We’re missing out on the best flights because we’re booking them too late!

More cash for airport wine.
Bridesmaids at the airport

Great news if you’re not fussy about when you travel this year, you’re one of the lucky ones who can book at the right time and save yourself a few (hundred) dollars.

So when exactly is that right time?

Booking International

Well, travel search engine Skyscanner has done the groundwork – analysing fares to 20 popular destinations from the last two years to determine patterns of when you’ll score the best deal. The site found out you should book your annual leave…

~ During the cheapest month of May you’ll save up to 13 per cent on your average travel bill.

~ To get the best deal flying from Sydney to London, book up to 5 weeks in advance. If you’re travelling from Brisbane, you only need to book 21 weeks out to get the best deal.

~ Melbourne to Bali is best booked only 11 weeks out.

~ Perth to Auckland? A mere 16 weeks before flying will keep your budget in check.

~ No surprises here but December is going to send you broke for travel, with costs up 32% so if you do want to head home for Chrissy, it’s best to book as far out as possible.

~ Skyscanner’s data shows that booking 22 weeks in advance to international destinations is the optimum time to get the greatest savings, though this will differ from destination to destination.

Sky Scanner’s handy flight booking tips.

Booking Domestic

Check out the timing vs saving sheet above.

Holidaying closer to home, 13 weeks seemed to be the magic number for snagging a bargain – with flights from Melbourne to Sydney best booked this time, and the same for Perth locals wanting to make a trip to the Victorian capital.

For Queensland breaks, you’re going to need to get organised earlier, with travel bargains likely to be found about 19 weeks before flying to Brisbane, Cairns or the Gold Coast.

As far as best day to book? Sky Scanner says there isn’t one – the only secret is booking as far in advance as possible.

So, if you can pre-plan your next holiday with enough lead time the facts show it would pay to – and you can’t argue with facts.

Safe (and budget) travels, everyone!

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