Big data is the primary driving force of the airline industry. Nearly every aspect of the airline industry is determined by existing data. Flight patterns, cost of plane tickets, frequency of flights, all of these things are set based on data from previous years.
That’s why the safest place to turn for advice in planning travel is the existing data, and thusly so CheapAir.com< just released their annual report on when is the best time to buy plane tickets (in advance) for the most popular destinations around the world. Flying to Europe this Summer? I hope you booked 4 months out. The South Pacific? You need to plan almost a year in advance. Let's check out the map:
Here’s what CheapAir.com found from analyzing millions of flights:
To identify the best time to buy that international airline ticket, we crunched the numbers and examined fares for 1,219,825 trips in 2015 from the U.S. to 74 popular destinations outside the country.
Here’s what the data tells us: International flights are an entirely separate, sticky ball of wax, with a lot of different variables at play. From one destination to another, you are hard pressed to do an apples to apples comparison, so we don’t even try. This should come as no real surprise, since every market is unique across the globe. When we break the study down by region, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s no “one size fits all” approach, though the data does show some international destinations benefiting more from long-term planning and others not needing that kind of lead time. Central and South America show the best time to buy at 70 days out from travel dates, which is closest to the domestic 54 day average. Canada and Mexico are also similar to the U.S. market, with 75 days out being the optimal time to purchase airfare to either of our closest neighbors, on average. The best fares to Europe can be found at 4 months out (120 days), and Asian destinations come in at 160 days from travel dates. From here, there’s a jump to 215 days for the Middle East and Africa and then a bump to nearly one year to secure the best fares for the Caribbean (320 days) and Australasia/South Pacific (320 days).
Australia’s definitely a bucket list destination for me. It’s got some of the greatest fishing, diving, and sight seeing anywhere in the world. But do I seriously need to plan almost a full year in advance? I guess what I’d like to see is a chart of how the best/worst prices change over time, and not just when the best time to buy is.
So with all this in mind if any of you bros are booking travel abroad for the next year you should go ahead and bookmark this post and use it accordingly.
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