When temperatures are cold and days are dreary, it’s hard not to dream about booking a flight to an exotic destination or relaxing in a luxurious hotel by the beach. For those with a major case of wanderlust, Skyscanner, the company leading the global transformation to modern and sustainable travel, has made it even easier to book the trip of your dreams. Skyscanner took a deep dive into its data to find the best time to book the vacation you’ve been daydreaming about at your desk. Whether you’re looking to travel to the farthest corners of the world or just the next state over, we’ve got tips and tricks to ensure you’re getting the best value with minimal stress.
Best month to book overall. If you’re looking to book a spontaneous international trip, you’re in luck—February is the one of the least expensive months to book a flight abroad ($698 on average). If you need more time to plan that European getaway, set your calendars for August, when average prices for international flights are $716 on average. For those looking to explore the US, the best value can be found in August and September ($271 and $269 on average, respectively). If you’re looking for the best deals, hold off on booking in May. Prices for both domestic and international flights are 12 and 19 percent more expensive compared to the lowest average price.
Best month to book the most popular routes. For those considering London or Paris, August is the month to book, with a $597 average flight price for London and a $501 average flight price for Paris. Domestic travelers find the best value booking in September, when the average price for a flight to New York, Los Angeles or Chicago is less than $300.
Best day of the week to book. It’s unanimous! Whether you’re traveling with or without a passport, the best day to book your travel is Saturday. Avoid the urge to check flights on your Monday morning commute—it’s the most expensive day of the week on average to book both domestic and international flights.
How far in advance to book. No surprise here, as the data has stayed pretty consistent over the years. The optimal booking window is 2-3 weeks out for domestic flights.
Best month to fly overall. For domestic travelers looking for the best value, September is the month to fly. You’ll want to avoid the airport in July, as domestic flights are at their most expensive. For international travelers, March is the best month to fly and December reigns as the most expensive month.
Best month to fly to the most popular destinations. Fall seems to be the season. Whether it’s London, Las Vegas, Los Angeles or Paris, the months of September, October and November offer the best travel deals, while the summer months are for the most part more costly.
Best month to book a hotel. September is the optimal time to book your dream hotel stay in the US, with savings of 6 percent compared to the average price for the year. Avoid October, as this is the most expensive time to book a hotel stateside. If you’re looking to go abroad, you’ll find that July is the ideal time to book your hotel while December is the month to avoid.
Best month to stay at a hotel. If you’re looking for the best value, March is the time to enjoy a hotel in the US. If you’re looking to explore a new country, September is the month to stay—rooms tend to be 9 percent less than the average price for the year.
Most popular month to book. When looking at hotels both domestically and internationally, the data shows that May is the most popular month to book a hotel.
Most popular month to stay. Summer is all about the crowds, and when it comes to hotels, both August and May are the busiest months for domestic and international travelers, respectively.
When to book to get the most value during popular months. Domestic travelers looking for the best time to book their August hotels should consider booking 16 weeks out for 31 percent in savings when compared to the average price. International travelers are advised to book their May stay as far as 22 weeks out for 44 percent in savings compared to the average price.
To ensure you’re getting the best value no matter when you choose to book, Skyscanner recommends setting up price alerts, which provide notifications when the price of a particular flight or hotel changes.
To book your next trip, visit Skyscanner.com or download the Skyscanner app, available on iOS and Android. By downloading the Skyscanner app, you’ll gain access to Skyscanner’s new Price Prediction tool, which uses machine learning and predictive analysis to highlight whether a flight price is likely to drop, rise or stay the same between booking and departure dates.