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Old 07-11-2017, 12:19 AM
 
3,296 posts, read 1,564,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jteskal View Post
I try to buy at least 30 days in advance. But, I love to find good deals. Going to Punta Cuna September 3, still have not booked airfare yet. I hate layovers, so usually take American Airlines.
you are going i during a good time, sort of the start of off peak season. I could recommend the dominicus/ bayahibe resorts over Punta Cana. The resorts are only 45 minutes away from PUJ. very good area.
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:58 AM
 
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With frequent flyer points, the first possible day I'm allowed to book the flights.

Otherwise, it kind of depends on how firm my travel schedule is, the city pair, which airlines have nonstop flights for that city pair, and how flexible I can be about day of week and time of year. If work could interfere, I tend to book Southwest where there are no change fees and where I can use the money on another trip if I have to cancel. Out of Boston, I tend to fly JetBlue whenever possible because they have Airbus equipment with wider seats and more seat pitch than the other carriers on discount economy tickets.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:50 AM
 
849 posts, read 992,028 times
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A lot depends on when traveling:

Work travel (meetings, supplier visits, sales): 1-2 weeks in advance for most meetings/plant visits, schedules and calendars tend to be highly fluid even at that point and I end up changing dates/change fees about 25% of the time.

Work travel (conferences, training, recruiting): 2-3 weeks as these events have more set start/end dates and schedules

Personal/Leisure travel (off peak periods, flexible dates, many flight options): 3-5 weeks in advance

Personal/Leisure travel (Peak periods, fixed dates, limited flights): 4-12 weeks in advance

The reality is that most airfare more than 3 months out doesn't change all that much and often the lowest fare buckets/inventory isn't opened up until 1-2 months out. Domestic airfare really doesn't step-up much until under 21 days before departure, then again at 14 days out, and significantly if under 7 days.
For most domestic plane tickets, 80% of tickets are bought within 5 weeks of departure.

Now traveling during peak periods like Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Years, 4th of July, peak spring break Saturdays, or leisure/vacation destinations with limited flights best to book a bit farther out.

There is a trade-off in booking flights far in advance without the flexibility if there is a potential to need to change the dates. I get leary with sick/ailing relatives, fluid work schedules, potential life events to save a few bucks by buying tickets 6 months out versus 1-2 months.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:01 PM
 
7,980 posts, read 11,663,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMChicago View Post
My wife and I decided last night to go to away next week.

3 hours later, we had airfare and hotels booked for Vancouver, Canada.

We leave Friday. Last minute trips rock!
Last minute trips do rock, but never financially in my experience. Can you detail if and how you got a good price?

Thanks to DTW Flyer and those that specificed time frames for price jumps, and the idea about peak times. Not sure I know when they are other than school is out (summer) vs. school is in and holidays.
Interesting and sad about international prices and terrorist attacks.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,664 posts, read 6,487,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annabanana123 View Post
When the price is right...usually a couple months in advance. But also after terrorist attacks - flew round trip from US to Belgium for $400 that way.
I know it sounds bad, but after the latest terrorist incident in Brussels, my first thought was "I hope this means the flights to Brussels will go back down"

A month ago, I found one for next February from California round trip on Delta for 385 dollars. Should have grabbed it!
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:41 PM
 
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Traveling to Croatia at the end of August and we just got the tickets about a week ago. I freaked out b/c the prices went up $700 in a day, then dropped the next day back to their normal price (I use google flight price tracker) and decided not to risk it and purchased it. That's about as late as I've gone to buying tickets, usually we book them 3-4 months in advance.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:48 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,256 posts, read 4,143,320 times
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54 days out is supposed to be the best time to buy.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:45 AM
 
7,980 posts, read 11,663,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
Looks into airfarewatchdog.com saves me tons of time and money. AND they follow SW airlines.
I got emails from airwatchdog for a long time and everytime I clicked on something it was months out and typically not a deal.

I will have to look into google fare watcher?

54 days out is too far out. Hence, I never go anywhere.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:17 AM
 
32,089 posts, read 32,986,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
This is by far the biggest limiting factor in getting off my butt to travel.

I hate committing to tickets 8 weeks, 10 weeks, heck even 6 weeks in advance.
But I hate paying the price of anything closer in.

How far out do you buy tickets? When do you find the price break to be?
Usually within 2 weeks up to a month ahead depending on the situation. I have seen price breaks 2-3 weeks ahead of travel dates assuming it is not a holiday period.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,300 posts, read 1,096,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
This is by far the biggest limiting factor in getting off my butt to travel.

I hate committing to tickets 8 weeks, 10 weeks, heck even 6 weeks in advance.
But I hate paying the price of anything closer in.

How far out do you buy tickets? When do you find the price break to be?
It really depends on if you prefer to travel based on deals or based on destinations. If you focus on deals then you will find that having to wait isn't as annoying because you know that you got such a bargain. Some of these deals can end up being several months out and some can be taken within days or weeks of booking but the main things is that the destinations may not be something you would have though of when selecting a vacation.

In addition to using sites that track error fares and travel deals, I find that skyscanner is a good site to use when price is your main factor. You can put in your starting location and time frame and then select everywhere for your destination and it will list the cheapest costs to get a each country. You will have to keep in mind that they cheapest isn't always the most convenient so there could be some trade offs.

Another important thing is to become more knowledgeable about potential alternative travel locations. For example, you may be interested in visiting Paris but it may be cheaper for you to fly into Brussels or Amsterdam and take a train into Paris, yes it would add a few hours to your journey but it could save you hundreds of dollars.

Also be sure to follow some of the low cost international carriers, airlines like WOW, Icelandair, and Norwegian often have sales to Europe and they aren't always listed in some of the fare watching sites. Another good airline to check is Emirates, I find that they often have fare sales that may be difficult to find on the various sites because sometimes they have special rules to get the bargain rate.
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