One of the crucial things to do in planning your leisure travel is booking ahead of time. Booking ahead of time gives you more flexibility and choices as to the activities, destinations and more importantly, the best package for your money.
This is why the web-based travel search engine, Skyscanner, revealed recently the best time for Filipinos to book flights.
The study shows that, in most cases, a lead time of 3-4 weeks before your travel is the best time to book flights for Filipinos. Of course, some other considerations have to factor in, during specific searches, like your type of flight and your preferred carrier.
In the Philippines, we have always loved the idea of discounts and because of this, booking early has always been a trend. Below are the top outbound destinations in the Philippines alongside the number of weeks you need to book in advance for maximum saving:
- China – If you book 28 weeks in advance, you can save as much as Php 7,000 per flight.
- Malaysia – Booking 31 weeks in advance can cost you only 46% of the actual flight cost, compared to last-minute decision to fly to Malaysia.
- Japan – A Php 6,300 savings can be achieved if you book a flight to the land of cherry blossoms 14 weeks in advance. Like with Thailand, booking four tickets will make way for another friend or relative to tag along in your trip.
- Thailand – Save as much as PHP 2,990 if you book 16 weeks ahead. The discount you will get from booking four tickets is enough to get you another flight for free.
- Singapore – This country is the most visited by Filipinos in 2013 according to a recent study by Skyscanner. The best time to book flights going to Singapore is 25 weeks in advance. By booking this early, you can save as much as PHP 1,600. This is almost 24% less than the average flight cost.
According to the Best Time to Book study, on average, it is best to book 20 weeks in advance regardless of where you want to go.
The study also suggests that the cheapest month to travel is in February and it is most expensive in April. This is for the reason that less people travel on February because they are making way for their summer travels which usually happens in April.
Here are some simple rules to bear in mind to get the best price:
- Book smart: Avoiding peak season travel and flying at less popular hours of the day, can really help to lower costs.
- Be flexible: Costs to different destinations can vary significantly depending on the airlines operating that route and the Thai airports offering these flights. If you are planning your next trip but are open to destinations, running a search to ‘everywhere’ can help find the countries that offer the best value flights at any time.
- Compare and contrast: Using a travel comparison site like Skyscanner allows you to compare the widest range of airlines and online travel agents, so you’ll be able to see where you can get the best deal.
- Track prices Skyscanner’s analysis has found that keeping an eye on the flight prices a few months in advance of travel, is the best way to find a good value flight. Using a flight tracker price alert service, either by email or via the app can help monitor when prices drop on a chosen route.
Skyscanner offers price alerts on all routes to enable flights to be monitored by email. The Skyscanner app offers widgets for Android, Live Tiles for Windows Phone and “watch” functionality for iOS, all of which allow customers to track the latest price changes on a chosen route.