So, the first thing to remember is this: calculations, research, and statistics were used to come to the following findings, but that doesn’t mean it’s an exact science. There will be exceptions; there isn’t a hard and fast rule when it comes to knowing which days are the cheapest days to fly. However, knowing which days are typically cheaper can help you in the future when you’re getting ready to purchase your next airplane tickets!
US Domestic Flights
According to fare tracker sites, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the best days to fly if you want to save some money—and who doesn’t want to save a little cash on their next trip?! The next two “cheapest days to fly” are Thursday and Saturday. Though Saturday might seem like it would be an expensive day to fly, most travelers tend to pick Sundays for their return flight in order to maximize their time away, which means that Saturday is actually less in demand than you might think.
Mondays and Fridays tend to be popular days for business travelers so those days can be quite pricey. Additionally, depending on the airline, they may try to tack on a weekend surcharge to a Saturday or Sunday flight, so that’s another thing to watch out for when you’re booking your next flight.
For international flights, numbers show that in 2017 the best day to fly out and fly back is Wednesday. In other words, if you can swing a mid-week departure, a mid-week return, or leave and return on Wednesday, you have a better chance of saving some money on your flight.
When should you book your ticket?
According to some experts, you should book short-haul flights around seven weeks, or around 54 days in advance. For long-haul trips, some experts recommend booking 18 weeks (about 3.5 months) in advance. However, depending on your international destination (and where you’re departing from), the recommended time you should book your ticket in advance can be drastically different. For example, if you’re traveling from the US to Canada, it’s recommended that you book your ticket about 75 days out from your departure date. However, if you’re traveling from the US to Europe, experts recommend 120 days in advance., If you’re traveling from the US to the South Pacific some experts recommend booking your ticket a whopping 320 days in advance!
Sometimes you can get lucky with a last minute deal, but most experts advise booking in advance to avoid inflated prices closer to your departure date—especially if you are planning an international trip! Pro-tip: Apps or websites that help you predict flight prices and give recommendations on when to buy, or when to wait can be a big help if you’re wanting to get a good deal on an international flight.
As far as what days are the best to search for your flight, (not what days you actually leave or return, but when you buy your ticket) that seems to always be changing Many of us have heard different recommendations over the years. However, some new research suggests that when it comes to international flights you may be able to find a better deal by searching on Thursdays. An even more comprehensive study done last year shows that for 2017, searching for your flight on Sundays may be the best time, particularly if you are searching at least 21 days in advance of your departure date. Again, there isn’t an exact science to this, so these are simply suggestions—not rules.
Holidays/Seasons That Require Extra Care
Holidays like New Years and Christmas tend to be very pricey when it comes to getting a flight, so they require careful consideration and planning. If you’re willing to be a little bit flexible with your dates, you may be able to find a good deal by selecting a departure date on the day of the holiday or by booking far in advance.
Additionally, Spring Break season is another time that calls for preplanning. The dates for Spring Break vary from college to college, but the season typically goes from the last week of February, all the way through the first week of April. While this link was created to help college students know when their Spring Break falls, it can be a handy way for other travelers to know what kind of “traveler influx” might take place at a certain time so they can plan accordingly. Supply and demand affects ticket prices, but a sudden influx in Spring Breakers can also mean certain destinations may be really overcrowded or rowdy. Depending on what kind of vacation you’re looking for, it may be best to avoid certain destinations during the Spring Break season.
Lastly, the summer season is another period of high-traffic, so airline ticket prices tend to increase. If your only time to travel is during summer vacation, we recommend using airfare tracking sites which help you keep an eye on prices and suggest when it might be good to buy or wait. (See some of the links we included below!)
Below are some sites you can use to help keep an eye on airfares and improve your chances of finding the best price!
You can use this site’s page to figure out which days might be cheapest for you to fly around your potential travel dates.
You can sign up for their alerts to help yourself save time and money on your next flight.
The hopper app helps you know when to buy, when to wait, and also helps predict flight costs. It’s a fairly well known and well-liked app to help travelers get a good deal on their next flight.