Know When to Buy Your Next Flight

Searching for the best deal on a flight can be a painful, time-consuming process and anyone who has traveled on a budget knows it can be a hassle. But don’t worry there’s a way to make it all a bit easier.

The worst part of the entire search can be the frantic checking and then the idle waiting as you play a virtual game of chicken – staring down the flights you want and checking each day – all in the hope that the airlines will budge first and drop the price.

The question traveler’s constantly ask is: When should I buy my airline ticket? Is sooner really better?

The answer is surprising and often times, no. There’s a new tip out circulating the web and travel world thanks to a pair of recent posts from NBCNews and Yahoo Finance

The biggest takeaway from the article is made with the help of CheapAir.com, when they claim: “the answer is….49 days if you’re flying domestic; 81 if you’re flying international”.

Now is this new data the holy grail for buying airline tickets? No. Does this rule hold true all of the time? No.

But if you take this into account you’re bound to search for flights in an efficient way and you’ll be able to rest knowing you got a good deal. When you start to search for a flight, check the prices for all times during the year (and see what is the absolute cheapest fare for your route) then you’ll have a ballpark figure. When you find a deal that works for you snag it. And be sure to check the prices 49 or 81 days out in advance.

Also here’s a couple important tips:

Be Flexible: It goes without saying, but checking various departure days and arrival days will open up new possibilities and yield cheaper airfares. Remember that flying on Fridays or Sundays will typically be the most expensive. The cheapest day to fly? Most in the know will tell you Tuesday or Wednesday.

Check Nearby Airports: When flying to a destination, don’t assume the only way to get there is the main airport. Check all airports within several hours. For example, when flying to Miami FL, always check the options between Miami International Airport (MIA) as well as Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), which sits an hour north of Miami. In Europe, a time honored tradition has been to fly into Dublin, Ireland with Aer Lingus, then hop to your final destination.

Look Out for Deals: As you know the internet is ripe with sales and big discounts but the key is making the deals come to you. You can start by signing up on several travel websites who try and make this whole process a bit easier. Sign up at Travelzoo.com for their top 20 deals alert. Also you can use FareCompare.com and SkySkanner.net and set notifications so that when the price drops, they’ll shoot you an email.

Know the Season: Just keep in mind airlines typically raise and lower prices based on the season. When flying to Europe, flights will be most expensive between May 15th and September 15th.

Search like a Student or Teacher: When it comes to great deals, students usually get the best deals through websites like StudentUniverse.com and STAtravel.com, but now these sites offer deals to all under 26 and to teachers as well.

So next time you need to book a flight, take these tips into consideration and good luck!

Got another tip or comment? Post below or let us know over on Twitter @TakeYaThere

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