The report from travel site Expedia found that being too well prepared and booking your flight far in advance could actually cost you money.
Saving time and money are among our biggest travel concerns. From avoiding delays to ensuring we get the best deal on tickets, it can be a stressful experience.
What is the best day to book your flight? When is the cheapest day to travel? And can you adjust your plans so there is the lowest chance of facing disruption?
Online travel site Expedia has just answered these questions with its top air travel hacks for 2024. The report was created using millions of pieces of data from the Airlines Reporting Corporation, a database that records ticket sales from hundreds of airlines around the world.
It offers tips on when to book, the cheapest dates and the best times to travel if you want to avoid disruption.
When is the best time to book your flight?
Depending on where you are heading, booking your flights at a specific time could save you money.
But being too well prepared for long-haul travel could actually cost you. Around two to four weeks before your departure is the sweet spot for the best deals on international tickets.
Purchasing them on a Sunday could also cut the cost of your travel while Fridays and Saturdays are some of the most expensive days to book.
For domestic flights, you may need to prepare a little further in advance. Tickets are generally cheaper around three months before your intended travel date and increase as the date of departure approaches.
When you are choosing which day to actually travel, some also tend to be cheaper than others.
Fridays are generally the least expensive days to travel internationally. You could save around 20 per cent on your ticket price. For domestic flights, a Saturday flight is often the lowest-cost option.
When is the best time to travel to avoid delays and cancellations?
More than a third of people surveyed in Germany said they felt stressed even just looking for a good flight deal - let alone thinking about travel complications.
But one of the biggest concerns among travellers this year is the threat of delays and cancellations, according to Expedia’s surveys. 65 per cent of people in France said it was their number one travel stress - even more than losing a child or companion at the airport.
So how can you avoid disruption when you fly? The answer is to travel early in the day.
Journeys between 3am and 9am face the least amount of disruption, according to Expedia. If you hate having to travel early and end up choosing a flight after 3pm, there is a much higher chance that it will be cancelled.
Unsurprisingly, travelling during peak summer months like June and July could also mean you are more likely to face delays. Off-season flights are not only cheaper but also less likely to be delayed or cancelled.
Disruption has significantly decreased compared to last year, however. The average length of delay currently sits at around 44 minutes instead of the 239 minutes passengers faced in 2022 according to Expedia.
Top air travel tips for saving money
While all of this information could help you to save money, the cost of a flight is less volatile than it has been in previous years, Expedia says.
International flights in particular have stabilised, meaning you don’t need to plan too far in advance to get the best deal. And various factors can determine fares across different airlines so these air travel hacks are not a rigid set of rules to follow.
Monitoring ticket prices for the airline you want to travel with could be the best option. Using an airfare tracker, like Expedia’s own, Kayak or Skyscanner, will help you to keep track of fares as they rise and fall.
Even when using these tools it’s worth checking how much they would cost if you book them directly with the airline as this might actually be the best deal.