I have been doing a lot of airline research lately for my clients. Prices seem to be out of control with no end in sight. I have seen $400-$700 fares from NYC to Orlando for Spring Break travel, when in the past I have traveled for $200-$250. Basically, if you want to travel at peak times the airlines want you to pay peak prices and charge you a service fee!
I know with families it can be hard to plan a trip far in advance, but if you want to make sure you do not use all of your travel budget on airfare, then here are some tips and information to make sure you save money.
- Best time to buy a ticket? Research shows 6-7 weeks before departure is the best time to purchase your tickets, but that can change depending on when and where you want to travel.
- Best day to search for air? As I have said before, it still looks like 3pm on Tuesday is a great time to search. As well, around midnight most other days.
- Is it best to book early? You can sometimes book too early. Airlines on average start to mange their domestic flights about 3 months in advance of departure dates. This is the time they will start to release cheaper seats. On average flights 6 months before departure have shown a 20% higher price then fares 3 months out.
Europe and Abroad
- Is it best to book early? Yes, if you are leaving the United States then start your search early. Research shows the best average prices can be found 9 months to 6 months out from departure.
- Will there be a sale on fares? Depending on when and where you want to fly, fare sales to International locations will start appearing between 5-2 months from departure date.
- How can I try to get a great deal on air? Get a gauge of prices by searching at least 6 months from you travel date. Then make sure to sign up for a fare watching site, like Airfarewatchdog, FareCompare or Yapta.
Holiday and Peak Travel Flights
- Europe for Summer – Research shows that the lowest average fares are around 31 weeks from departure. But, really you should start researching air 5-6 months before your departure dates. So for summer travel that means January or February getting air locked in.
- Winter Flights to Caribbean and Ski Destinations – Since these destinations are so popular during the Winter it will be hard to find a good deal. Again, it is best to plan ahead and start your search 4-5 months before departure.
- Holiday and School Break Travel – The airlines know these are BUSY times to travel so prices are going to be high. If you know you want to travel for Christmas or a school holiday like Spring Break then you need to plan early. Early means at least 6 months in advance. So, if you are going to travel at Christmas then you should be researching or purchasing your air in June.
Kimberly Milnes is a mother of 2 boys and owner of Adventures By Kim. She is a Family Travel Expert and professional sharing family travel tips, and information as well as helping families’ plan amazing and hassle free family vacations. Please feel free to contact her at [email protected] or www.adventuresbykim.com.