If you’ve ever planned a dream trip, you know the highs and lows that accompany the experience. Sometimes you find an opening for an unbelievable excursion or that restaurant all the locals swear by that’s been booked up for months. You spend hours scrolling Yelp or Tripadvisor in your vacation spot, imaging all the possibilities your journey will bring you. It feels like the stars are aligning and ticking off the days of your calendar before you leave is a daily ritual you actually look forward to. Something you’re probably not daydreaming about? Buying your plane tickets.
Purchasing flights, for many travelers, is the most dreaded, arduous part of the whole process. It can be tortuous: wondering whether you should just buy the tickets a few months in advance and play it safe, or play the long game and watch prices like a hawk waiting for the ideal drop. However you play it, you know what you’re looking for: the best flights at the lowest prices.
Here’s are 3 tips to score your perfect tickets and get back to fantasizing your trip over your morning coffee.
According to a 2019 study conducted by the Airlines Reporting Corporation and the Expedia Group on over 2 billion airline ticket sales to the most popular destinations worldwide, booking 3 weeks in advance, specifically on the weekend is the safest time to buy with your wallet in mind. But don’t take my word for it! Expedia senior vice president, Greg Schluze has this to say about their study: “Research tells us that travelers often make up to 50 searches before deciding on a flight. Our analysis of more than 50 billion flight searches can help all travelers in the hunt for the right flight at the right price.” Looking 21 days in advance is by no means surefire, but data suggests that it’s by far the most economical time frame for booking smart!
Though it may seem like an inconvenience, choosing to travel at unusual times could be the difference between spending a fortune and saving a bounty. As reported by Farecompare, flying early in the morning (we’re talking early, sunrise to be exact) can be most pragmatic. Their studies have shown that many airlines offer discounted ticket prices for the day’s first flights because they are not as popular. As well as being low-cost, dawn flights are also less likely to be delayed. Travel and Leisure states that “it’s best to leave before 8 a.m. From there, delay times just build until they reach their peak at about 6 p.m.”
It doesn’t just pay to fly early, if you want the best flight deals you should shop early, too. According to data from Skyscanner, travel coinsessuers and trip fare comparerers at large, 5 A.M is the best overall time to buy tickets. The good thing about the 5 A.M figure is that it goes for both domestic and international flights, so no matter where you’re going, getting up early will take you there cheaper. Airline companies will often post lower cost tickets earlier in the day when they assume most flyers are simply sleeping, so be the early bird and get that worm!
No matter where you’re headed, remember to keep 3 things in mind: look for tickets 3 weeks in advance, buy a spot on the earliest flight possible, and set your alarm to 5 A.M to shop around. So much is out of your control while traveling, but budgeting smart for your flights doesn’t have to be! Set yourself up for the dreamiest trip possible and follow these simple tips to start making those dreams reality.
If you have any additional tips on this or any other travel topic, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you, and as always, Travel Safe, Travel Covered.
Alexa Lieberthal is a professional actress, singer, and writer from Boston, MA. Though her passions are many, and range from fitness to Star Trek, the biggest of all is travel. Alexa is based in NYC, but has spent the past 4 years exploring and performing in places all over the world, including Western Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and the U.K. Most recently, she spent two years seeing the world by working aboard AIDA Cruises, singing and sailing and savoring the earth. The next place on her travel bucket-list is Berlin, Germany! You can follow Alexa's adventures on Instagram @ny.see and her website areneeact.com.