When’s the Best Time to Book a Flight for Travel?

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A woman booking a flight ticket.
Air Ticket Flight Booking Concept
BetMGM May 18, 2023, 6:28 AM

Have you noticed the price of air tickets these days? It seems that both domestic and international flights suddenly got a whole lot more expensive. Maybe it’s because people couldn’t travel for so long that everybody’s keen to see the world again. Whatever the reasons, saving on air travel costs is a topic of interest for most people. If you’re one of them, stick with us as we discuss how the timing of your ticket purchase can help curb your spending. Read on for tips on the best time to book flights (and how to find ones that you can play online casino games on!)

Is There a Best Day and Time to Book a Flight?

There’s some truth to the widely-held belief that the best time to book flights is early on a Tuesday morning. According to Google’s recent analysis of flight data from the past five years, tickets purchased on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays have been 1.9% cheaper than weekend bookings. That’s not really enough of a difference to talk about the “cheapest” day of the week on which to book tickets, though.

A more predictable way to save money on flights could be the day of the week that you actually travel. According to a study by CheapAir, international trips departing on a Thursday cost as much as 6% less than other days, while domestic trips departing on a Wednesday can be as much as $100 cheaper than flights departing on a Sunday. The cheapest months to fly are January and February because people are back at work after the holidays.

How Far Ahead Should I Book?

A good way to reduce your airfare spend is to book in advance, but how far ahead? For domestic flights, it seems that one or two months before your flight is the optimum period. According to Google, on average, prices for domestic trips were at their lowest 44 days prior to take-off. But don’t panic if you miss the 44-day mark. The same data analysis revealed that prices were sometimes just as low 60 days or 21 days before departure. One rule of thumb that you can apply with confidence is not to book at the last minute. You can almost always rely on prices spiking then.

The ideal advance booking period increases substantially for popular international destinations such as Europe or the Caribbean. In those cases, it’s a good idea to purchase flights as much as six to eight months ahead of time because international flights can get really expensive. Research by Kayak, for instance, shows flights to Europe at present are 29% higher than in 2022. 

So, when is the best time to book international flights? Combining insights from Kayak and Google, it appears that it’s best to book a flight to Europe between 50 and 170 days in advance (129 days on average.) For Mexico and the Caribbean, that drops to between 37 and 87 days ahead of time (59 days on average.) If you’re contemplating traveling to Asia or Africa, you should plan ahead by eight months and five months, respectively. For Central and South America, it’s safe to book three weeks out.

Whatever your destination, be sure to check the holiday and special events schedule for the time of year you’re arriving, as that could also have an effect on ticket prices.

What About Holidays?

Demand tends to peak during busy holiday travel weeks, so finding cheap tickets can be tough. If you’re looking at flying around Thanksgiving, Google Flights advises that flights are historically cheapest between 36 and 74 days before departure (52 days on average.) Around Christmas, 22 days is the average lowest price point. Flights departing March through April for Spring Break are at their cheapest between 23 and 59 days before take-off (38 days on average.) The good news is that you can afford to be a little more spontaneous when it comes to planning your summer vacation. Setting aside the busy weekend of the Fourth of July, it’s possible to find affordable tickets anywhere between 14 and 44 days before you travel (21 days on average.)

How to Find Good Air Travel Deals?

The trouble with relying on averages as discussed above is that the Law of Averages is somewhat of an illusion. Much like the Gambler’s Fallacy, it deludes people into thinking that things will turn out a certain way for them just because it’s historically been the case “on average.” 

A much better approach is to use data to achieve specific goals. For example, a great way to find good deals on flights is to use a flight search tool that monitors and compares flight prices across hundreds of airlines and travel sites. Google Flights, for instance, has a Calendar tool that lets you see the full range of airfares over the course of each month. Other top flight search tools are Kayak, Skyscanner and Momondo. If you register your email address and trip details, these search tools will email you should prices change substantially, so there’s no need for you to constantly monitor airline websites for the latest price fluctuations.

What About My Travel Interests And Needs?

When using flight search tools, be sure to filter your search based on your actual travel interests and needs. It makes no sense to compare flights that only allow hand luggage if you know you’re going to travel with checked luggage. You can filter flights by the number of stops you prefer, the number of bags you have to check in, your preferred flight duration, airlines and departure and arrival times. All of this information helps to find the best deals for your specific needs. A traveler with small children might value shorter flight times and fewer stops more than the cheapest tickets.

How Will I Keep Myself Entertained?

An important travel interest that people frequently neglect is entertainment. Many people play casino games online for recreational purposes, so why not play casino games during your flight? Instead of watching an in-flight movie on a tiny screen, you could enjoy a vibrant session of feature-rich themed online slots. Your game selection could even be guided by your destination. Considering how casino games have traveled around the world, it’s easy to imagine playing online slots such as Aztec Myths, Vikings Go Wild or China Shores en route to destinations in Mexico, Europe or Asia respectively. As for American destinations, you name it, there’s a suitable slot game: Almighty Buffalo Megaways, Vegas Stacks, Wild Lines: American Eagle – the list is endless.

In light of these considerations, when it comes to booking flights, the important thing for travelers looking to play in casinos online would be to filter according to airlines’ onboard WiFi capability.

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Whether you’re interested in playing casino games in the air or you’d like to travel the world vicariously via online slots, BetMGM is your entertainment go-to. Register to play a broad range of top-rated online casino games, from the latest video slots to blackjack, roulette and live dealer games. All you need to get started is a mobile phone, tablet or desktop with an internet connection. No matter where you’re going, BetMGM is your faithful travel companion! 

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.