You’re planning your next trip and wonder how far in advance to purchase your airline tickets. What’s the optimal window? How far is too far? Yet, you really want tickets on a particular day.
What do you do?
After looking at multiple sites and multiple suggestions by trusted travel gurus, I have found answers all over the map. I’ve come to think there are no perfect suggestions that will work each and every time. Days of the week vary for purchasing. How far in advance to purchase varies according to different sites. Different airlines matter. When you are traveling matters.
A recent report form CheapAir tells us airfares are best at seven weeks prior to departure. Another report by Airlines Reporting Corporation says six weeks.
For domestic airfare, you can book too early, according to FareCompare. Three months is about right as that’s when domestic airlines start managing their flights and releasing the more affordable seats. It also helps if you are flexible when it comes to the dates.
If you’re traveling internationally, start your research early…try eight to nine months out. A good idea is to create a search on a site that will notify you when the prices change.
Of course, this might all change if you’re traveling a busy time of year. Think Christmas or summer vacations versus the middle of October. It really does matter.