Maybe you change the sheets on Saturdays, watch football on Sundays, call Mom on Wednesdays and grocery shop on Mondays. Creatures of habit tend to have strong opinions about the best time to take care of certain tasks, but when it comes to booking flights and saving money, any day is the right day.

For years, travel experts suggested booking plane tickets on Tuesdays because it was then that airlines released their cheapest seats. That's no longer true. Today, it's not just the day of the week but the number of days before your trip that determines the cost of airfare.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday

Sayonara, Tuesday. You're no longer the cheapest day of the week. Travel analysts say that Thursday is now the best day of the week to buy airline tickets.

But don't expect that Paris flight you've been eyeing for spring break to suddenly drop the ticket prices by $100 midweek. The average savings on a Thursday flight could buy you a pizza but not much else, and there's no guarantee that airfare prices will be cheaper on Thursday.

In fact, if you look at the same itinerary on your favorite booking site every day for a week, it might not change at all, or the lowest price could appear on Monday or Wednesday.

So if you're shopping for a cheap flight, make sure to check out the options on a Thursday, but don't expect to see dramatic drops in flight price.

One rule of thumb that still applies when looking for the lowest fares is that Sunday tends to be the most expensive day to buy flights.

The weekend is one of the most popular times to buy flights, but not the cheapest. Let the last-minute business travelers book their seats over the weekend, and hold off on finalizing your own plans until a new week starts to get the best flights.

Make sure to plan your domestic flights several weeks early, and your international flights several months earlier than that to make sure you can get the travel date and flight deals you want.


A classic travel tip to finding the cheapest flights is to see if your credit card offers travel credits.

Perfect Timing

If finding cheaper flights is your main concern when booking a trip, focus more on when you plan to fly and less on the current day of the week. You may occasionally find a great last-minute flight for a low price, but generally speaking, you'll get the best deal if you book your ticket about seven weeks before your desired departure date.

If you're taking an international trip, you'll probably find the lowest prices a little more than two months out from the departure date.

To make sure you get the best price available, make a habit of using the price comparison tools offered by booking sites like Expedia, Google Flights, Kayak, and Hopper.

Start looking for flights at least 10 weeks in advance if possible, and sign up to get real-time price alerts when prices change for the itinerary you want. Then you'll have at least a few weeks of data to consider by the time the seven-week window of your travel plans hits. You'll feel better booking a $600 ticket if you know that it was $750 the week before.