Come fly with me

PlaneWing

I love to travel and strangely enough, in our relationship my husband is the travel planner.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend getaway or an international escapade, he always takes charge of planning the trip.  He spends countless hours researching flights, scouting hotels and reading about the destination.  I can’t complain, I’m just happy to tag along and revel in the fruits of his labor.

BarcelonaBeach

We’re in the early stages of planning a getaway in the fall.  I just came across an old New York Times article that measured the effect vacations have on overall happiness and how long it lasts.  A bunch of researchers from the Netherlands determined that “the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation.”  “Vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.”  Hmmm, it may be time to rethink my travel strategy.

In an attempt to help with the travel planning, I did a little research on when to book a flight to get the best price.

Best time to book your travel //
I found an interesting study conducted by CheapAir.com.  They examined flight booking patterns over the last year and concluded that for domestic travel, “the best time to book a flight is 54 days in advance, on average.” They “also found that booking too early or too late could cause you to pay more than you have to and that the ‘prime booking window,’ where the best fares are available, usually ranges from 29 to 104 days before departure.” 

There are some exceptions to this general rule, including international travel – it has its own set of magic numbers.  It’s recommended that you book your flight much earlier than 54 days in advance.  CheapAir.com recommends the following advance notice for common international travel destinations:

Europe: 151 days before your trip
The Caribbean: 101 days before your trip
Mexico: 89 days before your trip
Latin America: 80 days before your trip
Asia: 129 days before your trip
Africa: 166 days before your trip

Do you have any experience with this?  What secret airline tricks have you discovered?

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