CheapAir.com recently released its “When should you book an international flight?” study, which analyzed over 351,568,000 airfares for 1,098,650 international trips over the last year. “These airfares covered 3,010 international markets. For each trip, we studied all the possible days you could buy that airline ticket—to uncover when international flights have the lowest fares. While the ‘Prime Booking Window’ for buying domestic flights is about 3 weeks to 3.5 months in advance, international flights are generally cheaper when you buy a little earlier.”
How early you should buy varies by the region you’re traveling to (the study goes into detail for each one). We’ve listed a few of the findings below—and for the whole thing, check out the study here.
The Canadian market is very similar to the U.S. market—it’s best to buy your airline ticket to Canada 59 days in advance, on average.
The cheapest flights to the Caribbean are, on average, found when you buy that tropical airline ticket 76 days in advance.
The cheapest airline tickets to Europe are, on average, found 99 days before departure.
Bottom line: It’s always interesting to see airfares analyzed, but I wouldn’t get hung up on the data here. I still think it’s better to follow the airline sales and sign up for fare alerts. Those tricks and 15 others can be found in my 17 ways to find cheap flights.
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