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This is the best time in 2020 to book flights

Ellie Ross
Contributor
These are the best times to book flights in 2020. [Photo: Getty]

There’s nothing quite like the prospect of a holiday to get you through the dark and dreary winters. But, knowing when to book to get the cheapest deals isn’t always clear cut.

Thankfully, help is at hand. Online travel agency Opodo has done some research to discover when the best time to book flights in 2020 is. Here’s what they found. 

Book in January

The study revealed that the cheapest month to book a trip is January. The average price for a ticket in the first month of the year is £241 – £103 cheaper than July, which is the most expensive month with an average price of £344. 

Speaking exclusively to Yahoo Style, Pablo Caspers, Chief Travel Officer at eDreams ODIGEO (the umbrella company of Opodo), explains the reason for this price difference. “January is always the month when travellers book the furthest in advance, especially for the summer holidays,” he says. “This means that they can find better deals as there is still large availability given that travel dates are far away.”

Travel on a Sunday

For the lowest fares, travel on a Sunday. The study found that on average Sunday is the cheapest day of the week to book a flight, with an average global ticket price of £574. Monday came a close second, at £586. 

“Traditionally, most travellers book their holidays on weekdays,” says Pablo. “Thus, travellers booking on a Sunday might be luckier in finding that one very good fare before someone else does.”

But he adds: “It of course depends on your destination and whether you want to travel to short-haul, long-haul or exotic destinations.”

The cheapest time of the year to book a flight is on any Sunday in January. [Photo: Getty]

Plan ahead

The study suggests that planning ahead will save you money. But your destination will decide exactly how far in advance you should book:

  • Short-haul: Aim to book approximately 50 days in advance.

  • The USA: Try to book roughly a month in advance (36 days).

  • Africa: Aim to book up to 70 days in advance.

  • Asia: It’s best to book 30 days in advance.

“The best deals don't always come to fruition for the organised,” says Pablo. “If you enjoy impromptu travel and want to visit Australia, for example, then the best flight deals are available by booking just three weeks in advance, compared to booking three months in advance. This does not mean, however, that you cannot find a last-minute bargain to travel to Sydney tomorrow for a very low price if a specific airline has some available seats and wants to fill them before departure.

“If you are travelling with your family and children or a large group of friends, you may prefer to book in advance for peace of mind. But if you are a solo traveller, or travelling with a partner, you may wish to book only a few months or weeks before to get the best savings.”

Be flexible on dates for family travel

Always aim to book your flights about 31-43 days before travel to take advantage of the best prices, and families should be extra flexible in order to get the cheapest deals. “If you have a destination in mind for a family holiday, I'd recommend flexibility on departures dates, browsing various locations and selecting the best price option that suits your needs,” says Pablo. He also recommends booking flight and hotel packages, which can save you up to 40% compared to the same products booked separately. 

If all else fails, remember this

“My top tip,” says Pablo, “is the cheapest time of the year to book a flight in 2020 is on any Sunday in January.” 

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