The best time to travel

The summer travel season is here and despite price hikes (*flight prices are +35% year over year, according to KAYAK search data) and economic headwinds, people are continuing to prioritize travel with searches on KAYAK + 20% vs. last year. To help travelers continue to navigate some of the sticker shock, KAYAK, the world’s leading travel search engine, is launching a new “Best Time to Travel tool” as THE place to start your trip planning, uncovering optimal times of the year to fly and when to book by for a great price and trip experience.

With over 280,000 routes to choose from, KAYAK’s Best Time to Travel tool incorporates predictive data from KAYAK’s billions of travel queries to forecast future flight and hotel prices so travelers can easily compare pricing against weather and seasonality information to determine the best time to travel for their next trip. Let’s give it a whirl.

Step 1: Enter your destination – learn the best month to go

Plug in your home airport, final destination and choose from KAYAK’s most popular trip lengths (i.e. are you traveling for 4, 7 or 14 days). KAYAK will return the best month to visit based on a number of factors including price, crowds and weather. For example, October is the best month for New Yorkers to visit Barcelona (one of KAYAK’s most popular summer travel destinations) for low flight prices, good weather and fewer crowds.

Travelers can also view a breakdown of the average, minimum and maximum flight prices for every month of the year. Continuing with our theme, flight prices to Barcelona are generally highest during the summer months (May through August) and cheapest during the shoulder season months like October and November.

Step 2: Narrow down your travel dates

You’ve nailed down which month to go, now it’s time to figure out which days to fly for less. KAYAK’s calendar view provides a yearly overview of how flight prices change depending on the dates you choose. For a 7-day trip to Barcelona, leaving on October 30 and returning November 5 will be your best bet.


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Step 3: Time your booking window to maximize savings

Once you know where and when you’re going, it’s time to figure out when to book. And guess what? KAYAK’s new tool has you covered here too. Recommended dates from KAYAK will automatically populate and the tool will advise you on the best day to book both your flight and hotel before prices start to rise. For a 7-day trip to Barcelona, KAYAK recommends booking your flight by August 16 and your hotel no later than one week before.

Not ready to book? No problem. Add a Price Alert so you know exactly when prices will rise and fall for the flight or hotel you want.

“By adding data points like projected crowds and weather forecasts into the trip planning process, travelers can make more informed decisions about where to go and when while also anticipating the associated costs,” said Matt Clarke, VP of North America Marketing. “We’ve all asked ourselves ‘Do I book now before prices go up, or wait to see if they go down?’ With the launch of KAYAK’s Best Time to Travel tool you are no longer left guessing, we’re using our data to give travelers the information they need to make decisive actions and ultimately simplify the planning process for everyone.”

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I have so many different things buzzing into my in-box every hour that there was a time that I was reluctant to set a price alert.

    Once I did set a price alert as I had a trip coming up in the next few weeks and I saved big on the flights. Now it’s something I do all the time.

  2. It’s amazing that in the middle of a cost of living crisis, numbers of online travel searches are still on the way up. Are we changing our priorities in life?

    1. Could it be that as money is tight travellers are doing a lot more research to try to get the very best value for their money?

  3. And what about the best value day of the week? My theory has been that Tuesdays often provide good value.

  4. My mindset on buying flights is if I do my research over a few flights I may even save enough to pay for an extra trip.

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