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How far in advance to book your flight?

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How far in advance to book your flight?

Timing the booking of your flight correctly depends on several factors, if you’re looking to get the best deal for your travel. It mostly comes down to the destination and the season of your travel, as well as whether your travel is domestic or international. But even frequent travelers do not always get the best deal in terms of cost.

In this guide, you can review the factors that determine the best time to book your flight. So, continue reading on to know more.


As expected, seats for popular destinations not only tend to fill faster but also get more expensive over time. On average, the best time to lock a favourable price would be some 3 months before the departure date. More specifically, it will depend on whether you’re flying domestically or internationally, more on which later.

But the reason behind the price hikes is fairly straightforward. Less supply and more demand add up together to produce price hikes. But remember, just because an airline is not filling up for a famous destination, it won’t necessarily cut its prices to sell faster. So, it will always be a good idea to book at least a month prior to your travel date, but ideally earlier.

How far in advance to book your flight?


This goes hand in hand with the previous point on supply and demand. Peak travel times cost more simply because there is more demand without a corresponding increase in the supply. So, you need to book early.

Indeed, if you’re heading home during the holidays or looking to catch up on the football season near the Liverpool or Manchester Airport, simply book early. Aiming for Heathrow Airport during peak business hours or just about when the schools reopen? Book as early as possible, again.

Type of travel

As stated before, the flight fares also depend on whether you’re travelling within the country or going abroad. If your flight is domestic, you should wait until 3 months prior to departure, the time when the prices begin to go down. But if your travel is international, start the price hunt procedure about 5-6 months before your trip is due.

Apparently, the cut-off time for booking for a foreign destination becomes the ideal starting time for booking for a domestic trip. In other words, you should book no later than 3 months for a trip abroad, but also no earlier than 3 months for a domestic flight.

So, when is the best time to book your flight?

As you can see, it is not a good idea to wait until the last minute. In most cases, you will simply need to pay the highest possible fare for your given airline and route. Worse yet, you may not even have another option as all flights might be sold out for your travel date and destination.

But on the flip side, booking well in advance is also rarely the best idea. If you think you can get the cheapest deal by booking several months in advance, you stand to be wrong. Flight booking may not even be available that far in advance. So, there is a sweet spot to strike between being too late and too early, and to which we move next.

How long before a trip should you book your flight?

As per one of the more detailed surveys on the topic by a leading travel agency, the best time to book your flight is around 70 days before your trip. In fact, you may be able to save up to nearly 50% on the total fare in this way.

More specifically, the prices stay constant between about 300 and 105 days before the date of departure. But then they start to drop. At around the 70-day mark, they tend to be the lowest they will be. Moving further, the prices may undergo serious hikes once only 20 days remain for departure.

Obviously, the above rule is not hard and fast. Besides that, it derives from just one major study by a single entity. But it may be handy as a rule of thumb for timing the booking of your flight.

Overall, how far in advance should you book your flight?

As you can see, there are quite a few deciding factors for when to book your flight. These include your destination and the time of travel, and also whether you’re flying within the national borders or visiting a place abroad.

Moreover, getting the best deal cost-wise is by no means a guarantee. So, you might also want to consider buying insurance or so to compensate for contingencies such as delays and cancellations.