What Are the Cheapest Day to Fly & Book Tickets?

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So you want to learn which are the cheapest days to fly to help save money? The price of your ticket has a lot to do with which day you fly and when you book. People complain about how expensive traveling has become and how the airfare prices are always so outrageous. I couldn’t disagree more.

However, I can understand why it comes across that way for many people trying to book a cheap flight. The truth is that the airfares have never been as cheap as they are these days, but they have also never been this expensive either. Keep reading to learn how to find cheap flights and the best days to fly to get the best price.

cheapest days to fly
Cheapest Days to Fly

When to Book Flights

One of the biggest factors is simply WHEN you book your flights.

People are often tricked into buying expensive tickets, thinking that there are no other options, while cheap holiday deals sit right around the corner. To get those cheap deals on flights there is one main rule to follow: Flexibility.

The truth is that airfares to the same destination can vary hundreds of dollars in price, all depending on when you travel. It’s simply cheaper to fly on some days than others. Unfortunately, the cheapest days to fly is when most people can’t do it. Lowering the prices is a way for the airlines to fill their seats on these days.

Holidays are especially expensive times for you to travel, as that’s the time when everyone wants to travel. However, as soon as the holidays are over, the prices drop again.

We all know that it’s far cheaper to travel on off seasons, but the prices also vary week by week and even day by day.

Which Days Should I Book To Fly?

The cheapest days to fly are on weekdays, preferably at odd times. According to studies, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest days of the week to travel.

More people tend to fly on a Friday and Sunday (weekend trips) thinking these are the Cheapest Days to Fly, which therefore tend not to be the cheapest days to fly.

Most everyone wants to come home on a Sunday — in this way they maximize their travel time and don’t have to miss additional time from work and school (kids). And in the same vein, travelers want to maximize their days off, so get anything out of their trip at all they fly on a Friday.

Most people going away for weekend trips go from Thursday or Friday to Sunday. Both those days are also not the cheapest days to fly.

If you want a weekend trip somewhere, try to travel Saturday to Monday or Tuesday. This can save you a considerable amount of money.

Cheapest Days to Fly Domestic

For domestic travels, Wednesday is especially the cheapest day to fly. The cheapest time to travel is usually the first flight in the morning, around 6 am, and also in the evening (except for on weekends).

Not only traveling on certain days of the week control the prices, but also which days you book your trip.

Cheapest Days to Fly International

Tuesday is the best day to look for a great bargain online. If you look for a cheap flight in the end of the week, (Thursday to Sunday) they’re usually more expensive, so keep your head cool and wait until next Tuesday before buying any tickets.

Summer is High Season

This is usually the nicest and warmest part of the year and all the kids are out of school. This means that between mid June to late August you will have to fight for a sun chair at the beach in typical vacation spots like Greece.

High season brings the highest prices on basically everything (air fares, room rates, taxi, etc.). But keep in mind that the high season isn’t always the best time to travel, it can get brutally hot in some places and ruin the whole vacation.

Winter is Low Season

With the exception of ski resorts, winter is generally considered low season. However, you must account for holidays such as Christmas and New Years when many places (particularly cities) are crowded and more expensive. 

During the winter low season, you will experience the opposite from high season. It will be less crowded, lower prices, colder and also a bit unsteady weather. Some places are completely closed during the low season, like the east coast of Malaysia shuts down completely during low season (rainy season).

Spring and Fall are Shoulder Seasons

Shoulder seasons are a great time to travel. Not only are the prices lower but you might get lucky with the weather. Shoulder season means they are between the high and low seasons. This is when you can get some great deals and still get the weather you want, but with a slight risk taking.

If you go to Greece in the end of May beginning of June you can get some great deals and have the same (if not better) weather as in the high season. This is often the most pleasant time to travel, I think.

Depending on where you are traveling, all the theme parks or clubs might not be opened yet, and the water will be colder, but it’s great for all those backpackers and others who want to stay away tourists and try to get the attractions to themselves.

  • Jan 7- March 31: Low Season
  • April 1 – June 14: Shoulder Season
  • June 15 – Aug 31: High Season
  • Sep 1 – Oct 31:  Shoulder Season
  • Nov 1 – Dec 14: Low Season
  • Dec 15 – Jan 6: High Season

By traveling in low- and shoulder seasons the chances are greater that you’ll get the entire beach to yourself.

Well in Advance or Last Minute

The airline companies will release a few tickets really cheap to see if they sell and can fill the plane, then if there is interest they raise the prices. By being well in advance you can get some really cheap deals. When flying with national airlines, it’s nearly always cheaper the earlier you book.

Buying last minute tickets are another way of finding cheap deals. However, last minute deals are never quite ‘last minute.’ In fact, if you wait for too long they most likely raise the price again as they know someone will always be willing to pay a higher price.

You can actually find last minute tickets more than two weeks before the trip, so start looking earlier. Learning the cheapest days to fly are among the best travel tips.

The Time of Day You Travel

If you travel at an inconvenient time of the day, your ticket will be much cheaper.

The first flight in the morning (5 – 7 am) and late evening flights (from 10 pm) are always cheaper than the others.

Just make sure that there are buses going to the airport at that time of the day, as paying for a taxi might just balance the difference between two flights so that a more expensive one leaving earlier would have been cheaper.

Another consideration if you aren’t driving to the the airport yourself or having a friend or family member to drop you off is the reliability of an Uber or Lyft coming to pick you up early in the morning. This is less of an issue if you live in an area with lots of drivers; however, if you live in a more remote area, it’s important to consider.

It’s possible to feel good about the price you pay for airline tickets. With some advanced planning and flexibility, you can be certain you are getting the best price.

(photo credit: 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 13)