Booking at the right time for an international flight in the summer can be a hassle to many a traveler, and often, post-booking leaves you with a feeling like you’ve been cheated or a better deal exists somewhere else.
This feeling is universal for most travelers, and we expect it to be felt a lot this summer. Traveling internationally from North America shouldn’t be complicated, and booking your flights shouldn’t be either.
Earlier this month, Cheapair.com released its 2023 International Airfare Study detailing the best times to book your flight to Europe, Asia, and beyond. This study is a great way to save money and avoid overtourism and high-peak seasons that can make or break your vacation.
Even though buying early is probably the most significant advantage for getting good international flights, there’s more to it, and you’ll find out soon enough.
It can save you a lot of money, time, and patience, and who doesn’t like winning when they’re flying? The next time you consider flying internationally, keep the below in mind.
These are the best times and ways to book your international summer travel flights:
Earlier, Early, And Yesterday
According to Cheapair.com, the best time to book is about ten months in advance. “This year, the best time to buy a cheap international flight to most regions in the world can be summed up in two words: “buy early.”
At the same time, quite a few regions of the world aren’t seeing a ton of volatility. So while the “best” price is found close to the fare publication date, you can also usually get a “reasonable” fare a bit closer to your travel date.
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People increasingly want to travel to international destinations, and the supply to some destinations is struggling to meet demand. In addition, fuel prices are high. Those factors result in higher international airfares than we’ve seen in past years. So shopping early is the best way to get the lowest prices for many locations.”
If you’re traveling up north this season, book your flights about ten months in advance (even though we know that’s not always possible).
Surprisingly the prime time to book a flight to Canada when the prices are just correct is about three months before your travel date.
If you plan to head to Canada this summer, consider booking for August or even early September. The cheapest months to fly are February and March for budget-savvy travelers that don’t mind traveling in a season other than summer.
Mexico is a favorite for many travelers. If you want to check out amazing cities like Guadalajara or Mexico City, booking your flights a month and a half before your flight is encouraged.
The best booking window for flights to Mexico is pretty broad, 1.5 to 10 months before your date of travel.
The Caribbean is a vast island network with diverse personalities and cultures. Purchasing flights can vary depending on which island you plan to visit.
You’ll save some mula if you buy at least two months in advance and historical data suggests you should book your departure sometime in the middle of the week, like a Tuesday.
It can save you from hectic airports and cough out a cheaper ticket. Pro tip: May to November is the Caribbean rainy season, and tickets are generally more reasonable.
Central and South America
Like in the Caribbean, prices of tickets to Central and South America can vary depending on where you’re going.
Booking at least three months in advance is highly encouraged; May is a cheaper summer month.
For those that don’t mind switching up seasons, generally, spring is the best time to travel to Central America.
Just like Mexico, demand for Europe has risen exponentially.
Book your flights about a month and a half early and try to fly out on a weekday.
Most of the summer is expensive pan-Europe, so finding a flight can be brutal.
Another continent that has seen a massive rise in interest in travel is Africa.
It isn’t easy, just like in Europe, but we highly encourage you to visit this summer. The best booking window for Africa is 2.5 months to 10 months before your date of travel.
Mid-week has been shown to be a cheaper option for flying out.
If you know a little geography, you know Asia is massive. It holds places like the South Pacific and the Middle East.
If you plan to fly to the South Pacific, consider buying your flight two months before your vacation.
Other countries in Asia are different, and we highly encourage you to book flights at least four months in advance and for travel in the summer. The Middle East is almost identical in that aspect.
Flying internationally this summer isn’t difficult if you know the right time. Generally speaking, a flight leaving on a Tuesday or Wednesday may get you a better price. Make sure to research before you buy to avoid buyer remorse.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com