The Best Day to Book Airline Tickets, According to Travel Experts

You bought some new luggage, found the perfect all-inclusive hotel, and finalized the dates with your group chat. Now, it's time to book a flight. But when exactly is the best time to do that? And is there a day of the week that is the best day to buy airline tickets? Unfortunately, the answer isn't as simple as you may think.

There's a lot to consider if you're trying to travel on a budget. For starters, you have to think about the logistics of your travel experience: Are you flexible on the date or airline? Are you flying internationally? Is it shoulder season? Do you care about what seat on the plane you're assigned? Depending on how you answer these questions, you'll likely have a different answer on when to buy airline tickets.

To help, we spoke with a few travel experts for their tips on the best day to buy airline tickets, even if there isn't exactly one right time to book your flight.

Experts Featured in This Article

Yulia Saf is a travel expert and founder of Miss Tourist, a travel tips blog.

Stephanie Webb is a travel expert for TripShepherd, a small-group tour business.

Hamza Ben is the founder of Beacher Spa, a guide to the world's best beaches.

Stephan Drescher is a travel specialist for Germany Travel Blog.

What Is the Best Day to Buy Airline Tickets?

The answer isn't as cut and dry as you may think. According to new research from Expedia, the travel site says Sunday is the cheapest day of the week to book flights. "Travelers that book on a Sunday can save around 8 percent on average compared to those that booked on a Friday," Expedia found.

But some travel experts disagree. "Tuesday afternoons are the sweet spot for booking flights," travel expert Yulia Saf says. "Airlines typically release their weekend sale prices on Monday evenings, leading to price adjustments by competitors by Tuesday afternoon, resulting in discounted fares." Travel expert Stephanie Webb agrees: "Tuesdays tend to be less busy for airlines and travel booking sites, allowing travelers to potentially find better deals." When in doubt, if your schedule permits, avoid booking your flight on Fridays or Saturdays since these tend to be more popular travel days with higher demand.

When Is the Best Time to Book a Flight?

If you have a specific date in mind, according to the Expedia report, domestic flights should be purchased "at least a month before" in order to save an average of 24 percent of costs, and international flights should be booked "around 60 days out."

Many experts believe an international flight should be booked earlier than two months before, however. "For flights to Europe, it's best to book between 1.5 and 10 months in advance. For Asia, the ideal booking window is 4.5 to 10 months before your trip. And if you're considering destinations in Africa or other long-haul locations, you may need to start planning even earlier, from 2.5 to 10 months before your travel dates," travel expert Hamza Ben says. Booking a morning or late evening flight might also be the move. "Booking flights during off-peak hours, such as early morning or late at night, may sometimes yield lower prices due to reduced demand," Webb says. But think about it this way: the sooner you book your flight, the more time you have to monitor the price overtime and adjust your flight as needed.

If you're flexible on your travel dates, experts recommend booking during the months of January or February, as the months "tend to offer good deals as airlines roll out sales to stimulate post-holiday travel demand," Webb says.

Tips to Consider When Booking Flights

The more flexible you are, the better. This includes being flexible on the time you leave, the date you leave, the airline you use, and more. In other words, if your schedule allows you to be flexible, don't worry if your go-to airline is pricey for the dates you want to travel. Instead, take a look at other airline options and/or try to leave and return a day or two earlier than what you had originally wanted, travel specialist Stephan Drescher says. Also, don't overlook connecting flights. Yes, they may take a little longer, but the savings can be worth it, Ben says.

Invest in a travel credit card. Most major airlines offer credit cards specific to their airline, making it easier for you to earn miles and points. Even if booking a flight with one airline seems pricey for one vacation, it could earn you points that could help make your next vacation less expensive.

Avoid booking travel during holidays. Because most people want to travel during the time they have time off from work or school, there is a higher demand for flights around holidays. For that reason, plan a time for you to vacation outside of these periods of the year. Less demand for flights will mean cheaper options for you.

Taylor Andrews is a Balance editor at PS who specializes in topics relating to sex, relationships, dating, sexual health, mental health, and more.