How to get the cheapest flights possible

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There are countless articles, blog entries, professional opinion pieces, and subversive tactics, all posted online and offering a bewildering array of often conflicting advice when it comes to getting the cheapest flights around the world. What so few of them do, however, is look at the actual data, and work out the most efficient ways to get those deals in the real world. With the release of the findings by online travel agent Opodo, the facts are now laid bare, and you don’t need all of the fancy tips and tricks if you want to pay less for your travel. If you’re wondering when is the best time to book flights in order to get the best deals, then you’re on the right track. With this set of analysis, it turns out that you can save as much as 50% on airfares by booking 42 days before travelling. And that’s not all.

Forget the myths

A rather alarming number of sites that are still offering outdated advice that may have been true a decade ago, but they have failed to update their thinking. If you’re still paying for your flights up to six months in advance, then you’re paying much more than you could be. If you go the other way and opt to choose your holiday destinations last minute and hoping for a good deal to a great location, then you’re also falling for the way of thinking that may have been correct in the early days of the internet, but is now hideously out of date.

Learn about timing

The most significant element of the released findings is that timing is key. The fact that there are key time periods in which to buy your tickets is no real surprise, but what is surprising is the consistency of the time periods when the cheapest flights are actually available. Most significant is the six-week window. If you delay your purchases until you hit the six to seven-week window (depending on your flight type), you will be making immediate savings on your travel costs, and that means more cash to spend on your holiday. Check whether you’ll be better off with the six week or the seven-week windows of opportunity by comparing costs depending on whether you’re flying long-haul, short-haul, or domestic, and your savings could be quite considerable.

Don’t leave it until the last minute

You may have had it drilled into you that the best bargains are in the last week, but that simply isn’t the case. The truth is that the 8-14 days before departure is the time to get the best prices before they shoot up again in the final week. The savings may not be quite as good as you’ll find at the six-week point, but the fortnight before departure is the last chance to get the best deals available. You could even make the most of the peripheral nuggets of information that the analysis provides, and buy your tickets on specific days of the week in order to get the most flight for the best price.

Have a look through the infographic from Opodo and work out yourself when the best time for you to be buying tickets is going to be. Look at your flight type, check the calendar and set an alert so that you know you’re getting the best deal, and the best start to your brilliant break from routine.

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