The Google Flights team analyzed five years’ worth of airfare data to get to the bottom of how to get the best deals on flights.
Some of the findings may not exactly be surprising to travelers, like the fact that it’s about 12% cheaper to fly out on a weekday versus a weekend. When international flights are excluded from the data, the savings can climb up to 20%.
Google did note, however, that it doesn’t matter which weekday you fly out, dispelling the common travel myth that Tuesdays are the cheapest day to fly. On average, over the last five years, flying out on a Tuesday has only been about 1.9% cheaper.
If you really want to save, consider booking a flight with a layover. Nonstop fares average 20% higher than ones with layovers.
Perhaps the most telling data is how far in advance they recommend booking trips. For domestic flights, it’s best to book 21-60 days in advance, with 44 days out being the sweet spot. Of course, it’s a bit different for the holidays and depends on your final destination.
If you’re planning your Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays right now, Google recommends booking 52 days out for Thanksgiving and 22 days ahead of Christmas. For flights from the US to Europe, the best deals are about 129 days out. To save a buck while going to Mexico or the Caribbean, try booking about 59 days out.