It’s a question that every keen traveller asks: how to find cheap flight tickets? If you’re a wannabe globetrotter with dreams bigger than your bank balance, then you need these top tips! Follow our advice, and you might just find that those once-in-a-lifetime holidays are actually within your reach.

When should you book flights?

If you’re travelling internationally, experts reckon that you’ll get the best prices three to five months in advance. You’ll pay the most if you leave things to the last minute. Airlines know that if you’re booking less than a week before your flight, you’re probably under some serious pressure — and they like to take advantage of that.

That being said, prices can fluctuate a lot. You might want to set up a Google Flights alert to let you know when prices drop. If there are any airlines you tend to fly with on a regular basis, you should sign up for their newsletters to get notified of flash sales or other special offers. Many airlines have sales events a couple of times a year, but be warned: they might not put their most desirable destinations on sale. That’s fine for adventurous travellers who want to go off the beaten track and aren’t fussy about where they end up. If you’re dreaming of that holiday in Paris or Venice, though, you might be out of luck.

What’s the cheapest day to book flights?

You may have heard this myth that there’s a best day to book airfare, a time when travellers will all enjoy extra-low prices. Perhaps someone told you that booking on a Tuesday will give you low fares or that airlines have secret prices on a Thursday.

Well, if you’ve tried to book flights recently, you’ll know it’s just that: a myth. There is no magical day of the week with lower prices. There just isn’t! Sorry to burst your bubble, but you can file this one in the same place as other old wives’ tales about carrots making you see in the dark or bread crusts giving you curly hair.

White aeroplane.

When is the best time to book a flight with flexible dates?

There’s some good news if you’re looking for the cheapest flight tickets and your travel dates are flexible. The date that you make the booking might not make a difference, but the day of the week you travel definitely will. You can usually nab cheaper tickets if you fly midweek.

Of course, flight prices will also vary a lot according to the time of the year. Prices are always higher during holidays. If you’re really keen on nabbing a bargain, then you’ll need to do your research. For example, if you’re travelling to India, flight prices will be higher over international holidays like Christmas or summer, not to mention during the country’s own holidays like Diwali. That’s something that travellers often fail to take into account.

What’s the best time of day to fly to save money?

Nobody likes to set their alarm for 3 am. That’s why you’ll find that early-morning and late-night flights are usually a lot cheaper than midday tickets. That’s great if you want to know how to get cheaper tickets, but before you start buying those bargains, there are a couple of other things you’ll need to consider.

If you’re really desperate to know when is the best time to book a flight, then yes, it’s true that flying off-peak hours can help. However, you’ll need to think about transport to and from the airport. If your flight leaves at 6 am, how are you going to get there? Are there budget-friendly transport options to get you to the airport, or will you need to stay the night in a local hotel?

You should also consider your onward journey. Landing in an unknown destination in the middle of the night can be scary. In some countries, hotels may not allow late check-ins. You might also pay a small fortune for a late-night taxi, and if something goes wrong, there may not be anyone around to help. That might not be much of a concern if you’re flying somewhere you know well, but for far-flung destinations, you may prefer landing during daylight hours.

Finally, consider the effects of jet lag. If you’re only travelling a short distance, this won’t make a difference. However, if you’re heading to the other side of the world, then you’ll want to time your flight carefully. It’s usually best to take a night flight that will allow you to land in the morning at your destination. This way, you can sleep on the plane, and you should — fingers crossed — find it a little easier to adapt to the shifting time zones. This may mean you have to pay a bit more for your flight tickets, but that’s got to be better than wandering around like a zombie for the first week of your big holiday, right?

Unknown person lying on brown bench inside.

When is the best time to book a flight by month or season?

In general, the cheapest month to fly is January. Be grateful to all those people who went way over budget at Christmas time. Thanks to them, you’ll enjoy a cheaper holiday! February is also pretty cheap. The most expensive months are July and August, along with holiday periods like December. Of course, in certain jobs, like teaching, you may be forced to fly during peak times. In this case, there’s not much you can do except book midweek tickets and hope for the best.

Of course, peak travel times can vary according to your destination. Chinese New Year is a very expensive time to travel in Asia. Also, Japan’s cherry blossom season means that flights there can be unusually expensive in March and April. Remember, too, that bargains aren’t always what they seem. You might save money by travelling to Amsterdam in winter, but don’t be surprised if it rains the entire time you’re there! Flying in the tulip season will cost a lot more, but you may find that the holiday is far more enjoyable.

If you’re planning a trip to a Muslim country like Morocco, Oman or Indonesia, then you might notice cheap flights during Ramadan, but be careful. You’ll save money on the flights, but when you arrive, you’ll find most restaurants are closed. Although tourists are not forced to observe the holy fast, people will still frown on you eating in public, which can make for a miserable holiday! Similarly, if you fly to Bali in spring, there may be cheap flights right before the annual Nyepi (New Year) celebration. However, on arrival, you’ll find yourself locked in your hotel for 24 hours, observing a day of silence. Suddenly, your cheap flights don’t look quite so tempting, do they?

What other methods can you use to book cheap flights?

You should realise now that there’s no ideal time to book flights. This means that maybe the question you should be asking isn’t when is the best time to book a flight, but rather how can you get the lowest prices. Luckily, there are a few tips that can help you there.

First, don’t be afraid to check out some plane and flight comparisons. There’s no reason to be excessively loyal to a particular airline unless you work for them. And, if that’s the case, you should be getting a discount anyway! Always shop around before buying a flight. You may also want to look at different airports. If you’re flying to London, it’s often cheaper to go through unfashionable Stansted Airport rather than the famous Heathrow. Again, make sure you don’t take it too far. You could save money on your London flight by landing in Birmingham, but then you might find yourself stuck on a train for hours on end!

You’ll usually get a better price buying directly from the airline rather than going through a travel agent or online broker. Keep an eye out for expensive add-ons. For instance, do you really need to pay for priority boarding? What’s the minimum amount of luggage you’re happy with?

Another great money-saving tip is to look at connecting flights, which are often cheaper than flying direct. Just make sure you have enough time to make your connection. For example, if you’re flying to the USA, you’ll need enough time at the first airport to clear immigration before you catch your connecting flight. Some airlines will try to sell you flights that connect with just one hour to spare, but two or three hours is far safer.
Now that know the best time to book a flight, start planning your next adventure! At WeRoad, we’re happy to welcome you to amazing destinations all over the world. Where are you going for your next holiday?

WeRoad Team
Written by WeRoad Team