to jfk on sept.5, 2018. When is the best time to book flights?

    1. Hi Monica, Thanks for the question. A couple of things. The airlines put out their fares about 11 months in advance so you should see fares for the return dates show up next week. You tend to see the best summer fares in August and September (as tourist traffic in Europe tends to start to die down). If you are the type of traveler who wants to fly specific itineraries and has a few preferences about where you want to sit on the plane, etc. I might advise you to book fairly early. If you are the type of traveler who looks for the lowest fare and can put up with a center seat, etc. you can probably afford to wait a lot longer. JFK has quite a few flights in and out of Ireland, so you’re probably going to see the first published fares go down before they start a steady climb later in the spring. Good luck to you!

  37. Hi, I am planning a trip to Sydney, Australia around mid April-May. When would be the best time to book tickets? I’m bummed out because a month ago I missed out on a ~$999 deal, what are the chances that deal (or lower) would come back?

    1. Hi Sam, It is hard to say whether or not the fares will go back down. Typically, once the lowest fares are gone they do not come back. Now, if the more expensive fares don’t sell, the airlines will make adjustments accordingly. You can expect the average fare to change 30 times from the time a fare is published up until the flight departs. So its hard to predict. You’re doing the right thing by watching the fares, but you have to be ready to buy when you see a good fare. That’s always our best advice. If that $999 fare pops up again, don’t wait. People get into a game of chicken with the airlines thinking “maybe the fare will go down further! Maybe I should keep waiting,” not realizing that others are watching the same fares and are poised to buy!

  38. Hi, I am planning a trip to Cancun, leaving on April 16th and returning on April 21st…I will be leaving from Houston, TX. Should we book this flight now, or should I wait a few months to get a better deal?

    1. Hi Sam, It’s hard to say this year. We’re anticipating Cancun to be getting more visitors next year because of the destinations in the region that were affected negatively by hurricane damage. There’s also been speculation that the hurricanes may cause more cautious travelers to avoid international travel to the region altogether in 2018 (which might mean fares to Cancun are going to be lower). But – and this is a big one – April is right in the middle of the spring break season and college students tend not to care as much about tourism infrastructure. Conservative advice would be to take a “watch and wait” approach but to start your search early. It could be helpful to sign up for a fare tracking alert so you can set it, forget about it and then when the fares change you’ll get a notification.

  39. I need to fly to India in February. I am in Saudi arabia. When should I book to get cheap fair? Is there any airlines offering special discount prices during that period?

    1. Hi Shebin. It’s not too early to be looking right now. Our conservative advice would be to start your search and plan to buy when you see a “good” fare. I’m not sure where you’d be flying from, but fares between Riyadh and Delhi (for example) seem reasonable on FlyDubai, JetAirways and Gulf Air (all have flights under $300 USD.

  40. Hi, Sabena here, i am travelling from NYC to Frankfurt.Sorry forgot to mention that.January 14 th to January 26th.
    Thanks

  41. We are flying to Belize from Toronto in April for 10 days. Should I be booking the flights now (Nov) or is it too early? Should I be waiting until after the new year.

    1. Hi Cheryl, This year we recommend buying your ticket about 60 days out flying from Canada or the United States to destinations in Central America: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/when-should-you-book-an-international-flight/. It’s difficult to say if this will be the same scenario next April, but it’s likely to be similar. It may be slightly too early to start a serious search, but might not be a terrible idea just to check fares and see where they are sitting right now. Once you start to see steady movement in fares, it’s probably time to buy.

  42. Hi guy. I am thinking to travel to USA ( i from Peru) before 15 Dec or after 4 January. The last weel the prices it was around 273 and now is coming uo to 320 . Do you think is better wait until 15 Nov or buy right now ? TY

  43. Is there any truth to the fact that airline fares are actually less expensive on a Tues or Wed? Does that apply to international travel as well as domestic? In the last 2 weeks, I’ve priced RT fares Las Vegas-London, in April 2018, and it has gone from appx $800 to $600 and now up to $700. Seems the $600 fare was spotted on a Tuesday ☺️

    1. Hi Ali, It is true that traveling mid-week often gives better priced fares. That’s mainly because the demand for air travel does tend to be lower mid-week.

  44. Hi, thanks for the article! The tip regarding the change to buying 3 months out rather than 7 months out for trips to Asia is really helpful! I am planning to go to TPE from BHM from 6/20/18 to 8/1/18. It is the summer months so I expect it to be busier…though not as busy as the holiday seasons, I think. Would you recommend the 3 months rule? What do you think would be a good price to buy at taking into consideration reasonable transfers/layovers as I will be traveling with little ones? Thanks!

    1. Hi Ariel, Thanks for the questions. Your instincts are spot on for two reasons. If you are traveling with kids, you might want to start your search a bit earlier in order to make sure you get the seating on the particular flight you want. Summertime does sometimes affect airfares since it can be a popular time to fly. I see flights for as low as $850 in the spring months, but summer fares are looking to be a bit higher (in the $1,000 to 1,200 range). I would watch closely and plan to buy in January if fares don’t go down. If you see a flight in the $800-900 range, I would buy soon. The fares are not likely to go lower.

    1. Hi Cecillia, It’s hard to say exactly when you should buy your ticket for May of 2018. This year, we recommended buying about 3 months out – next year the recommendation could be different. We will be coming out with our “When to Buy” study in the early part of 2018. Please check back for updates after the first of the year. Until then, we always recommend tracking fares early and often to assure a good price.

Post a Comment