When are the best sales for travel?
Like most, people like to go on vacation during a national holiday. This creates a “peak travel” pricing over holidays. For Americans, this means travel around President’s day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc, can get pricy.
However, if you plan things right. You can travel internationally for the same price of a domestic airline ticket. If you know the exact travel dates, the new question is when to actually buy a ticket. There are fare trackers and many websites dedicated to let travelers know when there is a flash sale. In general, its best to buy a ticket to Europe about 4 months in advance. For asia, the best time to purchase a ticket is between 5-6 months. For domestic travel, surprisingly, its 54 days before travel.
Many people think they should buy their ticket in as much as advance as possible. Not true. This only applies when you are trying to redeem your miles. For example, if you are trying to get a ticket to Hawaii, you need to start calling airlines 330 days in advance. The only time you should try in advance to buy a ticket is over holidays or peak travel.
Once you decide your vacation destination, its best to ask the following questions:
1. What’s the best time to go to this destination? What season?
For example, you want to go to Prague. The cheapest tickets to Prague are in January. However, its winter and freezing. Would you mind the cold? Or would you rather walk Charles Bridge in the spring?
2. How many people are traveling?
If you are in a big group, the earlier you book the better. Especially if you want to sit together. In addition, hotels and condos tend to be the big price breaker here.
If you are traveling solo, you can be open to flash fare sales. You could also wait last minute to book a hotel to see if you can get a hot rates hotel deal. There are more options for single travelers.
3. Are there any events occurring during that time?
For example, if you want to go to Brazil during the Olympics, the prices may be double or triple. Or if its ski season in Whittier, then prices may also be higher. In these cases, you would need to track flights and see when a sale is going on when you want to fly.
If all these questions haven’t scared you away from a vacation, you are now have more information to help get a cheaper fare. Once you have the country and the dates, you can set up fare watches on kayak, expedia, and other travel sites. If you want to grab a flash fare sale, you have to be ready to buy a ticket within minutes of receiving the sale notice.
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