Best Time to Book International Flights To Europe vs Africa vs the South Pacific ... and 4 more

Edited by Kathy McGraw, Maria Quinney

When you're talking about international travel, there are no hard and fast rules about when is the best time to book a flight. The truth is that the airfare fluctuates a lot You might think you got a deal when you bought your tickets at 9 a.m. on Saturday, but a quick search on Monday reveals that the price dropped by $100. There following are generic guidelines compiled using data from a Cheapair survey and a 2015 Expedia study. Always do your own research and compare ticket prices across several booking platforms to find the best deals.

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Method 1: To Europe

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If you dream about touring Europe, buy your tickets 99 to 120 days in advance and try to plan your trip during the off-season months of November through March, excluding December.

Method 2: To Africa

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For African flights, grab your tickets 119 to 215 days in advance, but as for when is off-season, Africa is a trickier case because the large continent spans both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and has equatorial countries where the weather is nice all year-round. The other thing to be aware of when buying tickets to Africa is that there are fewer airlines that fly there, so tickets will always be more expensive than other regions of the world with better flight coverage.

Method 3: To the South Pacific

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To get the best prices on tickets to the land down under as well as the many islands that dot the great blue South Pacific region, get your tickets 320 days in advance. The good thing for those of us in North America is our summer is their winter. The cheapest tickets are available from April through September.

Method 4: To the Caribbean

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Ah, the Caribbean. Sun drenched tropical beaches and warm aquamarine waters. Who wouldn't want to fly there? For the best deals, buy your tickets between 76 to 320 days in advance and travel during months of August through November for off-season deals. Be aware, however, that these months include prime hurricane season.

Method 5: To Mexico

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Travel to Mexico is cheapest during the months of November through March, but be aware that the further south you go, the less seasonal travel becomes. Also, if you are heading to the Yucatan which borders the Caribbean, you might fight cheaper tickets during hurricane season. Try and buy your tickets between 61 and 75 days in advance for the best fares.

Method 6: To South America

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Like the South Pacific, South America is in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are reversed. So figure on June through August for off-season travel. South America also has some countries at or near the equator, with beach weather all year around. Book your flight around 70 days in advance for the best chance at cheaper tickets.

Method 7: To Asia

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Asia is a huge continent, and seasonal travel there varies with location, however, travel between November through March would be a good bet for cheaper airfare. Be sure to buy your tickets 160 days in advance.


  • Buy your tickets on a Sunday.
  • Shop online. There is a huge variety in pricing from platform to platform
  • Purchase your tickets at least 21 days in advance
  • Do research on your destination. There may be other variables that affect ticket price
  • Avoid purchasing airfare on a Friday
  • Try combining airfare with a hotel room and a car rental

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Travel & Leisure

Recent edits by: Kathy McGraw

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