Best time to buy and when to fly to land cheap travel deals

Best time to buy and when to fly to land cheap travel deals

Timing is everything when it comes to landing the best travel deals.Anyone who’s searched for cheap tickets knows flight prices can fluctuate — a lot. So to help you figure out when’s the best time to book flights and to fly, Cheapflights.ca has done some serious number crunching. Story continues below

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Analysts at the trip-booking company pored over 4.5 million flight searches from departure points across Canada to its top 20 destinations. The team was able to use the data to pinpoint peak travel times for each travel spot, and the cheapest windows to book and fly.“The biggest takeaway is time of year is more important than time of day,” explained Jess Hopper, an editor at Cheapflights Canada, who wrote up the final report.“The best thing you can do for your bank account is to plan months in advance.”READ MORE: Don’t buy tickets on a Friday and other flight-booking tipsFor the most part, it looks like booking anywhere from three to five months before your trip is the sweet spot. However, depending on the destination, great deals can be found even a week or two ahead of time.In general, you can expect to have better luck with last-minute deals to resorts than to big cities like Vancouver or Los Angeles.Of course there are exceptions. Cuba, for instance, is more expensive in the summer than in December, which is usually a peak travel time everywhere else.The best bang for your buck if you’re looking for a getaway in the not-so-distant future, according to the Cheapflights data, would be a Valentine’s Day trip to Paris. You might also be able to score a sweet deal to Orlando for the end of January. Or an inexpensive trip to Thailand in four to five weeks time.READ MORE: Top 17 trips to take in 2017Here’s a closer look at the best booking and travel times to the 20 places Canadians most frequently fly:1. TorontoBest time to book: 5 months before your trip, or the last week of SeptemberBest time to fly: last week of FebruaryWhen to buy for peak season travel: 3rd week of January for summer travel (the Canada Day long week is the priciest); last week of June for the Christmas holidaysWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: 3-4 weeks ahead of a trip in the last 2 weeks of August2. Manila, PhilippinesBest time to book: 4.5 months before your trip, or the last week of MayBest time to fly: first 2 weeks of SeptemberWhen to buy for peak season travel: last 2 weeks of June for December travelWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: 1st week of September for a trip in the 3rd week of October3. London, EnglandBest time to book: 4 months + one week before your trip, or mid-AprilBest time to fly: 2nd week of MayWhen to buy for peak season travel: mid-January for summer travel (the last week of June and first week of July is the priciest); last week of August for December travelWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: mid-to-late August for a trip in the first 2 weeks of September4. VancouverBest time to book: 5 months before your trip, mid-August, or early JanuaryBest time to fly: mid-January to early February, or the 1st week of April (for spring skiing)When to buy for peak season travel: mid-to-late February for summer travel; mid-April for a trip specifically in the 3rd week of July; 1st week of July for travel in the last 2 weeks of DecemberWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: 3rd week of March for a trip in the 2nd week of June5. New York CityBest time to book: 5 months before your trip, or the 1st week of AugustBest time to fly: 2nd week of JanuaryWhen to buy for peak season travel: mid-June or August for a mid-to-late December flightWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: 1st 2 weeks of June for a trip in the 2nd or 3rd week of September6. Paris, FranceBest time to book: 3.5 months before your trip, or between late May and early JuneBest time to fly: last week of SeptemberWhen to buy for peak season travel: February for a trip in either the last week of June or 1st week of July (the last week of July and 1st week of August are the priciest); or the 2nd week of July/early August for a trip between Christmas and New Year’sWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: 3rd week of January for travel in the first 2 weeks of February (a perfect Valentine’s Day trip)7. Las Vegas, NevadaBest time to book: 4.5-5 months before your trip, or between late August to early SeptemberBest time to fly: mid-January to mid-FebruaryWhen to buy for peak season travel: 1st week of July for a trip between Christmas and New Year’sWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: week before Christmas for a trip in the 1st week of January8. Orlando, FloridaBest time to book: 3.5 months before your trip, or the 3rd week of AprilBest time to fly: end of May to early JuneWhen to buy for peak season travel: end of November for a spring break trip; 3rd week of July for flights between Christmas and New Year’sWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: last 10 days of August for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of September; or mid-January for the last week of January9. Bangkok, ThailandBest time to book: 4.5 months before your trip, or mid-September to early OctoberBest time to fly: 4th week of November (but the whole month is a bargain)When to buy for peak season travel: end of June for travel in mid-December; 1st week of October for early-December; 2nd-4th weeks of February for summer travel between mid-June to end of JulyWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: 4-5 weeks ahead of a trip in the first weeks of December and January10. CalgaryBest time to book: 4 months before your trip, or early OctoberBest time to fly: 1st week of FebruaryWhen to buy for peak season travel: 1st 2 weeks of February for either the last 2 weeks of July and 1st week of August; mid-to-late July for Christmas travel; end of August for the week before New Year’s EveWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: 1st week of July for a trip in the last week of that month; mid-April for the 2nd week of June11. Fort Lauderdale, FloridaBest time to book: 3.5 months, or late February to early MarchBest time to fly: 1st week of AprilWhen to buy for peak season travel: early-to-mid July for late December travelWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: late December for the 1st half of January12. Los Angeles, CaliforniaBest time to book: 5 months before your trip, or mid-JanuaryBest time to fly: 1st week of MayWhen to buy for peak season travel: late-February to early-March for travel in late-July to early-August, or late June to early July for December travelWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: mid-November for travel in the last 2 weeks of January13. Cancun, MexicoBest time to book: 1-2 weeks or 3 months before your tripBest time to fly: last 2 weeks of OctoberWhen to buy for peak season travel: 1st week of August for a mid-to-late December trip; early-to-mid March or the 3rd week of June for an August tripWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: last days of January for a trip in the first week of February; first week of December for a last-minute getaway14. MontrealBest time to book: 5 months before your trip, or the 1st week of SeptemberBest time to fly: last week of JanuaryWhen to buy for peak season travel: late January for a trip in late-July; mid-February for travel in early-August; 1st week of July or August for December travelWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: late March for a trip in late May15. Beijing, ChinaBest time to book: 4 months before your trip, or mid-SeptemberBest time to fly: NovemberWhen to buy for peak season travel: late December to early January for a trip in the last 3 weeks of June; early August for the 2 weeks leading up to ChristmasWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: last week of August for the 3rd week of September; November for a trip that same month (just make sure to give yourself enough time to get a travel visa)16. Miami, FloridaBest time to book: 4.5 months before your trip, or the 4th week of MarchBest time to fly: last week of AprilWhen to buy for peak season travel: mid-July to the last two weeks of DecemberWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: mid-to-late October for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of January17. San Francisco, CaliforniaBest time to book: 4.5 months before your trip, or mid-JanuaryBest time to fly: 1st week of AprilWhen to buy for peak season travel: 3rd week of February for a trip in the last 2 weeks of July; 2nd week of August for late DecemberWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: 2nd week of April for a trip in the 1st week of June18. EdmontonBest time to book: 4.5 months before your trip, or the 2nd week of FebruaryBest time to fly: 1st week of JuneWhen to buy for peak season travel: mid-February for travel in the 1st and 3rd weeks in July; 3rd week of May for a trip in the 2nd week of July; for Christmas travel: the 2nd week of July or the 1st week of OctoberWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: late July for travel in the 2nd week of September19. San Jose, Costa RicaBest time to book: 3.5 months before your trip, or late AugustBest time to fly: 3rd week in SeptemberWhen to buy for peak season travel: early June for travel in late DecemberWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: mid-to-late March for a trip in the last week of March20. Varadero, CubaBest time to book: 4 months before your trip, or the 1st week of DecemberBest time to fly: 1st week of MarchWhen to buy for peak season travel: 3rd week of October for pre-Christmas travelWhen you can score the best last-minute deals: 1st half of March for travel in the 3rd week of MarchFor more travel tips for the destinations, check out Cheapflights.ca. You can also see Kayak’s “travel hacker” advice on the best times to book by clicking here.Follow @TrishKozicka

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