The best time to book flights

Skyscanner has just released the best time to book flights to top destinations from Australia in 2016, confirming what you may have already suspected.

Based on research that analysed more than 250 million flight prices over the last three years the cheapest month to book flights this year is November, when you can expect to save 12 per cent on flights, as compared to the overall average price paid.

The research also revealed that travellers should book on average 17 weeks before departure to secure the cheapest fares. That said, however, booking in advance is not necessarily the smartest approach, with the data showing users who searched for flights to international hotspots such as New Zealand and Malaysia scored the best fares around six and ten weeks before departure respectively.

Emily Callahan, Skyscanner’s Senior Marketing Manager, made the valid point that, given the current state of the Aussie dollar, “knowing when to book to get the best price is now more important than ever for Aussies looking to travel in 2016.” Adding, “saving a few hundred dollars on airfares could mean an upgraded hotel stay or simply a bigger holiday budget despite the current economic conditions.”

It should come as no surprise that December is the most expensive month to travel, with the holiday period sending prices sky high (excuse the pun) and making them on average 20 per cent more. The best way to counter this end-of-year spike is to book early before the prices start to gradually climb in the months leading up to December. 

When it comes to domestic flights, there’s also a right time to book. The greatest benefits can be gained by booking between Melbourne to Sydney approximately a month in advance, leading to savings of up to 25 per cent. Melbourne to Brisbane and vice versa is best to book five weeks in advance, while between Brisbane and Sydney, 11 weeks hits the sweet spot. If you’re in for the long haul between the east and west coast, between 12 and 15 weeks will nab you the best deal.

Want a few more tips for getting the best-priced flights? Be flexible with dates and times – you can search for the cheapest month or day on Skyscanner and be sure to sign up for price alerts to receive notifications when fares rise and fall.

Take a look at (and bookmark) this very handy infographic Skyscanner has made. Perhaps it’s not too soon to start planning your Christmas holiday after all.

You can find out more at Skyscanner.

Related articles:
Top travel spots for 2016
Clever trick for cheaper flights


SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. If she had one superpower, it would be teleportation – the ultimate cure for her fear of flying.

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