How Far In Advance to Book Cheap Domestic and International Flights?

Are you missing out on cheap travel deals by booking at the wrong time? Get the best price on domestic and international flights with Skyscanner Australia.

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Did you know three quarters of Aussies lose out on cheap international flights simply by booking at the wrong time? And don’t even get us started on domestic destinations – according to a study conducted by Skyscanner, 9 out of 10 Aussies miss out on interstate travel bargains and end up spending up to 30% more than the average airfare!

Click to find out the best time to book for more destinations

Best time to book international flights is 22 weeks in advance

Living in the Southern Hemisphere, booking international flights is always a commitment…and it almost always comes with a hefty price tag. Instead of debating what day of the week is the cheapest to book, why not adopt this as the rule of thumb – the earlier you purchase your plane ticket, the easier it’ll be on your wallet! Skyscanner’s data points to 22 weeks in advance as being the sweet spot for bargains, but it varies from city to city. For instance, if you’re a Sydneysider up for cosmopolitan getaway in Hong Kong, you can save up to 12% on airfares when you book 23 weeks ahead.

If you find that timings just aren’t working out – fret not. There are often second wave bargains available. Sure, there are 7% savings to be had on a Sydney to Los Angeles flight if you book 23 weeks in advance… but you can still enjoy West Coast livin’ and a 3% discount at 12 weeks! Looking a little closer to home, the same amount of pre-planning will see savings of 5% when travelling to Auckland.

Best time to book domestic flights is 21 weeks in advance

Here’s a fun fact for frequent domestic fliers – the best prices often surface 21 weeks in advance. Sydney to Melbourne is the most travelled route in Australia, and most of us purchase flights without giving it a second thought. However, domestic flights aren’t actually consistently priced all year round – you could save a whopping 18% on SYD-MEL airfare if you book 22 weeks ahead of travelling! So if you’re a notoriously last minute traveller (and that’s 42% of Aussies we surveyed), you might want to reconsider your booking habits.

Best Time to Book Domestic

Best time to travel – what time of year is the cheapest to fly?

We’ve scoured the data for the cheapest months to travel and the numbers don’t lie. May is the best time to take to the skies! With savings averaging at 13% for all domestic and international destinations, it’s something worth planning your annual leave around. On the flipside, no prizes if you’ve guessed that December claims the dubious honour of Most Expensive Month to Fly. The holiday season sees prices surge as high as 32% on average – so if you’re keen on having a Love Actually airport moment, you’re best off reserving those tickets as early as possible!

How else can you get cheap flights?

While our Best Time To Book data may be a good indicator of when to buy your flights, if you have particular travel dates in mind there are other ways to hunt for cheap travel deals. We know it isn’t easy to keep an eye on airfares for an upcoming trip while you’re busy doing life, so we created Skyscanner Price Alerts, a handy feature you can sign up for to help keep track of the flight you want and let you know when prices are climbing or falling. This way you won’t miss out on any bargains!

On the other hand if you’re more flexible with days, Skyscanner’s whole-month view whilst searching for flights will help you get a clearer idea of which days are the cheapest to travel. Alternatively, you could also get cheap international flights from our International Deals Page, or cheap domestic flights from our Domestic Deals Page.

Skyscanner Australia is a free and unbiased travel search engine helping you find and compare thousands of deals on flights, hotels and car hire. For travel searching on the go, download our app for Android and iOS.

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