Revealed: best way to time flight bookings

Profile picture of
Gapyear.com

View Profile All Posts
3rd Mar 2015
Written by: Will Jones

The cheapest times to find tickets

It’s a mystery that can stump even the most seasoned of travellers: when is the best time to buy flights to ensure the best possible deal?

Many a bearded backpacker will declare with exquisite confidence you must wait as late as possible before booking any sort of plane travel, that ideally the time between thumbing your PIN and heeding your final boarding call should not exceed one minute. Because, you will be told, all airlines body-slam their fares just before take-off in one last desperate attempt to squeeze an extra buck, and basically work on a Lastminute.com business model.

Others will tell you the opposite, that you must book so far in advance that by the time you fly you should really be married in the suburbs with a Labrador and working in middle management, else something has gone seriously awry in your life.

It’s all about the destination

As you might imagine, neither answer is quite right, at least not according to travel comparison website Kayak.co.uk, which has analysed millions of flights to determine the best time to book tickets for certain destinations. And that’s the key: certain destinations. Depending on where you want to fly to from the UK, the best time to book varies dramatically, meaning there is no universal rule.

If you’re flying to Europe, for example, the cheapest time to book tickets is one month before departure. If you’re organised enough to pay for tickets to Europe six months in advance, you could end up paying almost 25% more.

Conversely, if Asia is in your sights, the optimum time to book your flights is seven months in advance, at an average price of  £606, as opposed to £647 for a booking made one month in advance.

If you want to go to North America, tickets are cheapest two weeks before travel.

This is the full list:

The best days of the week to travel

The website has also worked out the cheapest days of the week to fly, again dependent on destination. The only weekend day to make the list is Sunday if returning from Europe.


Ready to book?

Are you in the sweet spot for booking flights to your dream destination? Head on over to our booking section or phone 0333 333 9923 to talk to our gap year travel experts, who are waiting to help you have the trip of a lifetime.

Search

Top Finance Internships in Chicago

from £5500

56 - 180 days

United States of America

Get ahead in the competitive world of finance by pursuing a leading internship in Chicago. Launch your career while exploring...

Backpacking Tour of Japan

from £1599

13 days

Japan

Join our 13 day adventure, starting from Tokyo, and find out why travelers love Japanl! This affordable tour is carefully...

Gap Year China

from £1120

28 - 180 days

China

Learn Mandarin, gain work experience and travel.

Sport and Education in Ghana

from £2500

90 - 360 days

Ghana

Lattitude's sport programme in Ghana works in partnership with Football For Hope (FFH) which uses sport to help re-engage young...

Midwifery Internships in Peru

from £585

28 - 168 days

Peru

Based in the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, affordable internships in Cusco offer something for everyone!

Giant Panda Center in China

from £990

7 - 7 days

China

Assist in an essential and rewarding program with giant pandas in China. Make a real impact in safeguarding this captivating...

Teaching & Community Development

from £845

10 - 84 days

Zambia

Join us on our rewarding teaching project in the tourist town of Livingstone, very close to one of the Seven...

Oktoberfest

from £60

2 days

Germany

Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival in the world and Stoketoberfest is the biggest party outside the beer halls. Includes...

Microfinance Internships in Guatemala

from £750

28 - 168 days

Guatemala

Visually stunning with incredible natural, cultural and historical attractions, professional internships in Guatemala provide a true Central American experience.

PR & Marketing Internship in Toronto

from £4700

56 - 180 days

Canada

Get ahead in the competitive world of PR & Marketing by pursuing an internship in one of the world’s most...

Search

Galápagos — South Islands aboard the Xavier III

from £1929

Encounter the island chain that has enchanted explorers since Darwin first weighed anchor off its shores. Spend four nights exploring...

Morocco: Sahara & Beyond

from £1767

The culture of the Berbers in northern Africa dates back as many as 5,000 years. Discover their enduring legacy on...

Cape & Dunes Overland (Northbound)

from £1062

Journey from the city streets of Cape Town to the desert of Namibia and experience the diversity of Africa on...

Borneo – Sabah Adventure

Revive your sense of adventure on this jam-packed tour. Hike rainforest trails and summit Mt Kinabalu to watch the sunrise....

Rio to Lima Adventure

from £3782

If you have the time and can’t decide between Peru and Brazil, then see them both – and pretty much...

Highlights of Thailand

from £1071

This is a Thailand trip jam-packed with experiences and destinations that ventures beyond where other trips go. Thailand's stunning beauty...

Ultimate Italy: Winter

From the delightful small towns of Umbria to Venice's splendour, this is an adventure for those looking to indulge in...

Annapurna Sanctuary

from £726

From ancient kingdoms to majestic mountain vistas, trek through the breathtaking Himalayan landscape of the Annapurna Ranges. Pass awe-inspiring glaciers,...

Winter Expedition

from £3119

Make yourself the lead in a real-life fairy tale as you explore the magical landscapes of Europe in winter. Starting...

Search
[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]