Best time to buy airline tickets in 2023 (When to buy CHEAP FLIGHTS)

Knowing when to book your flight for an upcoming trip could save you hundreds of dollars. In today’s article, I’ll debunk some flight booking myths as well as dive into the best time to buy airline tickets in 2023 and the cheapest time to book your flight. I’ll also share some of the strategies and free tools that I use to get the best deal on every booking.

Best Day And Time To Book Flight

Best Day And Time To Book Flight
Best Day And Time To Book Flight. Best time to buy airline tickets in 2023

There is no single date or time that’s going to get you the best deal on your flight. The cost of your flight depends on a variety of factors, but it does not include the day of the week that you’re making the booking, like booking on a Tuesday, or the time of day that you make the booking, such as doing it late at night.

There was some truth in the past about there being better days of the week or better times of the day where you could find the cheapest flights, but this is no longer the case, and with technology these days, flight prices are changing and being updated all the time.

The Worst Time To Book Flight

The Worst Time To Book Flight
The Worst Time To Book Flight. Best time to buy airline tickets in 2023

What will make a difference for how much you end up paying for your flight ticket is going to be how far out from the date of travel you decide to make the booking for domestic travel, such as travel within the US that’s going to be from one state to another, as well as international flights to another country. You’re usually going to find the highest price point about 12 months out from the date of travel. This is because airlines usually update their schedules about 12 months in advance and will be putting the flight out with the highest price tag, and then while prices are usually going to drop throughout the year, they tend to spike again within one month of the date of travel.

So the worst time to book a domestic or international flight would probably be 12 months before the flight takes place, and then within the one-month window of the flight, airlines can take advantage of people looking for last-minute flights, such as last-minute business travelers that have an essential trip and are willing to pay the higher fare.

The Best Time To Buy Flight Ticket

For the best time to book your flight, you’re going to want to begin searching and considering booking between four months and one month before the trip takes place for domestic flights, and then between six months and two months before the flight takes place for international flights.

Last Minute Flight Booking Tricks

Last Minute Flight Booking Tricks
Last Minute Flight Booking Tricks. Best time to buy airline tickets in 2023

One major exception where booking a last-minute ticket could actually end up saving you a lot of money is if you are looking to book a vacation package. Vacation packages or deals that include your flight and hotel together are targeted towards leisure travelers who know the trip is likely not essential and that there needs to be a good deal to entice someone to book it.

So if you’re getting close to your travel date and you only have a few weeks left and you notice that the flight prices for your trip are very expensive, you may want to consider looking on a site like Hotwire for a vacation package as opposed to buying an individual flight between six months and two months in advance of an international flight and four months and one month in advance of a domestic flight, which is a pretty big window of time.

How To Check Price History?

How To Check Price History?
How To Check Price History?. Best time to buy airline tickets in 2023

Some tools that I like to use to further predict when the best time within that window is to actually book the flight ticket include Google Flight’s price history and track price functions.

There are several different tools and websites that are going to allow you to see the price history for the particular flight that you are looking at. My favorite one is to just use the function on Google Flights because it’s very simple and it’s free.

In addition to showing you the price history, it’s also going to clearly tell you whether the current cost is high, average, or low. You obviously want to book when the price is low, but if it’s average or high and you’ve noticed that the price has been trending upwards lately, it’s likely only going to get more expensive.

How To Track Prices?

How To Track Prices
How To Track Prices? Best time to buy airline tickets in 2023

If you wait, especially if you’re in that last month window before the trip takes place, if your trip is further in the future and you have at least a few months before you need to make the booking, you may want to consider using the track prices feature. By toggling track prices, you’ll get email alerts anytime the price drops or rises. This is great for taking care of deals that often come and go quickly. Google Flight’s also going to notify you if the prices start creeping up as an indicator that you should be making that booking now.

If you do enable the track pricing feature and then you get an email that the flight has jumped by some ridiculous amount overnight, don’t immediately freak out. When I was flying home from Ottawa to Cancun, the flight jumped from 500 to 2500 in one day. Instead of thinking, Oh my god, it’s so expensive, I went to the price history and I noticed that the price had been extremely volatile over the past few weeks. One day it was 500, one day it was 2500. One day, it was $500, and so on. So I knew that if I just waited another 24 hours, it was likely going to go back down to the $500 price tag.

It’s always a great idea to check the historic flight prices as well as track the price of your flight, but understanding why the prices of flights go up and down is probably what will help you make the best decision when it comes to booking your flight to get the cheapest price.

Airline prices follow the rules of supply and demand, so if it’s getting closer to the travel date and the airline has seats that need to be filled, the prices are likely to go down until all of those seats are filled. The reverse is also true; you could be three months out, but the plane could be filling up so fast that the prices are going to rise because it doesn’t matter if it’s a more expensive price; it’s very clear that people are willing to pay for it.

When The Flight Price Is going To Change?

When The Flight Price Is going To Change? Best time to buy airline tickets in 2023
Best time to buy airline tickets in 2023

I always take a moment to think about the specific trip that I want to book and then see if there are any factors that are going to increase or decrease the demand for travel at this time to this destination. If more people want to travel to the destination at the same time as you, the cost of those flights is likely going to be more expensive as the date approaches.

So if you are planning to travel at a popular time of year, like May Long Weekend, which is one of the busiest travel weekends in the United States, it’s likely better that you book your tickets further in advance, as those are going to be in high demand and likely increase in price as the date gets closer and the supply of seats is more limited.

In addition to the dates of your trip, you want to think about the destinations. Flights going from the U.S. down to Mexico over spring break are going to be in high demand, but that same flight in August may not be. You’ll also want to check if there are events or festivals happening in the destination country that may impact how many people want to go there.

So ask yourself: Is there any reason that a lot of people are going to be wanting to take this flight at the same time that I want the flight? If the answer is yes and there is high demand for the flight, you want to book at least a few months before the date of travel. If the answer is no and the demand for that trip is pretty low, you have a little bit more flexibility leading up to the day of travel and may be able to get cheaper rates if you’re booking at the one-month mark than the three months before the trip takes place.

Consider Global Event

Consider Global Event
Consider Global Event. Best time to buy airline tickets in 2023

You may also want to think about global factors that go beyond just the specific details of your trip. Travel is expected to have a major rebound in 2022 and 2023. Popular trips like spending parts of the summer in Europe are likely going to be in high demand, but maybe right now people don’t want to make a booking for a trip to Europe even if that trip is taking place six months from now due to different conflicts, increased rates of illnesses, or some other reason.

If people don’t want to make the booking now, that means the demand for those future flights is lower at the moment, and the price is likely going to be cheaper if you book now than if you wait till things settle down in Europe.

Conclusion

So while there is no blanket recommendation on the best time to buy airline tickets in 2023, you can see that there are more favorable windows of time to book your flight ticket to get the best price based on the specific circumstances of your trip.

Safe travels, and you can join us back here for more travel tips and hacks next time. Thanks for reading.

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