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Plane landing at Fukuoka Int. Airport, Japan - taken looking over the balcony of an apartment nearby
Plane landing at Fukuoka Int. Airport, Japan - taken looking over the balcony of an apartment nearby
simonox—Getty Images/iStockphoto

Unless you travel only once in a blue moon, the next trip you take will be in 2018.

Multiple sources have pinpointed January as the ideal time to book trips at an affordable price. But because saving on airfare is never as easy as one tip, let’s dive into the data a bit.

First of all, according to Hipmunk, average airfares are at their lowest for flights in January. Airfare for both domestic as well as international travel is approximately 20% lower on average for flights taken in January. So if you can take a post-holiday vacation, it’s a great month to see the world for less.

Meanwhile, travel search engine Skyscanner suggests that January is the best time to book affordable flights for trips taken in the first half of 2018. Domestic flight prices could rise 13% by March, while international flights could rise by 56%, according to the site’s data.

Generally speaking, travelers should be sure to set fare alerts well in advance. Expedia’s annual Air Travel Outlook Report for 2018 suggests that the lowest average ticket prices were found for bookings made 30 or more days in advance. “With few exceptions,” the report states, the cheapest fares for economy flights “were booked on a Sunday.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to book your next trip on a Sunday to get the lowest price, since that could instead be an indication that travelers flight shopping on weekends were more budget-conscious.

To get the best price on your next flight, set an alert right now. Hipmunk’s content manager, Kelly Soderlund, told Travel + Leisure that travelers should have alerts set four to six weeks in advance of domestic trips, and between eight and twelve weeks for international flights. And there’s nothing keeping you from setting it even earlier.

After all, the mere act of planning a vacation has been shown to make us happier.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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