When Is the Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets?

Dreaming of a getaway? Flying to the destination of your dreams can be outrageously expensive – but planning your travel carefully could make airfare surprisingly affordable.

If you plan smartly, you can save significantly. You just need to know when to book your flight. Here’s everything you need to know in order to score an incredible deal on an airline ticket right after the holiday season – you might want to start packing your bags.

Book During Off-Peak Travel Season

Most people travel during the holidays, heading off to see friends and family from November through the end of December. But once the holiday rush is over (Christmas and New Year’s are the busiest flying days of the year) you’re more likely to find a flight at an affordable price.

The “off-peak” season generally starts around January 7th and ends around mid-February, according to USA Today. January is a great time of the year to find deals to cities like Florida or San Diego – the perfect destinations for those seeking an escape to warmer weather.

During this off-peak window, you can book your flights for January and beyond. Airlines will let you book flights up to six months in the future, meaning you can get discounted tickets for your spring break and early summer vacation plans if you hunt for deals after the first of the year.

Know What Days of the Week to Book

If you want to save even more on your next flight, shopping during the month of January isn’t the only trick you need to know – you also need to know what the cheapest days are to book. According to USA Today, there are three days where you may be able to book at a decent price: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.  

Try this USA Today formula for getting a good airline price when you’re searching for flights:

  1. Scoring a good deal – depart Friday, return Sunday
  2. Scoring a better deal – depart Tuesday, return Saturday
  3. Scoring an even better deal – depart Wednesday, return Tuesday

According to CheapAir.com, you can save an average of $52 per ticket by not flying out on a Sunday.

Consider the Time of Day

Don’t mind flying at unpopular times of the day? You may be able to get an even cheaper ticket just by flying out at unpopular times.

No one wants to fly in the middle of the night or when it’s inconvenient – so if you’re willing to fly during these less popular hours, you’ll reap the financial benefits. If you can book a red-eye or an early a.m. flight, it could save you some serious cash you can use when you’re at your destination.

How to Find the Best Deal During Off-Peak Season

Traveling during the off-peak season has perks; not only will you get a great price on an airline ticket, but the airport will be less crowded, you’ll enjoy less crowds at tourist attractions at your destination, and you may be able to get a deal on a hotel and car rental.

If you’re looking for big savings and great deals on your next trip, here are some tips to consider when you’re looking for a flight.

Tip #1 – Compare airline prices online

There are plenty of comparison sites to make sure that you’re getting the best possible airline price to get to your destination – remember every airline offers different deals at different times. Search online for the latest offers and pricing, and don’t forget to shop during different days of the week.

Tip #2 – Set up airfare alerts

If you’re serious about finding cheap airfare, set up alerts to your phone or computer – if you see a price you like, make sure to book right away because those deals won’t last long.

Tip #3 – Discount airlines are a great place to find cheap airfare

Consider flying on a discount airline such as JetBlue Airways or AirTan. Though you won’t get all the amenities you would if you flew out on a more expensive airline, if you’re willing to give up a little bit up luxury and maybe some leg room, you maybe be able to get a lower rate.   

One of the best approaches to finding the best deal on airfare is to make sure you spend some time researching and looking around on various sites to find the best possible airfare to get to your destination.

January is almost here, and though you won’t see any of these deals just yet, it’s still a good idea to research how much your destination is currently priced for, so when you book your flight in January you’ll know how much you’ll be saving.

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