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The Best Time of Day to Book Your Next Flight

best time to book a flight

Interested in booking the best flight for your budget? Looking for a deal can be time consuming. First, you might start with googling “best time of day to book flight,” but most of the information will either be limited or contradictory. Some people insist that there isn’t a perfect time to reserve a flight and encourage travelers to shop around at all time until they find the deal worthy of their hard-earned paycheck. Others will tell you to try specific times, but they neglect to mention time zones. Also, does the destination matter, and whether it is domestic or international? So many factors may pop up when you’re looking for answers. However, one reliable source is Skyscanner. This travel fare aggregator website has the most up-to-date information about what time and day you should book your next flight.

Time of Day

According to Skyscanner, the best time of day to book your flight is 5am EST. This applies to whether you are booking a flight for a domestic or international trip. If you want the best deal, you will get up with the sun, jump on your laptop and start searching for good options. If you want the airline of your choice with a window seat and no connecting flights, you have to make yourself an early bird. A good way to ensure that you will not miss your early morning deadline is to set your alarm clock for at least 20 minutes before 5am. This will give you time to open up your favorite travel and booking sites on multiple tabs and handle any computer issues that may arise.

But What Day at 5am?

Ignore what you have been told before. Old school knowledge will tell you that the best time to look for affordable flights is on Tuesday afternoon. It used to be that buying airline tickets on Tuesday at 3pm EST was the perfect time to get the cheapest fare. The airline would post it on Monday night, release the ticket in the morning and then other airlines would compete to match the price in the late morning/ early afternoon. By the time that 3pm rolled around, the traveler would have a wide selection of decreased prices to choose from to purchase. However, this would only last under 48 hours. By Thursday, the prices would skyrocket once again. In 2019, this information is now dated. Today, if you are searching for the most affordable flight, be sure to not party too much on Saturday night because you’re going to have to get up early on Sunday morning.

Get Ready for 5am

Lessen your travel anxiety by being prepared to get book the best option you find. This includes having your credit card on hand at 4:40am before you log onto your computer. The last thing you want is find the perfect flight but not being able to locate your credit card. It would be a complete disaster if you enter your credit card information on the booking site, and your card is rejected. Be sure that the credit card you are using has enough funds on it to complete a purchase. At 5am, you should be all set to make a purchase.

Booking with Speed and Accuracy

When you googled “best time of day to book flight,” you probably also came across popular information on pitfalls that occur when you are trying to book a flight. Some good tips include clearing your computer’s cookies if you keep refreshing the page on the same site. Also, you could try searching on incognito mode when searching. If you are looking to book group travel, you should start checking the price for one person and slowly increase the number of people until you reach your group capacity. Another tip is to ignore the seat map when you are trying to decide if a flight is full. Sometimes, travelers refuse to pay for advance seat assignments so the flight might be full, while not displaying it on the map. Even if the site pretends to show you a comprehensive seat map, many seats are being blocked by the airlines for specific airports to later release.

Other Tips

If you are looking for the best month to purchase an affordable plane ticket, try searching at the start of the year. January and February are known to be the best months for finding good flights. Another good month is August. However, timing is also essential. For domestic flights, you should search 2-3 weeks in advance, and for international travel, you should try looking 5-6 months ahead of time so you can land the best deal for your budget. Also, here’s another tip from Skyscanner. If you’re thinking about traveling to New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles or even Hawaii, the best months to travel are January, February, August and September.

Should You Buy or Wait for Something Better?

When you’re the person who can’t wait to cross something off your list, then booking your flight as soon as possible may be in your best interest. Once you book your flight, you can start organizing the rest of your trip, including your hotel, car rental and vacation activities. Whether you have an employer or are a solopreneur, you can allot the appropriate time for your vacation on the calendar and advise others of your time off. If you hold off, there might be a chance that you will find a better deal. However, that is a gamble. You can try and wait for something better to come along, but do so at your own risk. Another option is to wait for the safest booking months in the year to come around so you can look for a cheaper price. Nevertheless, this requires patience and time. The good new is if you book a flight flying in or out of the U.S. 7 days or more before departure, they are required to allow you to cancel within 24 hours without a fee. This can be helpful if you could like to hold a fare for a full day as you search for a better option. Just remember to cancel in time if you find something more in your price range.

Flexibility

Don’t care about the dates of your flight? If you only care about your destination and not when you go, then you should sign up for last-minute deal alerts on various airlines. Try your luck. You might find convenient deals for not only one ticket but rare discounted group rates. Travel service sites also have great deals for eleventh-hour flights. Throw your hat in the ring and see what happens. You may be headed to your dream destination with your family and friends sooner than you think, especially if you look for a flight during the best time of year.

Whether you would like to go on vacation in a few weeks or in a several months, the best time to look for the perfect flight that falls within your budget is 5am EST. If you are determined to save money and book your flight, you will be awake with your credit card in hand at 5am EST, ready to purchase your flight on an early Sunday morning. No matter where your destination is, when it comes to finding the right flight for you, time is money. Spend your time wisely so you don’t have to spend so much money on your flight.

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