Best time
to book flights
2020

When is the best time to book flights?

Our study draws on customer booking data in order to provide insight on the best time to book flights. We have analysed the data from all bookings made through our website between July 2018 and June 2019 in order to identify clear trends and prices, for example the cheapest months to book flights to specific destinations or how long in advance is best to book flights. We use the most up-to-date intelligence so that you can take advantage of the best deals and share our knowledge on the cheapest time to book flights! Here is a little secret: the cheapest time of the year to book a flight is on any Sunday in January.


When is the best month to book flights?

Booking a holiday should be an exciting time! But with so many destinations at your fingertips, it can be hard to choose and nailing the best time to book a flight can seem like a minefield. So, take advantage of our insight to make sure you get the best deal!

According to our data, January is the best month to book a trip, with an average flight price of £241 for trips leaving from the UK, compared to an average price for July of £288. But, of course, prices and trends vary by destination and length of flight, and other factors including seasonality and weather. So try to book your flight in January to get the best prices.

Domestic flights

For domestic flights, September is the best month to book your travel, with an average price of £145, fluctuating to £174 for flights in July.

Long-distance travel

If you are heading to Europe, or further afield, then look at the winter months (January/February) to take advantage of the cheapest fares! Wherever your dream destination, we have the data and expertise to make sure that you get the best deal for your flights! Whether you want to head off and explore Europe, or hop across the pond to enjoy some sight-seeing in America, then September is the best month to book, with average flight prices of £143 and £519 respectively.

Exotic destinations

If you’re seeking something further afield, then January booking offers the best prices for travel to Africa (£441) and Oceania (£895), and certainly try to avoid booking flights to these destinations in July when price averages increase by £122 for African trips and £286 for travel to Oceania! If the Eastern delights of Asia appeal, then January and September are the best months to book that dream holiday, with average prices of £475, compared with average prices in May and June of over £540.


What is the best day of the week to book a flight?

It is not only the month that you travel that can impact the price of your flight, but also which day of the week you book your flight. According to our data, Sunday is the cheapest day of the week to book flights, but once again, it depends on your destination. If you are flexible around what day you choose to travel, then you might also be able to save yourself some money! We recommend that, if possible, you always check prices a few days before or after your preferred date to make sure you find the cheapest time to book flights.

Travelling to Europe

If you are heading to Europe, look at prices for different days, as price averages fluctuate from £185 for booking on a Saturday, up to a whopping £615 for a Thursday! European weekend breaks have become increasingly popular, but you could end up paying over double to travel to your European destination purely depending on the day of the week!

Travelling to America

For those who are planning to holiday in America, Sunday is again the cheapest day to book, saving you around £57 compared with a Friday, which is the most expensive day to book.

Travelling to Africa and Asia

If you are jetting off to Africa or Asia, there is less variation in price from one day to the next. However, it is still worth having a look as you could save around £30 by booking on a Sunday, which is the cheapest day to book flights, compared with a Thursday, when average prices are highest.

Travelling to Australia

There is also a significant variation in price, depending on the day you book your travel, for flights down under to Australia and wider Oceania. The average prices for booking flights on a Monday are £988, rising to £1104 if you would prefer to book on a Wednesday.

When to book flights: the best month and days depending on destination

The price corresponds to the lowest average price of bookings made between July 2018 and June 2019 for flights departing from the UK

How many days in advance should you book to get the cheapest flights?

We all know that booking flights in advance can save you money – but how far in advance is the best time to book? We tend to think that the further in advance we book, the cheaper the flights will be, however, our data reveals that this is not always the case. Aim to book your flight about 31-43 days before you travel to take advantage of lower prices. But once again, the optimum booking period depends on your destination!

Booking in advance

For domestic flights, the best time to book is 44-50 days in advance, saving around £46 compared to booking just three weeks in advance. However, if you are planning a trip to Europe then book flights slightly further in advance (71-80 days) to get the cheapest flights (£198 average compared to £242 if you book last minute – up to 2 days in advance).

For holidays to Africa, we recommend booking around 2 months in advance, which is the best time according to our data to book the cheapest flights.

But don’t worry – you don’t always need to be super organised to book the cheapest flights!

Booking last minute

If you are planning to visit America, our data shows that booking roughly a month in advance would save you around £259 compared with the cost of booking just a few days in advance!

Similarly, the cheapest flights to Asia are available around a month in advance (£604 average), while the cost of flights rises to £689 if you want to book over 100 days in advance. It doesn’t always pay to be organised!

If you are more spontaneous, and want to visit Australia or wider Oceania, then the best flight deals are available by booking just 3 weeks in advance (£895 average), compared to £1287 if you book 3 months in advance!

HOW MANY DAYS IN ADVANCE
should you book your flight?


uk

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

Between 71 and 80 days in advance

Asia

ASIA FLIGHTS

Between 26 and 30 days in advance

Africa

AFRICA FLIGHTS

Between 61 and 70 days in advance

EUROPE

EUROPE FLIGHTS

Between 71 and 80 days in advance

America

AMERICA FLIGHTS

Between 31 and 36 days in advance

Oceania

OCEANIA FLIGHTS

Between 21 and 25 days in advance



Top 10 destinations: The best time to to book flights

Portugal

Portugal

Portugal has always been a firm favourite for holiday makers from the UK, with its mild climate, delicious food and welcoming culture. Its capital, Lisbon, has something for everyone, with its impressive Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower and its relaxed and friendly vibe. January is the best month to book to get the cheapest flights (£150 average for flights to Portugal) and you can snap up a deal at short notice (just 10 days in advance!)

Bucharest

Bucharest

The capital city of Romania, Bucharest is fast becoming a go-to destination. Competitive prices, a lively night life and impressive historical landmarks, including the Palace of Parliament, come together to offer a complete package for tourists to enjoy. The cheapest flights are available in January (average £126), with Friday the best day to book– so why not enjoy a weekend break in the Eastern European capital?

Enjoy a city break in Bucharest!
Istanbul

Istanbul

As the gateway between Europe and Asia, Turkey is full of eastern promise, while still within easy reach from the UK. Istanbul is a fascinating city with a mixture of cultures, which offers delicious food, a bustling nightlife and, of course, the Hagia Sophia, the impressive Byzantine-era basilica! The average price for booking flights in September is £227, with Saturday the cheapest day to book.

Discover the sights of Istanbul!
Barcelona

Barcelona

Spain is the dream destination for many travellers, and Barcelona is one of the most popular cities of the peninsula. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere, stroll in the beautiful Parc Güell and admire the iconic Gaudi architecture! For the cheapest flights, book in November, with average prices around £145. Book on a Saturday to ensure the best deal for your trip to this sunny city!

Book your flight to Barcelona!
amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city full of urban charm, sure to delight all travellers. Explore its vast network of canals, by foot, bike or boat. Or soak up the history and culture of the city by visiting some of the vibrant galleries or admiring the picturesque houses. You’re sure of a warm welcome in this friendly city, so why not plan a visit? For the best deals look at Saturdays in January, when average flight prices are only £115!

Enjoy a city break in Amsterdam!
Paris

Paris

Paris is renowned as the city of love, and certainly tourists’ love affair with the city had never dwindled. A city of endless possibilities: visit the famous Louvre or Eiffel Tower stroll along the Seine, update your wardrobe or simply grab a coffee and croissant and watch the world go by! With average flight prices around £132 in September, book a flight on a Tuesday to get the best deal, there’s no better time to go!

Hop across the channel to Paris!
Bangkok

Bangkok

Experience the exotic charms of Thailand. This stunning country is full of temples, breath-taking natural scenery, finger-licking food and pristine beaches. To experience the city bustle and atmosphere, head to Bangkok for an unforgettable experience – explore the night markets or try some street food as you explore the city. August is the best month to book flights, with prices around £550!

Book to discover beautiful Bangkok!
Larnaca Cyprus

Cyprus

If you are seeking a relaxing holiday destination, then look no further than the beautiful island of Cyprus! Explore the Mediterranean island with its relaxing beaches and head to the laid-back resort of Larnaca on the coast. Explore the historical old town, indulge in some local cuisine and immerse yourself in the local culture. To take advantage of the cheapest flights, book on a Wednesday in December (£201) and enjoy some winter sun!

Relax and unwind in Cyprus!
Rome

Rome

Tourists have an ongoing love affair with Italy – its incredible food, wine and culture. Take a trip to Rome; journey back in time with a visit to the iconic Colosseum, witness the awe inspiring Vatican, or simply indulge with a gelato and absorb the bustling atmosphere of the city. Autumn is the perfect time to visit – after the summer heat, and with the cheapest flights available to book in September (£140) why not treat yourself?

Book a flight to Rome!
Dubai

Dubai

Dubai is the glamorous holiday hot spot of the United Arab Emirates. With its sleek modern buildings, skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa, and luxurious shopping malls, Dubai has become an attraction for tourists from across the world. Why not jet off on a winter break to indulge in some shopping and take advantage of the cheapest flights to Dubai in February! Book your flight on a Monday to make sure you really do get the best deal!

Explore Dubai now!


Our top tips on booking cheap flights


  • Book your flights with budget airlines such us Easyjet or Ryanair
  • Book your flight + hotel together in a single package
  • Keep an eye on our cheap flights deals page
  • Check out our last minute flight offers
  • Be flexible with your dates and days for travelling
  • Avoid school holiday periods if possible
  • Download our App for exclusive vouchers
  • Always check our deals page
  • Subscribe to the Opodo newsletter for the latest offers

Feeling inspired?

With great rates for booking flights and cheap hotels, Opodo offers great options for low cost holidays.

Discover amazing destinations
ªCompass by Opodo
With Compass by Opodo, we show you inspiring destinations you can reach from
S
Search:
?
  • If some passengers are residents and others are not, you must book separately.
    F
F
Sorry, we were not able to access the requested page.
- If you have written the address manually, please make sure it is correct. - If you have clicked on a link to get here, there is probably an error in the link - If you have reached this site by clicking on another link, it is possible that the session expired
Download the app for free!
Access all the info for your trips and get a free travel guide!
Do you need help?
r
Do you need help?