I think it’s safe for me to assume that we all know how to book flights. The amount of flight booking engines on the internet is uncountable and I don’t think I need to go over all of them. The purpose of this article is to summaries my research around the best time to buy your ticket, that way I can save you some money.
Please note that I am in no way affiliated with any flight booking engines or airline carriers. Everything discussed in this article is from my research or experience.
Before you start booking your flights make sure.
1. You have a plan around the teams you will be visiting.
If you haven’t read my article Getting a tryout for a basketball clubs in Europe I highly recommend you use this as a starting point. To better optimise your time trying out in a country, city or region it’s best to have a plan.
Disclaimer: I know this article is about trying out for European basketball clubs but the principles can be applied to anywhere in the world you are going to tryout.
2. Contact a coach or two before leaving.
Contacting a coach and having a chat with them even if it’s over email is a must. I can’t stress this enough! Having contacts in an area you are about to visit you are unfamiliar with makes a huge difference. Remember coaches have contacts, if you are not good enough to make someones program coaches in most occasions are happy to refer players to other clubs. Some of these clubs are affiliate clubs or feeder programs for the bigger clubs. If you need to know more around contacting coaches please refer to my article Contacting coaching staff.
Flight booking engines I have used in no particular order.
From my experience it simply isn’t worth flying with low cost carriers (LCC) because the limitations around the ticket is so inconvenient if you need to make a change. If you need to change your departure or arrival date airlines such as AirAsia do not do it at all (from my experience) and some carriers charge nearly the cost of the original purchase of the ticket such as Jetstar. My experience with the larger carriers is that there’s no hidden costs and fees for changes to your booking are reasonable.
The airlines I have flown with the most are:
- Malaysia Airlines
Prior to some tragic circumstances of one of their flights going missing and another in the same year being shot down over Ukraine. I used to always book my flights with this carrier. Flights were very comfortable, on board entertainment was good and the meals were very tasty.
- Cathay Pacific
Another great carrier with great on board entertainment and food menu however comfort is a bit of an issue with long flights as Cathay tend to use older aircraft’s with poor leg room in economy.
- Philippines Airlines
Great customer service department but changes to bookings incur crazy fees. Reason why I fly with them is due to the frequency of visiting Philippines to see my girlfriend. Still, the airlines is great with a good menu.
Your cheap flights guide
What is the best time to purchase my tickets?
- Asia – booking between 9 to 10 months out will give you the best prices.
- North America (Canada & USA) – booking around the 9 months out mark as well as 4-6 weeks.
- Europe – I found the best prices was around the 10 month out mark. Don’t leave booking your Euro trip late particularly if you are going there in summer because it will hit your hip pocket. HARD!
I haven’t visited other continents so I am unable to speak from experience, but from my research online I have found timings that seem to be common among bloggers.
- South America – 6 months out mark.
- Africa – 3 to 5 weeks out.
What day of the week should I purchase my tickets?
I have read on multiple blogs that “Tuesday at 3pm, six weeks before your flight” is when tickets are the cheapest. What I usually do is have alerts set on my Skyscanner app to tell me the changes in price of the tickets. What I suggest you do is do both; set alerts on the tickets you are after and make sure you book the tickets on a Tuesday at 3pm.
What days should I fly out and return
- Weekends are usually the most expensive to depart and return.
- From my experience Tuesday and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to depart.
- From my experience Monday and Tuesday is the cheapest to return.
HOT deals from coupon sites
If you are lucky you might be able to get heavily discounted flights from coupon sites like Scoopon and Groupon. Personally I haven’t used these sites for flights but I have for hotels and resorts in Asia. I have got some great deals on 5 star hotels so it is definitely worth a look.
Hopefully this article will save you some major coin when you decide to book your flights. But please make sure that you have done all the relevant planning around your tryout schedule. You are spending a lot of money on tickets so spend the time and have a plan to make the most of your time.
Safe travels and best of luck for the trials!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you think I have missed anything or you have some advice to add to this article please do not hesitate to comment below. Sharing your experience will help others. If you found this article helpful or if you took the advice and saved money I’d love to hear from you. Please use the comment section below to tell me how much you saved.
Thanks for reading!