Lonely Planet Writer

Travel hack - book six weeks before you fly for the cheapest flights

When it comes to booking flights, we’d all love to know the optimum time for getting the cheapest fares. If we are to take online travel agency Opodo’s advice, six weeks ahead of departure date is the ideal time to get the best deals on airfares.

Research indicates that six weeks is the best time to book a flight to get the cheapest dealt. Image: Westend61

According to its research, you can save 48% on domestic, short-haul and long-haul routes when booking 42 days in advance. Opodo’s annual flight price analysis looked at return flights departing from the UK to all destinations between November 2016 and October 2017 to come up with the figures. Proving that the early bird catches the worm, it found that prices for last-minute flights tend to spike seven days before departure. Travellers received more than half of the available savings if they booked between eight and 14 days in advance, but the prices shot back up between day one and day seven.

Research suggests that the optimal time to book long-haul flights appears to be September. Image: EyesWideOpen/Getty Images

When it comes to the best months to book, the optimal time for long-haul flights appears to be in September, and January is the cheapest month in which to book short-haul flights. October was found to be the cheapest month for those opting for domestic routes in the UK. If you have ever wondered if days of the week make a difference, this research suggests that it’s best to book on Sunday for domestic flights, Tuesday for long-haul and Wednesday for short-haul.

What’s the best time to book a flight? Image by Westend61/Getty Images

Opodo has introduced a free to use online tool where users can find the cheapest average airfares from their nearest departure airport, depending on the time of year they wish to travel. You can check it out here.