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I am lucky enough to have done a lot of travel in my lifetime. I am lucky in that my father loves to travel and he has planned many a family holiday, and I am lucky that I save enough of my income to spoil myself with a holiday to see my sister quite often. There’s another thing with luck though, with the price of flights inflating at the drop of a hat or a sale that is over almost before it starts, it’s important to find the ideal time to snatch up those tickets. Travelstart have done their research on the best time to buy airline tickets, they are a travel expert after all, so that we don’t have to do it ourselves!
I’ve read up about this quite a lot, I even read an article that states that the best time is a specific number of days before the flight date depending on what season it is, but I am so glad that we finally have a local site that has done all the hard work for us!
The Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets – the Local Edition!
According to their research, for a local flight booking the best day (cheapest) to book is a Tuesday, followed closely by a Wednesday. They also find that afternoon flights are typically the cheapest, but I have found many flights between Joburg and Durban that are on the weekend have been the cheapest in the evening, especially that 9pm flight! It makes sense though, with many business travellers taking the red eye flight and then returning after the work day those times typically are the most pricey.
Travelstart also say that booking a flight for February and August is the cheapest time of the year as they fall just outside of peak vacation times.
The most expensive months to travel locally are December, January and July. There is also a surge in airfares around school holidays (especially Christmas and Easter) and public holidays. Another thing to consider when booking a weekend away, big events such as Comrades or the Argus usually lead to a huge inflation in travel and accommodation prices!
The Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets – the International Edition!
Same goes for international trips regarding big events, but on that side it is best to book your dream holiday on a Sunday and Monday night or look out on a Tuesday or, randomly, Wednesday at 01h00 for a great sale. Depending on your destination, the cheapest months to fly out of South Africa are May, October and November (i.e. just after or before my sister’s, dad’s and my birthday). Avoid booking your flight on a Sunday as tickets are typically 10% more expensive that day!
While I am a huge advocate of booking your holiday in advance, they also say that booking too far in advance isn’t always a good thing. I also suggest when searching for tickets to compare across sites, I love sites that compare multiple airline on one site, like Travelstart, but I also check on the airlines website itself. Here’s a handy guide on the different types of visas for South African travellers
I’m off to London next week!
I took huge advantage of a Travelstart sale a couple of months ago and got my return flight to London, departing next week Friday (eeep), at just over R7,000! I checked the Emirates airline website just in case and it was way more expensive! So it is a complete fallacy that these comparison sites inflate costs to better serve their bottom line!
You can book your next Travelstart flight here. I highly recommend them, the service is great and if you ever encounter an issue (like when Etihad moved my flight without telling me in December) then they are ready to solve the problem in an instant!
Here’s a handy infographic on the best time to buy airline tickets, according to Travelstart
I am in the process of writing my travel hacks – so expect that post to come soon (if I find the time to finish the bloody thing)!
*Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Travelstart. The views on the post are not influenced by the collaboration, they are true and my own.