The Best Dates to Buy Cheap Airfare

When it comes to booking a trip, you’ll learn very quickly that flights can be expensive, even if you’re not flying internationally.

Traveling takes a lot of planning and budgeting, but did you know that it’s possible to book your perfect destination without breaking the bank, and the trick is … ready for it? It’s timing. You can save some serious cash just by choosing certain dates and times to fly, so let’s get started.

Fly out mid-week

According to CheapAir.com, you can save a little bit of cash just by booking your flight mid-week. You can also save an average of $52 per ticket by not flying out on a Sunday. According to CheapAir.com, Sunday is the most expensive day to fly. Try your best to leave on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday since leaving on those days will leave you with more money to use when you get to your destination.

Buy at the right time

This will depend on where and when you’re going. However, CheapAir.com has found the sweet spot and they suggest booking between three weeks and four months in advance. It’s important to remember that by booking too late or booking too early can impact your ticket price drastically as you’ll most likely have to pay some big bucks for your ticket.

Constantly check fares

If you want to find the perfect deal, it’s best to check fares as soon as you know your destination. Airline websites are constantly changing their prices, so checking at least once or twice a week can make a huge difference in the price you pay. Think about it sort of like the stock market.

Fly cheaper routes

A nonstop flight can be very convenient, but convenience sometimes come at a cost. Connecting flights can be up to 50 percent cheaper.

Time of day

Flying at unpopular times of the day can actually save you quite a bit of money. If you can book a red-eye or an early a.m. flight, then do it.

Best time to buy in the summer

Many people take vacation time in the summer, especially to get away from those hot summer days at the office, meaning traveling in the summertime can be pricey. However, it is still possible to save some cash depending on the date you buy.

Tips

  • Domestic – 3 ½ months to two to three weeks before departure
  • International – 5 ½ moths to four weeks before departure
  • Avoid flying between peak summer season (June 23 to August 12)
  • Prime booking window is 14-160 days from travel
  • By doing the above you can save an average of $203

Best time to buy in the fall

Of course, with the exception of Thanksgiving, it is possible to find cheap dates to fly. Fall is often called the “shoulder season” because it’s not a high season for travel, but it’s also not a low season — it falls somewhere in between.

Tips

  • Buying in the shoulder season has its perks, you can usually wait a bit longer to book (best time to is 69 days before departure)
  • Prime booking window is 21 to 100 days from travel date
  • By doing the above you can save an average of $83

Best time to buy in the winter

It’s not a surprise that booking flights during the week of Christmas and New Years is extremely pricey, so definitely avoid flying those days.

Tips

  • The best time to buy an in the winter months is 62 days before your departure date
  • Prime booking window is 21-110 days from travel date
  • By doing the above you can save an average of $260

Best time to buy in the spring

Booking a spring flight requires a lot of planning ahead as it’s one of the prime times for travel generally because “Spring Break” (March through April) means a lot of families and college students will be traveling. By booking in advance you may be able to get a better price.

Tips

  • The best time to buy is 90 days before your travel date
  • Prime booking window is 46-122 days from travel date
  • By doing the above you can save an average of $263

William Potter / Shutterstock

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