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The Best Time to Buy a Flight is…

Airplane over New York

One of the most often asked questions of our time is:

“When should I buy this airline ticket?”

It is also one of the most puzzling mysteries of our modern world. Shopping for an airline ticket can make your hair fall out. Seriously! It happened to my friends’ mother’s cousin! I heard it from his brother!

Anyway, its next to impossible to figure out the pricing games airlines play with their tickets. The best time to buy can vary base don when you’re traveling, when you’re buying, the day of the week, the time of day and how many calories you’ve eaten that day. Okay, so that last one is not true, but seriously, its difficult to play the game you don’t know the rules for.

Thankfully, we have friends like CheapAir.com who collect all the data and study it on a yearly basis to let us know when the best time to buy is. The verdict?

  • In general, the best time to buy is 70 days in advance of your trip, but it really depends on when you’re traveling. Spring? Holidays?
  • For spring travel, you’ll want to book 90 days in advance.
  • Buying for summer travel? Buy 47 days in advance.
  • Buying for LATE summer or fall travel? August 23rd is your “Cheap flight day” according to Business Insider. Otherwise, try 69 days in advance of your trip.
  • Vacationing in the winter? Buy your ticket 62 days in advance, unless you’re:
  • Traveling for the holidays? The pros say book about 77 days in advance, or around the week of October 22nd, for Christmas, and a week later for New Years. CheapAir.com even has a holiday fare tracker to help you choose. This is helpful because last year, instead of October 22nd, September 19th was the cheapest Christmas fare.

It is often said that being flexible with your travel dates is the best way to save money on airfare. It’s true, being flexible with your dates and destinations will give you the most budget-friendly options, but we find these suggestions to be mostly ridiculous. Who in the world is going to to be able to say “I want to go somewhere nice. I don’t care where or when. Travelocity take me away!” – A tiny fraction of travelers that’s who. Realistically, most travelers are going to have date and destination restrictions and we think it’s best to just keep these guidelines above in mind… or hire a travel agent to handle it for you… but we’re a little bias there.

What do you think? Have you heard any other crazy tips for saving on airfare? Let us know in the comments below.

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