The excitement around international travel continues after the strict restrictions of the past couple of years. And although the guidelines for various countries are constantly changing, that shouldn’t stop you from booking the trip of your dreams. But when you get around to buying a ticket, it can sometimes feel like a gamble — especially with ticket prices going up overall. If you’re wondering how long ahead to make your purchase, a study conducted by CheapAir.com found the best time to buy your international ticket.
Mexico is always a popular destination for Americans year-round. Try to buy your tickets from one to 4.5 months in advance. Although the average price of a ticket rounds out to $415, CheapAir.com found that 70 days before departure was the perfect date to grab that ticket. Keep in mind that the most expensive months to visit the country are August and December, so if you’re looking to spend the holiday season enjoying warm weather, CheapAir.com recommends buying seven months in advance.
The Caribbean is always another hot spot for international travel, especially since there are islands like St. Thomas and St. John that can feel like an international destination, even if you can reach them without a passport. You’re going to find the best deal buying between 1.5 to five months in advance — CheapAir.com found that 75 days before departure will get you the best deal. The average price of a ticket is $513, but July and December are when the Caribbean can get a bit pricey, so you might want to book as far out as five months in advance if you want to get a good deal.
If you’re looking to head to Europe, the colder months of October and November will get you a better deal than the spring months of May and June, when tickets have been spotted at an average price of $1102. Booking between one and 6.5 months from your flight is primetime, with the perfect date being 79 days from your departure.
Best time to buy your international airline ticket
- Canada: 3.5 months to 300 days from departure — average ticket is $363
- Mexico: one month to 4.5 months from departure — average ticket is $459
- Caribbean: 1.5 months to 5 months from departure — average ticket is $513
- Central America: two months to five months from departure — average ticket is $522
- South America: 1.5 months to 4.5 months from departure — average ticket is $707
- Europe: one month to 6.5 months from departure — average ticket is $992
- Middle East: Just under two months to 10 months from departure — average ticket is $1,002
- Africa: two months to 10 months from departure — average ticket is $1,244
- Asia: 10 months from departure — average ticket is $1,514
- Oceana: 9.5 months to 10 months from departure — average ticket is $2,898
To find the best times to fly, CheapAir.com examined almost a billion airfare prices using thousands of markets in every region on the globe.