When is the best time to book?


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By Alana Bynes-Richardson

You might hear your friends or family say Tuesday is the best day to book a flight. But by waiting for the “golden hours”––usually between 12 AM and 4 AM–– you’re missing out on tons of deals airlines have during the rest of the week.

Let’s break the phenomenon of Tuesday booking! Why? Because it doesn’t exist. I myself have succumbed to this myth. What we fail to remember is that airfare prices are always changing! Yes, you might find a really good deal on a Tuesday, but maybe Thursday is even better. 

So let go of this Tuesday booking idea. After discovering low fare calendars, weekday discounts, and off-peak flying times, I finally escaped from the Tuesday fever. 

If you were also a gullible soul, worry not! It happens to the best of us. Below is a shortlist of how you can find the best times to book your flight:

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1. Search for a low fare calendar or filter on the airline you are using to book. It will show the cheapest dates to depart and return. For Southwest Airlines, you can find it here. For different sites like United Airlines, there is the option for flexible dates. This option will show multiple dates with various prices and fees.


2. Deals and Discounts: Almost every airline has a deal or discount, it’s up to you to find them! The easiest way is to create a free account with the airline(s) of your choosing and subscribe to their emails. You will get an automatic update when the airline sends out its newsletter. 

If you’re pressed for time, most airlines will have a section at the top of the site or located somewhere on the homepage. Try to get in the habit of checking out deals first. You never know what might surprise you!

3. Off-Peak Flying Times: This means that specific times or days have the least amount of people traveling. So if you’re looking to book cheaper and easier without too many people, try to book during the weekday. Because it is towards the middle of the week, Tuesday is actually a great day to book. Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday are off-peak flying days as well. 

But these days won’t matter if you book too late! Always try to book 45 days to a month in advance. Holiday or vacation times will be busy no matter what time of the year, so keep that in mind. 

4. Utilize apps and other sites! If you’re not too picky over the airline you fly, try downloading the Skyscanner app. It compares airfare prices on the days you want to travel so you don’t have to do it yourself. Another great app is Skiplagged. They boast about showing flights “airlines don’t want you to see.” Both apps work like magic and come highly recommended. 

Also, remember Google is your best friend! Google will also compare almost every airline imaginable. And if you have your location activated, it will find the closest airport to your residence.  

Image of Flight Search Engine

5. Consider using a private or incognito window when browsing. By using this tool when searching for flights, your IP address will be blocked. While some claim this tip is a myth, it has been useful to many of our travelers. Airfare prices have fluctuated after looking at flights during different times of the day. When you repeatedly look up a destination, your browser history can keep track of your searches and some websites may use it to their advantage.

Hopefully, these tips will help you on your flight-booking journey! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Make sure you stay tuned for more tips by subscribing to our email list and following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest

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