When is the cheapest time to travel?

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Wouldn’t it be nice if money were no object? Sadly though we’re all on a budget when it comes to travel and we’re all on the lookout for a cheap deal to make our money go further.

Which raises the question, is there a cheap time to travel, and should I wait for last minute bargains on flights?

Watch TID travel expert Phil Sylvester discuss this with the panel on Studio Ten.

Buy now or wait for a last minute deal?

There are some last minute deals around, but they are seriously last minute, and you’re going to have to be flexible with travel dates to take advantage of them. If you have a complex trip with hotel bookings and car rental planned with Swiss watch precision, this is probably not for you.

But there are cycles of cheap to expensive, and they vary depending on the destination. Going to New York, get your ticket 18 weeks ahead for the lowest fare. Going to London then wait until 2 weeks out. The average best time to buy is 17 weeks before departure.

When to get travel insurance?

Whenever you pay for your ticket or book a hotel THAT is the time to get travel insurance to protect your investment. If something happens like you fall ill, or lose your job, or get called up for jury duty and you can’t travel, Travel Insurance Direct has coverage for all those non-refundable deposits you’ve forked out for.

If you’ve booked a dirt-cheap fare half a year ahead it costs no more for travel insurance. You get all that coverage up to your departure date for FREE. Plus Travel Insurance Direct premiums are not seasonal, what you pay in January is the same as what you’ll pay in August.

When is the most expensive time to fly?

Airline ticket prices adhere to the laws of supply and demand – when demand is high, so is the price. So in Australia that means there’s massive demand during school holidays, especially the summer holidays in December. Plus people are trying to get overseas to see family and friends to celebrate.

But the same holds true in the destination you’re going to. If it’s school holidays there, demand is also going to be high. So for Europe and North America that equates to August.

When is the cheapest time to travel?

Cheapest time to travel is on Saturdays and Wednesdays

If you don’t have school-age children, you’re in luck – go away in non-school break times and you’ll save 12% on the average cost.

Analysis of flight costs by Skyscanner has shown that November is the cheapest time of year to fly out of Australia.

If you can’t travel outside of school holidays, skip December and go away in January, it’s almost as cheap as November.

There are also cheaper days to travel. Saturdays and Wednesdays have some bargains for flights and hotels. It makes sense doesn’t it, everyone wants to maximise their time away by getting all of the weekend at both ends – that means flying out Friday night or Saturday morning and coming back late on a Sunday. Pick a Saturday afternoon flight and you may even get a row of seats to yourself!


Travel Insurance Direct author Phil Sylvester offers insights and advice to keep our customers safe and informed when they travel. With 20 year’s experience, Phil has turned his journalist’s eye to the things that could take the fun out of your holiday, researching issues and destinations that keep you informed so you can travel with confidence.


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