We've all heard it: “Tuesdays are the cheapest days to book a flight.”
Sorry, but it's not really true. In the ever-changing world of airfare and fare classes, nailing down a specific time to buy a ticket doesn't help.
But there's one thing you can do to lock in a cheaper price: Be flexible. If you're able and willing to travel at the cheapest times, you can often save a ton.
Fly on Off-Peak Days
While flight prices are unpredictable, the cheapest flights typically depart and return on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. If you can structure your travel around these days, you'll likely be able to cut your airfare costs.
Avoid Booking Late
Always follow this rule. Avoid booking within 30-45 days before your flight. Some airlines offer decent fares the week of departure but these are few and far between.
Never bank on getting a last-second fare. You don’t want to pay 2-3 times more for a ticket.
Flying in the peak summer, from June 20 to August 20, is a bad idea. There are few sales and prices can be double the norm or more. Not to mention, your destination could be packed with tourists. Instead, try traveling during the shoulder season.
The best dates are May – early June and late August through September. This is when we find the best international flight deals. The weather is also relatively warm during the shoulder season as well.
Avoid the Holidays
Flying December 10 through January 10 is going to be hazardous to your pocketbook. While we find a few flight deals over these dates, it’s best to avoid peak holiday travel and try to move your flights to early December or later in January.
One way to get around paying for a peak holiday flight is to use points or miles to book your flight. Book as early as possible and you should be able to snag a flight for a normal amount of points. To top off your points balances, make sure to visit our Top Credit Cards section.
Check Climate Data
This sounds nerdy but it’s important. You’ll want to visit your location when you can get the most sun and the least amount of rain. Shoot for the months with the most “sunshine hours.” Check Wikipedia for your destination and take a look at the climate data. In many spots, the cheapest months with the best weather are the shoulder seasons (May to early June and late August through September.
These tips should help you steer clear of the most expensive flights. If you're flexible with your travel dates then make sure to keep an eye here at Thrifty Traveler. If you want to be immediately notified for the best international flight deals. And make sure to sign-up for Thrifty Traveler Premium. You'll never miss out on another incredible mistake fare.