New Report Shares When to Fly and When to Buy for the Cheapest Flights

View from Millenium Hilton in NYC Financial District (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

View from Millenium Hilton in NYC Financial District (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

With the temperatures plummeting and snow falling, many of us are probably daydreaming about summer vacation. And actually now is a good time to start planning for that vacation. In a new report on travel to 20 destinations, CheapFlights.ca reveals that booking travel more than 170 days in advance is essential to getting the lowest price for at least certain days in the year. So regardless of where you are going, it probably makes sense to plan your summer travel now for the lowest possible fares.

Here are three quick tips from the report to consider for your vacation planning, and below that, insight into when to fly and buy for a few top destinations:

#1 Focus your planning on the spring and summer for the best deals right now. If you want a January travel deal, at this point, you’re better off booking it for next January 2018.

#2 Destinations like Cancun and Costa Rica are better suited for the last-minute travel planner than others, like Vancouver and Los Angeles. Cheapflights.ca found the average “ideal” booking time to be from 92 days in advance (for Cancun) to 143 days ahead of time (for Vancouver).

#3 The holiday season is hands-down the most expensive time to fly, as the last couple weeks of 2016 topped the list for priciest flights to all but one destination. Make your Christmas or New Year’s plans over the summer to lessen the blow to the wallet.

Check out the full “When to fly, when to buy” report for more insights. Below are a few excerpts:

 

  • London
    On average: The most affordable deals can be found 118 days before a given travel date so plan to book less than 17 weeks, or a little more than four months, ahead of the date you plan to fly.
    Cheapest flights: For the best flight deals to London, get an early jump on the summer travel season. When to fly: The second week of May. When to buy: Mid-April.
    Peak season: The festive season is the most expensive time to fly to London, especially the week before Christmas.
    Aim to buy: Last week of August.
  • Toronto
    On average: 
    Booking 138 days before your flight to Toronto will yield the most affordable ticket prices. That means planning to book a little less than 20 weeks, or roughly five months, before your flight.
    Cheapest flights: For the cheapest travel to Toronto, plan for early 2018. When to fly: The last week of February. When to buy: Last week of September.
    Peak season: The week leading up to Christmas is the most expensive time to fly to Toronto. Aim to buy: Last week of June.
    Last-minute deals: For summer travel, the priciest time is the week of Canada Day. Aim to buy: Third week of January. 
  • New York
    On average: Booking your travel 141 days before your departure date will return the most affordable options, so plan to book around 20 weeks, or five months, before takeoff.
    Cheapest flights: Advanced planners can score some extremely good flight prices to New York City. Airfares for much of January and February top the list for the most affordable of the year. Plan ahead for the very best deals. When to fly: The second week of January. When to buy: The first week of August.
    Peak season: The two weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve are the priciest time to fly to New York. Aim to buy: Mid-August
  • Orlando
    On average: The best airfare deals can be found 104 days before your intended departure date, so start your flight search around 15 weeks, or about three and a half months, out.
    Cheapest flights: Travel to Orlando is most affordable while school is still in session. When to fly: The end of May into early June. When to buy: The third week of April.
    Peak season: Flights during the week between Christmas and New Year’s are the most expensive, on average. Aim to buy: The third week of July.

Check out the entire CheapFlights.ca top 20 list here.

 

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Caitlin Martin

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About the Author

Caitlin Martin

Taking the path less traveled has been Caitlin’s mantra and now it describes her travels as a contributor for Johnny Jet. From representing her dream clients in travel and hospitality at a top global marketing and PR agency and spending 10 years on the agency side, she’s uncovering inspiration on the other side of the table. She’s an east coaster at heart but enjoys living the beach life in Los Angeles, laughing loudly and singing in her Mini convertible. Follow Caitlin as she chronicles inspirational places and faces she meets along the way. She can be found on Twitter at @caitlinlmartin or email caitwrites@gmail.com.

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