Have the itch to travel but don’t want to pay full price? There are plenty of ways you can get around without paying a premium. You’ll master the tricks of the trade when finding the best travel deals with these helpful tips.
How far out do I need to purchase my flights?
It all depends on where you’re headed. The following are recommended timelines of when to purchase your flight so you can save the most.
- Domestic (2 to 6 weeks out)
- U.S. (3 to 7 weeks out)
- Europe (8 – 10 months out)
- South America (6 months)
- Central America (4 – 6 weeks out)
- Asia (9 – 10 months out)
- Africa (3 – 5 weeks out)
- Caribbean (2 – 3 weeks out)
When is the best time to book?
It’s all about being flexible. Choosing off-peak days and avoiding holiday seasons are best. Another thing to keep in mind, it’s always cheaper to purchase your tickets on the weekend, especially late at night. This is when the airlines reload their computers with the latest low-cost fares.
When are the best days to fly?
Choosing to depart on a Tuesday or a Wednesday will save you a lot of money since the loads are usually quite light on those days.
Booking a return flight on a Monday will save you the most cash. Try to avoid the weekends altogether – for both return and departing flights. Airlines consider this prime time flying for people who want to return before the start of a new workweek.
Where can I find the cheapest flights?
It is now a lot easier to access websites that will show you the best-priced flights. Most sites will help you find the cheapest flights in the market by breaking down the cost of every flight available. For example, they’ll show you all the available flights for each airline, the costs and the difference in price for a direct or stopover.
- KAYAK – always our first stop when checking prices.
- Theflightdeal.com – good at finding mistake fares that give travellers really cheap tickets.
- Skiplagged.com – Skiplagged will find the cheapest ticket to your destination — even if it’s through a layover.
- ITAmatrix – ITA matrix will let you search the entire month to see when it’s cheapest to fly.
Cheapest Weekends to Travel Internationally
(Data provided by KAYAK)
For international travel, we see similar pricing trends with lower median airfare the later into summer we get. But unlike domestic travel, you’ll want to wait to fly either before or after the holiday long weekend due to the median airfare being about 11% higher than the cheapest weekends to travel internationally.
The median airfare for international travel is $492 so by flying on the following dates, you might just find the right flight for less.
- August 17: median airfare $436
- September 7: median airfare $441
- August 24: median airfare $446
Cheapest Weekends to Travel Domestically
(Data provided by KAYAK)
Labour Day marks the last long weekend before Summer comes to an end, and typically with long holiday weekends comes higher price tags. But not this year. If you’re planning a domestic trip, Labour Day weekend is actually one of the cheapest weekends to travel with median airfare hovering around $289- 22% lower than the median airfare for weekend trips.
During the summer, the median airfare for domestic weekend trips (Friday–Sunday) is $378. But, by travelling on the following dates, you might be able to snag more affordable flight deals and use that extra cash to treat yourself at your final destination.
- August 31: median airfare $289
- August 17: median airfare $293
- September 21: median airfare $293
Stay in the know
You should keep yourself subscribed to two or three travel sites to find out about last minute deals or current sales. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook, doing this will keep you in the know about upcoming sales and offers that might pertain to you. One of our favourite travel blogs is YYZ Deals.
Always keep an eye out for seat sales with WestJet, Air Canada or Porter. They usually have one or two sales a week that could save you some money. However, air on the side of caution with blackout dates and other terms and conditions. You might book yourself a ticket and not realize the blackout dates happen to fall on the days you plan to travel.
All in all, when looking for the best-priced flights, the one thing to always keep in mind is, be flexible. Allow your schedule to be adaptable and consider flying off-peak days, this will help you save some serious cash in the end. Happy flying!
How do you score the best travel deals? Share your tips in the comment section below.
Featured image: Instagram/ @lovelypepa