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

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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


    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. Need to buy tickets for toronto from delhi in may 2018 suggest me cheap tickets for 2 adult nd 1 child age of 3.5 yrs

          1. Hi Satwinder, The first and second week in May right now have pretty good fares. Do you need round trip (return) or one-way flights?

  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.

  2. What about flights to Israel?
    What months are cheaper? And what days in advance for cheaper tickets?

    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.

    2. Anecdotally — it is cheaper from November to March. The summer is almost double. Check Dans Deals — because he posts the cheap fares as they come out. I have paid anywhere from 575 on air canada from NYC in January to 1700 through Germany in the summer.

  3. When is the best time to book flights to Punta Cana DR. for a week long vacation over New Years?

    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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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

    1. Hi Kelli, Good point. Yes! Holidays are a different animal. You can check out our Holiday Flights Page from last year (https://www.cheapair.com/blog/holiday-flights/) to get a general idea of when to buy (Thanksgiving doesn’t change much year over year), but the new report for 2017 is coming out very soon. Keep your eyes peeled!

      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

  7. 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).

  8. 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).

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

    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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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?

  18. Flying from Rome, Italy, to Amsterdam, Netherlands in April 2018. When is the best time to buy tickets?

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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

  24. 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?

  25. 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.

  26. whew, lots of info here. So, holidays will generally be more expensive. I already took a look at this link posted:
    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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

  29. 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!

  30. 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….

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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).

  36. 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.)

  37. 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?

    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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

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

  44. 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. Hi there!
    My daughter will be volunteering in Tanzania next summer, July 24-Aug.7, 2018. I have been looking at flights and saw some around $1600 a month ago. Now they seem to be $1900 to $2400 plus! I’m trying to avoid a long layover for her, so those flights seem to be more expensive. Do you think we’ll find something more affordable if we wait until the trip is a little closer, or do we need to buy before tickets go up even more? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Ann, I wish I had an easy and definitive answer for you. It’s true that the cheapest flights are going to have the least attractive (i.e. the longest) layovers and number of connections. So if you strip everything else away and look only at price, you’re likely to get the best price (and often save hundreds of dollars) when you’re willing to take a less direct route. If getting your daughter there most efficiently is the goal, I would probably not wait much longer to buy. I’m not sure of the gateway you’re flying from but unless it is JFK, LAX or one of the Washington DC airports (that have the largest numbers of flights to Africa), you’re likely to just see fares continue to climb.

  49. Hi, I’m looking to travel from Amman Jordan at the end of July and returning mid August of 2018. Should I wait until about 4 months out, or would it be better to buy now. Tickets roundtrip are around 1400.


  50. Planning to fly on Oct 16th, 2018 (4 persons). First week in Dubai, second in Phuket, Thailand. Any suggestions on how to buy tickets for 2 different destinations?? AND my 33 month old (2.5 years old) will also be traveling with. Would love any suggestions on buying tickets for the little one as she will have her own seat.

    1. Hi Melissa, We’ll have our international “When to Buy” study done in early 2018. Until then, you should just plan on a lot of research (or hiring a travel agent to do the footwork for you). Because you are looking at 2 different destinations, you’re going to have a lot options to shop. In addition, you should definitely plan to buy mid-week if you can and avoid traveling on the weekend. The best airfares tend to be midweek rather than on the weekend.

  51. Hi,
    I am planning to go to Basel, Switzerland, from Toronto, on May 28, 2018-June 19.
    Should I book now or wait till January?

    1. Hi Ed, It’s not too early to be shopping for these flights, especially since May pretty much ushers in the start of the high season for north American travel to European destinations. It can’t hurt to start shopping and watch the fares closely. If things seems static, you could likely wait until just after the new year, when any sale fares could make an appearance. If you start tracking fares and see incremental increases, you might want to go ahead and book right away. Once the fares start a slow and steady climb, the lower fares do not normally reappear.

  52. Traveling to Barbados from AVL in June 2018. When would be the best time to book a flight? I’ve noticed the prices jump up last week, but are they likely to come back down in the coming months?

    1. Hi Jessica, It’s really hard to predict though the fact that you’re flying to Barbados in the summer makes us a little less likely to recommend taking a wait and see approach. Once prices start an incremental climb, they tend to continue to go up. Our best advice is always going to be conservative. If you’ve noticed that the prices for the dates and itinerary you’re shopping are increasing in a slow and steady manner (a few dollars every few days), you should plan to buy. Once fares start to climb, they rarely go back down.

      1. The prices suddenly spiked about $300 last week, which is unfortunate because we were planning on booking our flight next week. So probably not much chance of the prices going back down now if we waited longer?

  53. Hello, I’m looking to purchase RT tickets NY to Portugal for a family of 4 in July 2018. When I first started looking tickets were $625. By the time I booked my hotels the price had gone up to $700, so I decided to wait and see if they come back down, but since Thanksgiving they’ve jumped to $875 (in 2 big steps, both on Fridays) and I am kicking myself for not jumping on the earlier prices. There’s only one flight per day and I’m locked into dates now because of a tour. What are the odds prices will come down after New Years – am I crazy to wait? This is TAP Portugal that I’m looking at.

    1. Hi Suzanne, It’s hard to say whether prices will come back down after Christmas. Summer in Europe is very busy and Portugal is a hot destination right now. I do think you might find cheaper fares if you’re willing to fly into another gateway and then hop from Paris or London (for example) over to Portugal. On the other hand, if you’re looking to buy a more direct flight on TAP, you may want to buy sooner rather than wait.

  54. I know it’s a little early but our son is getting married in Bangkok on November 24, 2018 and of course friends and family are asking how much to expect to spend for that time of year so they can start saving up. Can you give me an idea what’s a good deal and what’s not so great in November?

    1. Hi Allen, Airfare from San Francisco and Los Angeles can be as low as $400 to Bangkok, but other gateways in the United States will generally be higher.Where are most of your guests traveling from?

    2. Hi Allen, Airfare from San Francisco and Los Angeles can be as low as $400 to Bangkok, but other gateways in the United States will generally be higher.Where are most of your guests traveling from?

  55. Planning a trip from Ohio (CAK – preferably or CLE) to Cabo San Lucas in April, 2018. I’ve been watching prices since June expecting the prices to go down. They were staying steady until this month and they are now up $100 per person. Should I continue to hold off, or book now?

    1. Hi Sharon, It’s hard to say with 100% conviction since this year is a bit of a weird one. The hurricane season that decimated a lot of the Caribbean may mean that Mexico might be picking up some of that business (in fact, it’s likely). More people traveling will drive demand (and prices) upwards. The other issue you might be facing is that April is prime spring break month for college students and families. If I were in your shoes, I might be more conservative and plan to buy soon. Incremental increases that drop back down again are normal fluctuations.If prices keep climbing then you know that the prices will very likely continue to climb. It may be time to buy.

  56. I have been looking when I should book my flight to South Korea for May 2018. It was about 800$ last month but it skyrocketed when people got the news that they will hold Winter Olympics there. Fortunately, Ill go there by the end of May, so the Olympics will be over. However, I still don’t know when is the right time to book. I’m not sure if prices will slowly go down or will it continue to climb after the holidays or by the first couple months of next year. Any tips? Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Mitchie, It’s hard to say when would be the ideal time to buy as the Olympics will keep the fares higher than typical. A conservative approach would be to look into fares just after the holidays. Prices will go down after the Olympics, but I wouldn’t look for fares to South Korea to go down any time before your trip departs. Much more likely to happen is that the fares will continue to climb.

  57. Hello CheapAir, we’re looking to spend some time in Spain around May-July and visit some of Europe. From your very useful data map it looks like we should be looking for flights 1-2 months from now.
    Any other tips or ideas you can give for us to plan even better?

    1. Hi Louis, Starting to look for your flights now is probably a very good idea. High season in Europe begins in May and does not let up until September. The best advice if you’re looking to get the best price is to be flexible with your flight times, dates (mid-week instead of weekend is cheaper), and seating preferences.

  58. Hi, I want to go visit my family in Costa Rica. I have a very tight work schedule and can only go in June or July. I’ve been looking at tickets now (7 months in advance) and tickets range in the $500s.
    Is it too early to book? If I wait could I find a better price? I’m scared of waiting.

    1. Hi Ariel, It might be a good idea to buy soon. This year is going to be hard to predict since 2017 was so devastating for much of the Caribbean. A lot of the tourism that would normally be going in that direction might be re-routed to Central American and South American destinations. Since you have a small window of opportunity due to your work schedule, I might start a serious search soon (not too much past Christmas). Good luck to you!

  59. Hi!
    Trying to figure out when the best time to book tickets for Lima or Cusco, Peru from Toronto, Canada at the beginning of July?
    Thanks in advance

    1. May through September is the dry season in Peru and therefore the best time to visit. Because of this, July is going to be one of the most popular and expensive times to buy airline tickets. At the moment, the fares are pretty stable across the months. As we get close to July, the fares will go up.

  60. Hello, Im looking to purchase my airline tickets for United Kingdom sometime in October/November 2018 how soon should i book my flight? I was looking to land in London and i know doing that it will increase the price. Thank you!

    1. Hi Claudia, Can you share what city you will be departing from? Those flights may not yet be published, but I can look for you if I know what city pairs we are looking at. Do you need a one-way ticket or a return (round trip) ticket? And how long will you be staying in the U.K. if you plan to return? Happy to help!

      1. Hi, I will be departing from Atlanta, Ga looking to leaving on October 10, 2018 and returning october 31, 2018 arriving in London’s Heathrow airport. I would like to look into a roundtrip ticket. I just want to get the best flights for my money and i thank you for taking time to help me. Cheers!

        1. Hi Claudia, It’s a bit early to be shopping for your London flights. Atlanta is a great gateway to be flying from, and October is shoulder season so you’re not going to be dealing with huge tourist crowds. This past year, we recommended shopping for flights to Europe about 3 months from your travel dates. We’re working on the 2018 “When to Buy” study right now and should be able to give you more specific advice very soon.

  61. Hi, I am planning to fly from BRUSSELS to KATHMANDU on 5-01-18 coming back on 31-01-18. It is like 650 euros now. Should I buy it now or after Christmas? Do you think the prices go down after Christmas holidays?

    1. Hi Susan, It is hard to say whether the fares might go down a bit after the holidays, but typically once fares start an incremental climb, that means the lowest priced seats on the plane have sold out. If you’re seeing the fares bounce around quite a bit, this may be the airline adjusting. It’s more likely that the fares could come down in the second scenario. It is hard to say whether your flights will be in the first or second scenario, but you can get a good feeling based on watching the fares on a week over week (or even day over day) basis. Flight prices that are volatile are better to gamble on that flight prices that start a slow and incremental climb.

  62. Hello, we are needing some advice! We are wanting to go to Dubai from NC in late April 2018. Should we wait until after Christmas and the holiday season to be looking at prices? They were cheapest during Black Friday and now they have gone up significantly.

    1. Hi Britney, What are your specific travel dates and city pairs? I can look into this a bit for you but it would be helpful if I knew what city you were flying from and what specific dates we were talking about. In general, once the fares start to climb for any destination, that means the lowest priced fares are selling out. The “best” itineraries with the best connections and flight times will sell out first, so if you have specific flights you were hoping to take that might also be a factor.

  63. Good Evening, I would like to book a ticket one way from Manila to Eugene, Oregon for the first week of May 2018. When could be the best time to buy? Thank you

    1. Hi Susan, we specialize in outbound travel from the U.S. so it’s hard to say when the best time for you to buy might be. However, if we were advising on the reverse ticket (from Eugene to Manila), we’d probably be suggesting that you start a serious search right after the first of the year (to assure the best price).

  64. Hello. We are planning to go to Seoul, S. Korea then to Bangkok, Thailand in early July/August (flexible on the date) from Dallas for total of about 16 days. When is the best time to buy and which days do you suggest?

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Jennifer, Flights in the spring for your itinerary are pricing out around just under $1000 while the flights in July and August for the same itinerary are coming in around $1300-1400. This isn’t too surprising because Americans tend to take their long vacations during the summer time (which makes the tourist season in places like Thailand and South Korea in summer). It’s not too early to be shopping for these flights – the prices may continue to go up. It might be best to watch the fares closely for a few weeks – if the fares stay static or bounce around a bit it might be that the fares will come down a bit. If the fares continue to edge up, I would buy sooner rather than later as this trend means that the lowest priced seats on a flight are selling out.

  65. Trying to book Spring Break to Paris in mid March……Looking for GREAT deal, any suggestion? Do airlines do pop up sales? do I have to go online line at 3am? Please Help and happy New Year

    1. Hi Stefanie, Pop up sales are not that common – the airlines usually publish sale fares on Tuesdays (that’s just an industry standard) so keep your eyes peeled on Tuesdays.Last minute weekend sales sometimes go live on Thursdays as well. Where are you traveling from? The best sale fares to Paris are going to be from New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles. If you shop for connecting flights to one of those cities, you might score the best deal overall.

  66. Hi,
    I’m planning a trip to Italy in August/September (8/25-9/6). I had considered a multi-city flight (San Diego to Rome & Venice to San Diego). Within a week I noticed that prices went from the $900’s to about $1350. When would you suggest would be an ideal time to wait/book for this trip? Thank you!

    1. Hi Aly, you’re a bit of a unique case because most people do buy round trip tickets city to city and those fares are a bit less volatile (they tend to remain static or increase incrementally). Once you start making an itinerary multi-city, things can get kind of volatile. It’s possible that those high fares you’re now seeing will level out or go back down to the $900 range, though because you are traveling in August, it might behoove you to plan on buying soon. July is more expensive than August, but August is still high season in Europe and fares might not go down again. It all depends on the kind of traveler you are (mostly if you travel relatively lightly), but don’t discount the trains in Italy for getting you back to your originating city. It might be that you can save a few hundred dollars by adding in a train travel day (also, the trains are a really great way to see the countryside). If convenience is more important to you, I might buy very soon.

  67. Hello, I want to travel from Lima Peru to USA. Are tickets more expensive if return trip is for an extended period of time?

    1. Hi Malena, The length of the trip should not really impact the price of a particular trip though if you are traveling during a busy tourist season for a particular city/region, that may increase the price of a fare. For instance, the time around Christmas and Thanksgiving are expensive times to travel in many parts of the States as is summer.

      1. Thank you, I appreciate the reply. I have 2 kids, one in Oklahoma and one in California, and I want to spend time with both and make it an extended length of time. Could you suggest what would be the best time to purchase my tickets?

  68. I want to travel to Scotland at the end of May or first of June. When should I purchase my airline tickets. Thank you!

    1. Last year, flying to Europe was (in general) the best value for purchase right around 3 months out. This year may be slightly different but we’re a few weeks out from publishing those data points(our When to Buy data is compiled at the very end of the previous year). A few things to be aware of – the “high” season in Europe has crept back to include most of May so you can be sure you’re already going to be seeing prices at a premium. For your dates, I would probably not wait too long – if you see good prices now, it’s not too early to hop on them. For sure the lowest priced fares on any given flight for your dates will sell out.

  69. Hi there! I live in Tokyo and was planning to visit San Francisco during the period called Golden week (basically the week between the end of April and the beginning of May) for 10 days. I noticed that the prices went up since last week and now I don’t know if I should book a ticket ASAP or wait a little longer for a better deal. This obviously excludes insanely long trips (25 – 30hrs including stops). What do you recommend?

    1. Book now! We are not 100% familiar with the details of “Golden Week” but any popular festival or event in a destination will drive up the prices above the normal range. In that case, we always recommend shopping early for the best deals AND best itineraries.

    1. Hi Adam, The airlines publish their fares 11 months out from so you should be able to book flights by the end of this month. I’m not sure what specific dates you’re considering (and the departure city that you’ll be leaving from), but I can offer a bit more custom advice if you can share those details.

    1. Hi Angie, In 2017 we recommended about 90 days out as being the best time to buy flights to Asian destinations. So yes – your timeline is our best recommendation base on all of the data we had last year. In 2018, things may change – we are working to put together the 2018 When to Buy Report as we speak. That report should be coming out in the next few weeks and we’ll update everyone as soon as the analysis is complete!

  70. Hi, I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. And planning to fly to Orlando, Florida with my husband and kids (ages 8,6,4 and 1) as well as my parents at the end of sept 2018. When should I book our tickets to get the best prices on air fare?

    1. Hi Cortney, In general we recommend buying about 2 weeks to 2.5 months out for the best price, but Orlando is a bit of an outlier because it really does not have much of a low season at all and lots of families like your go year round. So – for that reason I would say it is probably not too early to be looking now, though you still probably do have some wiggle room on when to buy. Most people travel to Orlando in the summer months – this may make late September a small pocket of value – start looking now and you may find flights a bit less than you would in July or August. Don’t wait too long if you see a reasonable fare – the lowest fares to Orlando will definitely go, even in Orlando’s “shoulder” season.

  71. Hi there. My family and I are going to St. Lucia on May 24, 2018 for a few days. The tickets are currently about $990 a pop. Would it be safe to assume that if ticket prices are going to drop, it will occur around early March?

    1. I forgot to say that my family and I would be travelling to St. Lucia from Atlanta, GA in case that makes a difference. Thanks so much in advance for your help!

    2. Hi Chris, It’s really hard to say when and if an individual itinerary might come down in price. We do know that the Caribbean destinations are generally less expensive than they have been in a while. Because of the hurricane damage and the re-routing some people are doing with their planned vacations, this year is a bit hard to read. Lower airfares overall might be driving demand to a more limited number of possible destinations in the Caribbean, but it might also be true that fares will drop if they do not start selling out flights. Our best advice in this odd year is to watch the fares closely and plan to buy as soon as you see a “good” one. If you have a large family, you might try searching for individual tickets instead of the whole group so you can see if there are lower priced tickets available. Some of the group may get a better fare – and that would also indicate if the lower fares are selling out (therefore prices going down becomes less likely).

  72. hi.I’m from Montreal, Canada and planning to travel to Indonesia around June – August/September. When is the best time to buy the ticket? I was checking around earlier and it is still very expensive. thank you

    1. Hi Renza, It’s very hard to say at the moment when (and whether) the fares will go down for you. It’s always the best idea to shop early and often, so you have the very best idea of what a “good” fare looks like for a destination you’re going to travel to. Sometimes,the dates you’re traveling are popular for a variety of reasons – local festivals, high season, etc. and this makes it difficult to know if fares are going to go back down or if you can expect to pay a premium for the dates you’re shopping. In the second case, you might want to buy sooner rather than later. Indonesia is quite popular in the summer months, so it may be that you should start your serious search now. In 2017, we recommended searching right around 3 months from your departure dates for the best fares, BUT we always recommend more for high season travel.

    1. Hi Jereco, You should be shopping now for sure. If you let me know the city you are leaving from and the number of tickets you need, I can let you know what a reasonable fare for that time of year might be.

  73. Cheapair Experts, I’m looking to book a flight to Italy around June 15th using my points. When is the best time to book? Yesterday (Tuesday) the flights were much cheaper, today (Wednesday) the flights are triple. do you think they will come down at all?

    1. Hi Joey, Not sure why the fares would have tripled over night. That does seem highly suspect this far from your travel dates. Were you looking at one specific flight or a variety of options? Can you share what airport in New York you would like to depart from and which city in Italy you are traveling to?

  74. Travelling from IAH to USM 30th may to the 16th June 2018 family of 4….When is the best time to book….? i have already missed the cheaper price prior to Christmas……?

    1. Hi Colin, I would buy soon. Those prices are heading higher the further into the summer you go. Watching the fares the last few days seems the trend going toward more expensive, not less. It would be a gamble to wait.

  75. I need to travel to France (Paris) in late June 2018. According to your calculations, is the best time to buy around mid-to-late March 2018?

    1. Hi Matthew, Can we direct you to our European Flights page? It hasn’t quite been updated for 2018, but the 2017 information is generally still relevant: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/summer-flights-to-europe/. July and August are generally the high season for American travelers to Europe, so you can expect to pay higher fares (and the lowest fares on those flights will sell out faster). We recommend shopping for summer flights to Europe earlier – starting to shop now would not be too early. If you’re flying from New York, you MIGHT find a deal a little bit closer to the dates (because of the volume of flights out of JFK), but the safe bet would be to shop and buy earlier.

  76. Hello!
    I’m curious as to when I should book a flight back from Germany to America (midwest). I need to leave in the middle of July, which I know is a bit pricey due to it being summer months. Although I only need a one way flight ? what is your suggestion as to when I should book ?

    1. Hi Chloe, You should definitely start looking sooner rather than wait. You’re right – July is quite busy/popular as a travel month and this makes it pricier as well. Look for flights soon to get the best deal.

  77. I’m looking to buy tickets to Zagreb in mid October from both DC and Chicago. Right now Chicago round trip is about $600 but DC round trip is over $1100. When would you advise purchasing?

    1. Chicago does often have some of the best deals to Central Europe. I’m not sure if you need one ticket from Chicago and one from DC, or if you’re trying to make a decision which city to buy from. October isn’t high season for Croatia, so it probably wouldn’t be too big of a risk to wait a while to watch hoe fares fluctuate. The likelihood of doing better than $600 from Chicago is not good. $600 is a great fare and we’d probably hop on that quick!

  78. We are flying in July for a month in Singapore from either MSP or DEN and have flexibility on flying days. We do not want an economy seat for the international flights as we need the extra legroom. Do you have any recommendations as to when to purchase tickets that are not economy seats? We live in SD and it appears that DEN may have better options for us,

    1. Hi Barb, The best advice is to find the flights you want and then purchase the tickets asap. Basically, there is a lot less volatility in the premium seating costs, but there are obviously limited selections available and those seats almost always sell out. The airlines don’t tend to discount those seats even if they don’t sell – many times they’ll use them as upgrade rewards for loyalty program members should the seats remain unsold at time of departure.

  79. We need to fly to Sydney from LAX in December 2018 to board a cruise ship. When is the best time to book those flights?

        1. We are flying from LAX in Dec 2018 to Sydney to board a cruise ship. When is the best time to book those flights?

          1. Hi D. It’s hard to say without specific dates. Generally speaking, you can wait longer if your flights are in the early part of December. Christmas week and New Years week are priced at a premium straight out of the gate and do not typically go on sale. To be safe, we recommend buying anything Christmas week as early as possible. Last year, we saw Australasian flights booked out about 3 months at the best fares (not counting Christmas and New Years). This year, we think that number is going to be quite a bit further out (maybe as much as 6-7 months out, even for low season and non-holiday flights). That report should be coming out in the next month – keep your eyes peeled.

  80. Not very impressed with the article on international travel times and when to purchase because the link given for Europe Summer Flights page. goes to a June 2017 calendar. We are in Feb 2018 so this does not exactly convey useful information and doesn’t lend much credibility. The prices on the search engine yield values well over $100 more than Kayak and other websites.

  81. Looking for the cheapest,and fastest time from boise to Guam in mid APRIL round trip. 2 adults 1 child. When’s the best time to buy them?

    1. Hi Jason, Though we don’t have the data published yet for 2018, it’s certainly getting close to travel now. It’s certain that prices will continue to climb the longer you wait from here on out (on average). You might look at flights from Boise to Los Angeles or San Francisco and look into booking a flight from there on to Guam. If you can give me set dates I can look into it in more detail for you.

  82. I want to book a flight from Melbourne, Australia to Calgary, Canada July 17/2018, and come back September 11, 2018. When is the best time for me to book this flight, I read for Canada 59 days, and for the USA 54, so which day do I go by to get the best price of this flight? Or what would you recommend?

    1. Hi Shelley, Those suggested dates are averages based on a lot of flights. I wouldn’t use them as a hard and fast rule, i.e. you MUST book your flights on exactly 59 days before your travel date. They can be used as a guide for when flights are usually at a good price. They are also based on outgoing travel from North America, so I’m afraid are not going to be the best tool for your use. I’d offer some general advice based on the time of year you’re looking to travel. Summer is a popular time to visit many destinations in the U.S. and Canada, so these flights will tend to book up full (or nearly so) and are not likely to have big discounts the closer you get to the dates (they’re already priced at a premium due to popularity). It would be a good plan to start looking now, watch the fares overall for a few weeks to get an idea of they are mostly static or quite volatile. Static means you likely have some time to buy. If you’re seeing large swings in price, the best advice would be to watch for a good deal and then strike as soon as it pops up! The fare will likely sell out (as others are going to be tracking the same flights). Good luck to you!

  83. Hello, I’m planning on traveling to Jamaica on May 27th thru the 31st, when would be the best time to purchase my tickets? I was told by a friend to purchase at least 56 days before the trip, is this correct?

    1. Hi Tanya, We’re going to be publishing our 2018 “When to Buy” for international destinations very soon. I would say that for you, it’s definitely not too early to be looking at flights. The Caribbean is a bit of a mixed bag this year because of the hurricane damage from last year. We can’t rely on the data from last year as much, since most people didn’t travel to Caribbean destinations once the hurricane hit. On the other hand, some destinations like Jamaica were largely unaffected so those destinations are seeing an uptick in visitors this year (people that normally go to St. Lucia might decide to go to Jamaica, for instance). Because things are a little volatile, we’re recommending shopping early and watching closely for sales.

    1. Hi Deborah, It’s difficult to to say for certain without specific dates. Generally speaking, you can wait longer if your flights are in the early part of December. Christmas week and New Years week are priced at a premium straight out of the gate and do not typically go on sale. To be safe, we recommend buying anything Christmas week as early as possible. Last year, we saw Australasian flights booked out about 3 months at the best fares (not counting Christmas and New Years). This year, we think that number is going to be quite a bit further out (maybe as much as 6-7 months out, even for low season and non-holiday flights). That report should be coming out in the next month – keep your eyes peeled. We’re not much for gambling on flights to Australia, but you might want to set a few alerts with airfarewatchdog.com. L.A. does tend to offer the best overall fares from the U.S. so you COULD get lucky on a sale fare (again, this is most likely if you’re not traveling Christmas week).

  84. Hello, I’m planning on traveling to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) from Santiago, Chile (SCL) on Oct 1st thru the 26st, when would be the best time to purchase my tickets?

    1. Hi Felipe, Our airfare intelligence is really specifically for outbound flights from U.S. cities (We’re a U.S. based company). High season in Thailand starts in November though, so hopefully going slightly earlier will give you more reasonable airfares. Good luck to you!

  85. Hi,
    I’m planning on Flying from Dallas to Zagreb in beginning of July 2018 with a come back flight in mid August. I know I’m late on buying the ticket, or am I? Right now, the round trip is +$1500 with Lufthansa. Should I wait or go ahead an buy now?
    I missed the window in Early Feb when tickets were $700 🙁 with Lufthansa.
    Ticket is for two adults , 3yrd old and lap child.

    1. Yes, July is quite a popular month (and the most expensive month of the summer to fly). We have to recommend purchasing sooner rather than later. Take a look at our Europe Summer Flights page for a calendar view of how the flights are pricing out: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/summer-flights-to-europe/. Flights to Croatia are usually pretty expensive anyway – you may find the cheapest flights from New York – might be a good idea to price a separate flight to get you to New York (unless you’re flying from there already) to see if you save anything by cobbling together your itinerary on your own.

  86. We’re planning to visit MNL from LHR on December 2018. When is the best time to book a ticket? I know December is a busy month, do we need to book 3 months in advance?

    1. Hi Eytch, Our airfare intelligence data is exclusively for outbound North American travel (we are based in the States). But we can make some assumptions based on our experience that December is a very busy month (well, the last week of the month is, anyway). Sometimes there are very reasonable tickets to be had in the early part of December. If you’re flying Christmas week, it’s not too early to be shopping now. Christmas week flights tend to be priced at a premium straight out of the gate and then creep slowly even higher. You’re not likely to see sale fares pop up at all for this week. If you’re not flying the last week in December, you might find some deals.

  87. Hi, I’m planning to go to BKK Thailand from Rochester,MN on Nov 26th through Dec 16,2018. When would be a good time to get a good deal on the tickets?

    1. Hi Ann, Last year we suggested about 3 months would get you the best price to fly to Asian destinations. We’re about three weeks out from the new study that should give us a better idea of when you should be buying for flights later this year. Usually, flights in late November and early December stay pretty affordable. It’s the last week in December/first week of the year that have flights priced at a premium right out of the gate. Check back with us in a few weeks – we’ll have the new study posted that should give you a better idea of when to buy.

  88. Hi CheapAir,

    I am planning on going to London from Portland, Oregon during the Holidays from December 21st – January 1st (+/- 1 Day). I have been monitoring the prices for the past 2 weeks, and they have been between $775-$830. Would you recommend that I purchase them now, or wait around 99 days before this trip as suggested from the analysis above (mid September)? Since my travel plans are during the holidays, I am concerned that prices are gonna be more expensive during this time. Please advise.



    1. Hi Michelle, Yes, you are right to be concerned about the holiday airfares. Your travel dates are definitely going to qualify as holiday flights and holiday flights are usually priced at a premium straight out of the gate. This can be a problem because they’re already priced higher than most other times of the year and they tend to increase in price the closer you get to travel dates. It is not that common to see sale airfares for Christmas week. Our advice would be to buy sooner rather than later (the prices you are seeing right now are actually pretty good for that time of year.

  89. Hello I am going to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines & want to leave @ the end of June. When is the best time to book a flight? This is the carnival season, I don’t think I should wait till about 76 days in advance.

    1. Hi J, Very good point. It’s always a good idea to take the temperature of any destination for things like local festivals and cultural events. Our recommendations are based on averages – and do not reflect the spikes that can occur due to local events. Buy soon!

  90. Hi. I am trying to book four tickets to Argentina between mid July and mid Agust. When is a good time to get the best prices?

  91. I’m looking to fly to Germany beginning of August (yea, more expensive time, but can’t change it). Should I book now or wait a little?

    1. Hi Miya, Book soon. You’re right that the fares are more expensive in early August – unless you have a little flexibility with your dates, I would plan to book as soon as you can. Those summer fares are not likely to go down, and are actually much more likely to continue to rise.

    1. Hi Marcia, If you’ve been watching the airfares and have been seeing a steady, incremental climb I would probably buy sooner rather than later. If you are not seeing such a climb, you probably have a little wiggle room and can wait to buy. The 81 days suggestion was for 2017 – we are about to have our 2018 study come out, but it has not been published yet. Since we are getting closer to your travel dates, it may not make sense for you to wait for our updated study.

  92. Hello CheapAir! 3 adults planning a flight from Milwaukee to Brisbane Australia late September through Oct 12, 2018. What is the best time to buy? Thank you!

    1. Hi Tressa, Flights to Australia are more expensive than to most other destinations around the globe, and also tends to have longer lead times to get the best prices. We are coming out with our 2018 international When to Buy report in the next month or so, but last year’s data showed that buying about 3 months out would give you the best prices. I would probably recommend watching the fares and planning to buy as soon as a “good” fare pops up. The prices for late September/early October are starting to climb (as we head into the high season for Australian travel), so it might be that sooner is preferable to later.

  93. Hi!! Family of 5; departing from Tampa and heading out to Dublin then Rome for a 2 week vacation. I’m looking at late March, early April 2019. How far in advance should I start booking my tickets? Thanks, much appreciated!!!

  94. Meeting a group traveling to OAX (Mexico) in mid-October 2018. I’m the only that hasn’t bought a ticket yet, traveling from Seattle. It seems super early to me, airfare is around $500-$600 right now. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Kelly, It does seem a little early. You can see here that the ideal time to buy tickets to Mexican destinations last year, on average, was a little over 2 months from travel: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/when-is-the-best-time-to-buy-an-international-flight/. The good news is that the flights still seem pretty static, without much volatility. I would probably watch and wait for a while. I don’t think the fares are going to go down, but you should have a little time to play with before you have to pull the trigger.

  95. Hello!
    When is the best time to book roundtrip flight US to Madrid for first week of September 2018 for the cheapest flights?
    Thank you

  96. I read your replies and you are mostly suggesting to buy the tickets “now” and most of the time they do not even match the chart you have provided based on your studies.

    1. Hi Pedro, That’s a fair observation. Here’s how that happens. Most of the time people writing in to the blog say things like – “My flight price keeps going up. Should I buy now or wait?” We always recommend buying if the airfare is starting incremental increases because it simply means that the lower priced fares are selling down. Once the lowest priced seats are gone, it starts to be an unpleasant gamble for budget travelers. The airlines are quite good at pricing their flights so they go full. I feel we don’t often get comments from people who say, “the price for my flight is decreasing. How low can I expect it to go?” I assume those folks don’t need our help! 😉

  97. I am looking to book a round trip flight on April 11th, 2019 to go to Siem Reap, Cambodia….yes, you read that right lol in 2019. I have not been back to my home country in about 9 years and I was wondering what day of the week and how far out I am able to book the cheapest flight for my 5 year old daughter and I. If you could please reply to me in my email I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kim. Thanks for the question. The short answer is that it is hard to say when the best time to book might be. We’re actually publishing our International When to Buy study for 2018 on Wednesday of this week! But these are details for 2018, so it might not be applicable to your trip. The airlines publish fares 11 months out from your travel dates, so you can start looking for your fares in May (probably toward the end of the month).

      The cheapest days to book your flight will no doubt be on Tuesday and Wednesday, however. The weekend flights are always the more expensive way to go (demand is higher, ergo the fees are higher as well).

      If you respond to my email on Wednesday as a reminder, I can forward this year’s report on to you so you can get a sense of what to look for in 2019. It used to be that the cheapest fares popped up very far out for Asian destinations – lately you can get a decent fare even a few weeks to a few months out.

  98. I am planning a Euro Trip with my spouse from 15th September- 7th October 2018 from New Delhi, India. Please let me know if the advance period of 99 days will work for us too, i.e we should get the bookings done around 5th June. Please suggest…
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Punit, unfortunately I don’t have good data to answer this question for you. Our flight data is all gleaned from outbound North American travel (we are based in California). I can tell you that your dates (in late summer) are going to be giving you better airfares than if you were booking in the dead of summer. Since you’re travel is into the fall, the prices are already lower than you would see for June or July. It’s probably best to watch the fares closely and plan to buy as soon as you see a good deal pop up (we are still in the time frame where you might see some sale fares).

  99. Hi, I am planning to travel from Singapore to Prague (24/08/18) and come back from London to Singapore (7/9/18). I checked the prices now its about $2500 for myself and and my 7 year old Daughter. When will be the best to purchase tickets?

    1. Hi Agatha, unfortunately I don’t have good data to answer this question for you. Our flight data is all gleaned from outbound North American travel (we are based in California). I can tell you that your dates (in late summer) are going to be giving you better airfares than if you were booking in the dead of summer. Since you’re travel is closer to fall, the prices are already lower than you would see for June or July. It’s probably best to watch the fares closely and plan to buy as soon as you see a good deal pop up (we are still in the time frame where you might see some sale fares).

  100. Hi there. I am planning a trip to Europe (departing from Argentina) on christmas 2018. Is it too early to book the flights? Is it expectable for the prices to go down given that I am travelling on christmas? Thank you very much for the tips!

    1. Hi David, We always err on the conservative side and tell people that if they are traveling during Christmas week they should plan to buy earlier than usual. The holidays are a time when airlines price flights at a premium straight out of the gate and there’s no reason to gamble with your trip. The likelihood that fares will go down as we get closer is not good.

  101. Hi Cheapair,
    Thanks for this information. Very useful.
    Would you be able to tell when is the best time to buy airline tickets for Christmas-time travel from Canada to Uruguay in South America?

    1. Hi Ronnie, If you’re buying tickets for Christmas week it’s probably not too early to start a serious search. I can give you more personalized information if I know the gateway from which you’re departing – it’s hard to say without those details. Most Christmas week flights are already priced at a premium and will likely not go on sale- this is why we take a pretty conservative stance on Christmas travel. It’s generally not a good gamble to wait too long.

    1. Monica, It’s not too early to start your flight search. Please don’t wait until fares are climbing skyward – the Caribbean is a popular destination year-round and Jamaica is quite popular this year since it was relatively untouched by the hurricanes of 2017.

  102. Just how much are fares likely to change? Here’s my situation:

    I’m planning to travel multi-city U.S. to Bangkok and then Tokyo and back to the U.S. I have a fare I’m comfortable with right now, but we have some visa issue to work out. Our departure date is early July.

    Current best price is about $1200. Are flights likely to go up significantly in the next month? We probably can’t purchase until maybe mid-May. I could risk purchasing right now if I had to, but I’d rather not.

    If they are likely to go up, are we talking fluctuations of $100 or $1,000? I can (grudgingly) handle a few hundred dollars, but I’m worried that it’ll go from $1200 to $2000 or something like that.


    1. Hi Andrew, grudgingly handling a few hundred bucks is probably a good plan for your sanity. The truth is that there’s no real way to know. However, if you’re traveling in July it’s the busiest time for US outbound international departures. The airlines have already priced these itineraries at a premium and that close to travel, you’re definitely going to see some sort of spike in the price. Exactly how much is speculation at this point.

  103. I am traveling to Manchester, England in late September, returning about the 10th of OCT. My dates are somewhat flexible, but must be in Manchester by the 26th. Nearest large airport near me is Fresno. Next would be Sacramento, or LAX. Would it be wise to fly out of a different city (anywhere in the US) and then have a separate flight from there to Manchester, England? Or even to London and travel from there to Manchester? I am looking for the cheapest way to go.

  104. I also notice the flights are going up in cost. Yesterday the cheapest was a little over $800.00, now it is over $1100.00.

    1. Hi Cheryl, Honestly the flights from LAX are going to give you the best value for the money (though they are less convenient to you geographically). Just testing dates. I can get you to Manchester departing on the 26th of September and returning on the 10th of October from Sacramento for right around $1,050 on United but these are not nonstop flights. From LAX on Thomas Cook Airlines you can get nonstop flights for $591.

  105. HI, I am trying to get a flight on June 16, 2018 from Washington D.C to Dubai (for a layover want to be their for a day or 2 can be longer if needed) then to Asmara, Eritrea. Then leave Eritrea on August 2, 2018 I want to go from Asmara, Eritrea to Dubai (Again for a layover a day or 2 can be longer if needed) then to Washington D.C again. I want to know how much this would cost for 1 adult and 2 kids (1 kid is 13 and the other is 15). Also should I buy the tickets now? What day of the week should I buy them on?

    1. Hi Beilul, The best price I can get for your itinerary with 2 day layovers in Dubai is $2,273 round trip. This is an itinerary with layovers and stops. The most convenient itinerary with a nonstop plan is pricing out at $2,486 on Emirates and JetBlue. Let me know if this price sounds good to you and I can work with you via email to secure the plan. Best of luck to you.

  106. Hi, I am planning to visit India starting dates like 18-19 Jul or 24-25 Jul18 (1 adult and 1 child) and return on 4th Sep18 (1 adult and 1 child) also starting 21-22 Aug (1 adult) and return with family on 4th Sep18 (1 adult) from Birmingham or London-Mumbai-Birmingham or London.
    So how early should I book for right deal, do you have any great options.

    1. Hello Dhananjay, We are getting pretty close to travel dates now (around 3 months out is a good time to start a serious search for most destinations). The best prices for your dates are going to be on Lufthansa out of Birmingham for $884 (a flight with one stop), but Air India in and out of London Heathrow has a nonstop flight for $902 round trip which is the easiest flight itinerary for you.

  107. Hi! I plan on traveling to Thailand BKK from west palm beach PBI from mid December to mid January. The price right now for Delta is $1200. My boyfriend is waiting for his new passport that should be coming in mid June. Should I buy the ticket now or should I wait til he gets his passport if I want to sit with him? Thank you!

    1. Hi Peachy, The prices are probably not going to go down so I might buy sooner rather than later to get the best price. You can always try to arrange for him to sit next to you later. However, if this is a very important concern, you could wait – it might be worth a couple of hundred dollars to you to get guaranteed seats together on a long flight.

  108. We plan on booking 2 RT tickets to Prague leaving Sept. 5 from LNK (Lincoln, NE). Is it a bit early yet? It jumped $200 this week, to about $1500. We are seeking a return flight 22 days later, late enough to turn in the rental car in the morning.

    1. Hi Marilyn, Just wondering if you might consider booking two tickets separately. You’re right, the fares are quite high from Lincoln to Prague and you still have two stops in each direction (sometimes people don’t mind paying a big premium for a nonnstop but this isn;t the care for your dates). For example, if you price out flights from New York for your dates, the fare is $516 round trip. Hear me out. If you fly one day earlier from Lincoln to Newark (September 4) and return the day after (September 27), you can get a flight for $385 on United (with a 1. 5 hour stop in Chicago). That’s a savings of almost $600/ticket. Now, I’m not sure those dates work, but I would at least look into it. Prague is one of those destinations that isn’t super convenient to fly to, but New York has the best connections and prices hands down. You might also check flights out of Chicago. Because of the large Czech population there, they sometimes have great connections (and decent prices). Good luck to you!

    1. Hi Connie, Our 2018 When to Buy Report indicates that about 6.5 months out from your travel dates will get you the best deals (on average) for flights to New Zealand. Keep in mind that these are averages from North American gateways.

  109. Hi, I am looking for 4 round trip tickets from Toronto to New Delhi but the return ticket should be Mumbai to Toronto. I plan to travel in January 2019. How far in advance should I be booking to get the best price?

    1. Hi Dee, It’s not too early to be starting a search now. Sometimes multi-city tickets have deals pop up. I would recommend looking weekly just to see if there are any flights that might save you quite a bit. When I just plugged in a random 3 week trip departing Toronto on Wed, Jan 2 and returning three weeks later on Wed, Jan 23 from Mumbai I get a fare on British Airways for just over 1,000 USD. That’s about the best you’re going to do for your dates if you were to book right now. It’s very hard to say how much more you might save, but it’s worth checking back frequently or setting a fare alert for budget flights.

  110. I’ll be flying from Atlanta to Rome in late November, around the 23rd, and I’ll be returning to Atlanta January 5th. Should I buy my airfares ASAP, say this week ?

    1. Hi Rod, It’s hard to say with certainty if this week should be your target. You should always be checking your particular itinerary often to see how flights are trending.

  111. Hi! I’m going to be going to Seoul from LAX on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day for a study abroad program for 3 weeks. I was looking at prices on justly.com and there is currently a ticket priced around $730. I emailed the program and they said they suggest getting tickets 3 months before (and so does your article), but I feel like this price is pretty good. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Emily, We’re with you! It’s a little tricky since you are flying from LAX (which does tend to have the best deals). While it’s possible to get cheaper flights (some in October are under $500), I do not think we will see fares that low around Christmas. It’s a bit of a gamble to wait. I think fares in the $600-700 range for Christmas week are about as low as we will see.

  112. I am planning to go from rhodes to santorini on 13 april 2019 and from santorini to athens on 15 april 2019. When and which filght should i buy in advance?

    1. Hi Helmi, I can’t seem to get flight results for your city pairs. I’ve been trying for you, but nothing is coming up. It’s possible that the flights have not been published yet. I’ll keep trying on our end.

  113. If I want to buy a ticket for Cancun, Mexico around Christmas 2018, do you have advice on the how far in advance to purchase for the best price? Your general advice seems to be 61 days in advance, but I am wondering if holiday time requires further advance purchase? Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Bill, Your intuition is correct. Buy as early as you can if you’re planning on spending Christmas in Cancun. Prices are already set at a premium in popular holiday destinations like Cancun, and sales are very hard to come by. Start shopping now if you can.

    1. Hi Tim, It’s a little early to start a serious search now since most airlines are just publishing fares for those dates. And when fares are first published, they’re usually a little higher. However, you are looking to fly close to high season (the end of May is arguably high season). If you’re flying at the beginning of the month, you can probably afford to wait. If you buy early, the good part is that you’ll get the best choice in terms of seat selection on your planes. For some, that’s an important component. You can probably afford to wait until just after the first of the year to see where the fares settle, but I wouldn’t wait much beyond that. One good way to search for European flights is to search on Raleigh to say, New York (JFK). There are many flights out of JFK and they are generally the very best in the country. Piecing together your ticket will definitely give you the best fare, but you won’t be able to check your bag through to Paris in Raleigh which might be important to you. For me, if I can save a few hundred bucks, I’m not at all bothered to do a little extra leg work in transit. It all depends on individual circumstance and preference. It looks like prices to New York from Raleigh in May are likely to be around $167. Then flights to Paris from New York should be in the $300-500 range. Even on the high end that still puts you under $700/ticket. Fares from Raleigh will likely be in the $1,000-1,500 range.

  114. Flying Charlotte to London in very early May and have a specific flight/airline in mind for several reasons. Being this picky, how soon should I book? Just in the week or so since I’ve begun checking on it, it has gone up 25%. Is this due to airline fluctuations or possibly cookies from my browser? How soon should i book? Thank you.

    1. Hi Steve. It is hard to say but if you are looking at flying on specific airlines/flights – you are definitely correct. Buy as early as you can. We always remind people that while you do pay a slight premium for buying on the early side, it’s literally the only real way to lock in your preferred flights. As for the “cookie” and browser worries – we’ve asked people to document their experiences with this. It’s never been something we could recreate on our end: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/is-clearing-your-cookies-a-foolproof-strategy-for-buying-cheaper-airfare/.

  115. Planning trip to Italy Sept 2019. Would like to fly in to Turin, Italy from SFO and back from Naples, Italy.
    When is the best time to book flights?

    1. Hi Maria, the very good news for you is that fares go down in September from the high prices you’d find in July and August. The airlines publish fares 11 months out, so you can start looking for your flights in a few weeks, but I wouldn’t feel pressure to buy right away unless your top concern is choice – the best availability for seats and classes of service will be early. This year (2018) flights to Europe were priced best on average about 4 months in advance. Our 2019 study will be out in March to better give shoppers an idea of when to buy for 2019.

  116. Great post. I think, booking flight tickets in advance is the best way for an international flight. Thank you.

  117. We have a group in Italy from July 10-27. I know July is the most expensive month but tickets are currently going for $1600. Is that what I should be expecting to pay or should I continue to monitor the prices? My fear is that I missed out on the cheaper prices already.

  118. Hi JW, Can you let us know the city you are flying from in California and where you are headed in Thailand? Bangkok will probably give you the most reasonable fares, but if you’re traveling to another part of the country it will help me to give you accurate pricing.

      1. Yeah, so this is good news. San Francisco has some great fares into Bangkok. Starting in mid-July we see prices in the $800 range and they go down as low as $655 in late August. Now you’re going to be traveling in the “wet” season which is why you’ll not see $1200 tickets that you do in the winter months (Thailand’s high season). It’s probably okay to wait a bit before you buy, keeping in mind most Americans do tend to travel in the summer months so you’re not going to want to wait much past March or April to buy. Also, if you’ve set a few airfare alerts and you see prices start to creep upwards it’s probably a good idea to jump on the flights you want. Once they start an incremental creep upwards, the prices don’t often go back down. Also, think about flying on a weekday instead of the weekend for additional savings.

  119. Hey, we are taking a trip to Jamaica in the middle of March. I’m already looking at flights but when is the best time to purchase? Our trip seems to be right in the middle of spring break and I’m wondering if I should book now? Or are there black Friday deals? Thank you!

    1. Hi Hannah, Because you are looking to book right in the middle of spring break season you’re correct. It’s probably best to not wait.Prices will spike again after the holidays. I would plan to book soon.

  120. My wife,our 1 year old infant baby and I will be flying to Seoul from LA roundtrip economy around late April to mid May (about 3 weeks). When is the best time to purchase tickets at lowest fare? Is it still 90 days (since Asia) like your map indicated?

    1. Hi Chris, Every year we do update our International Flight report and we’re not sure yet what 2019 looks like. The good news for you is that you are booking flights from arguably the best gateway to Asian destinations (San Francisco is another good bet for low prices). It’s not too early to be searching now. The best advice would be to be looking closely now and watching on up to the holidays. After the 1st of the year prices will likely start to climb and not go back down. If you see a good fare now, hop on it.

  121. Hello,
    We are planning to go to Rome in June 2019. If its busy season, should I still be looking 99 days prior to the trip? Or should I be looking earlier? Is it too soon right now?

    1. Hi Wayne, It’s definitely not to soon to be starting a search. You’e right that summer in Rome is going to be popular, and therefore the flights will get more expensive the closer we get to departure. It is possible you might even see some sale fares right around the holidays, but you should definitely plan to start a serious search sooner rather than later.

  122. Hi! We are looking for one way tickets from Dublin to the mid Atlantic region (WashingtonDC) in July 2019. Prices look a bit high for this flight while the rest of our Europe vacation is booked with cheap flights. Did I miss the window or will these come prices come back down again? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mike, It’s not likely that you’ll see a big dip in price. The DC area is pretty popular in the summer months here for leisure travel. You can get flights just under $200 one way in March or April, but once you hit May and June the fares go up to $333 a ticket. There are 3 international airports in and around DC. It looks like IAD has the best prices for the Dublin to DC journey. If you have any additional questions, let us know!

  123. My family is planning a trip to Peru in August. Flights are currently around $600 r/t per tix. Is now a good time to book or is it worth it to wait to see if prices drop?

  124. Hi there, when would be the best time to book a flight from Africa to the UK, to be there over the Christmas/New Year period? Which would be the cheapest days to actually fly?

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Christmas is quite busy for most destinations. It’s hard to determine the cheapest days to fly, though avoiding Christmas week through New Years day is probably prudent. Our data is for outbound North American travel, so we can’t offer many specifics for Outbound African travel beyond general advice surrounding the holidays. Good luck to you!

  125. My family and I are planning a trip to Dubai from london in the last week of September. The price for an Emirates flight is about £450-500. It was pretty low last time we checked in the first week of January. Have we missed the prime booking time as the prices seems to be going up by the day?

    1. Hi Tania, It seems a little early to have missed the best pricing. Watch the fares closely – it’s likely that you’ll see a dip again. That is, unless there is something on in Dubai this week that might be driving prices up this early. Is there a sporting event or festival? If so, you might want to consider buying now. Otherwise, it could just be normal fluctuations in price.

  126. We are planning a trip to China the first two weeks of June 2019. Are prices expected to drop again between now and then?

    1. Hi Rose, It is hard to say. Are you flying from west coast gateways? LAX, Seattle and SFO often offer some pretty reasonable fares and sale prices, but June is high season for folks traveling internationally from the United States. If we’re betting on whether prices will rise, it seems pretty likely. It may not be a bad idea to watch prices closely for a few weeks with the intention to buy before the end of March.

  127. I want to buy tickets for New York to Guatemala on dec 18 to Jan 09 should I wait the prices are very high now what do you recommend

    1. Hi Abraham, If you were not flying over the Christmas holidays this year, I might suggest you wait to see if prices go down. But flights during the holidays do tend to be 20-30% more than typical. And as we get closer to travel dates during this busy season, most fares do continue to climb. It’s conservative advice, but we usually tell people to err on the side of caution and just plan to book as early as you can when booking in the second half of December.

  128. Hello,

    I would like to fly from Rochester NY or near by airports (buffalo, Syracuse, Toronto) to Bali. When are the cheapest months to fly and far in advance?


    1. The best time to travel to Bali to avoid high season crowds and prices is really anytime outside the summer months and last two weeks of December/first week in January. Of course these are the prime times that Americans can generally find the time to travel to Bali. If you have a choice between traveling in December or the summer, we recommend travel in the summer because December is quite hot and humid.

    2. The best time to travel to Bali to avoid high season crowds and prices is really anytime outside the summer months and last two weeks of December/first week in January. Of course these are the prime times that Americans can generally find the time to travel to Bali. If you have a choice between traveling in December or the summer, we recommend travel in the summer because December is quite hot and humid.

  129. Hi.
    I am traveling from JFK to Oslo Aug 28 returning Sept 10.
    I found a great fare of 440 without baggage
    585 with
    By the time I had done the research on the baggage restrictions and grabbed my credit card…it jumped 120 dollars.
    I’m sick over it.
    Another airline has the same exact flight for a base price of 510.
    I have VERY specific times because I have connecting flight in and out of JFK
    I’ve watched this flight disappear from Expedia and kayak in the last 24 hours.
    Should I just get the 510 fare and be done with it ?

    1. Hi Britt, Yes you should buy ASAP. Airline tickets are quite volatile and if you’re watching fares, you can be sure others are watching those same flights as well. We always suggest people buy tickets as soon as they see a good price.

  130. Hello,
    I’m traveling to Cancun Mexico (CUN) on July 11th of this year 2019 leaving from New York City. I wanted to know if anybody had the best times to really look to purchase Flight tickets for a direct flight. I’ve been looking religiously over the last Month and at first saw a flight for $430 but a week later and to this day all flights are $600 and better. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

    1. Hi Michael, if the fares for the dates you’re looking at have spiked, it’s better to buy now than hope they go back down. If you’re looking for direct flights those itineraries always sell out and they’re always priced at a premium (a lot of folks will deal with a connection for a cheaper flight).

  131. I am looking to go from Calgary to Las Vegas in September 2019. When should I book to get the cheapest fare

    1. Hi Peggy, The good news is that airfare to Vegas is always pretty good and September in Las Vegas shouldn’t be too expensive. I might wait a month or two and then check back. Las Vegas flights from Calgary should be in the under $200 range (right now, because we’re a few months off the fares look to be a little more expensive). If the fares don’t start to come down in May, It’s probably a fair bet that they won’t and you’ll want to start a serious search anyway (before the $250-300 fares start to spike). Good luck to you!

  132. Hello Cheapair!

    I am looking to book two set of tickets- the first Round Trip from Atlanta (ATL) to St Lucia- on August 29th through September 2nd, 2019.
    The other set of tickets- Round Trip from Atlanta to Nassau- on December 27th to January 2nd, 2020.
    When should I book for these tickets…?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Rebecca, Your timing couldn’t be better. We’re about to publish our International Airfare Study the second week in April so we should be able to offer you a better idea of when to buy when that study is released. I’ll send you a message when it’s live.

  133. Hello
    I want to go to malaysia for 1 week with 3 kids less then 7 year, on 18 april 2019 to 26 april. When i should book my tickets in advance. I am from Pakistan.

    1. Hi Salaar, Unfortunately our site is concerned mainly with outbound travel from the United States (we are based here and most of our customers are North Americans). In recent years, we have received more questions like yours, so perhaps we will look at flights from other departure points around the globe. I can tell you that in the states the most expensive flights are on the weekend (Saturdays and Sundays), and the least expensive flights tend to be on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when less people travel.

  134. Hi. I’m trying to buy a ticket to go to Merida, Mexico July 16-26. I’m just wondering if things are different since this is in the middle of the summer. The prices for the tickets are looking kind of high to me right now. If I wait will they only get higher or will there be a point at which they will go down?

    1. Hi Lia, Unfortunately I wouldn’t bank on prices going down. Summer is a busy time for outbound US travel to Mexico, and Merida has become quite a hot little destination the past couple of years. I suppose you could opt for a wait and see plan (watching the fares), but I worry that the prices will just incrementally start to climb. My gut based on your dates and destination would be to tell you to buy soon.

  135. Want to fly from LAX to Beijing and then return from Tokyo to LAX in March 2020? When is the best time to buy tickets?

    1. Hi Jacques, with your sort of multi-city ticket it can sometimes be an effective strategy to wait a while and book a little closer to travel dates. Often, the airlines pricing on one-ways is more volatile so in your case we might recommend setting some flight alerts so you see when the prices chance you can hop on a good one. What are the specific dates you’re looking at (or can you give approximate number of days in each destination so I provide a more custom answer)?

  136. We are traveling to Cancun for a wedding from Los Angeles in February 2020. We are thinking of leaving on February 7, Thursday and returning February 11, Monday. We would like to travel nonstop round trip. When should I start looking for these tickets, is now to early for the best price and do nonstop prices ever have deals? Also are these days cheaper to travel?
    thank you

    1. Great questions, Lisa. As you probably expected based on your questions, nonstops very rarely go on sale. Also, since everyone wants to fly nonstop, those prices are already at a premium straight out of the gate. With very few exceptions, we tell people to look for connecting flights if they are on a budget, because people are generally willing to pay more for the convenience. It is a little early to buy, but we usually advise people to buy early when they are shopping for events with specific dates. It can be easy to get burned when you put these purchases off until later. I see that there are nonstops available right now for $350 or so. I would jump on those because those are great prices out of LAX for nonstops. I suppose it’s possible you might something something cheaper later, but not at all likely. You’re much more likely to see prices slowly climbing as we get closer to your travel dates. In your case, we’d say it’s not too early at all.

  137. I’m planning on to visit Aching Mai, Thailand on Nov.-Jan. of this year. When is the best time to buy plane tickets?

    1. Hi there. It’s not too early to book flights now. The best time to buy for southeast Asia destinations is around 5 months out from your travel dates. So you’re right on schedule. Start a serious search soon!

  138. I’m Planning on a 2 week trip to Japan in 2020 from Late March to Early April. The cheapest I’ve seen is around £470. Are these likely to increase or decrease as my planned dates get closer, when is best time to book for the cheapest? Thank you!

    1. Hi Duncan, Our data is mostly for outbound travel from North American so I want to make sure you know that before taking our word for it, but in general, prices tend to climb incrementally from publication date. As the lower priced seats sell down, the prices inch upward. From time to time, a sale price will push the other airlines to match that sale price so if you prefer to wait a while, its certainly possible to get a deal later, but not guaranteed. Once you’re inside of 1 month the prices will generally take a sharp upward turn. And two weeks out? Expect to pay a stiff penalty for waiting.

  139. We are flying from US to Marseilles in late May 2020. There are 6 of us and buying this early is proving to be quite pricey unless we want to make 2 layovers. We would like to limit the trip to 1 stop since we only have a week to travel and all the layovers lengthen the total travel time. Your research indicates we should wait until approx 4-5 months before departure date (This December). Is that recommended or should we book earlier?

  140. Hello –
    So I have a question.. My family of 6 is planning a trip from Sacramento or San Francisco to Barcelona in June 2020. We are planning to stay in Barcelona for a few days prior to getting on a cruise. I have been looking at flights arriving around June 22 or 23 and departing July 5. We can leave from either Sacramento California or San Francisco CA airports (both are close).. when might be the best time to start looking for best airfare rates?? Thanks!

    1. San Francisco is likely going to get you a bit better fares, but if you’re closer to Sacramento check to compare – sometimes convenience (especially when you’re on the way home from a long trip) can trump saving a few bucks. For 2019, these were our recommended buying windows: https://www.cheapair.com/blog/when-should-i-buy-my-international-airline-ticket/. You might want to start shpping soon. You have a larger group and waiting may not get you the best prices. If you weren’t traveling in the summer and also on a cruise, the advice might be that you could wait until early in the new year. But prices tend to go up, not down, the closer we get to departure dates. Our advice is always going to be to buy when you see a “good” fare. We know everyone wants the “best” fare, but it’s an elusive moving target. Better to buy a good fare early!

  141. Hello, I’m planning to book a flight from Toronto to Zurich, Switzerland from the last week of December 2019until the end of the first week of January 2020. What would you suggest as the ideal time to book, to get the cheapest fair? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mike, One quick caveat which is that our airfare data is based on outbound travel from the U.S. primarily. However, we can definitely assume that your flight dates (last week in December and first week in January) should dictate that you buy early – earlier than you might at other times of the year. Summer travel to Europe and Christmas holiday travel to Europe can be 20-25% more expensive when the fares are published. And then once the flights start selling seats – you could end up paying a pretty penny! Buy soon.

  142. Hi, I’m trying to figure out when to purchase 5 direct flight tickets to guanajuato for Spring Break in April of 2020. I have been checking on a daily basis but options seems to be getting more and more limited. Is it safe to wait until a few more months or should I be buying tickets before it gets worse?

    1. Hi George, If flights are scarce now I hesitate to say waiting is going to bear any fruit especially since you’ve said that options are getting more and more limited. Sometimes the airlines do open up extra flights when things sell out, but its never a great gamble, even on larger destinations. And the longer you wait, the more likely you are to get bumped up into a more expensive fare category. Buy soon would be our best advice.

  143. Hi, im looking at booking a flight from Manchester, UK to san fransisco next June (2020), when would you suggest booking? Im sure last year when i looked it was cheapest to buy around January time, but at the moment prices seem to be rising continuously, will they go back down again?

    1. Hi Emma, it is (as you know) very difficult to say for sure. We usually recommend people buy if they have been tracking a particular flight or itinerary and see the fares continuing to climb incrementally.

  144. Hi, Im looking at purchasing 2 tickets Orlando to Johannesburg in Mid May, with a return trip 10 days later from Cape Town to Orlando, both with stops in Dubai (Emirates airline). The prices are around $1100 and I think its a good deal, but its still 6 months out and was wondering what you guys would recommend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Drew, this is actually a good fare. When I look at fares in that general time frame, $1000-1100 is about the best we do for those dates.

  145. Hello! I’m looking for flights from DC to Korea in late September/early October 2020 for 10 days. I found a good flight (Delta/Korean Air) for $800 round-trip, which has anecdotally been on the much lower side. But given the article, should I still wait to book my flight? Thank you!

    1. Hi Soonho, No this does seem like a very good fare and we wouldn’t recommend waiting to buy. Our booking window is based on an average fare for each destination, and does not always reflect the best prices on specific itineraries. We always suggest buying when you think you have a “good” fare.

  146. hello, i was planning on going to mexico from canada at the end of march. i have heard from friends that if we waited to book until the beginning of march that they would be cheaper. is this true?

    1. Hi Kyle, we wouldn’t wait if you’re heading to the beaches. March is a popular time for leisure travel in Mexico as it is a popular spring break destination. If you’re headed to other parts of Mexico, you might wait a bit longer to see if any deals pop up, but keep in mind the lowest priced tickets are often the least attractive seats on a flight.

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