Lonely Planet Writer

When to book your flights to Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel destinations

By now, you’ve obviously devoured Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list for 2018, picked your favourites and might even be checking up flights. Before you book, Skyscanner has compiled data on the best time to book and travel to 2018’s top destinations.

Best in Travel is Lonely Planet’s carefully selected list of top countries, regions and cities that we think travellers should check out in the coming year. Hayley Shearer, growth manager at Skyscanner said that “with flight prices for Lonely Planet’s top 40 spots declining on average 2% year-on-year there really hasn’t been a better time to get that atlas out and discover somewhere new in 2018.”

Flying from the USA

US travellers should clear their schedules for January if they want the cheapest flights; data tells us that’s the best value month for the top cities, countries and regions.

With places like the Torres del Paine National Park, why wouldn’t you go to Chile? Photo by saiko3p/Shutterstock

Going to Chile?

Best time to book: 12 weeks before departure
Average flight price: $1202
Cheapest month to travel: January with a potential 22% savings and an average ticket price of $937

Going to Seville?

Best time to book: 16 weeks before departure
Average flight price: $1093
Cheapest month to travel: January with a potential 32% savings and an average ticket price of $739

Going to Belfast?

Best time to book: 12 weeks before departure
Average flight price: $891
Cheapest month to travel: January with a potential 27% savings and an average ticket price of $647

All prices in US dollars.

Flying from the United Kingdom

Travellers from the UK have the most flexibility with their booking and are able to wait nine weeks before departure to snag the best deal for Seville or 10 weeks to explore Chile.

UK travellers have the most flexibility in dates when booking Seville. Photo by Rubén Toquero/500px

Going to Chile?

Best time to book: 10 weeks before departure
Average flight price: £845.87
Cheapest month to travel: January with an average ticket price of £744.60

Going to Seville?

Best time to book: nine weeks before departure
Average flight price: £171.14
Cheapest month to travel: January with an average ticket price of £92.26

Going to Belfast?

Best time to book: 17 weeks before departure
Average flight price: £101.02
Cheapest month to travel: January with an average ticket price of £73.32

UK travellers have plenty of flexibility when booking their flights to Best in Travel destinations. Image by Skyscanner

All prices in UK sterling.

Flying from Australia

If you’re flying from Australia, one thing is clear; plan ahead and book early. For the European destinations, travellers are recommended to book 36 weeks in advance, while visitors to Chile have a little bit more time to prepare with 27 weeks.

Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast made it as the top region for 2018. Photo by Peter Zelei Images/Getty Images

Going to Chile?

Best time to book: 27 weeks before departure
Average flight price: $1857
Cheapest month to travel: August with an average ticket price of $1857

Going to Seville?

Best time to book: 36 weeks before departure
Average flight price: $2095
Cheapest month to travel: November with an average ticket price of $1677

Going to Belfast?

Best time to book: 36 weeks before departure
Average flight price: $2120
Cheapest month to travel: October with an average ticket price of $1710

It pays Australian travellers to book ahead. Image by Skyscanner

All prices in Australian dollars.

Ready to make it happen? Start searching for flights now.

Of course, there are no hard and fast rules for flights and Skyscanner has provided some other tips to bear in mind to help you get the best deal with booking any dream destination:

  • Be flexible about your day of travel
  • Consider travelling mid-week rather than at the weekend
  • Try flying out and back with different airlines
  • Have a look at nearby airports
  • Set up a price monitor to grab the best deals