January is Your Best Time to Book Cheap Flights in 2018

Skyscanner, the global travel search engine, has historically claimed early January as peak season to find travel deals, and 2018 is shaping up to be no different. According to data gathered from Skyscanner’s more than 60 million monthly users, January is the best time to book cheap flights in the first half of the year – both domestic and international – before travel demand and prices are expected to spike.

For travelers considering short or long-haul travel next year, the first two weeks of January are expected to offer the best deals for the first half of 2018:

  • US domestic flights are averaging around 16 percent cheaper than the yearly average. Come March, airline tickets could potentially increase by 13 percent over the yearly average.*
  • International flights are potentially up to 36 percent cheaper than the yearly average. But in March, tickets risk an increase of up to 56 percent more expensive than the yearly average.*

Given the favorable data for both domestic and international travel, Skyscanner has identified destinations experiencing growth in terms of searches and bookings. These alluring destinations are sure to whet prospective travelers’ appetites:

  • International destinations where Skyscanner has seen traveler interest are Phuket, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Edinburgh.
  • Trip by Skyscanner, Skyscanner’s new partnership with Trip.com, has found that U.S. travelers are increasingly interested in Hamburg, Lyon, Bologna, and Casablanca as new destinations to explore in 2018.
  • Five destinations already topping 2018 searches and bookings with Skyscanner users are not surprisingly New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, and Las Vegas.

The window for savings is clear but narrow, and Skyscanner advises seizing the opportunity the first two weeks of the year to try and score the best deals of 2018. Given the predicted spike in prices shortly after January, this is the ideal time for travelers to search and book cheap flights to most destinations, and finally choose a New Year’s resolution they’ll be more inclined to keep.

Along with these data-informed savings, Skyscanner is supporting Travel Tech Association’s first-ever National ‘Shop for Travel’ day on January 9, 2018. This is a day for travel brands to promote the best deals to inspire travelers to search and book their next trip before travel prices go up.

 *Data Methodology: Pricing trends and estimated flight savings are based on Skyscanner historical data extracted for domestic and international round-trip flights in economy class booked between December 3, 2016 December 3, 2017.