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Best time to book for most-searched destinations in 2018

Knowing Singaporean travellers’ best interest lies in scoring the best travel deals to get the most bang for the buck, the world’s leading travel search engine, KAYAK (KAYAK.sg) examined millions of travel searches to find out the best time to book for top destinations, as the new year sets the perfect scene for travel planning while most people’s annual leaves renew.

KAYAK’s data and analysis show that if Singaporean travellers book at the right time for top destinations, they can save anywhere from 15% to 57% on airfare. Travellers can even save up to 57% if they book at the right time for European destinations like London.

How much can Singaporean travellers save for their favourite destinations by booking at the right time?

Table 1: Singaporean travellers’ 2018 most-searched destinations and the best time to book

Ranking2018 most searched destinationAverage trip durationBest time to book (months in advance)Potential savings (%)
1Bangkok, Thailand3 days1 month in advance29%
2Tokyo, Japan8 days5 months in advance15%
3Taipei, Taiwan5 days5 months in advance27%
4Hong Kong4 days3 months in advance43%
5Seoul, South Korea7 days5 months in advance17%
6Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia3 days1 month in advance33%
7Bali, Indonesia4 days1 month in advance52%
8Manila, the Philippines6 days4 months in advance41%
9Sapporo, Japan7 days2 months in Japan44%
10London, UK11 days3 months in advance57%

Interestingly, KAYAK’s data also shows that among Singaporean travellers’ top 10 most-searched destinations, the best time to book for popular destinations such as Tokyo and Seoul is at least 5 months in advance, even longer than long-haul destinations like London, contrary to the common belief that booking months in advance for long-haul destinations and vice versa is the best way to go for the greatest airfare savings.

This also means that travellers can be confident about booking travel to European destinations like London even within a relatively shorter time frame of 3 months in advance, with potential savings of up to 57% on offer to those who wait.

What if you really only have 1 month’s time to prepare for a trip? Do any destinations offer great deals in the last month before travel?

According to KAYAK, 23% of Singaporean travellers only plan for their trips one month in advance. But the good news is, this doesn’t necessarily mean overpaying for a ticket. In fact, many popular destinations may even be cheaper when booked close to the date of travel, including Bangkok, Singaporean travellers’ top-searched destination for 2018 travel. Other popular destinations such as Yangon, Bali, Krabi, Osaka and Taipei are also potential options for Singaporean travellers looking for good last-minute flight deals.

Table 2: Best-value destinations for travellers booking one month before travel

RankingDestinasions (to go if you only have 1 month time to plan for a trip)Potential savings (%) when booking 1 month in advance
1Penang, Malaysia78%
2Yangon, Myanmar61%
3Bali, Indonesia52%
4Krabi, Thailand37%
5Osaka, Japan37%
6Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam36%
7Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia33%
8Bangkok, Thailand29%
9Taipei, Taiwan27%
10Colombo, Sri Lanka26%

Whey Han Tan, Regional Manager, Southeast Asia of KAYAK said, ‘We’ve looked into millions of travel searches to help Singaporean travellers plan their travel with confidence. Our data shows that for many popular destinations in the region, good deals are still available even just one month out. However, for many destinations further out like Los Angeles and Christchurch, travellers should really book as early as possible - up to 7 months in advance to get the best return airfares.”

What about the destinations not mentioned? An easy way to find the perfect travel deals is to make use of KAYAK’s Explore feature to discover new destinations with the perfect price. Singaporean travellers can see all the destinations within their budget, as well as other criteria. Looking for where to go next month? Just select ‘February 2018’ in the ‘Dates’ filter and all your options will be displayed in one map view.

Image caption: A map view with all the best travel options available on KAYAK Explore when filtered with “February 2018” and budget set at S$500.