Identifying the best time to buy international airline ticket calls for a number of consideration. So, I crunched the numbers and checked the fares for 1,219,825 trips last year from the U.S. to 74 destinations outside the country, particularly during the summer. And here is what the data tells us. International flights denote separate, sticky ball of wax, with lots of different variables at work. From a certain destination to another, you will get hard pressed to do a sort of apple-to-apple comparison of international flights, so we do not have even try. This has to come as no surprise, because every market is truly unique across the globe. As I said, there are some considerations that you have to think of.
First, find out whether there is a seasonal component to your flight. You have to always be aware of seasonality when you book international flight. Different to domestic flights, with the international one there is often a huge disparity between the price during the low tourist season and high tourist season. What is surprising is that the high season flights may even double the price. For many destination like the Caribbean and some parts of Mexico, the winter is actually the peak, so I guess flying in the summer won’t cost you much. For instance, European destinations are obviously in high demand during the summer when most American travelers make their international plans. As such, if you are planning to travel to England in August, you may want to start searching even earlier to achieve the best international flight.
Flights fill much faster in the summer when demand is higher and the better itineraries and most desirable seats will sell out much earlier. It is not, on the other hand, uncommon to be able to land a surprising last minute deal to Europe, if you are planning to travel during the winter when there are only few people going.
Another point to pay attention to is how many people in your party are. If you are booking travel for small group or family, then it is likely that you want to book early when sitting next to each other is a must. You may pay a bit higher fare, yet you are more likely to have this lux if you get your booking early. If you are flying by yourself and have some flexibility in your itinerary, then you may be more willing to gamble on nabbing yourself last minute sale. For instance, if you can fly to just any European destinations and have the flexibility with your dates of flight, then you may snag a good deal at the last minute, particularly out of larger gateway popular destinations like New York which have lots of daily flights which go to the region.
The third point to find out is if there are any extenuating circumstances which may affect pricing and demand of international flights. This year Brazil is being a very interesting case. Olympic cities see a massive surge in interest and reservations. Therefore, prices will be higher much earlier.
So, there you go then. The best time to purchase international flights. Just keep in mind that you should always do your homework and check the airfares.