Cheapest Months to Fly – A Complete Guide to Ticket Booking
Whiling on a plan won’t just cut it, budget traveling requires some thoughtful planning. To secure a good flight deal it takes lots of prep time. Deciding when to choose to fly seems to be of utmost importance in making the big savings. Here’s how you can be sure when the time is right to book a ticket based on one of the most extensive surveys carried on millions of airfare prices to thousands of places through the year.
The perfect time to book a flight according to a massive new study which analyzed the pattern of a whopping 350 million airfares to come at the trend of the sweet spot when the iron is hot to strike and secure the perfect airfare deal.
Early bird seldom gets the worm: At least when it comes to airfare booking
It’s important here to break the notion most novice travelers have formed about booking a ticket as far in advance can get the perfect savings. Usually, people who book something like 10 months in advance are quite sure about their travel plan months ahead and therefore are less likely to make alterations or cancellations which is well understood by the airline and therefore it’s not necessary that they will reward these early bookers.
What are the Sweet spots in ticket booking?
There always lies a sweet spot when airlines offer the cheapest airfare for a specific itinerary. It’s clear that winning passengers are those who are not necessarily the early planners or too early a booker nor are they from a lot of last-minute bookers.
According to the trend reviewed over a year, the study came up with a Destination-Wise time frame that was skimmed from data collated from millions of flight prices between the US covering 3000+ destinations to arrive at the so-called – “’ The Booking Bible – Perfect Time to Book a Ticket”
So what’s the prime booking window for U.S. Domestic Flights?
According to this extensive study, the prime time to book a domestic flight when prices are at its all-time low can be anywhere between the 3rd Week to somewhere around 3½ months in advance.
Talk about International flights now
International flights from the US are less expensive in and around 2 months (at least) in advance before the travel dates.
And now The Perfect Time to Book Tickets between Asia and the U.S
There seems to be a drastic change in this route from the pattern that reflected last year. The survey recommends that there is a shift from the earlier recommendation of booking 7-9 months in advance to just 3 months this year.
The phenomenon is explained by the fact that there seems to be a major development in the trans-Pacific routes that have seen an over-supply of seats. Therefore, more availability of seats has caused the prices to dip in favor of the customers and has brought the perfect dates to book a ticket to these destinations closer.
Here’s a detailed categorization continent-wise of the right time to book flights from the US.
- Central America: 60 days
- South America: 80 days
- Canada: 60 days
- Mexico: 60 days
- Caribbean: 75 days
- Asia: 90 days
- Europe:100 days
- Africa: 120 days
- Middle East: 120 days
- Note: Whatever you do, avoid booking when fares are at their steepest: This is when flights are first announced, and the other is 2 weeks before takeoff.
After analyzing the perfect windows to book cheapest tickets, it will be worthwhile to take a look at some of the other related factors which equally play an important role in securing a economical airfare deal. On a more micro level here is the list of Topmost Important Factors that influence the ticket price.
- Economics of demand and supply
- Competition on the sector between carriers
- The day you fly out
- Time of the day- usually the 3.30am to 6 am the window is the cheapest
Dead Zones – the Cheapest time of the year to fly from the US
Getaway Maps coined the term Dead Zone as the time frame when the traveler influx is low at the airport, meaning the economy of demand and supply is in favor of travelers. Dead Zones are some of the most unpopular times to fly from the US and hence the cheapest. These are the periods when you can make a lot of savings on airfares.
The perks of flying during these Dead zones are many. It’s not only the money but time as well besides less crowd during check-ins, easier access to tourist places, travel ancillaries like the car, hotel and other services cost cheaper.
4 Biggest Dead Zones of the year in the US-
- Early December & After January: Typically the first two weeks of December is when the world is getting readied for a big festive time like the Thanks Giving, Christmas and the new year. This is the first week of January which happens to be a lull for the full month after the festive storm subsides.
- Spring is the second cheapest season after January
- The fall season is the time late in August when prices usually drop till October.
- If you can only fly on cheaper days then travel fraternity vouch for Tuesdays and Wednesdays followed by Saturday. Flying on these off-peak days, you can still save money.
Planning is the 2nd most important factor towards a good saving
- Buy bundles instead of dismantling the itinerary
Passengers who book their car and hotel simultaneously with airfare can make good savings – courtesy a joint survey conducted by Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corporation. As per the study, those who buy a travel package can save $300 on an average. This can become better with resort destinations like the Caribbeans and Mexico where savings can go beyond $1000.
- Budgeted carriers
Cheap flight carriers that fly without any fancies or frills are the perfect way to secure the cheapest ticket but there is also a downside to it.
Generally, what a economical airline forgoes, it compensates with hidden fees and charges. Airlines like Swift air charge a premium on extra baggage, insurance, and in-flight food (even for a bottle of water).
Others adopt the strategy of economical one-way flights but charge an exorbitant amount of fare on return tickets.
Budget airlines usually skimp on anything and everything and provide for only the bare essentials and land at airports which are farther from the main cities.
Take advantage of destination deals: The Right Places to Travel
Certain countries economy thrive on tourists and travel-related businesses. Places like Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, Norway, and Iceland thrive on Ecotourism and have mesmerizing natural scenery, striking wildlife and are full of action. Gambling destinations like the New Orleans, the Caribbeans, Monaco and resort destination like the Great Barrier Reef and the Virgin islands are cities that count on visitors who spend a fortune while having a good time to bolster their businesses. Similarly, there are tourist destinations like Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan thrive on Medical Tourism.
Other tourist destinations which are very popular among travelers are places like Morocco which makes it for the perfect romantic getaway due to its local wine scene and affordable resorts. Vietnam’s affordable, mouth-watering eateries and street tours are incomparable.
You can choose according to your need and lookout as these economies are going to make the most frugal travel option as per the requirements they cater for.
Right Time to Travel to Some Popular Destinations:
Valentine’s Day in Hawaii is the perfect time to travel to this romantic getaway island. Events like “Be My Valentine” show at the Royal Hawaiian Theater, an escape to Honolulu and Cruising into the Waikiki sunset seems mushy indeed. Hotels in Hawaii and Honolulu charge 40 percent less in February.
Disneyland is relatively less abuzz with the crowd when kids are back in school in the month of September.
Similarly, there are other off-peak destinations lesser known as well where you can enjoy the perfect of times like the hurricane period of the Caribbean’s, Santorini and Athens during March when hotels and travel cost drop significantly, hiking in the Cape Cod during October and November.
As a thumb rule, those who want to save should try looking for tickets immediately after domestic holidays where countries don’t have any big celebrations lined up ahead. Weather’s important too: Monsoon in South Asia’s and a fairly balmy weather in the month of July in Australia’s makes it much cheaper to visit with far lower tourist bustling around.
Once you are through this comprehensive guide, making a travel decision is going to be relatively much easier than ever.