Start searching in advance
While there’s no exact science to how long in advance you should buy tickets, it’s important to start searching as soon as you set a plan. Ideally, you should start looking for the best deals three or four months in advance. Then, as the date gets closer, you should look consistently for the best deals.
Try searching at different times of the day
Believe it or not, a plane ticket can fall a few hundred dollars in just a few hours. The mornings and weekends are great times to start looking. So as you continue looking for the best deal months in advance, remember to mix up the times you’re searching for tickets.
Although you may have a plan on when you want to go someplace, you should do your best to be flexible within a few days. Sometimes airfare drops dramatically if you simply leave on a Sunday morning instead of a Monday evening. Fortunately, many airlines and booking services have a flexible search to get the best price, so be sure to click on the flexible search box.
Some of the best times to depart are Wednesday mornings because that’s when the fewest people are traveling. That changes sometimes though, so always be sure to mix up your departure dates.
Signup for Fare Alerts
Another good thing in planning far in advance is that you can be on the lookout for temporary fare reductions and deals. Some airlines even have fare alerts when they will email you or send you a letter indicating that fares have been slashed for a limited time. If you are constantly keeping an eye out for these great deals, you’re bound to find a deal that fits you.
Search different airlines and sites
You should also be mixing up where you’re looking for tickets. While aggregate sites like Expedia or Kayak that search the top airlines are very convenient, they don’t always have the best deals. Search a few of those sites and also search airlines directly because sometimes they have deals on their sites. There are numerous airlines that only go to certain places, so you should check every airline out there for deals.
Avoid popular Travel seasons
Another key thing to remember is that you should avoid traveling during peak holiday seasons. Don’t travel during the height of Christmas or Thanksgiving. If you’re going to the Caribbean, you should also consider going during the later months of the year when people are less likely to travel to that destination.