All you backpackers in Europe out there dying to jump off to Paris or Rome for the weekend or plan their “Grand Euro-Adventure” (especially on low-cost airlines) this article is for you.
With one quick Google search you can find tons of great articles on when the best time to buy a flight is. You may be surprised how much you can save just by buying one day from the next. Here are the tips we found most interesting:
1. First of all, if you want cheap airfare, obviously you have to go with a cheap airline. According to studies, for European travel, Ryan Air seems to still be the cheapest on average, but also check out Vueling.com, and Easyjet.com. Yes of course they will try to sell you special seating, hotel reservations, duty free items and more..but hey, you paid 40€ for a round-trip to Paris…get over it.
2. Speaking of these airlines, SOMETIMES you can find cheaper prices by buying each leg separately with two different companies. Instead of only checking round trip tickets, try looking at one way with Ryan Air and the trip back with easyjet.
3. All articles agree that you have to compare all airlines before choosing. The best way to do this is using Flight Search Engines. This is NOT to be mistaken with Online Travel Agencies which charge commissions and therefore will never be the cheapest option. A good search engine is skyscanner.com as opposed to online travel agencies such as Rumbo, Edreams, Last-minute, etc.
4. When searching, erase your cookies! Or use different computers when booking. If you are inputting the same dates and destinations over and over again, that info is saved and easily accessible to airlines who can (and will) take advantage of that to up their prices just for you…how nice of them.
5. The “When” to buy… There is some discussion on when is the best time to buy a flight. But after reading multiple articles it appears that the best day of the week is Tuesday because airlines post their offers and sales Monday evening. As for how early is is universally agreed that you shouldn´t buy too early nor too late. Somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks tends to be the sweet spot. Also, try not to buy at the beginning (between the 1st-4th), middle (days 12th-16th) or end (27th-30th) of the month, since that is when most people buy and therefore airlines raise prices.
6. Don´t fly on weekends. The best prices will always be flights that depart on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday if that is an option for you.
7. Sign-up for Newsletters. For a lot of people their first inclination is to not sign-up for Bulletins or Newsletters, but when it comes to getting the best deals, this is a must. So bite the bullet.