Whether you’re already planning your next vacation or you’re just in the daydreaming phase, you’re always going to be looking at ways to save money on the travel portion of the trip. Finding the best prices on all your flights is now significantly easier in 2018, as travel agents Opodo have now released their data findings on the fluctuations in ticket prices for domestic, short-haul, and long-haul flights.
It turns out that the best time to book flights may not be the times that you have always assumed, and the data reveals some interesting findings that even include which day of the week to book your flights on. So before you commit to paying over the odds on those flights, do some research and book cheap flights, hotels and car hire with Opodo, optimizing your timings to get the best deals.
Change Your Thinking
There’s this traditional school of thought that dictates that you should buy flight tickets up to six months in advance in order to get the best prices on all your flights. Or, you could go the other way and seek out the bargains that spring up in the last few days (or even hours) before departure time. However, both of these have been proven to be consistently outdated habits that you should immediately wipe from your brain if you’re looking at the best ways to get reduced costs. The truth is that using either the six-month booking ahead plan, or hoping for those last minute bargains, is going to result in paying over the odds on your flight prices, and you can avoid the higher prices by staying away from those selling times.
The Six-Week Rule
Thanks to this data release, we can now clearly see that the absolute best time to purchase your flight is between the six and seven-week point before the flight itself. Prices at this time are consistently lower than at any other time, so if you’re organized enough to plan ahead, then the six-week window is the target that you should be aiming for. Depending on your type of flight, you may find a significant difference between the cost of buying your tickets in the sixth or seventh week, so make sure you optimize your flight searches by knowing whether you’re after a long-haul, short-haul, or domestic flight, as they all have very clear points in the ticket timeline where prices drop significantly.
A Surprise Holiday
Sometimes you just need to get away, and when you have a sudden and unexpected window of opportunity where you can get away and travel, then the chances are that you probably missed the six-week mark to get the best prices. Don’t let that put you off, however, as you can still find ways to reduce your costs with a little time-management. As well as the six-week sweet spot, Opodo has also identified another common denominator, which is the 8-14 day price dip. This window, a week before travel, is also shown to produce the cheapest prices available, and although the savings aren’t as good as the six-week ones, you’ll still be grabbing yourself a better bargain.
Check out the infographic below, which summarizes all of Opodo’s findings, and you may find that even just delaying your ticket purchase by a mere 24-hours can reward you with savings that will mean a much better result for your bank balance.