So you’ve decided to go on holiday next month. You’ve set aside three weeks worth of vacation leaves from your office, just for this occasion. But where can you get the best deals on airfares and accommodation?
First off, don’t get sucked into going for the first seemingly good deal that you come across. Like most things in life, it always pays to do your homework and spend time on research.
There's usually an art to reading the tea leaves of the airlines' mutating pricing schemes, but there's some muddled science to it, as well.
According to Travelers Today, research conducted by Kayak found the optimal timing for a cheap-ticket purchase is approximately 21 and 34 days before domestic and international flights, respectively.
But 2012 analysis by CheapAir.com concluded that on average the cheapest fares are found 49 days before a flight.
Meanwhile, researchers at Texas A&M University simply found that Saturdays and Sundays are best for finding discount fares.
If you are planning a trip, follow the airlines and hotels you are considering on social media. They often post promo prices for travel throughout the year if you pay attention. The only caveat is the flights are often during limited time frames and on short notice - and always paid thru a credit card.
Oftentimes, your friendly neighborhood travel agency may be able to monitor ticket prices and alert you of upcoming or ongoing promo fares among the different airlines. (contact us if you'd like to find out about our ticket monitoring services) Please note, however, that there are certain classes of tickets that may not qualify for mileage accrual. It is considered best practice to obtain the fare's mileage eligibility, just prior to finalizing your booking and ticket purchase.
The best way to get a good deal on a flight is to travel off-season. This results in significantly lower air fares. If you must travel during the peak season, like say Christmas and special long holidays, 14 weeks in advance is likely to yield the best deals.
For summer travel, booking three months in advance is recommended for the best fares.
Sunday is usually the most expensive day to fly, while Saturday is usually the cheapest.
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