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Booking tickets for flights is not the most exciting thing to do, but once you are finished and have your ticket booked at an affordable rate, it can be one of the most satisfying feelings (especially if you travel often). There’s a pattern to booking and purchasing flights that includes keeping in account the season, the time, the flight being domestic or international, and the airline you are booking with. Through some research of other articles and databases, I gathered together how much time people should wait when booking flights and when the best times are to book flights.

Smart Buying Tips

Always purchase your ticket on Tuesday at 3:00 PM

Don’t buy airline tickets earlier than 3 1/2 months prior to your departure.

Airfare prices substantially rise 14 days before departure.

Cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Time frame to buy your ticket within

According to cheapair.com, “in 2013 the best time to buy a domestic airline ticket was 54 days in advance, or 7 1/2 weeks on average.”

Of course, it should be no surprise that the worst day to buy your ticket is the day before. Also, if you are traveling during Thanksgiving or Christmas, you should try to book your tickets at least 6 months in advance and the earliest you can book a flight either way is 11 months in advance. However, this is different for other times of the year that aren’t big holidays, where fees begin to drop 3 and a half months before the flight is scheduled to leave and continue to drop at least a month and a half in, yet begin to increase a month before departure.

3 ½ months is a perfect amount of time to plan your trip and should give you enough time to prepare.

So, what is the conclusion to all of this?

So, from all the data that I gathered from online and other resources, it seems that a flight should not be booked too early or too late. However, this is not exactly the case. The time you should purchase your flight all comes down to what I stated earlier in this post- your destination, when you are leaving, the airline you are taking, and if the flight is domestic or international. I have recently been receiving a lot of emails regarding when people should buy their tickets, and it’s all so specific to the destination and when you are going that it becomes hard to say when to actually purchase the tickets. Its better to use the information I have listed as guidelines and not rules for purchasing your tickets.

Resource to use for staying on top of ticket prices

Sign up for fare compare real-time airfare alerts so you can be notified of price drops or any trips you might want to take in the future.

Do you know any other tips for purchasing tickets for airfare? Let me know in the comments section below!