The cheapest times for Australians to fly

Find out the times, days and months to book so you get more bang for your buck.

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Cheap travel isn't hard to come by if you know when and where to look. And by being open to keeping your itinerary flexible.

Booking on and for certain dates in the week could be all you need to do to shave a couple of bucks off your holiday.

Reserve in advance or fly during the off season and you could save a even more than a couple of bucks.

Hot Tip: If you can, tick the "flexible dates" option when searching for flights. This way you can see if flying a day before or after could be cheaper than flying on your nominated date.

Planning a trip soon? Here's when you should fly to nab a cheap-as-chips flight:


When to fly in the day

Generally speaking, early morning flights, lunch time flights or late night flights are the cheapest. This is quite possibly because of the lack of transport that some airports offer at these times.

As well as getting a cheap ticket for an early morning flight, if you’re flying locally you could also arrive in your destination earlier, meaning you have more time to explore on your first day. The negative – and possibly another reason why these flights are cheaper – is that if you’re flying further, you’ll likely spend the day in the air.

Meanwhile, the most expensive flights in the day are in the evening between 5pm and 9pm. This timeframe means you can sleep on the plane and won’t have to take the day off work to fly.

To give you an example of how flight prices change throughout the day, this graph is based on airfares for domestic carriers travelling Sydney to Melbourne on Wednesday 17 June 2020. Prices are accurate at the time of writing and times used were taken to the nearest 30 minutes:


When to fly in the week

The best times to fly are during the working week - particularly on Tuesday or Wednesday. Prices peak on Friday evening and Sunday evening or Monday morning for those looking to go on a weekend getaway without having to cash in their annual leave.

If you’ve got the leave to spare or some time in lieu, try and fly out on a Tuesday or Wednesday, as they’re the least popular days due to them being in the middle of the working week.

Saturday is also an option as it's in the middle of the weekend. Here’s a look at how flight prices change during the week on domestic carriers. The prices used are the lowest prices on each carrier for the week of 13-19 July flying Sydney to Melbourne.


When to fly in the year

Generally, wherever you’re eyeing the best time to fly to it is during your destination’s off-peak season. This could mean during the monsoon season if you’re headed to Asia, or during winter if you’re headed to an island resort.

If those options don’t appeal to you, work with shoulder seasons (the time just before or after peak season). Sometimes you can get lucky weather-wise and the prices will not be as high as if you flew in during the peak.

Peak season tends to fall during the school holidays, Christmas holidays, days of significance (eg, Chinese New Year) or snow season (if it’s a popular skiing destination).

Below is a snapshot of the cheapest months to fly to some of the most popular destinations for Australian travellers. Destinations are chosen from ABS data on Australian departures for April 2016. Flight prices have been gathered through Skyscanner by choosing the "cheapest month" option for departures from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The cheapest months to fly to set destinations:

BaliQueenstownAucklandLos AngelesBangkokPhuketLondonTokyoSingaporeNadi (Fiji)Hong Kong
JanuaryYes
FebruaryYes
MarchYesYesYesYes
AprilYesYesYes
MayYesYes
June
JulyYesYes
AugustYesYesYesYesYesYes
SeptemberYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
OctoberYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
NovemberYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
DecemberYes

When to book for cheap flights

Timing is everything and when it comes to the booking cheap flights there are times that work better than others. According to Skyscanner, generally, the earlier you book the more you'll save though booking approximately 17 weeks prior to departure can save you up to 5% off flights on many international departures.

Some exceptions to this rule include closer destinations like New Zealand and Singapore which you can still get cheaply up to 11 weeks in advance.

A similar pattern follows for domestic flights. Book 15-17 weeks in advance for long-haul domestic (e.g. Sydney to Perth) and you can save up to 25%. Book 5-11 weeks on shorter haul flights (eg, Sydney to Brisbane or Melbourne to Brisbane) and again, you're looking to save up to 25% off.

As to what day is best to book flights Business Insider suggests the weekends or Tuesday. This is because most business travellers book their weekend trips during the week so weekends are opened up to leisure travellers searching for cheap flights.

It's also worth it to keep on top of regular sale periods for specific carriers such as Virgin Australia Happy Hour, Wotif Flyday and Jetstar Friday Frenzy.


Searching for cheap flights?

These are the sales and deals helping you go on that holiday sooner.

Deal

Worldwide flights from $109 each way with Jetstar

Verified Today Expires 28 Jan 2022
Available for travel from 4 February – 15 September 2022 to destinations including Bali, Phuket, Auckland, Tokyo, Honolulu and more. Sample price is Cairns-Bali.
Deal

Flights with Jetstar from $29 each way

Verified Today Expires 28 Jan 2022
Available for travel from April - November 2022 to destinations including Sydney, Perth, Cairns, Uluru, Brisbane and more. Sample fare is Adelaide-Melbourne.
Deal

Up to 50% off flights across Australia

Verified Yesterday Expires 4 Feb 2022
Available for travel until 28 February 2022. Destinations include Adelaide, Melbourne, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Perth and more.
Deal

Up to 50% off: Australia flights from $32 with Jetstar

Verified 5 days ago Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights from 1 December 2021 – 28 February 2022. Destinations include Sydney, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Hobart and more. Sample fare is Adelaide–Melbourne.
Deal

Australia-wide flights from $41 each way

Verified 5 days ago Expires 26 Jan 2022
Available on select flight dates until 15 June 2022. Destinations include Sunshine Coast, Hobart, Sydney and more. Sample fare is Adelaide-Melbourne with Jetstar.
Deal

Up to 50% off Qantas flights

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights until 28 February 2022 to destinations including Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Hamilton Island, Cairns, Darwin, Broome and more.
Deal

Australia-wide flights from $59 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available from November 2021 – September 2022 to destinations including Cairns, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Ballina and Sydney-Coffs Harbour. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Global flights from $1,099 return

Verified 5 days ago Expires 28 Jan 2022
Available on flights until 31 August 2022. Destinations include London, Paris, Abu Dhabi and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Dubai. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 50% off Rex Airlines flights

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights until 28 February 2022 to Gold Coast, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and more.
Deal

Domestic flights from $32 each way

Expires 25 Jan 2022
Available on flights until March 2022 to Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Gold Coast with Rex Airlines.
Deal

Flights to Melbourne from $54 return

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on flights from January - May 2022, including during Australian Open. Sample fare is Sydney-Avalon with Jetstar. Other flights depart from Adelaide and more.
Deal

International flights from $130 each way

Verified Today Expires 28 Jan 2022
Available on Jetstar flights from 7 April – 29 July 2022. Sample fare is Adelaide-Bali. Destinations include New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, Vietnam and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

South Africa flights from $1,208 return

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on flights from January – March 2022. Destinations include Cape Town, Durban and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Johannesburg with Qatar Airways.
Deal

New Zealand flights from $319 return

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on flights until May 2022 to Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Auckland with Jetstar.
Deal

Sydney flights from $67 return

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on select travel dates until May 2022. Sample flight departs from Ballina with Jetstar.
Deal

International flights from $1,854 return

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on select travel dates until 31 December 2022. Destinations include Dubai, London, Dublin and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Abu Dhabi. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Canada flights from $1,682 return

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available for flights on select dates in March 2022. Sample fare departs from Melbourne to Vancouver with Air Canada. Destinations include Toronto, Edmonton, Montreal, Calgary and more.
Deal

New Zealand flights from $312 each way

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on select travel dates to Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and more. Sample fare is Brisbane–Christchurch. Tickets must be purchased 28 days prior to flight date. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Canada flights from GBP£332 return

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Plus get free date change on select flights in 2022. Destinations include Vancouver, Montreal and more. Sample fare is London-Toronto. T&Cs apply.
Code

Up to 10% off flights + extra checked baggage

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available on flights until 30 June 2022 exclusive for students. Destinations include Dublin, Paris, Ireland, Abu Dhabi and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Flights to Cuba from $1,121 return

Expires 28 Jan 2022
Available on select travel dates. Sample fare is Sydney-Havana. Other flights depart from Hobart, Melbourne and more.
Deal

Cuba flights from $1,968 return

Expires 28 Jan 2022
Available on flights from February – May 2022. Sample fare is Sydney-Havana. Other destinations include Varadero, Santa Clara and more.
Deal

International flights from $505 return

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on flights from 22 January – 23 September 2022. Destinations include Bali, Fiji and New Zealand. Sample fare is Brisbane-Nadi. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Sunshine Coast flights from $89 each way

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on Qantas flights until 28 February 2022. Sample fare departs from Sydney. Other flights depart from Melbourne and Canberra. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Europe flights from $1,604 return

Expires 26 Jan 2022
Available on select flight dates in 2022. Destinations include United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ireland, France, Greece and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Dublin.
Deal

Flights to Europe from $1,132 return

Expires 25 Jan 2022
Available on flights from February – August 2022 to London, Paris, Rome, Athens and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Istanbul with Etihad Airways.
Deal

New Zealand flights from $322 return

Expires 25 Jan 2022
Available on flights from March – July 2022 to Queenstown, Christchurch and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Auckland with Jetstar.
Deal

Flights to Fiji from $308 return

Expires 25 Jan 2022
Available on select travel dates until June 2022. Sample fare is Sydney-Nadi with Jetstar.
Deal

Get a EUR€20 voucher for your next trip

Subscribe your email address to Kiwi.com's newsletter and receive a EUR€20 voucher for your next trip.
Deal

Sydney flights from $59 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available for travel from January – June 2022 departing from Coffs Harbour, Gold Coast and more. Sample fare departs from Ballina. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Melbourne flights from $69 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available on select flight dates from January – June 2022. Sample fare departs from Launceston. Other flights depart from Newcastle and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Perth flights from $179 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available on select flight dates until September 2022. Sample fare departs from Adelaide. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Hobart flights from $79 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available on select dates from 20 January – 12 June 2022. Sample fare departs from Melbourne.
Deal

Gold Coast flights from $85 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available on flights from January – June 2022 departing from Melbourne and more. Sample fare departs from Sydney.
Deal

Cairns flights from $105 each way

Expires 15 Feb 2022
Available on select flight dates June 2022. Sample flight departs from Brisbane. Other flights depart from Sydney, Gold Coast and more.
Deal

FlyPelican flights from $92 each way

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available for travel from 24 December 2021 – 30 June 2022. Destinations include Port Macquarie, Ballina and more. Sample fare is Newcastle-Sunshine Coast. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Singapore flights from $674 return

Expires 25 Jan 2022
Available on flight from 22 April – 31 May 2022. Sample fare departs from Perth with Singapore Airlines. Other flights depart from Brisbane, Sydney and more.
Code

Up to $35 off flight fees

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Available select dates and on bookings for up to 7 passengers. T&Cs apply
Code

Get $10 off flight booking fees

Expires 31 Jan 2022
Discount applies for up to 2 passengers when you use the code. T&Cs apply
Deal

Flights to Hong Kong from $1,065 return

Expires 28 Feb 2022
Available on Cathay Pacific flights until 28 February 2022. Sample fare is Perth-Hong Kong. Other flights depart from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and more.

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