South East Asia,  Southern Africa,  Travel,  Travel Tips

The Secret to Buying the Cheapest Airline Tickets

What if I told you that the best time to buy airline tickets, is at approximately 23:00 on the Tuesday, 6 weeks before you want to fly. Would you believe me? I’m not sure that I would believe myself either. But, there is proof that this is indeed the best time to buy your airline tickets and get bang for your buck.

Airline ticket prices are affected by more than just the airline and airport taxes. Fares can spike during certain seasons and be impacted by economic factors like oil prices, news and certain events.

Booking Locally

I often travel domestically. Did you know that the Johannesburg to Cape Town flight route is one of the busiest routes in the world? My family lives in Johannesburg, and I stay in Cape Town. Travelling as often as what I do has made me flight-wise, and here are my top tips for finding the cheapest flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg on Travelstart.

Book on a Tuesday.

Research has shown that Tuesdays are the best day to book a local flight. You will save an average of 15% on the ticket price booking on a Tuesday.

To add to that, companies tend to book business flights in the mornings, and the airlines know this, so prices will peak in the A.M. Book in the afternoon to avoid being caught in the ‘business-price’ cycle. This makes Tuesday afternoon the best time to book your flights.

Peak Seasons are a no-no.

Ticket prices will always go up over peak seasons and during local events. South Africa’s peak season is in our summer months between November – March. You can expect to pay more for a flight during this period.

Also keep a lookout for local events. If there is something happening wherever you are flying to, airlines will bump up their ticket prices. Let’s take a look at the Cape Town Cycle Tour as an example. People fly from all over the world to attend and participate in this event, and airlines know it. Local and International airlines will push up their ticket price because (they know) people will buy them.

Unless you are traveling for an event, it’s a good idea to plan your flights around them.

Avoid the Weekends.

Booking a flight over the weekend is more convenient for us, and again the airlines know it. They are so sneaky! Prices spike over the weekend so make sure you stay clear of booking on a Saturday, Sunday, or even a Public Holiday.

Booking Internationally

Thailand is one of South African’s favourite holiday destinations, and it’s obvious why… South African’s don’t need a visa to enter Thailand.

Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. South African’s don’t need to go through the hassle of getting a visa to experience the amazing islands, hiking trails, temples, food markets, and incredible shopping.

Now that I have let you in on my ‘not-so-secret’ secret, all that is left to do is for you to decide on the best time to visit Thailand based on the holiday you want, and then to book your flight. Here are my top tips for booking your flight to Thailand.

Wednesday mornings are your best friend.

You can save up to 15% on your airline ticket if you book on a Wednesday morning.

Avoid the Weekends.

Like with domestic flights, avoid booking international flights over the weekend. You can get up to 18% smashed onto your ticket price just by booking on a day that is not Wednesday.

Peak Seasons are a no-go.

Everything becomes more expensive during peak season periods, or when there is an event taking place where you are flying to. This doesn’t only mean that your ticket price goes up, but accommodation will also become more expensive. Try to avoid peak season bookings where possible.

Don’t Jump the Gun.

Booking within 3-6 months before you fly will see you saving a whopping 14% on your flight ticket, but 6-weeks before a flight is the ‘sweet-spot’. 6 weeks before a flight is when airlines will have their best specials.

Most of us want to book our international flights between 9 – 12 months before flying, so the idea of waiting until 6 weeks before can cause a great deal of anxiety but try and avoid booking your flight too far in advance. Don’t jump at the first deal that you see, or you might miss out on any specials that might come up closer to the time of the day you are leaving.

Fly on a holiday.

Most people will fly around a week before a holiday, but why not fly on the holiday? It’s not as scary as you might think. You are bound to get the best seat in the plane for the cheapest price you will ever pay.

No one wants to fly on a holiday which makes them the cheapest days to fly. Airlines drop their prices to entice passengers to book.

(If you are not superstitious), book on the 13th.

Have you ever wondered why the planes have no row 13? Or why your hotel doesn’t have a floor 13? Superstition is a real thing, and if you not one for believing in it, flying on Friday the 13th could get you the most amazing deals in town.

We have all heard me go on about the best time to buy an airline ticket to your next holiday, but is it all true? Based on their research, Travelstart has summed up the best time to book your airline ticket right down to the month, week, day, and hour.

*Disclaimer: This post was brought to you in collaboration with Travelstart.

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