Answered! What Are The Best Time to Book Flights to Europe?

By Fareboom Staff, Mon, Aug 6, 2018

Flight fares fluctuate on a daily basis (and sometimes quite randomly) especially in the week prior to a departure date. It's simple economics - there are fewer seats available and more people vying for it, leading to an obvious rise in prices. However, that doesn’t mean the early bird would get the worm.

So what can a traveler on a budget do? Find the middle ground of course. For, somewhere between the premium pricing and last-minute compromises, there lies an opening for prime deals and inexpensive airfare bargains. Here are a few tips and actionable advice for budget travelers who are looking for that sweet spot to book the cheap tickets and bag the best seats. Check them out.


The Deal With Airfares

There was a time when one had to go to the local travel agency to book flight tickets. Back then the prices used to be hidden behind the invisible walls of misinformation. Today, you can check fluctuating flight rates for yourself, compare, and get the best deals online. Almost every major airline follows the same pattern when it comes to setting up airfares for flights. A few weeks before the flight date, the tickets are reasonably priced. The rates surge as the demand goes up. The date and time of the flight, oil prices, travel itineraries, and special season offers are but a few factors that have an impact on the increased airfares. The summer months (from late May to early June)  is the busiest and most expensive time to book air tickets for traveling to Europe.


About International Flights

Getting cheap airfare deals is a gamble of sorts - prices vary almost daily and sometimes you just get lucky. There’s nothing worse than watching others getting a good bargain while you’re stuck paying more than the normal fare, right? 

Different countries have different prime booking openings. The European winters, for instance, are a good time to travel if you’re on a budget. Christmas and New Year might be the exceptional cases when fares are always up. Plan ahead- but not too far ahead as to miss out on the most profitable deals.  


How Early Should You Book Your Tickets?

Contrary to popular belief, buying tickets early on doesn’t get you better deals, no matter what your common sense tells you. In many cases, though, it would be a smart move to call first dibs during the holiday season.  Outside of the holidays season,  we recommend you book your tickets roughly 160 days in advance to get the best deals on your trip to Europe.  Good news for North American travelers who found the dream destination to be pricey otherwise - there has been a 10% drop in the fares since last year. Most international flights put up their tickets for sale a year prior to the take-off. But, don’t book your tickets straightway - good things come to those who wait. 


The Prime Booking Window

Sure, the tickets are available a year in advance but don’t expect any deals up till about 4-6 months prior departure date. The flight rates usually start fluctuating roughly  5 months prior to departure date and continue to do so until 3 weeks before take-off. The prime booking window is somewhere between 3 months until 99 days before the departure date. During this period, the rates are at their lowest which means you can catch a pretty good bargain and pay a lot less than the normal fare. The best time to book flight tickets to Europe would be sometime during March. 


How Much Can You Save?

Travelling off-season can be very cost-effective and time-saving. You could save up to half of the normal fare and also have a choice of seats as there aren’t many passengers during winter. On the downside, visiting Europe during winter can be quite unpleasant. Most of the countries of the continent are either covered in snow or there’s heavy rainfall. If you to visit Europe during the summer season, we suggest you hurry up. The prime booking window is open for about 1.5 months to a little over 8 months before departure.


When Is The Cheapest Time to Fly?

Most people try to tackle Europe in summer, so the tickets are obviously going to be expensive when the weather turns warm. Americans prefer July, peak summer time in Europe, which is also the most expensive time of the year to go to Europe. In addition, the weekends, special holidays, concerts, festivals, sports tournaments etc. also account for a hike in prices. We suggest you plan to travel on weekdays. Mondays and Wednesdays are the best days of the week to be on a flight to Europe. Also, if you can handle the cold, you can find some really inexpensive deals in March and other winter months. Just keep in mind that traveling between the Christmas week and New Year can cost a fortune.


The Bottom Line

Booking tickets for airplanes can be tricky. Airlines tend to keep higher rates initially and lower the, down as the tickets start selling. What you need is a silver lining, an opening where you can get the best deals without having to compromise on your seating options. That’s where we come in to help!


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