New Skyscanner tool reveals the best time for Australians to book cheap flights

Stephanie Yip 16 February 2017 NEWS

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How to time you booking right for the cheapest domestic and international flights.

It's no secret that flight prices are an ever-changing beast. Book far enough in advance and you could snap up a great price. Wait too long however and the price could rise dramatically.

Skyscanner Australia has crunched the data and found the turning point from savings to overspending and launched a nifty planning tool to help budget travellers locate it.

The tool currently features the best times to visit 20 popular destinations including Auckland, Hong Kong, Phuket and Tokyo from the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

By selecting your point of origin and intended destination, the tool shows you how many months in advance you should book and how much you stand to save. For example, if you want to fly from Sydney to Auckland, booking six months in advance can save you up to 8%. Book two months in advance and you'll only save 6%.

These percentage savings are based on the average price paid by travellers on the nominated route over the last two years.

Overall, Skyscanner's data showed that international destinations should be booked anywhere between 18 and 25 weeks in advance. London, Auckland, Bali and Singapore require the most booking time with 25 weeks lead time being optimal while Bangkok only requires 18 weeks advance booking.

Domestic destinations required only slightly less time to reap the cheapest prices. Booking 18 weeks in advance was enough to keep Melbourne trips cheap while Adelaide required the longest booking time of 23 weeks in advance.

Skyscanner's data also revealed that the cheapest months to travel were May and November, which can save travellers up to 10%.

Unsurprisingly the most expensive month to book was December, which sees an average increase of 26% in fare price.

While Skyscanner's new data unveils the best times to book your flight, other factors do come into play when searching for a cheap flight. This includes the time of day you fly and when in the week you fly. finder.com.au's findings suggest that to keep costs even further down, it's best to fly either early in the morning, during lunch or in the late evening. It's also advised to fly mid-week on Tuesdays or Wednesdays rather than on weekends.

You can access Skyscanner's Best Time to Book tool here.

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