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April 4, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

It’s no secret Australians love to land a bargain when it comes to airfares. Finding the ideal time to book and being confident in landing on the best price for a flight is a constant pursuit for budding travel planners. To help Aussies score the best airfare, has analysed from more than one billion searches, to unveil the best time to book and travel to the top 10 destinations for 2017, domestically and internationally.

Getting the best deal on airfares depends on a number of factors such as knowing the best days of the week to travel, as well as optimum time to book. Armed with this information, Australian travellers can save considerable amounts of money, up to 59 per cent on domestic flights, and as much as 63 per cent on international flights among these popular destinations.

Planning and booking trips to popular Australian cities

When to book

For Australians aiming to visit the most popular domestic destinations,’s analysis reveals it is best to book 2-3 months out, to achieve average savings of 46%.

Sydney, Adelaide and the Gold Coast are all best booked one month prior to departure, with an average potential saving of more than 42% compared to the most expensive month to book in advance. Travellers wanting to head to Brisbane or Darwin can afford to be more spontaneous, with the best fares found less than one month before departure. On the other end of the spectrum, flights to Melbourne and Hobart are best bought six months in advance, while travellers heading to Perth, which requires the longest lead time, can find return flights for as low as $308 by booking 7 months ahead. 

When to travel

The data also showed what combination of day of the week is best to travel, showing that with a bit of flexibility on travel days and the right itinerary, the best flight prices can be secured. Departing on a weekend is not as pricey as one would think, with Saturday the cheapest day to fly out to Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, while Sunday is an ideal day to travel to Sydney and Hobart. Mondays are an economical choice for those departing to Adelaide and the Gold Coast.

Returning home from holidays is a different story, however, with the best savings to be made from mid-week flights. Travellers flying home from Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and the Gold Coast should opt for a Wednesday departure, whilst those jetting from Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin will find the cheapest flights on Tuesdays.

Most popular
domestic destinations
Best time to book and potential savings Best combination of departure & return days
Ranking Destinations Cheapest time to book Save up to Departure day Return day
1 Melbourne 6 months in advance 59% Sat Tue
2 Sydney 1 month in advance 53% Sun Tue
3 Brisbane 2 weeks in advance 37% Sat Wed
4 Perth 7 months in advance 53% Sat Wed
5 Gold Coast 1 month in advance 36% Mon Wed
6 Cairns 2 months in advance 43% Wed Sat
7 Hobart 6 months in advance 52% Sun Thu
8 Adelaide 1 month in advance 38% Mon Wed
9 Canberra 6 weeks in advance 43% Thu Mon
10 Darwin Less than 2 weeks in advance 48% Fri Tue

Travelling internationally

When to book

To achieve savings on flights to the most popular outbound destinations, recommends booking in advance for travel at any time of year, in which, booking a flight for 7 of the 10 most popular destinations can save an average of 29% or more by booking 4 to 10 months prior to the travel date. Australians with Bali in their sights should plan the furthest in advance; with round-trip flights for as low as $402 AUD available to those who book 10 months before departure, saving up to 50% compared to the most expensive month to book in advance.

Neighbouring Auckland and distant London are exceptions to this rule, with savings of 53% and 31% available to those who book just 3 months ahead of their travels. Australians wanting to land a cheap and truly last-minute airfare should set their sights on Honolulu, however, with huge savings of up to 63% on offer to those who book only 2 months before travelling.

When to fly

When you fly also has an impact on international flight prices. Unlike domestic flights, leaving on a weekend is rarely the cheapest option; only airfares to New Delhi are cheapest when departing on Sundays. Early week departures are the most economical for 6 of the top 10 most popular destinations, with Monday the best day to fly to Bali, Bangkok and Paris, and Tuesday the ideal choice for those heading to Los Angeles, Tokyo and Honolulu.

The same ‘early week’ rule applies to the return flights, with flights from Singapore, Tokyo and New Delhi at their cheapest on Mondays and fares from London and Bangkok at their lowest on Tuesdays. Meanwhile, a mid-week flight on Wednesday is the best option for travellers planning their return from either Bali or Paris.

Most popular
International  destinations
Best time to book and potential savings Best combination of departure & return days
Ranking Destinations Best time to book Save up to Departure day Return day
1 London 3 months in advance 31% Wed Tue
2 Los Angeles 9 months in advance 40% Tue Sun
3 Denpasar (Bali) 10 months in advance 50% Mon Wed
4 Singapore 8 months in advance 46% Thu Mon
5 Tokyo 9 months in advance 41% Tue Mon
6 Auckland 3 months in advance 53% Thu Fri
7 Bangkok 6 months in advance 29% Mon Tue
8 New Delhi 6 months in advance 38% Sun Mon
9 Paris 4 months in advance 38% Mon Wed
10 Honolulu 2 months in advance 63% Tue Thu

Susan Lee, KAYAK Director of APAC comments, “At KAYAK we’re passionate about using our tech know-how to provide recommendations to our users, so they can make better travel decisions. Our latest data analysis shows that Australian travellers can save considerable amounts of money just by booking at the right time and travelling on certain days. Aussies wanting to land the cheapest fare can ensure they don’t miss out by setting up a KAYAK Price Alert. Aussies can also make use of our Price Forecast tool, which recommends whether one should book now or wait based on historical data from over one billion flight searches.”

Note to editors: This analysis is based on round-trip economy flight searches conducted between 1/1/2016 to 22/2/2017 on for any travel dates in 2017 to the most searched destinations. Prices are subject to change, and offers may no longer be available. Indicated savings are not guaranteed.

The best time to book and potentials savings are comparing the cheapest month with the most expensive month of booking in advance to the travel date.

The best combination of travel days are based on the average lowest price combination of depart and return days for round-trip economy flights..

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