When Should You Book Your Flight?

While setting off on a vacation is typically a relaxing experience, booking travel can actually be quite stressful. Among the many reasons for this revolves around the ever-changing prices of airline tickets. Unlike most retail situations where items go on sale, return to normal price, and eventually come back down (or sell out), if you miss out on buying your flight at the right time, you could end up spending way more. So when is the right time to buy?

According to a study by CheapAir and reported by Business Insider, the absolute best time to book your flight is exactly 54 days before your travel. The logic behind this assertion is that prices tend to start dropping around 105-day mark but will start rising again as time drew nearer, spiking significantly 20 days out. In fact, one example cited by Business Insider found a $400 flight fall to $344 on 54 days in advance. If you’re curious, that flight would go on to reach $593.

Another bit of advice offered is to book your flights on Tuesday. This is apparently when airlines release sales, allowing you to take advantage of their competing prices — although it’s unclear if the 54 day rule trumps this tip in the event that day doesn’t fall on a Tuesday. In any case, it usually helps to fly at off-peak times like early mornings on weekdays.

Admittedly I’m slightly skeptical of this study for a couple of reasons. For one, while I do believe 54 days out is a good rule of thumb, I feel it also depends on the airline. For example, I recently reviewed my experience on Allegiant Air, which offers some truly low base fares but charges for additional services. Just by sampling a few dates they have available, I can see that prices only go down to a certain point, leaving me little reason not to simply book now. That said, if these fare floors aren’t as obvious, 54 days does sound about right to me.

Of course, if your travel dates are set in stone and it’s imperative you get the flights you need, perhaps it’s best to just choose a price you’re willing to pay and forgo fretting about falling prices. Ultimately, planning your getaway should be exciting, not stressful. Besides, there are plenty of other ways you can save money on your travels to help make up the difference.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

collage of Discover It Q2 2024 bonus categories

Here's What Discover It Customers Can Earn 5% Back on in Q2

It's March 1st, and you know what that means: time for Discover to announce its second quarter bonus categories! Oh, that wasn't what you were thinking? Well, then. Regardless, continuing a tradition they began last year (prior to that, they'd just announced the full quarterly calendar before the new year),...
grey Moderne Gentlemen Travel Duffle Bag

Travel Tuesday: Moderne Gentleman Travel Duffle Bag Review

As someone who not only travels with some frequency but also enjoys reviewing products, I'm always on the lookout for interesting travel accessories and the like. That's why I was excited when I found the clever Halfday garment duffle a few months ago. Well, after seeing that review, the people...
SiriusXM logo

Another Bill "Negotiation" Win! Cutting Our Sirius XM Fee

Earlier this month, I shared the story of how I managed to instantly save money on my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Basically, by going through the steps to cancel, I was presented with a deal that I could live with. Well, just today, I had a similar experience with another...

Leave a Reply

The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get Posts in Your Inbox
Featured Articles
collage of Discover It Q2 2024 bonus categories

Here's What Discover It Customers Can Earn 5% Back on in Q2

It's March 1st, and you know what that means: time for Discover to announce its second quarter bonus categories! Oh, that wasn't what you were thinking? Well, then. Regardless, continuing a tradition they began last year (prior to that, they'd just announced the full quarterly calendar before the new year),...
grey Moderne Gentlemen Travel Duffle Bag

Travel Tuesday: Moderne Gentleman Travel Duffle Bag Review

As someone who not only travels with some frequency but also enjoys reviewing products, I'm always on the lookout for interesting travel accessories and the like. That's why I was excited when I found the clever Halfday garment duffle a few months ago. Well, after seeing that review, the people...
SiriusXM logo

Another Bill "Negotiation" Win! Cutting Our Sirius XM Fee

Earlier this month, I shared the story of how I managed to instantly save money on my Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Basically, by going through the steps to cancel, I was presented with a deal that I could live with. Well, just today, I had a similar experience with another...

Everything You Need to Know About Flying Allegiant Air in 2024

When my wife and I moved to Springfield, Missouri almost a decade ago, one of the selling points (or at least what kept it in the running) was that there was a nearby airport that served a decent number of destinations. Unfortunately, while it is convenient, flying out of such...