When is the best time to buy flight tickets?

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Going on vacation is something that many of us look forward to. It’s the chance to get away from the stress of work and home life and enjoy some time off. Whether you’re looking for fun in the sun or somewhere to cool down, there’s a vacation spot for everyone out there. Unfortunately, once you know where you’re going, you have the stress of organizing flights to deal with. You probably want to try and make things as affordable as possible, but how do you do that when it comes to booking travel? Well, it’s all about when you buy your flights.

Picking the right time

When it comes to making travel plans, you want to have everything booked as soon as possible to avoid missing out. The last thing you want is to have the rest of your vacation sorted, only to discover there are no available flights left. However, if you jump the gun too quickly, you could end up missing out on the best deals.

Depending on the time of year you’re traveling, the amount of time you need between booking tickets and flying can change. If you’re flying in spring, you want to allow a lot more time between the two compared to in summer. Here’s why.

Flying in spring

Finding the right time to book is all about knowing what’s happening around you. If you’re going to be flying when many other people are as well, then you’ll want to get your tickets sooner rather than later. The issue with traveling during spring is spring break.

The prevalence of college kids jetting off for their wild parties causes airlines to hike up their prices the closer that spring break gets. To avoid this, you should buy your tickets roughly three months in advance. It gives you enough time to get your vacation sorted without having to worry too much about price.

Flying in summer

When it comes to the summer months, you don’t need to be quite as prepared with your planning. It’s recommended that you book your tickets around 47 days before flying, essentially half of when you should during the spring. There aren’t any specific events happening during this time of the year, which gives you more freedom with your booking. However, a lot of people vacation during the summer, so you still need to be alert. If possible, try flying in August and September where rates are generally lower.

Flying in fall and winter

As for the rest of the year, it’s advised that you make your bookings around 69 days before traveling. While there’s obviously events like Thanksgiving and Christmas around this time of the year, you can avoid any significant price increases if you don’t fly during these holidays.

Other things to consider

While these are general seasonal suggestions, there are other factors to consider. When it comes to booking tickets, there are usually six different booking zones that influence the price you have to pay.

The first of these is anything from six months or more before traveling. People buying at this time will assure themselves tickets, but may end up paying more for their flights. Ticket prices might decrease after this time, and you’ll probably have to pay a premium too.

Prices tend to drop between four to six months in advance, and again between 3 weeks and four months beforehand. The latter is when you’re likely to get the best deal, with many flights available at their lowest price. You could also strike lucky during the two to three week window, although you might not get the seats you want.

The final two zones aren’t ideal for any situation. Prices will go up again, and availability will be low. The only way you might benefit is if you’re not fussy about where you’re traveling to.

Saving money on vacation can be tricky, but it’s always possible. You just have to be smart about the decisions you make.

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