Finding the exact right time to book plane tickets is basically like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Everyone has their opinion, and they’re all over the map. If you’re looking for a definite, no-nonsense answer, CheapAir might finally have one for you.
As part of their annual airfare study, CheapAir looked at about 1.3 billion fares and just under 3 million trips from 2015 to try and figure out exactly when you should book. For each trip, they looked at the lowest fare offered every day from 320 days in advance up until one day in advance.
While of course there are exceptions, they discovered that, on average, 54 days ahead of time is when you should book travel within the USA. Booking a trip right when it goes on sale (usually about 320 days in advance), is typically about $50 more expensive than during that prime booking window. However, CheapAir did find that for about 30,000 of the trips they surveyed, the best price was actually offered the day tickets were made available. So, if you’re trying to book really far ahead of time and think you’re looking at a pretty good deal, you probably are.
Late last year Expedia also conducted a similar study and concluded that 57 days ahead of time is the cheapest time to book a domestic flight. The lesson learned here? You’d be better scanning airfare sites like a hawk 54 to 57 days before that upcoming vacay. If you’re jetting off on an international destination, Expedia suggests getting that flight booked 171 days before departure. Happy travels, friends.
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(Photo via CheapAir and Getty)