The Best Day Of The Week To Book Plane Tickets
With Halloween (and even Thanksgiving prep) in full swing, we already have our sights set on holiday travel. We're dreaming up a variety of different trips near and far, but sometimes our eyes are bigger than our wallets, especially with how expensive the cost of living is right now. But just because travel is expensive doesn't mean you have to settle for the most expensive flights out there. We got a peek at Expedia's 2023 Air Travel Hacks Report for some tips on how to find cheap flights so that you can have a bigger travel budget for other (i.e., more fun) parts of your trip.
What Are The Cheapest Days To Fly?
The days of the week that usually end up having cheap flights are Tuesday and Wednesday. That's both a good and a bad thing because while they are usually cheaper, they're in the middle of the week, which we know can be difficult for some people to work around. Even if that's not an option, do what you can to avoid flying on Saturday and Sunday since they usually end up being the most expensive.
As far as which day of the week to book your flight, it's actually the opposite. The Air Travel Hacks Report shows that booking your flight on a Sunday can save you an average of 5% on domestic flights and 15% on international flights. Sounds good to us!
How To Book Cheap Flights
Give yourself enough time to find a flight before last-minute price jumps. Expedia's Air Travel Hacks Report shows that booking domestic flights a month ahead of time and international flights six months ahead of time can save you 10%. One to three months before a domestic trip is a good way to see if there are any patterns in ticket prices and to get an idea of what you can expect.
Maximize your spending by using a credit card that offers travel rewards. You can pay for necessities like gas and groceries to rack up points — just make sure you pay it off every month! Check out our podcast episode with The Points Guy for more travel ideas.
Unless you're a diehard fan of one airline, don't be afraid to compare flight prices to get the best deal. If there are multiple airports in your area, see which one has better prices. If you don't mind a longer travel day, see if there are any layover flights that are cheaper than direct. Compare a variety of prices, airlines, and days of the week to see which works best for your destination.
Time Of Day
When looking for flights, there's a good chance that cheaper flights will be at times that are more inconvenient to fly, like early in the morning or late at night. If you don't mind the messed-up sleep schedule, go for it! Booking an earlier flight might also decrease the chance that your plans will get interrupted. According to the Air Travel Hacks Report, flights that depart after 3 p.m. have a 50% higher chance of being cancelled than those earlier in the day.
Tools Of The Trade
Use tools like Google Flights' price graph (in the top right corner) or Insanely Cheap Flights to find good deals. You can also try Hopper, which is an app that lets you know whether you should buy a ticket now or later based on its price change predictions. If you're down with spontaneity, Scott's Cheap Flights will email you the most affordable flights from a given location for some potentially great deals.
Although some sources dispute it, we've also had team members shave hundreds of dollars off their flights by clearing their cache or looking for tickets on incognito mode. All you have to do is get the hang of which sites work best for you, and after some trial and error, you'll know exactly where to go for the best experience.
If you want cheaper holiday flights, you might need to be more flexible with your dates, according to some 2021 Expedia flight data. You can save an average of 5% for Thanksgiving travel if you depart Sunday through Tuesday or an average of 15% the week of Christmas if you depart before Thursday. It might throw a wrench in your travel plans, but if you can save money on the travel itself, you'll have more money (and less stress) to do things that you're actually excited about.
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B+C Editorial Assistant, Swiftie | Chloe is originally from the Outer Banks (yes, like the Netflix show!). When she isn't writing or updating her blog Pastels and Pop Culture, Chloe enjoys watching Marvel movies or texting her sister about the latest celebrity news. Say hi at @thechloewilliams on Insta and @popculturechlo on Twitter!