If you’re a budget traveller with a flexible schedule, try bumping your next trip to hump day to save a few bucks. Yes, Wednesday.
According to analysis by American travel startup Hopper, Wednesday is the cheapest day to depart for both domestic and international trips. The savings are about $40 for domestic flights and $60 for overseas, compared to the most expensive days to fly.
You can save coming home too, about $45 by returning from a domestic trip on a Tuesday. Wednesday is the cheapest day to return from overseas, by about $60.
While TGIF might get us through the workweek, it’s not going to get us home cheaply. Hopper found Friday to be the most expensive return day for both domestic and overseas flights.
Thursday was least expensive day to buy tickets. Saturday was the worst day to book a domestic flight; Sunday was the most expensive day for international flights. However, the differences weren’t dramatic, about $10 for domestic flights and $25 for international.
Hopper’s analysis about Thursday bucks conventional wisdom. Many believe that Tuesday is the best day to shop for airfare.
On ABCNews.go.com, FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney said most airlines launch seat sales very early Tuesday mornings. While the sales last for three days, only about 10 per cent of seats on any given plane are sold at “sale” prices and are usually snapped up quickly.
So it doesn’t pay to wait.
Hopper offers a lengthy explanation of its number crunching. The researchers averaged flight prices to find cheapest days and also counted the number with cheapest days for each day of the week in 11,000 markets — 7,500 domestic and 3,500 international.
However, there is an asterick, so to speak. Hopper says only 10 per cent of trips were priced at or below the low price.
Other sites with travel advice include Nomadic Matt, which suggests flexibility with travel dates and destinations, flying into smaller secondary airports (a tactic used by budget carriers like Ryanair) and signing up for a frequent flyer program.
The bottom line is that it pays to watch the calendar, not simply cross off the days to your next trip. Who knows, the extra dollars in your pocket could buy a few more drinks, a meal or even some comfy lounge time if your flight is delayed or cancelled.