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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
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
Top 10 destinations: The best time to to book flights
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!)
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?
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.
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!
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
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
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!
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!
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
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!
With Compass by Opodo, we show you inspiring destinations you can reach from
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