The days of spring have officially sprung, and soon summer is going to pop right around the corner. Summer means different things to different people, but most enjoy heading on a vacation and catching some rays. A good tan never hurt anyone. But flights can hurt and get expensive, especially if you’re booking right before you want to leave. Whether you’ve been burned by a hefty flight price during spring break, or you just want to get a head start on summer traveling, here’s what you need to know to get the most affordable tickets year-round.
As a general rule of traveling by air, you never want to book a flight anywhere remotely close to the weekend. Your safest and most affordable option is to book a flight for Tuesday or Wednesday. Another great tip to get inexpensive flights is to use a travel rewards credit card. This is the best option for people who spend more time in the air than on land, as even short and domestic flights add up.
Avoid the Holiday Season, Duh
It may seem like common sense, but you might be surprised by how many people put off buying tickets until the last minute. Any time of the year that has a holiday in it is sure to cost you extra. Think Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, even Easter and Labor Day. If you have to travel during the holidays, here’s what you can do to avoid the holiday hustle based on the season.
Let’s start with flights in winter because that’s when there’s the most air traffic. If you’re looking to travel for Christmas, aim to buy your ticket anywhere between 20 and 100 days in advance. It may seem a little over the top, but that’s what it takes to avoid the Christmas rush. You also save around $250 between traveling on the least and most expensive days.
The main holiday that sends the prices of spring flights through the roof is spring break. Excited college kids may be to blame, but hey, everyone needs a break, right? Buying your ticket for your time off 45-120 days in advance is the way to go. Plus, you can save a whopping $270 dollars between the best and worst fares.
Summer is another air traffic nightmare. Everyone wants to get their vacation in before the chilly fall days, so it’s important to plan ahead. Generally speaking, July has the most expensive tickets, while August and September have the lowest fares. It’s best to book your ticket anywhere between 20-160 days before the day you want to depart. Not only do you get a more relaxed vacation, but your wallet is also going to thank you when you get more than $200 in savings.
Fall flights are a breeze compared to the rest of the traveling seasons. If you avoid booking right before Thanksgiving, you’re likely to get a well-priced ticket easily. Consider booking 20-75 days in advance for this one. You can save around $80 if you play your cards right and book sometime during the week.
Now that you know the difference you can pay during the rush season, here’s another tidbit of useful knowledge. Contrary to popular belief, you won’t get cheaper tickets if you book your flight six months from departure. People think that the earlier you book, the cheaper it is, but that’s not true. Booking early means you pay premium costs while booking three months in advance means you pay the true fare price. A little foresight and patience can give you lots of savings and a fun and affordable flight!