Booking a flight too early is possible, but there’s a sweet spot to save the most

April 15th, 2021

Travel is one of the most fulfilling activities a person can experience. The chance to see new places, meet new people, or even just fly home to visit family, it’s all part of a wonderful thing. That said, the expense of travel can be quite stressful.

With travel restrictions starting to open up, you may be thinking about flying again for the first time in a while. Fortunately, this article will help you budget your trip so you don’t have to stress at all!

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Pexels - Samet Kasik Source: Pexels - Samet Kasik

There’s a sweet spot you should buy your tickets during.

The CheapAir 2021 Annual Airfare Study revealed that the cheapest tickets will be available between three weeks and three months before your domestic flight. That means that even though you might be really excited to finally go see the music in Nashville next year, you should wait it out until it’s a bit closer to your departure.

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Pexels - Hazy Mokhlas Source: Pexels - Hazy Mokhlas

And there’s a spot to avoid buying tickets.

This same study showed that, conversely, waiting until the last minute will result in your ticket prices skyrocketing upwards of $150 compared to the prime time to book. While we can’t always control when we buy plane tickets, especially for last minute reasons, if you’re looking ahead to plan a trip, there is an exact time frame you should focus on.

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Pexels - Brett Sayles Source: Pexels - Brett Sayles

Even the day of the week plays a role in ticket prices.

While you should go ahead and buy your tickets on any day of the week during that sweet spot, if you can be flexible with your departure and return day, you should. On average, it is significantly more convenient to fly on days in the middle of the week, rather than the weekend. The cheapest days of the week to fly are Tuesday and Wednesday, while the most expensive is Sunday.

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Pexels - Belle Shang Source: Pexels - Belle Shang

Travel trends vary based on seasons.

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Pexels - Marfil Graganza Aquino Source: Pexels - Marfil Graganza Aquino

The best time to buy a plane ticket can also be influenced by the seasons. According to the same airfare study: in spring it is best to buy tickets 21 days in advance, for summer it’s 67 days, in fall you should aim for 89 days, and winter mirrors summer with a perfect window of 68 days in advance. CheapAir calculated these numbers by looking at the availability of options combined with the prices.

Another way to save on flights? Skip out on direct travel.

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Pexels - Agata Source: Pexels - Agata

Buying a nonstop ticket will jack up the prices of you airfare. Although it’s not as glamourous, signing up for a connecting flight or two will save you money, and you may even get a few hours to check out a totally unexpected location!

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Pexels - Vinh Dang Source: Pexels - Vinh Dang

By using a search engine like Kayak, you can check for flight options with 1 or two stops. If you aren’t in a rush to reach your destination, this is a great option for you.

Booking airfare does not have to be hard.

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Pexels - Dominique Roellinger Source: Pexels - Dominique Roellinger

Plan ahead, book within the perfect, and be flexible about your plans. By using these tips you can forget the financial stress of flying and focus on how fun your trip is going to be!

To learn more about airfare, read this article.

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Source: CheapAir, Forbes, The Penny Hoarder, Kayak