When is the Best Time of Year to Fly on a Budget?

Flying is the most popular form of long distance travel. In fact, over 73 million passengers have flown on domestic flights in 2018.

These numbers are even more impressive when looking on an international scale. On a daily average, more than 8 million passengers fly worldwide. The number of yearly passengers exceeds 3 billion when looking at a global scale. The air transport market is worth trillions of dollars each year. These impressive numbers come as a direct result of the increased number of travelers worldwide. More and more people are deciding to travel for business or vacation.

With this rising number of global travelers however, the price of flying has also risen. Both domestic and international flights have seen a steady increase in cost. Although these increased prices don't seem to deter the number of travelers at large, there is still a shift in the way the some people buy flights. Budget travelers are those known for trying to keep their travel expenses as low as possible. As flights tend to be the priciest part of a trip, they are also the hardest to buy on a budget. Entire strategies, blogs and even dedicated search engines have developed surrounding this desire to find flights on a budget. The time of year is one of the most important factors to consider when traveling on a budget.

How Does it Work?: The Cheapest Time of Year to Fly

Flight prices raise with competition. This is true with any commodity or service. Companies offering a product will continue to raise the price as more people show and interest and a willingness to buy. Flight prices function in the same manner. Airlines and travel agencies will raise or lower prices in relationship to the demand for each flight. When there is high demand, the prices will be higher. On the other hand, a lack of interest will result in lower flight prices.

Understanding how airlines change their prices will help determine the cheapest time of the year to fly on a budget. Keeping this in mind, the off-season is the best answer to this question. The most affordable time to fly will be the time of year where the least amount of people are traveling. Airlines will lower their flight prices in response to this time of low demand. The summertime and other major holidays are the most expensive times to fly, because everyone has time off from work. Some of the typical off-season months include January, February, March, October and November.

The Rundown: How to Find the Cheapest Flights

The key to finding cheap flights is knowing where to look. Comparison websites are the easiest and most effective solutions for finding the cheapest flights. Unlike airline websites that only show their offers, flight comparison websites will list results from hundreds of different airlines. Users can filter the results by price, shortest connection, shortest layover and more. Learning how to leverage the search options is the easiest way to find cheap flights.

A majority of these websites allow users to search by specific days or an entire month. Searching by an entire month will show a day-by-day price comparison. Once users input their origin and destination, the desired months of travel can be selected. The cheapest days to fly within the selected months will be listed. Some of these flight comparison websites even have a 'cheapest month' search option that will reveal the most affordable months to travel to the desired location. Skyscanner, Google Flights and Momondo are among the most helpful of these websites.

Questions and Answers

Q: What are the cheapest months to fly?

A: January, February, March, October and November tend to be the cheapest months to fly. On the other hand, summertime and major holidays are the most expensive. Flight prices increase as more people travel.

Q: Why are flight prices so expensive?

A: Flying is one of the only practical ways to travel long distances. Airlines have a monopoly on this form of travel and can raise prices accordingly. Everyone who needs or wants to travel will pay the high prices, because there are no alternative options.

Q: What are the cheapest airlines to fly?

A: There has been a recent boom in the budget airline market. Airlines like Frontier, Jetblue and RyanAir offer domestic and international connections for a much lower cost than some larger airlines.

Q: What is the cheapest day to fly?

A: Weekends and Fridays tend to be the most expensive days to fly. As most people have work during the week, the demand is lower.