The concept of booking your flight on a specific day to save some money has become one of the most popular tips among travelers. But a popular travel myth can be just a myth because plane tickets these days are based on demand, not the day of the week.
Steve Olivers, CEO of InsanelyCheapFlights.com explains.
This means that there is really no magic trick to make sure you shine more than the booking website and get the cheapest offer every time. However, this does not mean that you should give up a premium on your flight. We spoke to budget travel experts for their top tips on how to find the cheapest flights, as well as some of our favorite services to help you find cheap airline tickets.
Let’s get this out of the way: There is no better day or time to book a flight. Explains Phil Dingler, founder of TheVacationer.com. “Cheap flight fares are available 24/7, so you should not be limited to a specific day or hour.”
“I regularly request and book flights, and I find great deals every day of the week,” Dingler adds. “Flight fares are based on complex algorithms and the day of the week is not a factor.”
What still matters, Oliverez says, is what day of the week you are looking to travel and how far you book your ticket in advance. From early to midweek it tends to be cheaper on off-peak days, and as a rule, the busier the weekend, the more expensive the trip.
“I found it is generally cheaper to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays,” Dingler adds. “This is not a strict rule, but I have found it to be so in most cases.”
After all, you want to stay as flexible as possible when considering travel dates. Because flight prices vary on demand, ticket prices are likely to be higher on demand days, such as Fridays and Sundays, according to Scott Cheap Flights flight deals website.
In addition, consider choosing the destination you want to visit before choosing the dates where you want to travel – then consider the alternative airports around that main destination. Allowing yourself the flexibility to ask for cheaper fares throughout the calendar year will allow you to choose the cheapest travel dates, which usually fall in the shoulder season.
“Choosing travel dates before you look at flight prices often results in you paying more than you should,” says Dingler. “You always have to choose a destination and find the cheapest days to fly to that destination. “These savings increase as your holiday gets bigger and you may only need to travel a day or two earlier or later than you thought you would.”
Just like the myth that it is the cheapest day to book flights, there are many other common myths about booking flights that will cause you more trouble than saving dollars. For example, clearing browser files or searching for flight prices in incognito mode will not change the displayed prices, Dingler says. There are many factors that affect flight prices, but your personal search history is not a factor. While it will not raise prices, it is a waste of time.
Lastly, if you are thinking of a certain destination, the best advice is to check the prices often. Since airline pricing algorithms change all the time, you will want to check your flights as often as possible, but there are some general guidelines on how far to look for a booking in advance.
Generally, you will want to book your inland flight lines between one and four months before your travel dates. Take it too far and risk paying too much, as airlines tend to drop their schedules – and higher fares than expected – about a year in advance. Book very close to your travel dates and you will risk paying more as the airlines seek to increase fares for those who want to leave without prior notice.
If you need to book close travel dates for any reason, try looking for vacation packages for lower prices. “I recommend trying to find a hotel and flight package because the total price does not increase that much for them and can actually be cheaper at the last minute,” says Oliverez.
International flights tend to require more planning, so you may want to book well in advance. Plus, you’ll have more time to monitor average fares on your itinerary, so you know what ‘s reasonable and what’ s not.
Generally, you should start looking for international flights about 10 to 11 months before your travel date. The key is to check regularly to see how prices fluctuate from week to week or from month to month. You should book about five to six months in advance.
Google Flights offers a handy pricing graphic tool that lets you see if your itinerary is below or above average. You can also track flight prices and how they have fluctuated in recent months to help guide your decision on whether to book now or later.
Keep in mind that if you are looking for the cheapest airline ticket, you might consider booking in the off-season, says Scott Keys, founder and lead aviation expert at Scott Cheap Flights. For summer trips, start thinking about winter flights first. And if you are looking to book a vacation trip, start thinking about those summer plans.
Fortunately, there are a number of services that allow you to find cheap flights more easily. Eliminate self-seeking efforts and rely on free flight experts instead. Here are some of our favorite free and membership based services.
Free on flight attendants
With an Airfare Watchdog subscription, you can enter your departure airport for curated offers sent directly to your email. You can also choose the song for which you want specific offers, which will be sent up to seven times a week. The service is direct as it gets – and you will be rewarded with cheap airline tickets.
Free to kayak
By becoming a Kayak member, you can set up flight signals on specific routes. You will need to select routes and set individual alerts for each instead of receiving offers for each destination sent in your email. However, it is free and a great tool to use if you already have specific plans in mind.
Free on Google Flights
Google Flights is one of our favorite flight search sites, and you can also use our free price tracking service. Similar to Kayak, you will need to select a specific route and date to travel, and then Google will send you alerts when the price changes on that route. Unfortunately, you can not get offers from a certain city to any destination while they are displayed, but you can track flights if you have specific plans in mind.
After all, when it comes to finding cheap plane tickets, do not fall victim to the common myths that you have to book on a certain day or clean up the files in your browser. Airline fares vary based on demand and many other factors, and fortunately, there are many tools out there to make sure you get a good deal.
Are you looking for a new travel credit card? Discover selected CNN Underscored cards like ours The best travel credit cards of 2022.