The idea of packing your bags and jetting off overseas can make your heart skip a beat, but the planning process and cost alone are enough to make anyone settle for a road trip. While international travel has its obstacles, there are plenty of travel hacks to help you plan your dream vacation without draining your savings account. For instance, CheapAir recently published a study analyzing data from more than a million international trips over the last year in order to determine exactly when you should purchase international flights to get the absolute best deal.
By studying every possible day tickets could have been purchased for each of these trips, researchers were able to find out on which days the lowest fares were offered. For each region in the world, CheapAir identified a "prime booking window." In other words, it determined a range of days when flight prices are likely to be at their lowest. In addition to identifying this window, the study also analyzed which months had the highest and lowest ticket prices in each region and which days of the week offered an advantage to buying or flying.
According to the data, here is exactly when U.S. travelers should book international travel based on their destination.
Europe: Book 160 days before departure, and travel in March.
Canada: Book 66 days before departure, and travel in October.
Asia: Book 120 days before departure, and travel in November.
Africa/the Middle East: Book 199 days before departure, and travel in February.
The Caribbean: Book 207 days before departure, and travel in January.
Mexico/Central America: Book 70 days before departure, and travel in September.
South America: Book 110 days before departure, and travel in February.
South Pacific: Book 197 days before departure, and travel in May.
However, because the prime booking window is a generalization, you'll have to keep holidays, festivals, and other large international events in mind when booking, as these may cause prices to spike. Head to CheapAir to find out more specific information about when to book and travel internationally.