Book Flights – How to Save Money With the Right Timing + Infographic

Mentally bonding over shared experiences with canned sardines is no fun and it makes you ask, is it really worth it to buy the cheapest flight there is? Is there no other way to book flights? There sure is if you know when to look for cheap flights. Timing is everything.

I have found so many different sources on the internet about when to book flights. You can see them pinned them on my pinterest page on travel hacks. But whenever I consult them, the booking advice just seems so arbitrary. Are flights really best to be booked 8 weeks in advance? What about domestic flights? What about when I am not in the country? So many questions and so little answers and so I set out to find what exactly the best times are when you book flights.

When to exactly book your next flight - domestic or international -depending on where in the world you are: for USA, UK, Germany, Australia. Click to get access to the free email course on budget hacking for your next trip.

Is It Wise to Book Flights Way in Advance?

Turns out, the advice is very country specific. I know, this sounds like something that might be a no brainer or is it? I generally stick with two major price comparison sites, swoodoo and (watch out, affiliate link*) Skyscanner, which I found usually had the best deals wherever in the world I was. However, for flights within Australia I naturally stuck with regional airlines and for Japan I found out that the best deals are found on Japanese website, such as Expedia.

Ok, regional airlines tend to have the best prices for regional flights but what if you are travelling on long-distance flights and not always from the same country? Prices vary a lot depending on where in the world you book from and where you are going. For instance, if you wanted to visit Istanbul, you would have to book your flight 19 weeks in advance if you left from the UK but 8 weeks if you were in Germany. If your starting point were the USA, you’d have to check 9 weeks in advance.

Both Location and Timing Matter with Flight Booking

Like I said, booking flights is arbitrary. It gets even more confusing if you are travelling within Europe. I checked the best times to check flights in advance for flights leaving Germany and it doesn’t make sense to book a flight for Berlin 8 weeks prior to the flight as opposed to one week for Antalya. Go figure. And before I’d lose my sanity, I made a little overview to refer to whenever the next booking time comes around for you or me.

I hope it provides better guidelines even if I can’t promise clarity on the metrics of flight price setting. But what I can promise is some more budget hacks coming this way in a free email mini course. For instance, knowing what the best times for flights from the US are could save you $201 according to Skyscanner. Just imagine what learning about other great travel booking hacks could save you! If you want to learn all the ins and outs of travel booking and not just the booking times, then I recommend you click this button right below and then scroll down for the overview of all the different booking times.

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*PS: An affiliate link just means that I get a small commission if you buy from the link at no extra cost for you. Just imagine me affording half a chocolate on a long haul flight from this. And me being eternally grateful, of course.

When to really book flights - best times for USA, Australia, UK and Germany (timing can save a lot of money)

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It had to happen, after ditching the 9-5 for a prolonged break, Annemarie's wokaholic tendencies led her to start a daily blog about her adventures. Realising how much travel has helped rebuild her confidence and and general #GirlBoss-iness, Travel on the Brain released a book about her adventures in Down Under and New Zealand and creates quirky video series focusing on story telling in destinations around the globe.
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  1. This has been a bit of a mystery to me before, but this really helped me understand the differences between countries for timing. Thanks for putting this together!

    1. Reply

      Hi Jennifer, same here. Flight times had also been a mystery to me. I am glad I could help. :)

  2. Interesting to see the differences between different countries and the times that are best! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Reply

      Hi Tarah, it is interesting indeed and strangely random. I am so happy I found the different times to have at least a litle bit of a clearer idea.

  3. Very useful guide! I keep meaning to read more info on this, so this is quite timely! Saving for our next trip planning!

    1. Reply

      Hi Patricia, thank you so much! I am glad it was useful to you. Where is your next trip going?

    • marie
    • 08/04/2016

    This is a very good guide – well done. I always find it very annoying because it is very expensive to book International flights leaving the UK!

    1. Reply

      Hello Marie! Thank you so much, your comment makes me really happy. And yeah, international flights from the UK can be quite pricy but I often have to fly to the UK from Germany to flight out into the world, which isn’t great either. But at least know you’ve got some ideas of when to book to help with the expensive flights.

  4. Reply

    Thanks for the infographic, that makes everything much clearer! Really good information to know.

    1. Reply

      Hi Claire, you’re welcome. I thought it would be helpful for more confused travellers like me out there. And I hope it will save us big travellers some serious bucks.

  5. Reply

    Being Australian i certainly subscribe to the 8 month in advance for international flights to be booked. It always produces the cheapest flights internationally for us in the past. When it comes to search engines I would say momondo delivers the best prices constantly

    1. Reply

      Hi mark, I didn’t know you were Australian. And I certainly didn’t know about how to book flights that long in advance. For Europe it was always much closer to the flying date adn I got so used to that. Thanks for your tip of momondo. I never really used it, I always use my German site, which spits out amazing deals. I’ll give momondo a try next time.

  6. This confirms a few things we have learned (the hard way). Sometimes it is just difficult to plan and commit to get the cheapest fares. They don’t end up the cheapest if you have to pay to change the dates!

    1. Reply

      Hi Elizabeth, very true indeed. Changing flight dates is always very pricey, even if you book it with the options of a change. And sometimes it’s wiser to book much closer to the flight dates than way in advance. But one can never know if something unexpected comes up. It’s a little bit like a gamble.

  7. Reply

    Interesting statistics! Coming from Canada, I wonder how the booking dates vary.

    1. Reply

      Hi Kevin, that is a good question. I haven’t found anything on Canada yet but will add information if I find something. And if you happen to find out more, feel free to let me know so I can include it so others can learn about it as well.

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    • Rohma
    • 23/09/2017

    Is it favorable or unfavorable to book a last minute flight in Asia?

    1. Reply

      Hi there! It depends on where you are. However, it is usually better to book around 2 months in advance for anywhere you are but you can get good deals within Asia if you book within a month as well, in my experience. It is best to set up a flight alert to see if there are any stark fluctuations, which will tell you if you need to book soon.

  13. Reply

    Thanks for the guide. Is it favorable or unfavorable to book a last minute flight in Asia?

    1. Reply

      Hi there! Last minute flights usually aren’t always the best idea but if you cannot make long-term decisions, they can still be good deals. Of course, it also depends on where in the world you are flying from. Did you have a look at the map at the bottom of the post? There you can see a few examples of how long in advance it is best to book flights to Asia from specific regions of the world.

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