Those of us who love to travel are always looking for hacks, tips and tricks to finding the best flight deals. When you want to check a new destination off your bucket list or reconnect with friends and family, knowing when to book your flight can help you save a bundle and free up some cash for fun activities when you arrive.
No matter where or when you hope to travel, you can always find a great deal if you plan ahead and keep an eye on prices. Bookmark this guide to help you decide when to book your next vacation to get the most bang for your buck.
How Far in Advance Should You Book?
The magic window for finding the best deal ranges between four months to three weeks, or about 115 days to 21 days in advance of your flight. During this time, prices will typically stick within about 5 percent of their lowest price point, so you’re guaranteed a great deal.
If you book way in advance, you’ll end up paying a bit more, but you may have more options as far as seat selections and flight times. If you wait till the last minute, you’ll likely end up paying a much higher price as flights fill up and seats become a hot commodity.
The ideal time to buy varies a little depending on whether you’re trying to fly domestically or internationally. For domestics, you can usually get a good deal less than three months but more than one month prior to your trip. If you’re looking at international destinations, the last 90 days before departures are when prices begin to shoot up, so three months before takeoff is about the latest you should book.
What Day of the Week Should You Book
This metric is a bit more controversial. Recent studies are trying to debunk the myth that booking on a certain day of the week affects ticket price. Still, if you’re looking to snag the best price, you may want to look for and book tickets on Thursday.
What day of the week you fly has a much greater impact than the day of the week on which you buy. If you can fly midweek, Wednesday, Tuesday or Thursday, you’ll save significantly more than flying on the weekend or on a Monday or Friday.
Using flight search sites that let you see the difference in price from one day to the next will allow you to take advantage of deals. Sometimes booking a flight on the day following or the day before you had originally planned to fly can mean a savings of hundreds of dollars.
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Book During the Right Month
Considering the best month to buy is another factor to keep in mind. Flights booked in January, August and February will be much cheaper than those booked during the months of May or June.
If you’re looking to take a vacay and have the flexibility to travel when others can’t, you can get great deals on all sorts of destinations. This is one more reason to ditch your nine-to-five job and find a remote position so you can travel wherever, whenever. If you’re booking domestically, January, February and September offer the lowest deals. For international flights, plan your trip to occur in October, April or February.
When Should You Book Holiday Travel?
Having a solid travel plan will ensure you can travel to all your bucket list spots with minimal hassle and at a reasonable price. This is the same for holiday travel — that time of year when you and half of the country are trying to fly cross-country to catch up with family during the times it matters most.
Certain tips and tricks for traveling during the holidays will ensure your trip goes smoothly and that you save a few bucks. As far as when to book, most travel experts point to October as the month to get the best deal.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
When booking flights, keep in mind that recommendations change annually based on the previous year’s data. Plus, airlines can change flight prices practically by the minute based on a wide variety of different factors. This means your best bet is to keep an eye on prices and snag your flight when you feel you’re getting a good deal.
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Originally published at Productivity Theory.