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Save up to 63% on your next airfare with these travel hacks

As the weather turns chilly in the Land Down Under, you may start considering a trip abroad. Or perhaps you just fancy having a look at what another city in Straya has to offer.
Well, the good people at Kayak have done the math for you, releasing new data showing the best time to book flights to top destinations from and within Australia for the rest of the year.

Kayak is the world’s leading travel search engine, operating more than 40 international sites in 20 languages and processing 1.5 billion searches a year.

It works by searching other travel sites and showing travellers all the information they need to plan and manage their trips, including price alerts, price forecasts and itinerary management.

OK, so who is ready to snag some cheap flights?

Travelling internationally

To save the most on flights to popular international destinations, Kayak recommends booking in advance for travel at any time of the year. By booking 4 to 10 months prior to your travel date, you can save an average of 29 percent on your ticket.

Auckland and London are the exceptions to this rule. By booking just 3 months in advance you can save up to 53% on your trip to Auckland and 31 percent on your trip to London.

Anyone who has been to Bali knows that it is full of Aussies. That’s why you need to book at least 10 months in advance to get the best savings. According to Kayak, round-trip Bali flights go for as low as $AUD402 if booked 10 months earlier, which is a saving of up to 50%.

If La La Land has got you in the mood to swing over to the U.S., you best book 9 months in advance so that you can enjoy savings of up to 40%. And booking two months in advance will save you up to 63 percent on a trip to Honolulu.

The time that you choose to fly also has an impact on international flight prices. In general, early week departures are the most economical for 6 of the top 10 most popular destinations.

Monday is the best day to fly to Bali, Bangkok and Paris, and Tuesday is the ideal choice for those heading to Los Angeles, Tokyo and Honolulu.

If possible, avoid flying at the weekend unless you are heading to New Delhi, which has the cheapest flights departing on Sunday.

Table 1

Travelling Domestically

For those aiming to visit popular domestic destinations, Kayak’s analysis reveals that it is generally best to book 2-3 months out, achieving average savings of 46%.

You can get away with booking flights to Sydney, Adelaide and the Gold Coast just one month in advance, saving up to 53%.

If you are flying to Brisbane or Darwin, you can afford to be more spontaneous, saving up to 48% by booking a mere two weeks in advance.

At the other extreme, Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra are best booked a whopping 6 months ahead of time, netting you savings of up to 52%.

Meanwhile, Perth will require the earliest booking, with savings on up to 53% if you pull the trigger 7 months before flying.

Unlike international flights, departing at the weekend is not as pricey as you would think. Saturday is the cheapest day to fly out to Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, and Sunday is an ideal day to travel to Sydney or Hobart.

Early in the week is the most economical choice for those heading to the Gold Coast, or visiting me in little old Adelaide.

Returning home is a different story, with the best savings made on mid-week flights. Travellers flying home from Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and the Gold Coast should opt for a Wednesday departure, whilst those jetting from Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin will find the cheapest flights on Tuesdays.

Table 2

Susan Lee, Kayak Director of APAC comments:

At KAYAK we’re passionate about using our tech know-how to provide recommendations to our users, so they can make better travel decisions. Our latest data analysis shows that Australian travellers can save considerable amounts of money just by booking at the right time and travelling on certain days. Aussies wanting to land the cheapest fare can ensure they don’t miss out by setting up a KAYAK Price Alert. Aussies can also make use of our Price Forecast tool, which recommends whether one should book now or wait based on historical data from over one billion flight searches.

Save travels, everyone!

Note: The preceding data is based on round-trip economy flight searches conducted between 1/1/2016 to 22/2/2017 on Kayak.com.au for any travel dates in 2017. Prices are subject to change, and offers may no longer be available. Indicated savings are not guaranteed. The best time to book and potentials savings are comparing the cheapest month with the most expensive month of booking in advance to the travel date. The best combination of travel days are based on the average lowest price combination of depart and return days for round-trip economy flights.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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