Holiday-makers could save hundreds of dollars on domestic and international flights if they just knew the best time to book depending on the destination, new airfare data reveals.
Too many Australian holiday-makers are booking flights too late and missing out on an average of $431 of savings for each international trip, joint research from KAYAK.com.au and restaurant reservation service OpenTable has found.
The way around this is to know what the best time is to book for the destination you’re heading and striking during the sweet spot.
“Our data shows us that Aussies are a little bit too spontaneous for their own good, tending to book their flights slightly too late and missing out on some serious savings,” KAYAK’s regional director for Asia-Pacific Robin Chiang said.
“Each destination has different optimum lead times so we’ve created a ‘Best Time to Book’ travel guide for Aussie travellers.
“The guide reveals the cheapest months to visit the popular and trending destinations, how far in advance to book and most importantly, whether you are getting a good deal.”
Aussies travelling domestically are typically booking their flights 18 days out from their trip, but they should be aiming for 25 days out on average.
Internationally, Aussies tend to book 69 days out, but should be looking at 135 days from their trip.
Here’s KAYAK’s best time to book guide for major Australian cities and popular international destinations.
Australians travelling to Melbourne typically book 15 days out, but if they aimed for a full month in advance, they’d save around $81 — a saving of up to 26 per cent.
Sydney: Book one month in advance and save up to $69 (saving of 25 per cent).
Brisbane: Book one month in advance and save up to $54 (saving of 17 per cent).
Gold Coast: Book one month in advance and save up to $54 (saving of 17 per cent).
Perth: Book two weeks in advance and save up to $95 (saving of 16 per cent).
Adelaide: Book two weeks in advance and save up to $106 (saving of 16 per cent).
London-bound travellers are booking about 71 days out from their flight but should be looking at 4.5 months in advance, to potentially save up to $521 — a saving of up to 26 per cent.
Tokyo: Book 3.5 months in advance and save up to $264 (saving of 23 per cent).
New York: Book 3 months in advance and save up to $335 (saving of 19 per cent).
Berlin: Book 5.5 months in advance and save up to $609 (saving of 31 per cent).
Mexico City: Book 9.5 months in advance and save up to $455 (saving of 22 per cent).
EATING OUT ON HOLIDAY
The joint research by KAYAK and OpenTable found about 26 per cent of Australian users tend to pick, and book, a restaurant on the same day.
On average, Aussies use the booking service to nab a table eight days in advance on desktop and four days on mobile.
A spokeswoman for OpenTable said while it was always best to book as early as possible, the benefit of the booking service was you can see which spots have last-minute availabilities.
Customers are also increasingly opting for unusual hours to make sure they get a spot in the eatery of their choosing, Tim Domelow, OpenTable’s senior restaurant relations manager, said.
“Interestingly, our data also shows that customers are increasingly choosing to make reservations to dine out at what have usually been considered non-traditional hours, including later in the evening at timeslots such as 9pm and 10pm,” he said.