Book flights 3 months in advance for most savings: Analysis

Book flights 3 months in advance for most savings: Analysis
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SINGAPORE - Everyone knows that making your flight bookings in advance is the way to go when you want to get the best prices on air tickets. But just how much in advance should you be locking in travel plans for maximum savings?

Travel search engine Kayak.sg reveals that the magic number is 3 - that is, the number of months you should aim to secure your bookings in order to gain the most cost savings on air tickets.

This is in contrast to bookings made one month in advance where the amount of savings can vary from 9 to 43 per cent, according to analysis by Kayak.

According to Kayak, flights to destinations in Asia such as Thailand, Indonesia and China are most affordable when bookings are made 1.5 months prior to departure.

Those who are planning trips to Australia or New Zealand can clinch the best airfares 2 months before their departure date. Doing this potentially saves you up to 18 per cent in airfares compared to booking only one month in advance.

For other long haul trips from Singapore to destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, North America and Central America, it is advisable to book at least 2.5 months ahead of time, suggests Kayak.

Meanwhile, flight savings to North America are the least significant when booking 1 month in advance, as passengers only need to fork out 9 per cent more on airfares compared to booking 2.5 months in advance.

In contrast, travellers looking for the best flight prices to South America need to do their homework way ahead of time and book around 3 months in advance, or risk facing a 43 per cent hike in airfares 1 month prior to departure.

When should you book air tickets for most cost savings?

Region

Best time to book before departureAverage savings*
Asia1.5 months (46 days)9%
Africa2.5 months (75 days)22%
Caribbean2.5 months (78 days)20%
Europe2.5 months (79 days)13%
Middle East2 months (56 days)7%
South Pacific2 months (70 days)18%
North America2.5 months (74 days)9%
Central America2.5 months (74 days)28%
South America3 months (91 days)43%

[Data: Kayak.sg] *Compared to average flight costs when booked 1 month in advance

maryanns@sph.com.sg

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