Buying Air Tickets – How to find the best flights and cheapest fares in 2015

Updated: November, 2014

Travel Essentials

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How To Find Cheap Flights

The most common question I get from readers is How do I find cheap airfares?

It’s complicated, I usually reply.

Having a good idea of how the industry works, the different options for buying airline tickets, and how to get the best deal and cheapest price on a ticket can make the whole experience a fun first step into planning your trip.

I’ll describe below my thoughts on finding cheap fares and how I go about planning a route, picking an airline, and searching for the best ticket deals.

But first I’m going to start with the basic steps I use when searching for a flight.

So, in 7 steps (or less depending on how committed you are) this is how I find cheap airfares:

1. Search for Flights

These are the websites I use when planning a trip:

  • Kayak.com – best for flights, multiple destinations, flexible dates
  • Vayama.com – also finds some great deals
  • Expedia.com – best for vacation packages

For flights use the flexible search options (if possible). The best days to fly are usually – though not always – Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday. Thursday and Friday are the most expensive days to fly.

Take note of the best prices, routes, and flights that are returned. If they’re good fares, buy them and forget about the rest of this post, if you want to keep searching then go to step 2.

2. Check For Sales

The above websites should return all current sales but sometimes they miss a seat sale put on by a specific airline for a short window of dates. The following websites work best when you have a destination in mind but are flexible for the dates you travel.

Go to Airfarewatchdog.com and Travelzoo.com to look for flights cheaper than what you found in step 1. This will tend to be more of a listing than a search for exact dates and flights.

3. Look At The Budget Airlines

Budget airlines typically don’t appear on travel websites like Orbitz or Kayak so you’ll have to search on different sites to find those fares.

Search for budget flights using these sites:

These provide listings of flights on budget and low-cost carriers. Budget airlines tend to fly shorter routes and any route that requires a change of planes probably isn’t worth the hassle. But looking never hurts.

If you find a budget airline flying the route you need, then visit their website and check the price. Be sure to account for baggage fees and extra charges.

4. Use Google

Go to Google Flights and search for your origin and destination cities. Follow the most intriguing links to see if there are any legitimate sales.

5. Visit Airline Websites

Once you’ve decided on the best flight based on price, route, and dates be sure to visit the website of the actual airline (e.g. United or British Airways). They’ll sometimes be selling the same ticket you found on Travelocity or Vayama for a cheaper price – though it can often be more expensive as well.

I’ll repeat this!

Say you find a great price on Vayama.com for a British Airways flight from New York to London. Before you buy it visit the British Airways’ website as they will sometimes be selling it for the same price or cheaper.

6. Will The Price Go Up or Down?

Now you should have a best price, but before you purchase it take a look at FareCompare to see predictions (based on historical data and a complex algorithm) on whether the price for that route is likely to go up, down or stay the same.

7. When To Buy That Ticket?

And when should you actually buy your tickets?

The best time to purchase airline tickets is between Monday night and Wednesday afternoon (sales come out on Monday, are matched by early Tuesday, and disappear by Thursday); not before 3 1/2 months prior to your trip; and not after 7 to 10 days prior to your trip (when airlines assume you’re a business traveler and will pay whatever it takes).

Statistically, the best time to purchase tickets is

  • 6 weeks before you fly for U.S. domestic flights
  • 21 to 22 weeks in advance for flights to Europe
  • 11 to 12 weeks in advance for flights to the Caribbean
  • 23 to 24 weeks in advance for international business or first class

What You Need To Know About The Airline Industry To Find Cheap Fares And Save Money

Different types of Airlines: Legacy and Low Cost Carriers

Picking the best airline and flights for your trip starts with your decision to fly with a legacy carrier (sometimes called a major) or with a low cost carrier (sometimes called a budget or charter airline).

The legacy carriers are typically the big names you first think of when you consider airlines: United, Delta, British Airways and Lufthansa. The low cost carriers (or LCC from here on) are the upstarts with the hip new names: Jet Blue, Ryan Air, Virgin Airlines and Air Asia, for example.

The two types of carriers often act like two parallel travel worlds that rarely cross paths with each other. The carriers often fly from different airports, sell their tickets in a different manner, offer different inflight options and can have very different prices. And that’s just a start.

Here are the key points that define legacy and low cost carriers:

Legacy Airlines

  • Generally have better and more complete service than LCCs — e.g. transfer bags between connecting flights, serve meals, offer in-flight entertainment.
  • Typically offer passengers different classes of seating (e.g. first class, business class), airport lounges and frequent flyer programs.
  • Most legacy airlines are a member of an alliance whereby partner airlines share routes, offer connecting flights and issue boarding passes for other airlines.
  • Work on the hub and spoke model between major cities.
  • Tickets for missed flights (because of a missed connection) are usually honored.

Low Cost Airlines

  • Known for cheap — often ridiculously cheap — ticket prices. Some of the European LCCs have offered flight promotions with tickets across the continent for as little as €1. But even non-promotion ticket prices are regularly in the €10-30 range. (These ticket prices however, often don’t include the high taxes and fees that LCCs usually charge. Be sure to compare the total ticket cost not just the initial quoted price when booking.)
  • Usually fly shorter trips and routes (e.g. Amsterdam to Rome) — though this is changing and it’s now possible to complete an Around The World trip solely on Low Cost Carriers.
  • Large fluctuations between ticket prices by the hour, by the days of the week, by high and low season.
  • Must book through each individual airline’s web site and usually no ticket issued (i.e. only paperless ticket).
  • Flights are point to point, so you don’t get a discount for flying from point A to B, and then B to C like you would on a Major airline
  • Return tickets (i.e. a typical roundtrip ticket) are usually the cost of 2 one way tickets.
  • Luggage is rarely conveyed from one flight to another connecting flight even when both flights are with the same airline. Passengers will need to collect their bags and re-check them at the baggage counter.
  • Often use smaller airports that can be quite a distance from the city and the city’s main airport. Check transfer times and distances carefully if you’re connecting to a flight on a different airline.
  • Baggage restrictions are often stricter on low cost carriers and checked baggage will usually entail a charge of €5-20 euros and then an excess baggage charge for heavier bags.
  • Some Low cost Carriers have credit card charges (Ryanair has a €5 charge for credit cards) on top of the fees, taxes, and baggage costs.
  • Usually no in-flight entertainment
  • Not always the cheapest. The majors have become more competitive with pricing so don’t automatically assume that the budget airline has the cheapest ticket.
  • LCCs can and often do change times, dates and routes with little or no notice. You’ll have the choice of rebooking or getting a refund but if your entire vacation is dependent on getting from, say, London to Mykonos, this could be a major interruption to your plans.

How do Low Cost Carriers Keep their prices so low?

It’s often asked — how can budget airlines offer such cheap tickets and why, if these airlines are so popular, don’t the majors just offer the same inexpensive services? There are a number of reasons and not all apply to all airlines or situations but the most important differences between Low Cost and Legacy airlines are the following:

  • LCCs service shorter routes and flights where quick turn-arounds are both possible and have a big effect on down time.
  • LCCs often have newer more fuel-efficient aircrafts that keep fuel costs down.
  • LCCs don’t have the legacy costs of the majors – pensions, health care, and generally don’t have to deal with unions.
  • LCCs are no frills and this helps keep costs down.
  • Some would argue that LCCs have just been better run. The major airlines were probably slower in realizing changes to the travel industry through deregulation, the advent of the internet, point to point route models and adopting the technology that allows budget airlines to keep their fleet airborne a large percentage of the day.

Legacy or Low Cost Carrier — Which is Better?

If both low cost and legacy carriers offer the same price on the same route then go with the major airline. The service is usually better, you’ll probably get a free meal, and there’s a lot more certainty with the flight. (It’s important to remmber that LCCs are not always the cheapest.)

Because LCCs fly to smaller airports that can be a good distance from the main airport, be sure to have at least 3 or 4 hours to get from one airport to another if you’ve got a connecting flight to catch from a different airport.

Flying to smaller airports (and smaller towns) isn’t all bad: they’re usually less busy and security checkpoints are usually less hectic. As well, if that small city or island happens to be the exact place you’re going, then clearly LCCs can work well for you.

General Tips to Buying Airline Tickets

Advice for buying tickets and ideas for getting the cheapest price:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to fly. The weekends are the most expensive. Searching for tickets off the pick days of the week can save you 20% to 40% of the ticket price.
  • Finding discounted tickets: It’s impossible to keep track of ticket prices to every interesting destination for all possible dates. But these sites will keep you informed of the latest deals and last-minute discounts: Travelzoo for international travel (and hotels) and AirfareWatchDog for domestic (U.S.) routes.
  • Flights between Europe and North America follow the most predictable price patterns. They ramp up at the end of May and enter peak season at the end of June and beginning of July. The decrease starts suddenly in the last week of August with the final big drop coming the middle week of October.
  • Flights between Europe and Asia and between North America and Asia are more complex but generally increase for December, January, July, and August and are cheaper throughout the rest of the year. There can be huge differences between a New York to Bangkok flight and a New York to Singapore flight, so if your travel plans are flexible be sure to check every possible route.
  • If you have to travel to a specific place on specific dates (e.g. a family wedding, you got an Oscar nomination) then booking early is the best way to go. But for everything else, the book early advice is nonsense — or at least potentially nonsense. Flight prices go up, flight prices go down. It’s all about supply and demand. If a flight from London to Rome for next month is half full then you’re going to get a great deal (much better than the price you would have gotten booking 6 months in advance). If there’s one ticket left it will cost a fortune.
  • The key to getting great ticket prices is flexibility: flexible on where to go, flexible on when to go, flexible on how to go (direct or stopover, business or economy). The more flexibility you have the better you’re going to do. Be sure to search for “flexible dates” when you’re able to do so.
  • For the Major airlines and for most long haul routes (e.g. across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans or between any 2 continents) search first in Vayama.com, Kayak.com, travlocity.com, or Expedia.com then take the best 3 or 4 prices from the cheapest airlines and search those individual sites for similar dates. Occasionally they will have better prices than the consolidators.
  • If you’re traveling as a family be sure that the website you’re using to search for flights allows the option to search for youth tickets. These can sometimes be cheaper by as much as 40%, though this is less common than it used to be. 
  • Since Low Cost Carriers only sell their tickets through their web sites and not through large travel sites it’s difficult to compare costs and find routes for budget airlines. (Kayak, Vayama, Travelocity, Expedia and the other big travel sites don’t always have information on the low cost carriers.) That’s where web sites like Skyscanner and Which Budget come in handy. Find the best route and price from these web sites then make your way to that airline’s site to purchase the tickets.
  • I strongly recommend buying what’s referred to as an open-jaw ticket. This means you arrive-at and depart-from different cities. For example fly New York to London on your outbound trip, but return Paris to New York on your inbound trip. You save time and money by not having to return to your arrival city (where you’ve already been). The main downside to this is that the very cheapest deals in the airline industry are often tied to the same city (e.g. a return Los Angeles-Hong Kong ticket) but excluding the very cheapest deals – which most people don’t get anyways – the cost of an open jaw ticket can be fairly similar to a more standard ticket. Be sure to check this out.

And finally, the web site FareCompare recently ran through their data and came to these interesting conclusions:

  • Shop Tuesday at 3pm for domestic (U.S.) airline tickets. (Sales start to hit the wires Monday, are matched by other airlines by Tuesday afternoon and disappear by Thursday night — so you have a 3 day window to get the best deals on tickets sales.)
  • Airlines start discounting about 3 1/2 months before departure for U.S. domestic flights and 4-5 months before for international flights. If you buy before this you’ll probably be paying full fare.
  • Airline ticket prices increase dramatically inside 14 days before departure - 10 or 7 days before for low cost airlines. (After that they assume you’re last-minute business traveler who’ll pay what ever it takes to get a flight.)

Around the World Trips

Travelers are using around the world tickets (RTW) more often these days and often for good reason. You can see a lot places with a well planned itinerary that is usually good value and makes a good use of time.

I recommend these tickets for people who want to see the world and have between 3 weeks and 3 months for their trip.

Any less time and you’d be on a plane most of your trip. (3 weeks is pushing the practicality of such a trip to begin with, but if you have 5 or 6 cities you just have to see, and a limited amount of time an RTW ticket can be the way to do it.)

Any more time and you might want to consider a more unplanned trip that utilises budget airlines and cheap off-season one way tickets. It’s not unreasonable to be able to do an around the world trip using the buy-as-you-go method for half the price of a true RTW ticket.  And the freedom you get from having an unplanned itinerary is fun and liberating.

Tips for Planning an Around the World Trip

  • RTW tickets offer great value for business and first class travel. If you always travel in the better service classes or are considering a splurge, RTW tickets for these classes are often as little as 50% more than a regular ticket.
  • Compare prices from different starting points — prices can often be cheaper starting from Europe (especially London) or Asia (Bangkok has great deals) than from North America. If the difference in price is great enough, look for a cheap one way flight to get you to your starter-city.
  • It’s not always true but to keep it simple: route changes involve a large fee, time and date changes have no fee or a small one.
  • If you need to make changes contact the airline of the flight directly (not the consolidator that sold you the ticket) — often they won’t charge the flight change fees stipulated in your ticket agreement (To them it’s just a regular ticket.)
  • Consider going overland for some of your trip — it saves you the time and expense of backtracking and can make the ticket considerably cheaper. (e.g. Arrive in Singapore, travel overland on your own to Bangkok, depart from Bangkok — or —  Arrive in London, travel overland to Istanbul, depart from Istanbul.)
  • Good sites for planning your trip: Star Alliance Fare Planner for planning a trip on the largest airline alliance of them all. OneWorld Explorer isn’t quite as big as Star but has better coverage of South and Central America. AirTreks is a popular trip planner based in San Francisco. Trailfinders is good at tailoring budget trips to specific needs and destinations.

Booking Flights with Budget Airlines

As I mentioned above, the web sites Skyscanner and Which Budget can be helpful in finding routes and schedules for budget airlines. For the most accurate information and flight schedules — and when it’s time to actually purchase a ticket — you will have to visit the airline’s website.

FAQ On Buying Air Tickets – A summary and overview of popular questions

Q. Will airfares go down or up in 2015?
A. This is the question everyone has been asking over the last 2 months. There were some fare increases in 2012, 2013, and 2014 – but due to the recession airfares are not much more now than they were at the start of 2012.

Here are my thoughts for the changes ahead:

  • Fall and winter are typically the cheapest times to fly and this year will be no exception. Good deals are already appearing for January and February flights to Europe in 2014.
  • The trend of charging passengers fees for checked bags, aisle seats, onboard meals, entertainment options, and many others “extras” will continue.
  • With people seemingly reluctant to book flights, hotels have been offering some great deals for summer bookings. Booking your hotel room early is always a good plan. I think more so now.
  • 2015 will be the year that smart phones, iPads, Kindles, and other tablets will be allowed to remain powered during takeoff and landing. 2014 saw some movement on this trend but it will increase in 2015. There’s little evidence these electronics pose a risk to the aircraft and pressure has been building to allow them to stay on.

Q. What are the best websites for finding cheap flights?
A. The secret is to check as many sources as possible. These are my 3 favorites:

Q. Is business class worth the extra money?
A. Often yes, but of course it depends on your own personal budget.

Here are some of the perks of business and first class (from this summary).

Generally:

  • priority check-in
  • more check-in baggage
  • sometimes access to an elite lounge with food and drinks
  • early boarding
  • more spacious seating
  • more carry-on space
  • flat beds on some international flights
  • more attentive and friendly flight attendants
  • higher quality food, selection, and service; free drinks
  • less busy bathroom
  • fewer children / crying infants
  • priority baggage service
  • first off the plane, first to customs, etc.
  • more reward miles
  • more flexible booking arrangements and overall better service

Potentially:

  • priority security screening
  • celebrity sighting opportunities
  • schmoozing with high-profile people
  • complimentary ground service to and from the airport
  • special treatment in case of flight delays or cancellations
  • psychological benefits of feeling superior to those in economy class

Q. What’s the best way to get a seat upgrade?
A. Belong to the airline’s Elite Club – or at least belong to their frequent flier program. Without this you stand little chance of getting an upgrade. Airlines reward loyalty and this is how they show it.

Q. When is the best time to buy my ticket?
A. The sweet spot is between 6 weeks and 3 months prior to your flight for domestic flights, 2 months to 4 months for Caribbean destinations, and 4 to 5 months for Europe. Any farther before and the airlines haven’t started to actively manage fares on the route. The pricing is still on auto-pilot, if you will. Any closer to your flight than these ranges and most cheap seats will be sold out. Within 2 or 3 weeks of a flight airlines assume you’re a business traveler (or a desperate one) that will pay whatever the fare is.

Further Reading:

557 questions and comments

  1. Sunny in Singapore

    Flying to Delhi in the fall. I would appreciate some suggestions about getting around India. I have about 3 weeks and would like to see as much as possible.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I suppose it depends on what you want to see. Indian Airlines has the discover India Pass for 7, 15, and 21 days. They cost $400, $630, and $895 respectively. I recommend this if you’re going to try to visit 8 or 10 destinations on your trip. The nice thing with these tickets is that you don’t need to worry about your itinerary any more. It’s all done. You’ve got all your tickets (after you’ve booked them of course.) The bad thing is that you lose some flexibility and the trains are really a fun way to get around India and you probably won’t be able to do that as well.

      If you’re going to visit fewer than a half dozen cities then booking with the budget airlines based in India that I’ve listed above will certainly save you some money. You could do a couple flights and still have time on your schedule to do a few train rides — maybe an overnight train from Mumbai down the coast to Goa or Kerala, for example, then fly back north.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
  2. Rob from Iraq

    I get 15 days for R&R and I am going to start and end my time in Phuket Thailand. I would like to get to 2 maybe 3 other countries (Bali, Philipenes, Vietnam, etc). Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions. Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hey Rob. You might be pushing it a little with your schedule. I know you probably want to see a fair bit, but maybe limit yourself to 1 or (max) 2 other stops on your trip. Take a look at Air Asia’s route map — they fly to several different locations from Phuket so see if any of those places look interesting and perhaps do a loop ending back in Phuket.

      Good luck and let me know if I can help once you’ve got some ideas on where you want to visit.

      One other note: Thailand, Indonesia (Bali) and the Philippines do not require visa’s for most nationalities. Vietnam does and that can be a big hassle arranging. You might want to keep that in mind as you plan your route.

      Reply
  3. Roy

    hi, great info!! any tips to fly to Fortaleza Brasil from europe (madrid) sep-oct-nov and returning 3 months later….thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Roy. Condor airlines flies the route from Madrid to Fortaleza for 1,215€. It goes via Frankfurt and Salvador de Bahia — which makes for a long day of travel, but not a bad price. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  4. Roy

    thanks but i find it very expensive….its just 7-10 hours from europe, it seems TAP has fixe the price and is dificult to find it under 1000 eu (kind of monopoly)

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Agreed. It’s hard to find cheap tickets between Europe and South America. Maybe try looking for separate flights through Miami or New York — then on to Brazil.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  5. WanderMom

    FYI: I find that Vayama is a great resource for finding international fares out of the US.

    Inside EU, I always check Ryanair first, but you have to plan your whole trip with the (restrictive) Ryanair baggage allowance in mind – and it *is* cattle class all the way.

    Reply
  6. Karen

    I have a one way ticket to Florence for September 1st. I know that in order to get into Italy I need a ticket out of there within 90 days. I am considering a cheap Ryanair flight from Rome to Madrid in October. What if I want to change the date of this flight? Does Ryanair allow one to change travel dates? Can they be changed by as much as a month?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’m not sure if I understand you perfectly in that you need a flight out within 90 days. If you’re referring to the demand that some countries place on visitors that they need an airline (or bus or train) ticket out of the country in order to be allowed entry, then this situation does not apply to Italy. You’ll have no problem entering Italy without an ongoing ticket.

      That said, Ryan air does allow you to change ticket dates, routes and destination right up to 4 hours before the flight, as long as you haven’t checked in and received a boarding pass. Ryan air does require a 35€ and 55€ depending on if you booked the ticket through the Ryan Air web site or at a call centre or airport.

      As well, you’ll pay for the more expensive of the two tickets — the one you’re changing and the one you’re attempting to book. Also internet fares are not available for a new booking.

      If I understand your situation correctly I’d delay booking your ticket until you’re sure of the date, time, and destination.

      I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  7. Harold in Chicago

    Thanks for all the time you put into this. Any tips or advice on traveling to Cairo Egypt? I’m starting to look into going mid October for two weeks which is an off season period but it seems like flights are still rather high. I’m hoping to book in the coming weeks. Any suggestions would help. Thanks.

    Harold

    Reply
  8. David Post author

    Hi Harold. Search for flights at FlyBMI. They have some cheap tickets and do fly from Chicago to Cairo. You might also want to fly to London or Paris and then look for budget airlines that fly to Egypt. WhichBudget is a good site to look for flights from the low cost carriers.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  9. William from Loughrea

    David,

    What’s your low cost suggestion for Ireland to USA?

    My current planned itinerary is Ireland to Houston and then return Boston to Ireland. Dates are flexible.

    Also, any advice on shipping a dog from Houston to Dublin? I’m thinking Continental/United since they’ll fly direct but maybe you have a better idea?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      FlyBMI, BMIBaby, and Aer Lingus appear to have the best prices between Ireland and the U.S. I’d take a look at all 3 of these with the dates that interest you. Traveling with a dog obviously adds another variable and makes it more difficult to plan and compare. As you say, direct flights would be best but that will probably change your best-price route and airline quite dramatically.

      Cheers.

      Reply
  10. jimbo from Jakarta

    hi David, i want to go to seoul from singapore or jakarta for new years eve. i can depart from singapore or jakarta and will be travel at dec 23 till jan 3rd. do you have any recomend cheapest ticket? fyi i will go with my friend 2 of us. tks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      HI Jimbo. I’d recommend AirAsia. They fly to Jakarta, Johor Bharu (just across the border from Singapore in Malaysia) and Seoul. You’ll have to connect through Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia’s hub) but you should be able to get very good prices if you book well in advance.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  11. Family of 4 in Bangkok

    Have you ever flown with Eva Airlines? Considering a last minute flight home but have never heard of them. Any help appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Yes, I have flown with Eva Air on 8 different flights on routes through Taipei to Bangkok and Bali. I really enjoyed flying with them. I know they don’t get great reviews on sites like Tripadvisor but I thought they were quite good with pretty good food. Their airplanes have the baby bassinet at the front of the bulkhead which is great if you can get them. Call ahead to see if you can reserve those seats as I think the airlines set them aside for travelers with young toddlers and babies.

      On one trip they did lose our baby stroller but they were very helpful and attentive in trying to recover it and later gave us a full refund upon our return to Seattle.

      I’d book with Eva Airways without hesitation.

      I hope that helps.

      Reply
  12. Kira

    Hi David,
    I was just wondering if you can help me on this.
    Are there any web-sites that scan thru airlines and find the cheapest fares even if the route includes multiple stops in remote destinations with different airlines, i.e i’d like to fly to Bangkok at the lowest fare and I don’t mind combining 2 or 3 low cost airlines even if it is via australia or japan or south africa.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Kira. Whichairline.com does something like that kind of an airline search. It will show you all the connections on budget airlines between 2 different cities. Sometimes you will have to narrow the search to 2 different airports if the 2 cities have too many connections. (For example a search between London and Bangkok will find too many airlines and routes so you’ll have to pick a particular London airport – say Heathrow or Gatwick – and then search again.)

      Also, it will only search for 2 different legs of a route (i.e. one stop between 2 different airports). So if you search for flights from New York to Bangkok it will produce a list of choices that involve 2 different airlines, but if you search Seattle to Bangkok it won’t show any, though of course there must be a flight from Seattle to New York and then the same route onto Bangkok. But that would involve 3 legs of travel and thus won’t be shown. (Confused?)

      Though it doesn’t search budget airlines – sticking pretty much to the long haul carriers – take a look at Fly.com. It grabs flights from the airline consolidators like Vayama and Airfare.com. It gets some pretty good flight deals — though I still think Kayak is the best for consistently finding the cheapest price.
      Good luck.

      Reply
  13. w0rldtraveller0

    Hi David
    I’m travelling from jakarta to Palmenbang and onto Medan. I cant find any airline which does this route. the only option would be to go back to jakarta and then go onto to medan. do you have info about airlines which do the jakarta to palmbenag to medan route?
    thanks
    tariq

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi. Silk Air and Sriwijaya Air both fly to Jakarta, Palembang and Medan. Just not sure if they do a direct Palembang to Medan flight. You might need to go Palembang to Singapore to Medan with Silk Air but still better than returning to Jakarta.

      Good luck.

      Reply
    2. Anthony The Travel Tart

      Hi Kira, I’ve travelled throughout Sumatra before, and flight connections between cities can be difficult, and may require you to fly back to Jakarta first.

      For example, you can fly Lion Air from Palembang to Jakarta, and then to Medan (www2.lionair.co.id/). Otherwise, maybe flying to KL and then to Medan via Air Asia, which is a lot of mucking around. At least doing the Jakarta route doesn’t mean immigration looking at your visa again!

      By the way, you’ll love Sumatra. I had a great time there, and I stayed with local bloggers there in 2009. Check out some posts I wrote about Palembang, which is like a small version of Bangkok, but much less touristy:

      http://www.thetraveltart.com/palembang-indonesia-little-bangkok/
      http://www.thetraveltart.com/things-to-do-in-palembang-indonesia/
      http://www.thetraveltart.com/how-to-make-kacang-memet-shaved-ice-with-red-beans/

      Try linking up with the local blogging community in Palembang – very friendly, and proud of their city!

      Cheers
      Anthony

      Reply
    1. David Post author

      Not sure what time of year you’re thinking about planning a trip, but right now and in to early October is a great time. You should be able to get some good deals on tickets as this is the shoulder season in Greece. If you’re more interested in seeing the sites than hitting the beach November and December can be good times too. You’ll definitely get some good deals for that time of year. Ticket prices will then be goo through about April and will slowly start to rise again until late June or early July when they’ll hit their peak again.

      Many tickets from North America stop in Paris, Amsterdam or London on their way to Greece. It shouldn’t be too hard to arrange. Air France often have some good deals to Athens.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  14. ace from china

    i want to fly to kathmandu from either shanghai or nanjing (china) i checked in with some websites… damn its all over $1000, i mean common its just like 5 hrs flight from shanghai…

    i am flying around mid november, do u have any suggestions?

    thank you

    Reply
  15. Traveller from Calcutta, India

    Hi David,

    I was looking for tickets to newyork from Calcutta(India)somewhere in april’11. Is it possible to find something within $1000.

    Thanks,
    Naseem

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Kim. I’d look for a seat sale to one of the big hubs in Western Europe (London, Amsterdam, Paris or Frankfurt) and then a cheap budget flight down to Thessaloniki.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  16. George from Prague

    Let me suggest a site you might find useful. Most of the fligt metasearch engines cannot cope with connecting flights. It is bothersome if you’re traveling from a smaller airport. For purposes like this I use http://www.whichairline.com I really appreciate it’s ability to search for flights to smaller airports. It’s still in beta so might be alittle bugy. Try it for yourself and see what you can get.

    Reply
  17. Ryan

    David,

    I am planning on going to London, in Mid May to catch a football match. Do you have any tips to find a cheap flight from Detroit, Michigan, to London.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Ryan. Take a look at Whichbudget.com, kayak.com, and matrix.itasoftware.com to find the cheapest flights. I’d also check Farecast at http://www.bing.com/travel to see if they predict the cost of the flight will go up, down, or stay the same — it gives you a good idea of when to buy your tickets.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  18. Jan

    Hi David. Love your site. Heading on a RTW trip in July for a year with my wife and four kids. Looking to keep the trip reasonably priced, and stay a while at 3-4 countries to get to know the areas and cultures. Avoiding Europe as this can be done as a one-off later. If you had to choose 3-4 stops for a family of six, assuming 3-4 months in each area, where would you suggest? Also-I assume tickets as I go is a better option?

    Thanks! Jan

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      HI Jan. Wow that sounds great.

      Yes, I’d definitely recommend getting tickets as you go. There are so many budget airlines out there now you can get a cheap flight between pretty much any 2 cities (that aren’t too far apart). Having pre-arranged tickets would take away a lot of your flexibility and for little gain. So good call on that one.

      If I were planning a trip I’d probably do 3 or 4 months in South America, India, Southeast Asia, and either Australia and New Zealand, or Greece and Turkey. I think you’d find good value in all of these places. Only tricky part will be getting tickets into and out of South America. You might end up having to come north a bit (e.g. Miami or L.A.) to get cheaper tickets to your next stop.

      There are so many great countries though, your head must be spinning with possibilities.

      Have fun and let me know what you decide. (Or get back to me if you have any more questions.)

      Reply
  19. Michelle from B.C

    Hi David, my husband and I have been reading through all you great information. We are saving for a RTW trip for our family of four (6 year old b/g twins) and really want to hit China, Japan, Ethiopia (our children are from Ethiopia), Tanzania, Egypt, Jordan, Greece and some places in N. Europe (mainly Amsterdam and St.Petersburg).
    We want to take a year to do it and didn’t realize the cheaper route would be one way tickets. Thank you for posting this.

    Two questions: Would you think the trickiest ticket would be from China to Eastern Africa? Have you any experience in budget safari’s in East Africa? Most people seem to go to Capetown and through to Botswana, instead of eastern Africa.

    Thanks for any ideas/help,
    Michelle

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Michelle. To get to Eastern Africa you’d probably want to go through Mumbai for the cheapest tickets. So maybe fly from either Hong Kong or Bangkok over to India and then on from there. I haven’t done any safaris in Africa so I’m not much help there. But now I’m on the lookout for information so if I come across anything I’ll be sure to send it on.

      Reply
    2. Anthony The Travel Tart

      Hi Michelle

      Sounds like fun. It’s usually cheaper to book the safari in Africa, or directly from the company website than from your home base. Also, African owned businesses can be cheaper than the multinationals.

      With regards to where to go on Safari, check out this post I wrote on Nomadic Matts site:
      http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/six-great-safaris-in-africa/

      In terms of getting around, the easiest way is via an overland truck between destinations, and then you go in small vehicles once you get there. In many of these trips, the safaris at these parks are included. If you choose the camping option, this will cut down on costs, but it’s also nice to do some accommodated options which are basic, but make a difference over the long haul!

      For example, I’ve done an overland truck trip from Nairobi to Joburg, but went in small 4WD’s at places like the Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater and South Luwangwa National Park.

      The main suspects in terms of companies operate safaris, eg. Gap Adventures, Kumuka, etc. I’ve previously used Nomad Adventure Tours which is a South African company, and I’ve found them to be good and at a reasonable price.

      Also, to get to East Africa (eg. Dar es Salaam or Nairobi), you can also go via Dubai. From within Africa, Joburg is another major hub.

      Hope this helps, and enjoy!

      Cheers
      Anthony

      Reply
  20. Rinzin from New York

    David!
    I’m planning on a trip to India for the summer of 2013. I’m a full time student and the plane tickets are very expensive :( Any suggestions on how to get best deals possible?

    Also about the open-jaw ticket, does it apply to all destinations because I’m just planning on staying in India for about 2 weeks and spend the rest in Nepal. That would be awesome and any help is greatly appreciated

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Rinzin, If you are really on a tight schedule then it’s harder to find cheap tickets. 1. Of course, you’re more limited with your dates and 2. you’re not able to find cheaper routes to your destination (because these often involve flying through a different country and perhaps staying 1 or several nights.)

      That said, I’d look into cheap flights to Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, or Athens and then search for flights from there. From most major European hubs you should be able to fly into Goa, Mumbai, or Delhi and then fly out of Kathmandu — and that will save you 20+ hours on a bus and train.

      I hope that helps.

      Reply
  21. Matt

    Good stuff here David. We’re in the process of looking at tickets to Indonesia in September/October. Pretty flexible right now. I had thought that booking early was the best bet but after reading this I think it’s OK to wait and see how things develop. Since we plan to be there for a year or more I’m curious as to what type of ticket we should be looking at?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      HI Matt. Tickets are almost never good for longer than a year so if there’s any chance your stay could extend past 1 year then I wouldn’t worry about getting a return flight. Flexibility is almost always the best way to get cheap tickets. And that applies to both time and place. If you cast your net wide and look for tickets to all the main hubs in SE Asia then I think you should find a good deal. Then check out this list of budget airlines in Asia (http://mylittlenomads.com/most-popular-budget-airlines-in-asia) and look for a cheap flight to Indonesia. I think this is probably the best way to find a cheap ticket though, of course, it does require a bit of effort and leg-work. By staying flexible we found tickets to Vietnam for less than $700 return, so the research can definitely pay off.

      Reply
  22. Nora from the Phil

    Can’t help but make a comment to your great website. One of the best sites for tips when travelling ….great help!

    Reply
  23. Traci from Michigan

    Hi David, thanks for all your information!

    I am on to all this rather late I think but hoping you can still help me! I am looking to buy airline tickets for two from coming from San Antonio to Detroit at the end of June, I am not able to change dates around sadly but what I am curious about is, right now I can get two with times and dates I am needing for about $700.00, but what I keep seeing on the websites are ‘ there are only two tickets left at this price’. How accurate is that? I keep hearing that Tuesdays are the best day to buy, being that it is June already-is it worth it to wait till next week or even the week after to see about that, or is it better to buy now, will there be anymore June sales-it is not like this is a huge market or anything?

    Thank you so much in advance,
    Traci

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Traci. No, I wouldn’t put too much faith in the “only 2 tickets remaining” comment. I’d go to http://www.bing.com/travel/flights. They have a series of up and down arrows that indicate whether their algorithm predicts the cost of the flight will go up or down. Also look at the Southwest and JetBlue websites as they don’t always show up in the Kayak or Orbitz websites. Good luck.

      Reply
  24. w0rldtraveller0

    Hi David
    I’m on a mission to find the cheapest possible air ticket from London Heathrow to Jakarta going out on 14/01/12 and returning 23/02/12. I have checked many websites in the UK and the prices are astronomical and in excess of £650. in the past and until recently you could get a return ticket for up to £500. my budget is £500.
    Grateful for your help.
    regards
    tariq

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Tariq. I would take a look at whichbudget.com and also check the fare tracker at bing.com to see whether these prices are likely to go up or down. Also check the airasia.com site to see if any of their routes work for you. If possible you should use the flexible dates option (like at kayak.com) as this can make a huge difference in price. Good luck.

      Reply
  25. Vanessa from Philippines

    Hi David,

    I’m planning to take my family to Europe next year, around spring time, May, through a tour package (it’s our first time in Europe and am thinking it’s easier if we take a tour package instead; any thoughts?). Which airline can we take (from Manila) and to which European destination so that we get the cheapest fare? I’m open to getting an open jaw ticket.. :)

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Vanessa. I think you’ll probably find better deals out of Bangkok (or even Singapore) to Europe than Manilla to Europe. London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, or Athens will probably have the best deals. But many times you’ll find a flight to someplace you never would have expected. To find the best deal it’s all about legwork and research. You have to be willing to search all the big travel sites (and the little ones) over and over. Check Airasia.com as they are flying to Europe now and have some great deals. Probably best – and more efficient – to search for the cities that have the best (direct) deals and then use those cities to find a good open jaw ticket, rather than searching for an open jaw ticket right from the start. The first method also gives you the option to search for flexible dates, whereas an openjaw method of searching you’ll have to pick your dates first. (I hope that all makes sense.) Good luck.

      Reply
  26. Shabab from Toronto

    Hi David

    I have a family of 5 and wants to go Mumbai (India) in mid Dec or early Jan, 2013 (for 2 weeks). Any advise would be appreciated.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      HI Shahab. Mumbai is a great city with lots to do. Exploring the beaches at sunset would be the highlight for me. Families out walking, food everywhere, just a fun crazy Indian scene. 2 weeks would be a lot if you don’t leave the city though. I’d recommend a train ride down to Goa. The ride is much faster than it used to be so I’m sure it’s worth it even for just 5 days or a week. Kids love the train too. Good luck.

      Reply
  27. Howard

    Hi David,

    I’ve been wanting to travel back to my home country (Taiwan) for a while. I check the sites of Eva air, china airline, and singapore airlines every while.
    I’m almost certain that I will be making a trip back to Taipei from Vancouver (BC) next summer and was wondering if there was any specific tips related to this route?
    (Like approx. how long prior should I book my flight..what day of the week I should do that..and maybe which other airline that might be offering a competitive fare..etc)

    Thanks for your help!!

    Reply
  28. Peter from shanghai

    Hello David

    I found your site very handy!! Could you please suggest me what would be the cheapest way to travel to Rome from shanghai! I will be leaving like the first week of September and most of the fare shown are touching $900 and more than $1000 for nonstop!!

    Can you please help me on this thank you!!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Peter. I found fares for around $520 on Orbitz, Kayak and Cheaptickets.com. (One way Shanghai to Rome.) There are also some very good fares from Bangkok to Rome on Air Berlin and Emirates – if you could find a cheap ticket from Shanghai to Bangkok. Be sure to use flexible search while looking for cheap fares. Good luck.

      Reply
  29. Nae

    Hi David,
    I am traveling to Bangkok Thailand for 3 days and 4 nights in September. I have narrowed my search of hotels to Aldelphi and Buddy Lodge. Which would you choose? And, do you have any suggestions on things to do there? What were some memorable/must sees.

    Thanks so much.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Was it the Adelphi Grande or the Adelphi Suite you were looking at? Both are in great locations on Sukhumvit Road close to shopping and the Skytrain. The Buddy Lodge is in the backpacker district of Khao San and closer to the river and Golden Palace. I love Khao San but it can wear on people who aren’t into the traveler’s scene.

      Reply
  30. Sherlyn

    Hi,
    Thank you for the very helpful information. I am getting married in Philippines on Friday 28th December and am looking to save a few £’s on airfare for my family (3 adults and 1 child).

    We need to fly out 1 week prior to wedding (unfortunately, cannot be flexible). When do they publish flights as I cannot seem to find any fares that far in advance. Should I follow the ‘book early’ to grab myself a better deal?

    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. David

      Hi Sherlyn, congratulations. Fares and tickets are typically published between 11 and 12 months prior to the flight so you’ll be waiting for a few months. And that’s 11 or 12 months from your return date as it sounds like you’ll need to book both at the time of purchase. Good luck.

      Reply
  31. eric from cincy

    Great stuff, David! I’d like to visit Jakarta in May of 2013 (from Cincinnati, Ohio). What advice can you give me? When and where should I start looking for low tickets? Thanks loads!

    Reply
    1. David

      Hi Eric. As with any tickets the more flexibility you have the better the price you’ll find. If you can fly out of different cities (Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit?) or fly into different cities (Singapore, Yogajakarta?) you’ll likely find a great deal buried away somewhere. Bangkok typically has really good prices and there are a couple different airlines that fly Bangkok to Jakarta if you need a cheap connecting flight. Start with http://kayak.com and use the flexible dates option to search (if flexible dates are doable for you). Then check the individual websites of the airlines that have the best prices. Bing’s farecast can help if you’re curious whether prices are likely to fall or rise. Sign up with airfarewarchdog.com and travelzoo.com to spot any good deals that the search engines might miss. Good luck.

      Reply
  32. Sanjay from India

    I wish to plan to visit Brussels in the month of June. Kindly advice in which month it will be better to visit over there from financial point of view? One thing I would like to ask whether it will get cheaper to me if I reaches London and after that take train for Brussels.

    Reply
    1. David

      It will be cheaper to visit Brussels in early June and then get progressively busier (and more expensive) as July approaches. April and May would be even cheaper. Since you’ll be flying from India, London will probably be cheaper as it’s the hub for many Asian destinations. That said, the train across to Belgium won’t be cheap so take a close look at the flights as it might be cheaper to fly direct and avoid the necessary hotel and train charges. Good luck.

      Reply
  33. carmel

    Hi David,

    I am looking into flights from Melbourne/Sydney to Ireland flexible in December and possibly with a return 3 weeks or a month later. Most look crazy expensive and half the price a month earlier I know because of Christmas and everything but if you have any advice that’d be great :)

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      You’ll likely find cheaper tickets flying into London, Paris, or Amsterdam. Scour the web looking for cheap flights to any major European city and then look for budget flights from there to Dublin (probably on Ryan Air).

      You might also consider getting a cheap ticket to either Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, or Bangkok and then fly from there to Europe.

      Check out this app for cheap tickets: http://www.kayak.com/explore/. For example I found a cheap flight from Bangkok to Geneva in December. Now whether you can find flights cheap enough from Sydney to Bangkok and Geneva to Dublin to make it all worthwhile is debatable. But it might be worth a try.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  34. Patrick Ngigi

    Hi David.I would like to visit Venezuela soon and want to see whether i can get a cheap ticket.I am currently living in London.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      London is a great hub for tickets so you should have a fair bit of choice. Flexibility is always the biggest factor in finding cheap fares so be sure to look for different dates (usually Monday through Wednesday are the cheapest days to fly.) Looking for fares to either New York or Miami and then on to Venezuela from there might produce the cheapest ticket. Good luck.

      Reply
  35. Gia Reyes

    Hi I am considering about taking a 3 weeks trip to South America next year maybe in summer or fall. I’d visit a few countries such as Brazil. Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Colombia. Do you know any website that offers cheap airline prices and easy routes to go to those counties? Any suggestions, tips and concerns would be appreciated greatly!

    Reply
  36. Cam

    Hi David,

    Great site, thanks for the good work. I´m currently trying to figure out the best way to go about booking return tickets from Bogotá, Colombia to Melbourne, Australia leaving late November, returning mid-late January, 2013. I´ve found some interesting routes through orbitz.com but would like to do a stopover in say Paris ideally on the return leg. Would this automatically raise the ticket price even though I would have had connecting flights at Paris anyway?

    Also you refer to a ‘big drop’ in mid October – does that mean within a couple of days (11th Oct now) I can expect to find some amazing deals? Any other advice?

    Appreciate any thoughts you might have.

    Cheers,

    Cam.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Cam. The drop in prices I mentioned is for flights to and from Europe directly, but routes that go through multiple regions have multiple high and low seasons affecting the price – so it won’t really affect you (too much).

      If a route has a stopover but you’re not able to extend the length of your stopover within the booking website then it’s best to contact that airline directly (sometimes doing it by phone where you can mention that you saw such and such a price on Expedia is a effective).

      Reply
  37. ltv

    Hello. Thank you for the helpful entry. I’m looking to fly to NRT from SFO in late Feb 2013 for two weeks. Dates are somewhat flexible. I was being pushed by a travel agency to secure ticket now, but the prices seemed high for off-season trip. Advice on when to secure best tickets w/o waiting too long?

    Reply
  38. Minnie Rakvåg

    Hi David,

    Which sites do I go to for open jaw tickets? I’m thinking of doing an Oslo-NYC-Manila-Oslo trip in July and don’t know where to book if I want this itinerary.

    thanks!

    Minnie

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Minnie. Kayak.com is my favorite. Whichbudget.com can also be helpful for finding budget airlines if you have some short hops you need to fill. Good luck.

      Reply
  39. Adam

    Any advice for pittsburgh(PIT) to Bogotá(BOG) departure date can range from December 07-15 and return from December 20-28 (this year)

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hey Adam. If you can look for flights from different airports (Detroit, DC, Philly) you’ll likely find a better price. Every airport you add just gives you more flexibility and possibly a cheaper airfare.

      Reply
  40. Lee

    David,

    I’m needing to travel to hong kong from London about three times a year, can you give me a good starting point to find the cheapest flight to and from please , I don’t need a hotel as I have family there but with cost of living in UK not much left for travel , so any info would be great

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Lee. Check airasia.com as they have some very cheap (and one way) flights between either Bangkok and London or Hong Kong and Paris. Obviously you would need a short connector flight on either end but that should be pretty cheap. Also search for flexible dates on kayak.com and then look at the individual websites of the airlines with the best prices. Good luck.

      Reply
  41. rupesh

    i booked a flight from rome to amsterdam for me and my girlfriend who will join me from china ,

    i booked it on transavia.com for the christmas and the price was reasonable, but the only thing is that i put my girlfriends date of birth incorrect.

    is that gonna be a big problem? i tried to email them but they are very lousy and i just get the auto responder giving me list of FAQ and asking me these might solve my problem can you please help me on this?

    thank you

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Email any company email addresses you can find. Print out the correspondence and take it to the airport so you can show that you made a good faith effort to notify them of the mistake and that it was their failure to reply that prevented its correction.

      It could be a problem but I doubt it.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  42. Merlin

    Hi David,

    I want to fly to Chennai from New York or Seattle between May and July 2013. Your suggestions please.

    Merlin

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I think I’d look for a direct deal to Delhi or Mumbai (probably through London or Paris). Or a flight to Bangkok or Singapore and then a cheap flight with one of the budget Indian airlines (you can find them here: http://mylittlenomads.com/most-popular-budget-airlines-in-asia).

      Breaking up your trip will likely yield a better price but, of course, involves a lot more effort than simply booking a direct flight with a single airline.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  43. Gloria

    Hey David, I want to fly late March to from New York to Phuket Thailand, but i want a layover in Hawaii…. Is this at all possible? Which airline should I begin with?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Sometimes you can stumble upon these options and they don’t cost any extra money – or very little. But to go out of your way and specifically look for a stopover like this and you’ll almost certainly being paying a steep price. It’s probably worth a look but unless money is no option don’t expect much.

      That said, go to kayak.com and search for New York to Bangkok. After the search completes take a look at the layover options on the lower left sidebar. Select Hawaii – if it’s available – and see what flight options you have. Then visit that individual airline website to see if they have options for a stop-over in hawaii (they’ll probably offer a different price than Kayak.)

      A lot of flights between North America and Japan stop in Hawaii. Not sure if Japan sounds interesting to you?

      If you don’t find anything (or even if you do) then do another multiple destination search inputing all 3 cities and see what Kayak finds.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  44. bliss

    hi i would like to ask where can i find the best promos for Turkey departing from Singapore? Turkish and Singapore airlines’ way too dear and the cheapest flight i found so far was 683 Euros via Emirates. Thanks and more power!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      There is Singapore to Paris or Kuala Lumpur to London on Air Asia. Tiger airways also has cheap flights to Bangkok from where you should be able to get a very good price on a flight to London.

      Reply
  45. Erenne

    I need advice! I am planning a trip mid Sept 2013 for 3 weeks. We want to spend the first half of our time in Turkey, 2nd half on Greek Islands. Is it cheaper to fly in and out of the different countries (Istanbul then Athens) or should we R/T to Athens then catch a flight to Istanbul. Is this hard to do with customs? Is there a big charge for baggage from Athens to Istanbul? Help please….I’m struggling. Thanks so much!!!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      A flight would be good if you only wanted to see Athens and Istanbul but since you’re going to visit the islands then going through one of the Turkish coastal cities should work great. Take the bus from Istanbul to Ayvalik, Izmir, Bodrum, or Marmaris and then catch a short ferry ride across to Lesvos, Chios, Kos, or Rhodes. From there work your way back to Athens by ferry or hydrofoil with some stops in Santorini, Naxos, Paros, or some other islands.

      Reply
  46. Sheronda

    Family of 5
    I will be traveling from Miami to Barcelona in November 2013. I find it very expensive to fly with so many. Should I name my own price? Example: Priceline.com… I really need the help. By the way your article is very helpful.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It’s all about flexibility so the more flexible you are (what dates, what airports) and the more travel websites you use, the better price you get. It takes a lot of legwork though. Not sure Priceline uses name-your-own-price on air tickets.

      Reply
  47. Marlena

    My husband and I are planning a European cruise in October 2013 (it leaves on the 14th so mid-month). I’m wondering when we should book our flight to save the most money. The flight is from Houston (IAH) to Barcelona (BCN), Spain. Based on what you stated above – I’m thinking May? They’re already pricey (of course) so my worry is that they’ll be even more by then.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Marlena. Use the Fare Predictor at Bing Travel: http://www.bing.com/travel/. It will tell you the likelihood of a price going up or down. Keep an eye on the price from now going forward and then book when you see a good one. There’s no certainty of course. You could find a great deal if you wait until the last minute but this could jeopardize your trip. Good luck.

      Reply
  48. meo

    I want to fly to Vietnam (Saigon), which airline and when I can buy cheap tickets?. I am in Monterrey, Mexico. Should I go to Laredo,Texas to buy cheaper ones?. I want to go in Jan or Feb 2013.

    Please help.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I think Los Angeles or Dallas will have the best ticket prices for you. Flexibility is always the key to getting cheap tickets so look for multiple dates and different airports. Good luck.

      Reply
  49. Erenne

    Hi – We are flying from LAX to Istanbul on 9/12/12 and returning 10/07/12 out of Athens back to LAX…. When do you suggest we book our tickets to find the best rate? Also – is it better to leave and return on a weekday or weekend? Thx in advance…

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I hate to say it depends, but it … depends. You need to search enough to be comfortable with the pricing range. When you see something good, you book it. Monday and Tuesday are consistently the cheapest days to fly on.

      Reply
  50. Jervae

    Hi,

    I’ll like to go to country X for 10 days, the cost of ticket is $800 . However, with the same airline to country Y is $400. With this airline country X is the main hub so I have to get a connection flight the following day to Y.
    I know I can purchase my ticket to country Y, arrive in X and forfeit onward journey. The question is on return, will I have a problem? I’m not in Y to get my flight, but I’m there in X for the next flight.

    Look forward for a reply. Hope I’m not confusing.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Are you spy Jervae? Why can’t you just name the countries? (It’s hard to answer without knowing where you’re going.)

      Reply
      1. Jervae

        I’m sorry. Just that I know some of these airlines have their web spiders online.

        Okay so, it’s from Santo Domingo to Panama is $800 dollars, however to kingston is $400. I want to go to Panama and the flight goes to panama, connection following day to Kingston. I’m going to forfeit the onward journey to Kingston, but my worries is the return. I would not be present in kingston, but I’ll be there in Panama for the return. Will that be a problem? howp you understand now.

        Reply
  51. Jervae

    I’m sorry. Just that I know some of these airlines have their web spiders online.

    Okay so, it’s from Santo Domingo to Panama is $800 dollars, however to kingston is $400. I want to go to Panama and the flight goes to panama, connection following day to Kingston. I’m going to forfeit the onward journey to Kingston, but my worries is the return. I would not be present in kingston, but I’ll be there in Panama for the return. Will that be a problem? howp you understand now.

    Reply
  52. Marie-Hélène

    Hi,

    I want to buy online ticket. The cheapest tickets I have found were on Cheap trip agency.com…. And they were very, very very cheap. On their site, the company explain that they can offer those low prices by buing air miles from other companies and agents…
    My questions are: Does someone know that company?
    How can I trust companies like this on the web

    Many, many thanks,
    Marie-Hélène

    Reply
  53. Greig

    Hi Dave,
    awesome post some really good info in there. I am looking at flying from nz in july to Glasgow or Edinburgh return to New Zealand after a couple of weeks. I have heard that flying to Amsterdam or Frankfurt then getting a seperate flight to gla or edi can work out cheaper as you save on taxes? Is this right and what are your recommendations on sourcing the cheapest flight to scotland from nz.
    Thanks in advance
    Greig

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I don’t think there is any one city that has the best deal, it’s more about flexibility and doing the necessary legwork to find that best deal. So yes, find the cheapest flight you can to Europe and then get a cheap budget flight to bridge the gaps. You could aslo look for flights from Bangkok to Europe as its the hub for cheap flights in SE Asia. Good luck.

      Reply
  54. abeer

    loved your extensive information about flying for cheap…i am planning a summer vacation from dubai to boston 2 adults and 3 children, end of june till mid jul, any ideas of where i should start searching?

    Reply
  55. Kate

    Hi
    I’m planing to visit Vancouver in april/may and have found a fare with air transat, but my friend wants to wait to see if there are cheaper fares in january, but im afraid to wait as we are limited with dates we can go. Do you think there will be more sales in January?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It’s hard to beat the Air Transat fares. They’re usually the best and not always a lot of seats available at the cheapest price. If you need to make the trip for sure, I’d buy. If it’s something that could be delayed or canceled altogether, then waiting is a good option.

      Reply
  56. Kristi

    Hi David,

    Thank you for all of this information, this is awesome! My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon in June of 2013 and are leaning towards Southeast Asia. We are thinking of Thailand and Vietnam or Thailand and Bali. We are hoping to splurge a little (if we can afford it) to first class from California. Any suggestions or recommendations for us? Or specific sites or routes we may want to consider? Also, per your suggestions above, maybe we should wait a little bit before purchasing?

    Thank you so much!
    Kristi

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Kristi. California often gets great deals to SE Asia and it has so many airports as different options: LAX, San Diego, Orange County, San Jose, SFO, and Sacramento all have flights to SE Asia. As I always say, flexibility is the key to getting great deals and the more airports you look at the more likely you’ll find a great fare. Consider flying through any of the following: Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Singapore, or Hawaii. Start by looking on Kayak and then search these 5 airlines directly: Eva Airlines, Asiana, Garuda, Singapore Airlines, and Korean. Good luck.

      Reply
  57. babby

    Hi David, help! trying to book airline from Houston to Barcelona flying in June. I am not sure which is best airline to fly and when to book to get a cheap fare? help!!!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      There are no easy answers. All you can do is keep an eye on the price, get comfortable with the highs and lows of that route and jump in when you think there’s a good one. Check the Bing Fare Predictor (http://www.bing.com/travel) to see if prices are likely to rise or fall in future months. Kayak has the most flexible search tool and should be used also. When you see a good price go directly to that airline’s website to see if you can get it cheaper. If You’re flying with kids then check cheaptickets.com as you can search for kids’ fares on that site (Kayak doesn’t allow it). I hope that helps.

      Reply
  58. Kristi

    Thank you so much David for the info and getting back to me so quickly! I am going to start looking and may be back to ask you a few additional questions :)

    Actually, we were also thinking about going to Fiji but feel that it is so far and would spend too much time traveling. Do you think it is wise to rule Fiji out, or is there a good way to break the trip up so we do not spend 5 days of our vacation traveling?

    Thanks again!!

    Kristi

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Kristi. The flight to Fiji is shorter than the flight to Southeast Asia – but it costs a lot more. That’s the big difference. Personally I would rather save that money and spend it on a nice hotel than give it to the airlines.

      Reply
  59. Pinky

    Hi David,
    I am planning a trip to mumbai from seattle in february but want to have a stop over in a city which will be warm (since its still feb) for a week. I have a 2 year old with me and was looking for minimum connections. For warmer weather looks like hongkong, or places in thailand, indonesia look like it to me but do let me know if you have any recommendations. Appreciate it. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Pinky. Hong Kong won’t be very warm in February so I’d count that out. For Thailand you’re looking at a short flight down south to Koh Samui, Krabi, or Phuket, or train or bus to Hua Hin. I’d think about taking a budget flight from Mumbai down to Goa. Or taking the train. Goa is great – especially in February when the weather is still great and the crowds have thinned. I know this wouldn’t break up your trip like a stopover in Thailand but it’s a very easy and cheap option.

      Reply
      1. Pinky

        Thanks much for the reply, David! And yes, I am going to Goa. Actually I am a goan :-) born and brought up in Goa but live in Seattle now.
        I stumbled across this blog by accident but found it very interesting. I love to travel and you have great advice so will definitely be visiting this site often. Thank you!

        Reply
  60. Ian

    Hi, David.

    I’m traveling from Hawaii to Bangkok in June 2013. Right now, Philippine Airlines has tickets for $1100 US. This is a very reasonable price. Do you suggest I purchase these tickets now (Dec.)? Or should I wait till later for a cheaper fare?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Based on what’s out there this seems like a pretty good price. I think if you’re sure you’re going then you should buy them. This is a tough route to get a really cheap price on, so the potential downside to waiting far outweighs the small price drop you might see.

      Reply
  61. Ian

    Thanks for the speedy response, David…

    One more thing: I have heard mixed review of Philippine Airlines flights. Some are fine, others are god-awful. Any experience with Philippine Airlines?

    I’d appreciate your insight and input.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I have heard some negative reviews about the airline but we’re likely hearing the worst stories. I bet your flight will be fine. I’d rather save a few hundred bucks and deal with a seat that doesn’t recline properly than spend more on a better airline. That’s my take. Good luck.

      Reply
  62. edwin

    hey i need a cheap flight from harlingen to new york round trip but im finding pretty expensive i just want the cheapest from jan 24th-30…can you help i would really appreciete it im trying to see my brother and sister which i havent seen in 12 yrs and im only 20 plz it would mean alot and thanx

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’d check Southwest as they should be able to get you to New York with the best price. Otherwise look for flights out of Corpus Christi or Houston – could be worth the drive. Good luck.

      Reply
  63. Cheryl

    I live in Lubbock, TX and there aren’t a lot of choices of carriers. I am booking a flight to Tampa to join extended family for a cruise. The Thursday before the Sunday departure is the best price on continental but it’s still 388 a person including taxes and fees. I’ve searched all the travel sites and they are all higher including Southwest. My question is whether I should wait until the 3 1/2 months ahead (which would be late Feb for a June 17 cruise) or book now. I was thinking that booking before the new year might be an advantage. The continental site says there are “8 tickets” left at that price. Thanks for any advice!

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would think you could beat that price if you wait but there are no guarantees. I know it’s a bit of a drive but could you get yourself to Dallas? I’m sure you’d beat that price with a Dallas-Tampa flight. Just an idea. Good luck.

      Reply
  64. Julie

    Hi David! I love your website! I’m trying to plan a family trip to Ireland over next Christmas. (2adults2kids) the problem is I can’t find fares for later than November. When is the best time to shop for fares? Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Most airlines release their schedules and allow you to book flights about 11 months in advance so you should be able to find those fares very soon.

      Reply
  65. Ann O'Quinn

    I am looking for most affordable airline ticket (one-way) from SFO to Vitoria, Brazil before January 26.

    Here is the catch…

    I am traveling with a pet (small dog) so need airlines that allow this.
    Plus I am wanting a route that will be 12-15 hours versus 20+ hours.

    If we can’t find a short route, then what is the best most affordable pet-friendly stop over point between SF and Brazil?

    Thanks for any help you can lend.
    Ann

    Reply
  66. Andrea

    Hi! I am trying to book 4 tickets Seattle to Maui (OGG) for 4/14-4/21. Unfortunately those dates are not flexible. I am getting anxious… when is the best time to buy? Should I try to get my four tickets in twos? I have heard that is a good way to go but it seems risky to me. I am overwhelmed at the options that seem to be out there as far as search engines go. Advice?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I did a quick look around for you and I think Kayak is finding the best fares. Even if you can add a little flexibility (e.g. leave friday night instead) you’ll see the fares drop a bit. Once you find something that’s decent I’d book it as I don’t think these ones will be falling (but that’s just a guess). Vancouver often has good deals for sunny vacation spots so searching from there might be worth it, if you could manage the drive up to Canada. (It’s about 2.5 hours from Seattle to the Vancouver airport.)

      Reply
  67. bec

    Hi there
    I am planning a trip for my family of 4 (myself,hubby, 3 & 5yr olds) to Thailand and Hong Kong for approx 4 weeks from Melbourne, Australia. Can u suggest a route and time schedule? Definitely including Bangkok, Phuket, Samui and some others?????
    Thanks for any advice.
    Bec

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’d fly to Hong Kong, spend 4 nights there. You could then fly directly from Hong Kong to Koh Samui (Bangkok airlines) or Hong Kong to Phuket (Bangkok airlines, Air Asia, Jetstar). Spend about 2 weeks in southern Thailand. From there you could fly to north to Chiang Mai (perhaps transiting through Bangkok) before taking the overnight train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok (kids love overnight trains) and then fly home. That would be my itinerary. Although you could also fly from HK to Saigon and then overland through Cambodia to Bangkok. Or fly HK to Bangkok and work your way south through Thailand and Malaysia before flying home from Singapore. Good luck.

      Reply
  68. Azwah

    Hello, my husband and I are planning to take my 3 yo toddler to Disneyland Paris sometime in March. In your opinion when is the best time to start booking the tickets for the trip. We live in a south east asia country. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Start looking now for sure, as you research you’ll start to get a feel for what’s a good price and what’s not. Remember, think flexibility: if different cities will work for arrival or departure, or different dates. I’d start with Kayak. For budget airlines these one fly from Bangkok to Paris: Air Asia, Air Berlin, and Oman Air. Air Asia and Oman Air fly from KL and Singapore to Paris. Good luck.

      Reply
  69. Andreas

    Hi there,
    I am planning a trip from cyprus to hawaii and las vegas for 2 weeks in the august.
    Can you suggest when to book or any route?

    Thanks
    Andreas from cyprus

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I bet British Airways will end up having the best price for this route. I’d buy it through L.A. and then buy a cheap return flight for L.A. – Las Vegas. If you try to incorporate the L.V. stop in the same ticket it will likely cost a lot more. Good luck.

      Reply
  70. Bryan Hersman

    This is very helpful but I had a different question. Recently I noticed that sometimes adding and extra final destination lowers the cost. Im looking to travel from Missoula, MT to Seattle, WA. The price on Alaska is $140, but if I put in Missoula to Pheonix it changes planes in Seattle but the whole trip is $100. So can I just buy the Pheonix ticket and never leave Seattle? I also saw this on US Airways, Dallas to Charlotte to Fayetteville, NC is $100 less then just the Dallas to Charlotte flight. It just makes no sense. Really what I’m looking for is a one way flight from Missoula to Fayetteville with a 24+ hour layover in Seattle. Thanks for the help!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Bryan. I’m sure that would be fine. Just be sure to tell them (either when you check in or when you disembark in Seattle) that you won’t be using the final leg of the ticket. You wouldn’t want them doing a search for you wondering where the missing passenger was.

      Reply
  71. A

    Hello,
    We are getting married June 16th 2013 and would like to travel to Prague for our honeymoon.

    I realize June is when prices for airfare go up – when should we book to get the best deal? What’s a fair price for airfare to Prague, a cheap price, too-much? Would it be better to use a travel agent or one of the online travel sites?
    Thanks!
    A & B

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      You’ll need to keep an eye on tickets and maybe look at Bing’s fare predictor (http://www.bing.com/travel/) to see if prices are likely to go up or down. As for what is a good fare and what is not, I’d need to know where you’re flying from.

      Reply
  72. Dianne

    Hi!

    My fiancee and I are looking at possible prices and packages for our October 2013 honeymoon. We know it’s early, but we’re excited and want to get an idea for romantic beach destinations that will also allow us to stop over in Paris for 3-4 nights. Some places we have thought of are: Guadeloupe, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Mauritius, Mozambique and Martinique….HELP PLEASE!??
    We don’t want to blow our budget on flights alone.

    Thanks,
    Dianne & Kevin

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Dianne. Where do you live? It’s hard to suggest routes when I don’t know where you’re flying from. Thanks.

      Reply
      1. Dianne

        Hi David,

        Sorry about that. We live in Toronto.

        Thanks,
        Dianne

        P.S. – We have researched a bit and it looks like Mauritius or Madagascar would make the most sense as they have natural stopovers in Paris. We have also decided that a 1 night layover is perfect and more budget-friendly. (I.e. arriving Monday AM in Paris & departing Paris Tuesday PM).
        Thank-you again!

        Reply
        1. David Post author

          Hi Dianne. They both sound great – but only one night in Paris? It seems a shame to spend all that money and then worry about saving 100 euros on a hotel. If money were the main factor in deciding where to go then there are many places to go that would be a lot cheaper to fly to than those 2. The Caribbean is loaded with great islands (some that are not that touristy) and much cheaper to get to. Just an idea.

          Reply
  73. wang

    I want to travel to india around mid february from any european cities, what will be the cheapest way to fly to delhi?

    Reply
  74. Nieves Pascual

    Hello there,
    I have been living in the States for 5 years now and every summer we go back to Spain on vacation. Having small children we can only go during the summer and the prices are a little higher than during off season, but we´ve managed to get good deals, the best one was last year with US Airwyas for $700 all tx and fees included for a 2 month stay. I purchased them on January 21st for May 23r to July 25th.
    As I do every year, I have started looking into several web sites to see the fares and possible discounts and I am very surprised that the cheapest that I have found is 1288. I can understand if the price was 900 considering I will be departing in june instead of may but that big difference, 600?
    I used to be a travel agent for many years and I know the industry has changed after 09-11, before we knew when the specials were coming out and when to buy them, etc, but now there is no way to find out if the specials will come later or if they will come at all. I need your expert opinion on this matter please.
    Cheers for now and thanks in advance
    Nieves

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Nieves. It’s been a very expensive year so far for fares to Europe. I’m expecting/hoping that they will fall in the spring. I think they might be artificially high as airlines try to collect big prices from people making early plans for the Olympics and that they’ll eventually fall. We’ll see if it’s true. My advice: be patient.

      Reply
  75. Liv

    Hi. My husband, daughter(1 yr) and I are planning to take a vacation to the Philippines this summer. We are from Dallas, TX. Which month do you suggest we travel, May, June or July? Any advice when the ticket prices might go down? Thank you for your help. :)

    Liv

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Liv. Here’s a great overview of the best time to travel to the Philippines: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/philippines/weather. It sounds like you’ve got a fair bit of flexibility. I’d keep an eye on the prices and jump in when you see a great fare. Remember to start with Kayak and then visit the websites of any airline that has good fares to see if they offer an even cheaper fare. Good luck.

      Reply
  76. Dianne

    We have been to the caribbean a few times and were hoping to go somewhere different for our honeymoon. We are aware of gorgeous and more “honeymoon” type spots (I.e. Anguilla, St Bart’s, etc), however I really, really want to include Paris in our trip. The reason we are thinking of doing a 1 night layover in Paris is for the mere fact of huge price jumps when booking 2 seperate flights, rather than 1 continuous flight with a layover.
    We would absolutely love to stay in Paris for 3 nights, however the flight prices are tremendously high, not the hotel rates.
    Have you ever heard of a 2 night layover in Paris?; I haven’t come across anything of the sort.
    Dianne :)

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would contact the ticketing office of the airline directly. I bet they could arrange the same layover price for multiple nights.

      Reply
  77. Dianne

    David,
    Thankyou very much for that suggestion. I had no idea you could do that.
    Can you also please suggest your top picks for romantic and less touristy Caribbean honeymoons?
    Dianne & Kevin

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Dianne. My wife and I honeymooned on Jamaica and stayed at the Rockhouse in Negril for 2 weeks. It’s amazing. Great staff. Great food. It’s away from the main beach (though that’s just a short drive away, compliments of the hotel) so you don’t get that resort feel at all. Jumping off the cliffs and bridges that dot the grounds is a lot of fun. Awesome pool too.

      Trinidad and Tobago come to mind as well.

      Reply
  78. Kris

    Hi there! We are planning a trip with our 11 yr old daughter from Los Angeles to London in April. Flights are around $850 now but bing says to wait. Any tips on getting upgraded to business class from economy? It will most likely be Virgin airlines and wow the price diff is crazy! It’s a long flight for a kid, would like her to have a comfy ride in a seat she could sleep in. Also, any hotel suggestions? 4 to 5 star? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Just ask, is the simple answer. Buy your tickets then phone the airline and see if they’ll upgrade you for a discount (or with some special deal). It’s rare, but it does happen – it just takes one person to say “what the heck”.

      As for hotels in London, we just stayed at the Marylebone Hotel for a week and really loved it. Great location, great neighborhood with lots of little non-chain restaurants, and it shares a beautiful pool with a very nice athletic club. (One note the pool is only open for kids from 3:30 to 5:00 on weekdays and 10:30 to 12:00 and 3:30 to 5:00 on weekends – which can be a bit of a pain but worked fine for us.)

      Also, Hotelscombined.com totally rocks for finding cheap hotels (anywhere) but especially in big cities like London. I love it.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  79. Maggie

    Hi David,
    First of all, thanks for the great tips!
    I am currently living in São Paulo, Brazil. I need to go to Orlando sometime between march 15th and April 15th for a week. Do you have any tips on what airline or what dates offer a better deal?
    Thanks in advance,
    Maggie

    Reply
  80. Ganapathi

    Planning to travel to Mangalore (India) from SFO in the first week of June and return in the first week of July. Please suggest when is the right time to shop… getting confused with the fluctuating prices. Willing to modify the destination to India to Mumbai/Bangalore since I find domestic flights are a bit cheaper than the difference in the cost of booking directly to Mangalore.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      6 weeks prior to flying is statistically the best time to buy but every route (and flight) is different. If you’ve acquainted yourself with the range of prices then you’ll know when you see a good one. Good luck.

      Reply
  81. donald hurd

    Hi David, I live in Kenya. Why is it that a flight Lon-Nbo-Lon is always half the price as the same flight originating in Nairobi (ie Nbo-Lon-Nbo) with the same airline? Any way you know to get cheaper tickets originating in Nairobi?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Just search on as many websites as you can (including the website of the actual carrier). Also try 2 one-way tickets and see if that works. Frustrating though, I know. Good luck.

      Reply
  82. Jaimee

    Just wondering your thoughts on flights from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Bangkok that were 1226 on saturday, went up to 1340 on sunday and now on monday are 1444. Do you think they’ll go back down? Travel dates are Depart Feb 28, return April 4. Any other ideas for getting that original price of 1226 again?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’d try different dates before and after the days you put in and see if you can still find a similar price for that route. If they’ve all gone up then it’s probably an across the board increase – and could drop back down. If there are still some tickets left at that price then it’s more likely that the cheapest seats on your dates have been purchased and they probably won’t come back down. I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  83. Julia

    Help! My fiance and I purchased our flights for our May honeymoon to Antigua a few months ago. The first leg of our trip was to be from STL to JFK through United and returning home we would also be traveling on United from JFK to STL. Last week they informed us that our flight from JFK to STL was cancelled, with no further explanation. We were told we could be switched to another flight, one of which would not work for us as it left before our flight from Antigua (on American Airlines) even got to JFK and the other which would leave the next day at 4pm. The second option won’t work because we both have to be at work by 6am that day.

    My fiance worked his way up the United phone chain to someone in the “corporate office” in Ohio and all they would offer us is either 1.) $36 total if we cancel only the conflicting flight and reschedule with another airline OR 2.) refund the $300 for the round trip flight (STL – JFK) and we can reschedule the entire thing with another airline. It seemed to make the most sense to just reschedule the whole thing. But, the issue now is that it is going to cost us an ADDITIONAL $600 (even accounting the $300 we would be refunded). Needless to say, we are extremely frustrated with the situation and feel completely snowed by United.

    Any suggestions for either getting United to help us out more or find cheaper flights between STL and JFK for our May honeymoon? Thank you so much.

    -Julia

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Bug them on Twitter. Email the CEO and cc the Better Business Bureau. Post comments on TripAdvisor – and link to them in your emails and tweets. All of these methods can be very effective.

      Reply
  84. julia

    Thinking of travelling to San Fran at the end of July and the first week of August with my husband and 2 kids. When would be best time to buy air tickets.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Statistically the best time to buy flights (on average) is 6 weeks before flying. But whenever you see a good price is the best time for you. Get comfortable with the fares and then pull the trigger when you see a good one. Then don’t think about it anymore.

      Reply
  85. Neo

    hi david
    I wanna travel to Botswana(gaborone) from either Florida or New Orleans in the late july 2013. What do you suggest and when do i book my ticket. The prices are really high going for almost 3000usd, is there anywhere i can get one for atleast 1000usd less?

    Neo

    Reply
  86. Aditya ( India )

    I have my summer internship in France this summer (May-July 2013) at Rennes.
    I guess there is no direct flight to Rennes, so I’ll have to go via Paris.

    So I want to know the cheapest ( really cheapest ) way to book a round trip ticket from Delhi-Paris. I am a student so my budget is less.
    I was wondering if there is any discounts for students !!

    Please guide !!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      No, airlines generally don’t do student discounts any more. I’d search kayak and cheaptickets.com, of course. Also, visit as many travel agents in Delhi as you can. Those old fashioned bucket shops still get some pretty good deals and they can sometimes know of some seat sales that aren’t widely available online. Good luck.

      Reply
  87. Gruffydd

    Looking for airfare from LAX to Dublin July 17th – July 26th. As most flights seem to go through London and the Olympics are starting July 27th, should we buy tickets now ($1200/rt) or should we hold off?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks :)

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That sounds like a pretty good price, I’d buy it. I doubt you’ll beat that by much, even in the best case scenario, so lots to lose and very little to gain by waiting. I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Gruffydd

        Thanks, David.
        We ended up buying with Cheap-O air (through Ebates, of course – got 1% Cash Back).

        They listed a SuperSaver fare to London, and we noticed that it was the same departure/arrival as a Virgin Atlantic flight (and I’ve always wanted to fly Virgin)

        We picked up 2 tickets for $950 r/t each on Virgin (yay!) and then got a BMI flight to Dublin for $78 each – so we saved about $350!

        Reply
  88. Kristi

    Hey David! So I think we ruled out S East Asia and Fiji and have decided on Turks and Caicos in the Carribean. I went onto Kayak to check flights from SFO here in CA and it looked like the flight prices were the same whether we left next month, early June (when we plan to go) and November. The cheapest was US Airways, first class with a layover in Charlotte was $1400. Do you think this is because it may be a small airport and only a few airlines fly there? Any suggestions on other places to price out?

    We were hoping for the most direct flight as we will be leaving a couple days after our wedding and hoping for 10 -11 hours travel time vs. 15. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Kristi

    Reply
  89. Katherine

    Hi,

    I wonder if you have any tips on how long to wait to purchase plane tickets for my trip. There are 3 coupls flying out of Chicago to Cozumel from Wednesday April 25 – Sunday April 29. We are within 3 months just about so we are wondering how long to wait to buy airfare or if it would potentially decrease between now and then? Any input is appreciated!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      In this case, I’d buy them as soon as possible as for most of those sun destinations it’s the earlier the better. Good luck.

      Reply
  90. angelica

    thank you for these helpful informations,….. me and my husband is planning to have a vacation in the philippines this dec, and if it would be possible to go to other asian country for a low cost. maybe 2 or 3 nights would be great. i don’t know which airline and when to book them. thanks

    Reply
  91. Drew

    David–my wife is putting 2 separate round-trip flights together (for various reasons) for her one-month journey to Japan. The first RT is between Cincinnati & LAX (on Delta), and the other is between LAX and Narita (on ANA). She will not be checking any baggage, so will she need to leave the secure arrival area to check in for her other flights? She has only 90 minutes between flights (on her way to Japan), so a security line with a baby could present a real problem, I think.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’m not sure how the transit situation works at LAX. You’d think that she would be able to bypass the main security line but who knows? I hope it works out for her. Good luck.

      Reply
  92. Shaun

    Hi David,

    I am scheduled for an internship in Ireland this summer (May until July). I am planning the trip so I could do some sightseeing before and after. I am in Montreal. I have been looking up Montreal to London (April 30th) and then Paris to Montreal (Aug 16). Last I looked, I found in the 860.00 Canadian range for this trip. Is this a solid deal? Any prediction if prices will go down? I am also open to potential alternate routes (such as going to Paris first, flying back from Rome, etc.).

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would expect them to come down (that’s a bit on the high side), but everything to Europe has been quite expensive this year. My guess is that prices will drop but who knows. Waiting does involve some risk but I’m hopeful that prices will fall.

      Reply
  93. Katrin

    Hi David!

    I’m thinking about going to the Philippines for the holidays December until maybe January 2. My schedule is limited because I’m a full time student, and those dates are best for me because it’s winter break and it’s the longest break I’ll have for the year. I’ve been trying to look at prices online for the past month or so, but because my departure date and arrival date are so far I’ve been playing the waiting game to see available prices for these dates. I actually saw some and the cheapest were from $1800 or so. I’m in Jacksonville, FL, I’ve never flew to the Philippines during the holidays, so I’m expecting the prices to be a little bit more compared to the summer time. This is my first time flying by myself to the Philippines (I’m 22) and can’t wait to visit, so I’m really excited. If you have any suggestions or tips for me they would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much!
    Katrin

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      You’ve got lots of time. I wouldn’t buy yet. Keep looking, get comfortable with the prices, and then buy when they come down (as I expect they will).

      Reply
  94. Hyun from Chicago

    Hi David, thanks for great info.

    I am planning to travel to London on the 17th of July and return from Roma on the 5th of August. Currently I see around $1350 for this open-jaw flight. Should I book now or is there possibilities that the price might go down?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Hyun. I think there’s a very good chance fares will come down because they’ve been so high so far this year. But, of course, there is a risk in waiting. I’d try Aer Lingus (http://www.aerlingus.com/) and Icelandair (http://www.icelandair.com/) as they often have great deals (though neither flies directly to Rome – so you’d have to fill in the gaps with a low cost airline). Good luck.

      Reply
  95. Justine

    Any suggestions about flights Taipei-Berlin (round trip) this summer? I’m planning to go on the 26th of June till 18th of July or 2nd of August. Should I book now or wait a month or two?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Justine. I’d look for a cheap flight to Bangkok and then fly with TUIFly (http://www.tuifly.com/) or Pegasus (http://www.flypgs.com/EN/); or a flight to Kuala Lumpur and then fly with Transaero (http://transaero.ru/en) – if price is the most important factor. For timing, 6 weeks before is historically the best time to buy but that’s an average and waiting can clearly involve some risk. Especially if the trip is a necessity. I hope that’s at least a little helpful. Good luck.

      Reply
  96. meg

    Thank’s for all you information. I have been trying to look at prices for taking the whole family to the USA for a month from Boxing day to the 29Jan 2013 (2adults,2teenagers@adult prices and two children!). Think I am too early as all price requests are coming up nil. Would also like a stop over both ways. My itinerary would look like : Perth-Honolulu-Los Angeles-Honolulu-Perth. Would you have any better options and maybe ideas on when to start looking ?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Flights usually start selling about 11 months before the flight so it should be pretty soon. I might try stopping at a different place on the way back to Australia (Fiji, maybe) instead of just returning to the same island. Just a thought.

      Reply
  97. Rommel

    Nicely done! appreciate the info.

    Any tips on buying plane ticket to Philippines! planning to travel this coming December
    and back by January. As far as i know tickets are insanely expensive during holiday season.

    Thanks!

    Reply
        1. David Post author

          The Philippines can be an expensive destination. I think I would look for flights to either Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, or Singapore. From there take either Air Asia, Cebu Airlines, or Tiger Airways to Manilla (or another city in the Philippines). I hope that helps.

          Reply
  98. Liz

    I purchased a promo fare thru airasia from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney (RT) from May 4-June 11. I will be coming from the Philippines and plan to fly first to Singapore and stay there for 1 week then go to KL on May 4 for my sydney flight. Since I come from a ASEAN country (Phils), I am not required to get a visa for Malaysia but the validity of my stay should not exceed 1 month. Will there be a problem with Malaysia Immigration if I show a return ticket dated June 11 (more than a month after May 4)? Will my Australian visa enough to convince them that I will just be going there for my flight to sydney and back to KL, then back again to Singapore (where I will be staying again for another week) before I flew back to the Philippines? Thanks. Your site is very helpful.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It sounds fine to me. You’ll in effect have 2 different visas for 2 different stays. Your first one when you enter Malaysia on May 4th. And then a second (completely separate) visa when you arrive back on June 11th – which will give you a new month. I hope that helps. (And I hope it’s right – which it should be.)

      Reply
  99. Bill Hobbs

    Hi David,
    Any advice on flights from NYC to Changchun, China? Looking to go march 12th to the 19th.

    Thanks for your help. Great Site.

    Bill

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’m not seeing any budget airlines that fly to Changchun. Try looking for flights through Seoul as it often has some great discounts. Good luck.

      Reply
  100. Shanliza

    Hi David,
    My husband and I are planning a trip to Thailand in April, preferably from the 6th-21st. We are looking to fly from Glasgow, UK to Bangkok but the air tickets just seem to be increasing by the day. We’ve been looking since December. Can you please suggest a good time to book our tickets?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      If they’re on an upwards trend I’d be inclined to buy them sooner rather than later. Flexibility is key. Try your best to look for different dates, departure airports, and airlines. I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  101. Katie

    Hi there- we’re planning to travel from Seattle to Bali (with stop in Singapore) for xmas and new years 2013-2014. Villas are booked, and dates aren’t flexible since we’re coordinating with people coming from several different places. I’m finding fares in the range of $1500 each with taxes – that doesn’t seem bad to me! I’ve never booked a flight a year in advance, but do you think this might come down?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That seems pretty decent. I’m sure there will be a seat sale between now and then but making those sales work with your dates wouldn’t be easy. Good luck.

      Reply
  102. Nan

    Thanks so much for your article.
    I’ve got it in my head that I want to try and find a ticket to Spain from the West Coast (US) before the end of the month for around $400. Do you think this is possible?

    Reply
  103. Austin

    Hi David, I’ll be flying to NYC from Shanghai in the end of July (maybe the 26th) and coming back in August (~6th). I’ve got a little bit of flexibility with the dates, but I don’t want to waste a lot of time with layovers–I don’t really want the total travel time to be much more than 18-19 hours or so (nonstop is about 14). I’ve bought tickets for this route several times before over the past two years, and in the past even the non-stop flights cost only $1000-$1400 roundtrip. Right now the non-stop flights are all well north of $2000 (some closer to $4000) and the cheapest ones at like $1700 are like 26 hours with the layovers! I’m guessing that I am just shopping too far in advance for the discounted tickets to be offered, but I just wanted to check and see if I’m missing something different about this year that could cause a drastic price change (Bing fare predictor doesn’t work for this route). Thanks!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      At those prices I would hold off and hope for the best. Be sure to look for flights on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as these are the cheapest days to fly. 6 to 8 weeks before flying is the best time to get the best prices. Good luck.

      Reply
  104. Daniel Vlad

    Hi David,

    I am planning to travel from Toronto to Budapest round trip together with my family. I am a little bit tide up by the schedule so the departure has to be July 28/13 and return August 18. I have 2 kids one is 5 years and the other is 1 year. Can you suggest a way to find a good deal for this?

    Thanks and your advise is mostly appreciated,

    Daniel

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Try Condor.com as I think they might fly direct from Toronto to Budapest. If not try Air Transat to London and then Easy Jet, German Wings, Norwegian, Ryan Air, or Wizz Air for London to Budapest. Good luck.

      Reply
  105. terry

    Hi David

    I would like to thank you all your time you put in to help us travels from around the world to save us time and money.

    My question I have is in re gards to travelling from Detroit or Toronto I am Canadian looking to travel on a budget including air and hotels low end reasonable I dont know if you offer hotel accomodations info or not thanking you inadvance if you could
    I would like to go to Thailand 1 week Vietnam 1 week South Korea 1 week Japan 1 week and to travel to the Philippines for a month any good suggestions where to travel in the Phills and return to my home destination I know it is a lot for you to give out but I appreciate on what you can do for me Travel time Febuary and March lone traveller any good suggestions.

    Thanks Terry

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Terry. I don’t want to discourage you from such fun plans but all that flying around will make your trip much more expensive. If you want to keep your trip cheap you’re better off picking 1 or 2 countries and focusing on them. Japan in particular will add a lot to your costs as there are many cheap flights between it and Southeast Asia. The good news is that you have a lot of airports to search for when you’re looking for a ticket. So, search for each different combination you can find Toronto-Seoul, Toronto-Bangkok, Toronto-Saigon, Toronto-Manilla. Bangkok is a great hub for cheap flights for all around Asia so using that as your main destination would be a good plan.

      As for hotels http://www.hotelscombined.com is a fantastic site for finding cheap deals.

      http://www.agoda.com is very good for hotels discounts in Southeast Asia.

      I hope that helps.

      Reply
  106. Hanna

    Hey David. Wonderful article. I was wondering if you knew anything around why the farther out my dates, the cheaper the tickets. I am going to Germany for the winter holidays this year. I will be leaving from Toronto and have found roundtrip for around 700 dollars which I think is a good deal. However, my boyfriend will also be going, leaving from Memphis and the flights are 1200 and up. I know I am looking incredibly far in advance, but I don’t intend on purchasing for while, although I’ve found myself paying almost double trying to wait on a drop before. Any wisdom you can offer with this route or particulars that might be able to cut costs?

    Thanks
    -Hanna

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Hanna. That’s a pretty good fare from Toronto. Memphis, of course, will be more as it likely involves another flight – or at least a longer flight. I’d look for a cheap flight on a budget airline up to Toronto, New York, or Chicago and then try to get a similar fare (as you) across the Atlantic.

      Reply
      1. Hanna

        Hmm. Good point, that hadn’t crossed my mind, and now that you mention it, a flight is only $450 from Memphis to Toronto. I would be content paying a little more and not flying alone! Thanks again =)

        Reply
  107. Sujan

    Hi David,
    Thank you so much for putting together this recently updated, no-frills, out in the open, helpful guide! Way better than any other columnist write-up I’ve read! Good job!

    Reply
  108. Amy

    Hi, I am wondering if the “don’t buy more than 3.5 months in advance” rule applies for summer travel. I need to travel from Salt Lake City, Utah to New York (either upstate or city) in late July. Philadelphia would work as well. My dates are flexible to a point as is my destination (we’ll be renting a car and driving to a family reunion). I’d love to wait and save (I need to buy 3 or 4 tickets) but I’m worried about gas prices driving ticket prices up during the summer. I’d appreciate any advice. What do you think?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      There are no rules, Amy, just best practices and what works best (on average). If you see a great deal (at anytime) buy it. I will say, that prices have been high this year, and it’s my not-very-firm belief that they may come down a lot in the near to distant future (unless they don’t).

      Reply
  109. Lili

    Hi. Planning to purchase an open jaw ticket from Chicago-London/Paris-Chicago leaving 5.8.12. Right now flights are around 945. I’ve seen them creep up about $20 each week for the last 3 weeks. Do you think I should bite the bullet and get them now or is there a good chance that the price will come down a bit, if I wait? Do they generally have sales this time of year?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That’s a decent price. I’d buy it.. Plus, once your ticket is confirmed you can focus your time and energy on getting good hotel deals which should save you more money than a price drop of $50 or $100 on your air ticket would.

      Reply
  110. Adam

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the great tips. I am planning a 2 week trip to Ireland / Scotland / London, departing on November 16 or 17th. We live in Chicago. Do you have any tips on when the best time to purchase these tickets would be, from where or any idea on what I should excpect to spend? Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi. It’s so tough to say. I’d just keep looking – get comfortable with the prices – and then buy when you see a dip (which should inevitably come). If you could fly on the 2 weeks right after Thanksgiving you’d probably get the best prices of the year.

      Reply
  111. Adam

    I live near PIT airport. I have a wedding to go to in TLH on march 30. The question for me is, my girlfriend lives in Bogota Colombia. She will be flying from Bogota to come to the wedding and then eventually flying back out of PIT. We need to use American Airlines because we have a ticket that was not used. Will pay a change fee to use it now, but she must fly out of Colombia to United states on American.
    So question is, what is the best option(s). I am pretty flexible to have her fly into PIT or ATL or TLH. I still would need to by my plane ticket to TLH as well, unless we were able to get here close to pittsburgh where we both would drive down. And then fly back out of PIT around april 9

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hey Adam. I haven’t quite memorized all the airport codes throughout the world yet. Would you mind sharing where PIT and TLH airports are?

      Reply
  112. Nicole

    Hi David,

    I am looking to fly from Melbourne,Australia to Colombo, Sri Lanka during 4 April and 24 April. I heard that air fares will reduce on March every year . Is it true? Should i wait till for march or just book now to get cheapest fair.

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      They’ll drop if there are excess seats that they need to fill. They’ll go up if there are few seats to fill. I can’t see how it would follow any consistent pattern. I’d book early. You can also look for flights through Bangkok, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur, which might save you a bit.

      Reply
  113. Ray

    My wife and I are looking to book a multi-city itinerary for early June: dallas/istanbul/hyderabad/taipei/dallas. My wife has back problems so we’ll have to book business class. She can fly coach but not on flights longer than 6 hours. Any suggestions on how to get the best deal possible on business class would be much appreciated. Are aggregator cites (Kayak, etc.) a good tool for this type of itinerary? Would RTW be a good idea for an itinerary such as ours?

    Thanks for the great tips on your website!

    Reply
    1. Nico

      Thanks for the recommendation, David. AirTreks might work well for you, Ray. And yes, a RTW will definitely work out cheaper and easier. We can also mix and match airline classes, in other words, book business class seats for flights longer than 6 hours and coach for the other legs, which could end up saving you a lot of money over a complete business class RTW, potentially a couple thousand dollars per ticket.

      I recommend following David’s link (if you haven’t done so already), clicking business class airfares and entering your info. Be sure to note that you only need business for long-haul legs (flights more than 6 hours) and one of our Personal Travel Consultants will get back to you with a price (usually within 24 hours).

      If it works, we’ll be happy to book the seats for you. BTW, you won’t need to pay any money unless you’re happy with the ticket price we provide.

      Hope that helps,

      Nico from AirTreks

      Reply
  114. patricia

    we need to leave toronto on July the 2nd to Chicago and would be returuning on July the 5th, during the Holidays for both countries, as i have been looking for the past month, the prices have went up over $100 per ticket, question…should I wait another month or so..or should I book before they go up? Help!!!

    Reply
  115. Eric Miller

    Hello, great info! On June 11th, I will be flying from Houston (IAH) to the Bahamas (NAS) and there’s only one direct flight with Continential — Flight no 1454. Pricing 2 weeks ago was $550 per person, yesterday (Sunday) was $850 pp and now I’m seeing $750 pp today on Mon. When do you think I should book this to get the best rate??

    Reply
  116. Corinne

    Trying to book a ticket close to $1300 all incl. from Chicago to Paris and Mumbai, Chicago-Paris-Mumbai-Paris-Chicago mid-June to beginning of August. Dates are flexible. Any good suggestions? So far, I have not been very lucky.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That’s a tough route to find a good ticket price on. You might have better luck going through London. And flying to Delhi is often cheaper than Mumbai. Keep looking and buy if you see anything below $1450.

      Reply
  117. Sushil

    Hi David,
    Thanks for the helpful article. I am based in Muscat, Oman.

    We (two of us) are having plans to go for a short trip to see Europe lasting 10 days to two weeks max. The plan is to travel to Italy, Greece, France, Germany, Holland etc during March 2013.
    I was thinking of landing in Paris and then taking the euro train service.

    Could you please suggest the best travel route and also tips on hotels etc?

    I understand that we have to apply for the Schengen Visa after the tickets are taken and hotel bookings are done.

    Regards,

    Sushil

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Sushil.

      You have a lot planned for just 10 days. Greece isn’t an easy country to combine with the rest of Europe. There aren’t any trains between it and Western Europe so it’s more flying or an overnight ferry to get to Italy. I would recommend dropping Greece from your itinerary.

      I would fly to Rome spend 2 nights there and then train to Florence and 2 nights there. Take an overnight train to Paris and spend 3 nights there. Then train to either Amsterdam, Berlin, or Munich (choose one) and fly home from there. You could also take cheap flights for the longer legs of your trip but I find when you account for arranging the tickets (who flies where?), get to the airport early, and go through security, that’s it’s just as easy to jump on a train. It’s much less stressful and has a very European feel to it. It’s how the Europeans travel so it’s part of the culture.

      For hotels use these links. They’ll find you the best deals on hotels in each of the cities:
      Rome, Florence, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Munich.

      I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  118. Andy Hall

    Hi David

    I’m looking to head to SFO from LHR and need to be on the West Cost for the weekend of July 14 for a friends wedding. I’ve been tracking the prices the better part of two months and they had moved (for direct flights) from just south of £1,000 to £776 (Virgin), however on Friday they jumped up to £866. Have I left it too late to get a decent price and should just suck it up, or would you hold out until April-May time to see if I can get a better deal?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      If you have to go (and especially if you have to go on specific dates) then you should buy it. If you have some flexibility with dates (or if the trip is optional) then I’d wait.

      Reply
  119. Ashley

    David,

    Planning a trip to California on April 19 – 22 from Washington, DC. I found a flight for $307. It is now 7 weeks out, should I go ahead and book or wait just a little longer? Is this a good deal?

    Reply
  120. Patrick

    David,
    I read with interest your article regarding air flight pricing fluctuations and your comment that prices go up and prices go down “its about supply and demand”;

    Thats what I thought but my very recent experience with British Airways says to me that its more to do with tricking customers into paying more.

    23rd Feb 2013 on the BA online booking system I compiled a return flight Manchester UK to Houston TX outbound on Wednesday in March inbound Wednesday 7 days later. Its a daily service. Every identical flight number in March came to 446 GBP return (+ or – a GBP or two). For logistical reasons I couldn’t confirm the booking that day.

    Next day 24th Feb ALL and EVERY identical flight number in March had gone up to 605 GBP (+ or – a GBP or two). I booked thinking “its supply and demand- they will only go up more if I wait”. Not best pleased but , OK thats what happens, they have obviously sold all the cheaper seats I thought.

    Checked prices again 28th Feb; ALL and EVERY identical flight number in March had gone back down to 446 GBP again.

    This is not commodity pricing – ie scarcity = more expensive. I could accept it if it was.

    This is extorting additional charges by a sleight of hand and deception.
    Even in this day and age customers are entitled to expect fair and, more importantly consistent, treatment from service providers, especially so-called “quality” organisations like BA. Do they really want to say to potential customers “hey we have price penalty days where you can pay 33% more if you book in that 3 day window. We are not going to tell when those days are, and there’s no good reason for it apart from that we can sucker you, so we will”? .

    I have put these points to BA and await their (positive!?) response.

    I am not holding my breath.

    Patrick

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’m with you Patrick. I was trying to convey that from a buyer’s perspective this is how you need to think about it. But yes, the airlines do some tricky things to squeeze every last dollar out of fliers. Thanks for the very detailed and insightful comment.

      Reply
  121. Tina

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the information.
    I just need your opinion on a couple of things.
    Would like to head over to New York in October
    from Athens and there are some good deals
    with Delta airlines. I have been told to avoid Delta;
    what’s your opinion on this?
    Also, why is it best NOT to buy a ticket 3.5 months before the intended
    trip date? I always thought that the earlier you book the cheaper the deal??

    Thank so much,

    Tina

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I think Delta is fine. All the airlines are cutting services and packing in the passengers so I think there is little difference between economy class on most airlines. Certainly buy tickets more than 3 months in advance if you see good deals but if you don’t then it’s usually best to wait. I hope that helps.

      Reply
      1. Tina

        Thanks so much.
        Yes, your information once again has helped…

        I shared your website on my Facebook… xxxxxx

        Reply
        1. David Post author

          Thanks Tina!

          I really appreciate it when readers share this site with their friends on Facebook.

          Reply
  122. Paula

    I just came across this site & have been reading your replies carefully. Thank you for all of the wonderful tips! However, I’m still unsure about my fare booking issue.

    My husband and I are looking to fly from Washington, DC, to Paris during the last week in July, coming back the first week in August. We didn’t get to pick the time of year for our trip – my husband is in the military and it was chosen for him ;-). Given the new fare reporting rules (incl. taxes, etc.) I’m not entirely sure if the fares I’m seeing are decent compared to previous prices mentioned elsewhere. Added to that, because the trip is going to be an anniversary splurge, we’re looking at business class tickets, and Bing.com doesn’t do a fare predictor unless it’s economy.

    So, my question is: what range of prices for a business class ticket is considered reasonable for July/ Aug., and would waiting a bit longer to purchase tickets be prudent (or will the Olympics in London throw all of this off)? Any insight you have would be appreciated. Many thanks, David!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      With business class tickets I’d be inclined to book earlier than later as anything in the last month or few weeks are assumed to be business flyers who don’t care much about the price of the ticket. July is still a ways off however so you’ve got a little time. Just search all the main sites, get a feel for what the norm is, and buy when you see a decent price with good departure times.

      Reply
  123. Colette

    Hi David,

    First of all, love your article and all your very helpful insights on how and when to book plane tickets.

    I am looking to book a flight from Montreal to Verona on May 4th and then flying back from Paris to Montreal on May 20th. So far, tickets are quite expensive, approx $1100. Any advises? Should i wait some more like you suggested in your article? In my own opinion, i find the prices very high given that May is still considered low season right?

    thanks ahead for your help!

    Reply
  124. Alfred

    Hi David,

    I will be walking the Camino in Spain, finishing at Santiago de Compostela. My initial plan was to take train from Santiago back to Madrid but then I heard about Ryanair as a good alternative. Is it really? and is it possible to book it online from where I am in Australia? Will I have a problem with it being non-European?
    Btw, I already have a return flight from Sydney to Spain.

    Thanks,

    Alfred

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Ryanair is a great option. It takes some patience to find the right flight but other than that booking tickets from Australia shouldn’t be any problem at all. Just watch for taxes and baggage fees.

      Reply
  125. Natalie

    Hi David,

    Your info above is much appreciated…

    I was wondering if you could help me out with your wealth of knowledge.

    I’m planning on going to Thailand around 17th Dec till 14th Jan… From Thailand I want to travel to Australia for about two weeks then from Austraila to London. What’s the best airline and cheap to book? I’m visiting these places for the best time too.

    Reply
  126. Tan

    Hi David,
    I am Tan from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I intend to go Crete, an island of southern Greece on 25/26 May. Back from Thessaloniki, northern part of Greece to Kuala Lumpur on 9 Jun (the following year). I have been searching cheap ticket for this past 3 weeks. The cheapest that I can find was around USD 1600 for two ways. I don’t know this price is consider cheap already or I still have to wait and see. Hope to hear from your advice. Thank you very much

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I imagine your tickets would be much cheaper if you flew a simple return from Kuala Lumpur to Athens then do either budget flights, bus, or ferry to Thessaloniki and Crete.

      $1600 sounds ok though, for that particular route.

      Reply
  127. Jimmy

    David,
    This is all great information, thank you. We (2 adults, 2 children) are looking to travel to the US (Washington DC) from Sydney, Australia in October and wanted to know when is the best time to purchase airline tickets as current fares seem high. We would also like to do something different on the way or way back (we have 3 weeks) and one option we are looking at is SYD-NRT-JFK on the way and spending a week or so in Tokyo and Kyoto. Do you have any other suggestions for side trips as it appears many of the Asian airlines currently have good deals. We are also interested in round the world airfares and possibly spending a week or so in Europe.

    Many thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Check out AirTreks (http://airtreks.com/) as they have a good variety of options for RTW and regional tickets. Hawaii and Fiji are also popular stopovers for trips from Australia to the U.S. – though they wouldn’t be as fun as Tokyo.

      Reply
  128. Kerri

    Hi,

    Thank you for the blog. Very helpful! :)

    I am flying to Maui in mid June and there are five tickets that we need to fly. We are in Portland but can also fly out of Seattle.

    Are there any tricks to purchasing tickets to Hawaii specifically?

    We prefer flying Hawaiian Airline but for now Alaska’s rates are better. Should I wait until next month to commit and purchase and hope Hawaiian may come down?

    Kerri

    Reply
  129. Kip

    David,

    I will be traveling to Hong Kong in early June (return in august). I was watching the airline prices since November, for a while, but when I recently checked a few days ago, they were almost $1,000 more. I was getting ready to give in and pay the $2,000 the other day, but I wanted to get some advice. What do you think? Should I hold out for a few more weeks?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would wait. Be sure you’re looking at multiple airlines and keep your dates as flexible as possible. On Kayak you can search +/- 3 days so, if you’re able to, that can make a big difference.

      Reply
  130. KC

    Flying from Milwaukee, WI to Orlando, FL the last full week in October. Flying Wed to Wed. Dates are not flexible. How soon should I purchase tickets? There are 3 adults and 3 kids (ages 13, 6, and 4).
    Thank you for all your tips!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      The less flexibility you have the less time you should wait. I’d look to book around June or July. Unless you see a really good deal in which case, grab it.

      Reply
  131. Pam

    David,
    First thanks for great info! Knowing that airlines are certainly cutting services and packing on passengers is causing a bit of anxiety about Christmas flights. Last Christmas was a nightmare for many passengers with fewer than normal flights and cancellations/overbookings. We will be taking a cruise (flying from DAY or CVG to FLL) the 2nd week in December and some of the fares are over $1800.00. What is up with that and are Christmas/holiday fares going to be out of control this year? Thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Everything sure looks expensive now but I’m of the feeling these fares will drop. Be patient. Christmas is a long way out and the airlines haven’t even thought of actively managing these ticket prices yet.

      The good news is that with fewer people booking early (because of the high prices) you can find some great deals on hotels. If you’re committed to going and know the dates of your cruise you could book your hotel now and then grab your flights when fares drop (hopefully). As I say, if the trip is a sure thing, then that’s what I would do.

      The best website for finding hotel deals is hotelscombined.com (by far).

      I hope that helps a little. Good luck.

      Reply
  132. tatiana from NJ

    Dear David~~ Thanks so much for all the info! My fiance and I are looking to go to the East Cost of Australia around August or early September, flying out of NYC or Philly. Do you have any suggestions on where to look for a good flight deal, and when we should book? We are graduate students and are taking about 3 weeks to travel down the coast from Cairns to Melbourne, and would like our travel to be as cost effective as possible! Thank you in advance!!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      You have lots of choices for that route. Even going through London can find some good deals. There’s also San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cheap flights through Southeast Asia. The more combinations you can search the better you’ll probably end up doing. But it does take a lot of effort. Good luck.

      Reply
  133. Adam

    Hi David,

    Do you think a price of 1400 right now is ok for flights from NYC to Barcelona on a wed, then Barcelona to Malaga the following sunday, with a Malaga back to NYC, the following Sunday in July (July 11th-22nd)?

    Does this seem reasonable to you??

    Your site is awesome!! Thanks so much!!!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It seems high but everything has been expensive so far this year so it might not be unreasonable to purchase it. Personally I’d wait a few more weeks but that involves some risk too. The tickets could go up even more. Good luck.

      Reply
  134. Eva

    Hi! We are a family of four living in Uganda. We plan to visit family in Europe (Vienna) and the USA (Chicago) in early July. Other dates are not possible due to school and work schedules. Our routing is Entebbe-Europe/Brussels (only a few options, with Brussels the most reasonable right now) – Vienna – Brussels – Chicago – Brussels – Entebbe. Do you think prices will decrease if we wait? Or, are we better off getting whatever we can at this point? Thanks a lot for your very helpful website!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would recommend waiting until at least early May – but there’s always some risk in delaying too.

      Reply
  135. Christina

    Hi David,
    I’m planning to fly out of either SFO or LAX on June 18 for a study abroad trip to Copenhagen, Denmark. LAX seems to be a lot cheaper for some reason. When do you advise would be the best time to buy tickets? Right now the cheapest is $671 from SFO. . .

    Reply
  136. Andrea

    Hello David,

    First of all, I want to thank you for the wonderful info you made public and tell you that I am grateful for your help and your intentions.

    I am planning on flying from Rome to Delhi and spend there around a month and a half starting from the beginning of july. I am very flexible with dates and I was wondering if you could tell me which price would be ideal (the one I should definitely go for) and some suggestions on when start looking for it. Don’t hesitate to add some other tips you might have in your mind.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      My best advice is to look for open-jaw tickets that fly into one city and out of another. This is always good advice but for India – where the country is so big, and train rides are so long – it can make a huge difference. So I’d fly into Delhi and out of Mumbai or Chennai. Then take the train south either clockwise through Varanasi, Calcutta and down the east coast. Or counter-clockwise through Mumbai, Goa, and then Kerala. You could also look for flights back from Thiruvananthapuram or budget flights back from Goa – though Mumbai will probably be the best choice for cheap tickets.

      I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  137. Nicole heading to DR

    David – this is great info and I appreciate the effort you put into it! I’m looking for flights to Punta Cana from DC over the Memorial Day weekend (May 24 – 30). I’ve watched the prices go from $809 to $834 if I didn’t want a ridiculous layover time or take 2 days to get there.
    Considering the timing, should I just bite the bullet now or wait a little more?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Sounds like they’ve stayed pretty consistent and with it just 2 months until your trip I think I’d buy. Good luck.

      Reply
  138. maria

    Found you blog by accident. Thanks for the effort and great information. I’m visiting Philippines with my 2 children in June 2013. Their passports expire in Feb. 2014 and mine not till 2016. We’re staying in Phil. only for 3 weeks. However, with stop-over in Taipei I just want to make sure that I will not have problems with my children’s passport. I heard of a friend’s daughter not allowed to board the plane because of the child’s passport had only 6 more months left on it. I will appreciate your advice. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That sounds OK with me. 6 months is the most I’ve ever heard of being required on a passport so I’d be surprised if you had a problem … but who knows. If you’re really worried about it then I’d get new ones as you’ll have to do it at some point soon anyways.

      Reply
  139. Phuong

    Hi David,

    I’m planning a trip for a group of 4 from LAX to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam in mid-December of 2013 and then to fly out from VN to Bangkok at the end of December and our last stop will be Singapore (back to LAX mid of January). I’ve been searching for flights and the cheapest I was able to find was a round trip ticket from LAX to Ho Chi Minh for $1040 (with China Eastern Air). Do you think that’s a good deal or should I wait to see if the price will go down? Is it too early to buy. Also, I had never fly with China Eastern Air-any thoughts about it? Any suggestion from you for this trip would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks, David!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Yes, that is a long ways out and with fares that high I would wait. I have not flown with China Eastern Air so can’t say. You might want to look for flights to Hanoi and then buy a cheap budget flight for Hanoi to HCM. Just a thought. Good luck.

      Reply
  140. thebadlydrawnfox

    First of all, thank you for this article. Your tips are incredibly handy, and it is amazing that you are answering all direct enquiries in your comments.

    I’m travelling from Edinburgh (UK) to Denver (CO) from late July to early September. So far, the cheapest fairs I have found are circa £750 (or $1200). Previous trips were much less than this (£500-600/ $800-950) but they were also earlier in the year (May/ June).

    My question is, do you think £750 is the best deal I can get to travel out at the end of July and back at the start of September, or do you think a drop is still likely? Unfortunately bing doesn’t have a predictor for my destination and I don’t have a frame of reference for travelling at peak time.

    Also, I have only found the £750 fare thanks to your recommendation of kayak – before that the cheapest I could find were all well over £800, and many were close to £1000. So thank you so much for that!

    Best,
    thebadlydrawnfox

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      You know, with prices as high as they’ve been this year that’s not a bad fare. Remember to try to be as flexible as possible with your dates to get the best deal. Kayak is great, though lately I’ve been finding better fares with Vayama so maybe give that a try as well. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. thebadlydrawnfox

        Thanks for getting back to me. I suspected as much about the fares. I think I’m going to go ahead and bite the bullet some point soon. I’ll be sure to go to as many different comparison sites as possible, and mark flexible dates when I can!

        Thanks again for all your help.

        Reply
  141. Joanne

    Love your site. I was wondering what you think about this. 2 of us are going from Philadelphia (actually Harrisburg, pa, close small airport) to Rome open jaw Dubrovnik to Philadelphia (harrisburg). It is for a wedding Sept 1. We plan fly to Rome August 27 and return from DBV Sept 14.
    Anyway, the prices right now are steady $1600 – 1700. This is with the return flight being around 27 hours. Should I wait for the 4 month away rule? I just cannot believe how high the prices are. I travel a ton and I paid less than this to go to Asia and back a few years ago. Ugh. These prices are actually higher than earlier in the year. I did see this same flight for 1100-1200. Not now. I typically would wait but I am starting to worry. Anyway, I know you don’t have a crystal ball. Thanks for all the info. Really awesome.
    Joanne

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      If you can handle it I’d wait just a little bit longer (maybe into April). Also, if you can try playing with those dates and airports just a little you might see some big differences in fares. Good luck.

      Reply
  142. Kelsey

    Hi David, I’d just like to say that this article has been a complete life saver! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it!

    Also, I’m planning a trip from El Paso, TX to Pittsburgh, PA on June 5th (Apparently Tuesday is the best day to fly, but I’ll let you be the judge of that). I’ve created an account with Bing and tried using the fare predictor, but for some reason it says I can’t use it at this time. I have not booked my flight yet. So far, I’ve found it to be cheaper to book two separate one-way tickets as opposed to a round-trip ticket. The price right now for my first one-way ticket is $140 through Delta. I was just wondering if you think it may go down since it is quite early in advance, or help me figure out why the fare predictor will not work for me.

    All your help is greatly appreciated. You are awesome!

    -Kelsey

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Not sure why the fare predictor isn’t working but that sounds like a pretty good fare so I think I’d just jump in and buy it.

      Reply
  143. Janelle from Toronto

    So glad I stumbled upon your site! Awesome information, keep it coming. I’m planning to fly to Miami in August from Toronto. There is a HUGE difference in airfare YYZ to MIA compared to YYZ to FLL. Will the prices straight to Miami ever be comparable to the prices to Fort Lauderdale? And why the huge price difference for two airports that are so close together? (I assume it has to do with the influx of cruisers flying into FLL..?)

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It might be due to taxes and fees associated with the Miami airport – but that’s just a guess. They might well be different airlines too. So, cheaper budget airlines flying into Fort Lauderdale and more expensive big name airlines into Miami.

      Reply
  144. Lyssa

    Hi David.

    First, thank you so much for this information. This may be the most helpful travel article I’ve ever found on the web!

    I’m traveling from Chicago to Iceland in mid-May. Any words of wisdom on flights/hotels – when to book and/or where? I’m thinking about getting 2 tickets – roundtrip on a cheap airline from Chicago to JFK in NY and then Icelandair from JFK to Iceland. So far, those seem like my best options in terms of times and price. Is that crazy?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      For hotels use Hotelscombined.com. It’s great.

      As for your flight I would only add that Icelandair offers free stopovers in Reykjavik for all flights to Europe. So (if you were interested) you could buy a ticket from Chicago or JFK to, say, Paris and have the free stopover in Iceland – and it’s possible that it doesn’t cost much more than the direct ticket to Iceland. I hope that helps.

      Reply
      1. Lyssa

        Just wanted to thank you so much for that info. I’m going to London and the round trip with stopover in Iceland actually costs LESS than the flight directly to Iceland and back! Never would have guessed…

        Reply
  145. Charles

    Hi David,

    My gf and I are getting married next August here in Quebec, Canada. We want to go to Bali for our honeymoon. We’ve been looking at the fares on Kayak and Tripadvisor, and the best deals we saw for a while was $1906/each RT, with stops in Toronto and Taipei.

    We still have about 5 months left before our planned August 13th departure and we were hoping to find better prices until then. We were very surprised to see the prices jump today to $2100 while they had been steady for 3-4 weeks.

    Do you think it might come back down, or should we buy before it rises again.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  146. Karen

    Hi David, great information. I am wanting to travel from Melbourne Australia to Paris in December. We can leave anytime from 7th to the 13th and then stay 3 weeks. All of the fares at the moment seem really dear-2600 to 2800. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we can get a place in Paris at a good price all we need are cheaper airfares! Thanks.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That’s a long ways away. I’d wait to see if they dropped. If you could fly a few weeks earlier you’d probably get a better fare too. Good luck.

      Reply
  147. Fall

    Any advice on when to purchase two tickets, round trip to Ireland from Oregon? Also, should I be flying into Dublin or somewhere else?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      You’ll get great deals on flights in January through April and October and November. I’d fly into either Shannon (close to the very cool town of Galway) or Belfast and then fly home from Dublin (or vice versa). It allows you to see more of the country without backtracking.

      Reply
  148. Kathy

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for the all the info you have shared with us, and I have noticed a considerable difference in prices on Tuesdays. Also could you please guide me, I would like to go go from Nice to Canada somewhere in the second or third week of June( I’m flexible) and come back to Nice somewhere towards the end of August, I’m looking for tickets somewhere between 500 euro to 600 euro. Do you have any recommendations?

    Thanking you in Advance,

    Reply
  149. solo

    David,

    I’m flying from Seattle to Iceland and onwards to other European cities. I plan to go to Asia after that.

    My questions are:
    -Do Schengen countries require an onwards ticket?
    -Should I buy a roundtrip ticket, or buy a one-way with an onward ticket to a non-Schengen country?
    -What’s the cheapest European city to fly to Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Taipei?
    -Should I fly back to Seattle from Europe, and book another ticket from Seattle to Asia?

    Solo

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Do Schengen countries require an onward ticket? No.
      Check with http://www.airasia.com to see where they fly.

      Other than that Vayama.com will probably get you the best ticket price.
      Should you fly back to Seattle? No, definitely not. Just stay as flexible with your dates (and airports) as you can and you should find some great ticket prices.

      I hope that helps.

      Reply
  150. Susan Childs

    Hi David
    We have found your tips really useful so I thought Id ask you a question I cant find an answer to! We want to stay at one of the more expensive hotels with our 3 children. We cant really afford the 2 bedroom apartments and want interconnecting rooms as they are cheaper. We have had prices quoted from the hotels, but have noticed that hotelscombined and agoda have the rooms but much chepaer. What are the chances of booking two of these cheaper rooms and requesting connecting rooms? Or are these just the multiples of double rooms that erea cleared through these sites? We thought that if we booked super early (i.e now for feb 2013) that we may stand a chance???

    Any suggestions would be gratefully recieved
    Susan & Ian

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I think it’s worth a shot. Book through hotelscombined (or Agoda or wherever you find the cheapest price) and then call or email the hotel directly to request the connected rooms. I would even add a line to the end of the email like, “I’d be more than happy to offer a glowing review of your helpful service on Tripadvisor were you able to help us out with our request.” – or something like that. Good luck.

      Reply
  151. jay carson

    I live in Virginia Beach, VA and I am looking to take a trip to Singapore to se emy family. I have a 17 year old that is going with me. I looked at the months of July and August and prices have rocketed to $ 1700 per person and above. After summer is pretty flexible as well because I can make arrangements concerning my child’s absence from school. What would be the best months to get decent prices?

    Reply
  152. Steve

    Hey David,
    Do you know what airline offer best prices and more than 3 months maximum stay middle of October till middle of February from LAX to BKK?
    Thanks
    Steve

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Vayama.com is great for South East Asia trips. Take a look there and you’ll find the best fares. I’ve had good deals with Eva Air, Asiana Airlines, and Korean Air but you need to use a search site to find fares for any specific city or dates. Good luck.

      Reply
  153. Laura

    Thanks! This was very helpful. I am panicked about getting the best deal for our honeymoon in Ireland in October (from Chicago). I am afraid of waiting too long or booking too soon! Any additional advice?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      If you’re going to worry about it and stress then just buy early and forget about it. (It’s supposed to be fun right?) But yes, I think waiting for a few months would (on average) get you a better fare. Good luck.

      Reply
  154. Heather

    My husband and I want to take a 10 year anniversary trip this may/june and were thinking of Sicily but we are totally open to other European locations. We are very flexible on dates but would like to stay anywhere from 8 to 12 days. Any recommendations on how to search from a particular location/NYC with an open destination with flexible dates? We are not opposed to a vacation package but just a flight would be fine too. We usually rent a car and tool around on our own when we get there. Any helpful suggestions would be great. I keep having to put in a location and specific dates and this is not helping me find any “deals”. Thanks.
    Heather

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would sign-up for the email newsletters from either Travelzoo.com or Airfarewatchdog.com. They allow you to enter your home airport and will send you all the deals they know of departing from there. Good luck.

      Reply
  155. metin

    Hi David,

    First of all, thanks for your helpful suggestions in this web site.

    I have a problem and need your advice. I am planning to fly Turkey (Istanbul) from New York in late May and will return in late August. Since there are three months between the flights, the prices are so high.
    On the other hand, when I look for tickets departing in late May but return (let’s say) in July, the prices are much cheaper. I thought about buying tickets separately, one way in late May and one way in late August, but that one is expensive, too.

    You wrote above that “Airlines do not begin to actively manage fares until 3 or 4 months prior to a flight” and I think this is the explanation of my situation. Since I wanna buy return ticket for late August, the prices go up.

    What is your suggestion to me? Is there a way to manage this situation in a cheaper way?

    I would appreciate your hep.

    Thanks,
    metin

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      If you don’t see fares come down soon I’d buy a one way ticket to Istanbul and then buy the return flight later in the summer. This also gives you some freedom to visit some different places and change your return date. Be sure to look for return tickets from multiple cities (if that’s doable for you). Flights from Athens or Venice or Rome or Sofia can often be much cheaper. I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  156. Mini

    Hi! David
    I plan to fly from Delhi to US early august ( would cover Detroit, Miami, Seattle) and take a 2-3 day stopover in Europe both ways. Wanted to check :
    1. would you advise to take a stopover in London keeping Olympic in mind. What would be the ideal countries for a break.
    2. what if i want to take different stopovers in europe while entering and exiting US. Would this have any impact on the air fare. eg: i could stop in frankfurt while entering and return from zurich?
    3. Ideal entry and exit cities in US between Detroit, Miami, Seattle. So should i enter from detroit and exit from Seattle? which would be the best connection.
    would appreciate your suggestions!!!
    thanks
    Mini

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Generally the more stops you make (which includes different inbound and outbound stopovers in Europe) will increase your fare. I would avoid London. Paris and Athens often have great stopover fares. Detroit will have better fares than Seattle and Miami – though not as good as Boston or New York, and maybe even Chicago. I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
    1. David Post author

      This has worked for me in the past but there are no guarantees it will for you. Find a decent ticket online using Vayama.com. Then phone the airline of the airline you select directly and ask to book a ticket leaving on your desired day and returning one year later. They’ll try to enter the dates and then tell you (correctly) that there ticket calendar only extends for about 10 or 11 months and they’re unable to book your return ticket. Sometimes, they’ll continue with the transaction and tell you to book the return portion in a couple of months (when those dates will come online). Then, when you need to book your return flight call again, play dumb, and ask to book your return ticket, as your return will be completely open. It’s possible that the original agent entered notes to say that this ticket is to only be used for such and such a date – but that’s unlikely. Good luck.

      Reply
  157. vrite

    Does the 3 and a half months prior to domestic travel date (New York to Honolulu) apply to Christmas travel as well? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That’s just an average and isn’t written in stone. But yes, for the most part it would apply to any time of year. The period right after Thanksgiving and up to mid-December often has some great deals.

      Reply
  158. Bogdan

    Hey David,
    I’m thinking of flying to New Zealand and looking for an amazing rate but have had trouble finding it. Part of that may be is that I’m based halfway around the world in Toronto. Any specific advice aside from browsing all the sites you mentioned? I would really appreciate your help and a flight under $1000 although looking impossible at the moment, would be fantastic.
    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Sorry, Bogdan. New Zealand is an expensive destination and you’ll never get flights down around a $1000. But keep trying and you may get something you can live with. Good luck.

      Reply
  159. Gen

    Hi – Thanks for such a great post! I was just wondering if you had any advice for me. You say that you think flights would go down closer to summer. I want to fly to London from NY around May 11 and return around May 28. I’m flexible, but those are my most preferable days. Do you think I should book now? Or should I wait till mid-late April?

    I go online every night looking at flights and they seem to just be climbing! I don’t want to jump the gun and buy, but I also can’t afford the prices to be too steep!

    Thanks so much
    Gen

    Reply
  160. Stacey Pierce-Nickle

    I am looking at an artist residency in Thailand for a month, which they pay the airfare for my coming and going. However, I want to add 2 weeks an go to Phuket and Bangkok afterwards;10 days and 5 days respectively. I’m not going until October. Would it be cheaper for me to book the flights from Chiang Mai to Phuket while I’m IN the country or not?

    Reply
  161. Andrew

    Hi I tried searching bing travel for updates and predictions on traveling to Hong Kong from Los Angeles, California. Some time around late/end June returning on early August. But it did not have predictions for the destination it is about 3 months before the flight date i was wondering would it be the best time to purchase the ticket atm?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Andrew. Bing doesn’t have fare predictors for all international destinations and Hong Kong isn’t on their list yet. Not sure why as it’s a popular destination. Cheers.

      Reply
  162. Ejay

    Hi David! I was searching for the cheapest flights to Philippines. I’m from Los Angeles, CA, USA. Do you know what months do prices tend to go down? I was planning to go to Philippines this June and go back to USA at the first week of August.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That’s going to be pretty close to high season (along with Christmas). The earlier in June (May?) you can leave and the later you can come back the better the deal you’ll get. Good luck.

      Reply
  163. Ann Kelly

    My daughter and i are going to Isreal this fall,( She is 18)for the first time. We hope to stay there for a undecided amount of time. her Fiance lives there, near Hiafa. Which month is the cheapest time to buy the airline tickets? We live in the United States, for now. Do you have any travel recommendations?Thank You!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Ann. I find the end of summer a good time to find discounts for flights in the fall – and that fits with the general pattern. Airlines begin to monitor and manage pricing about 2 to 3 months before the date. Good luck.

      Reply
  164. Bart from Washington

    Hey David,
    Great article first of all! My wife and I are planning a multi-stop Europe trip this September to both Greece and Rome. I have been watching Kayak closely waiting for prices to drop on our tickets and they finally did today down to $1454 (US). When I go to purchase the tickets, Kayak directs me to either Orbitz or Cheaptickets and when I go to make my purchase I get a message saying “Sorry but this flight now costs….” and it’s usually $200-$400 more than what their website is saying when I do my search. Just to see what would happen I selected a more expensive itinerary and it does the same thing! Do you know what’s up with that? It seems like false advertising to me. Also, when traveling from the states does it make sense to purchase these tickets so far in advance? I would hate to miss out on a good deal. Thanks a lot,
    Bart

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That sometimes happens to me too. Not sure why. Just have to live with it and if it happens too frequently it’s a good reason to stop using that website. I’d wait a bit to buy. It’s still very early for September tickets.

      Reply
  165. Traci

    Aloha Dave! I want to take my 10 year old grandson on a trip to Asia or Australlia this year for his fall break. We will have approximately 10 days. What would you recommend? I have traveled throughout Europe but have never had an opportunity to visit this part of the world. We would enjoy some adventure travel and cultural experiences. Mahalo.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      10 days isn’t too long and you don’t want to spend your whole time in an airplane or airport so pick 2 or 3 spots. Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui are all great. Bali has a little bit of everything so that’s also a good choice. Good luck.

      Reply
  166. rosa

    Hi David,
    Thank you for this fantastic post.

    I want to go europe at the end of the year from Sydney. It will be around christmas time so I do know it will be more expensive, however do you still recommend waiting to book tickets for this time period? I was looking now because I thought the earlier you book the cheaper it would be.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It’s certainly worth a look now but you probably won’t see the best deals until September or October. Then I’d book when you saw the first reasonable fare. Good luck.

      Reply
  167. Jessica from Ottawa, Canada

    Hi David,
    First off, what a wonderful wealth of travel travel knowledge you have. A world of thanks for your continued advice and posts.

    My fiance and I will be flying to Malaga, Spain in late September for our wedding on October 2nd. We’re looking to leave Ottawa on either Thursday September 27th or Friday September 28th. We really need to arrive no later than early afternoon on Saturday September 29th. Would you be able to suggest when the best time might be for me and my fiancé to actually purchase our tickets from Ottawa to Malaga, Spain, considering our fixed dates (and any websites recommendations for this travel itinerary)? As expected, currently the prices seem a little high and based on your posts, I know holding off until 3 months prior would be ideal. However, because our dates are not all that flexible, I’m concerned that might be somewhat risky. Also, is there any chance they could actually go up in price in one or two months time (say if we booked in May or June)? Normally, we’d look for a cheap flight to a central hub like Paris, then hop on a budget carrier for the last leg. But with a wedding dress and much luggage in tow, we’ll be sticking to the legacy airlines this time.
    If you have any additional pointers for us (as well as our guests also leaving from Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria), that would be much appreciated.

    Cheers
    Jessica

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Air Transat flies directly from Montreal to Malaga (http://www.airtransat.ca) – not sure if you can make that work but it would likely produce the best fares. Yes, fares could certainly go up, so I’d probably settle on the first decent fare you find. For big parties it’s especially worth going into a travel agent to see if they have any deals that aren’t on the airline websites. Good luck.

      Reply
  168. Karen

    Hi David,

    Any advice for booking a flight from Algeria to Minneapolis and back? I’m thinking about traveling this mid-summer – maybe July.

    What do you think? Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That will be high season (I think) for that route as it crosses the Atlantic. I’d hold out until early May (at least).

      Reply
  169. theresa

    Great site and as others have said thanks for putting in the time to help us all travel the best way possible.

    Now I have said all those nice things here comes the questions! Wanting to fly Auckland to London, London the Chennai (india) Chennai Auckland starting date Mid June returning from Chennai to Auckland Jan end 2013. The questions are
    can l I get the best prices booking all sectors that far out. The challange is that one needs departure tickets these days otherwise they wont let you in to countries. Second question. Got only pointers to the cheapest way to do this?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It’s tough to find cheap tickets with such a large open window. I would consider booking a series of one way tickets. Can you enter the U.K. without a return ticket? Yes, you simply need to convince immigration officials that you have the intent to leave. You can do this in a number of ways: a return ticket will do, of course; a notice from your employer showing your date of leave and return; family responsibilities at home; a note from your school stating when you begin your studies. In all likelihood border patrol won’t even look at your onward tickets. And you could also purchase a very cheap ticket to any city outside the UK just before starting your journey. So you could search for cheap flights from London to Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, or Paris – anywhere – and you’d have that ticket to show immigration.

      Reply
  170. Karen

    This is the best site I have ever stumbled upon!
    I am trying to get from YVR (Vancouver, BC) to Antalya, Turkey for Oct. or Nov. Staying for 3-4 weeks.
    I know it’s still very early, but just want to get a feel for how much I will have to pay.
    When I first started looking I came up with a whopping $1800.00! Way to much for a fruggle budget traveller like me. I do come up with the odd $1400.00.
    I have flown in 2 different segments before, sleeping over night, either in the airport or taxing to a hotel close to the airport.
    I think the dollar savings are just not worth the inconvienience of the above flight splitting, (usually done with easy jet once I get to UK or FRA (Frankfurt)
    I flew KLM last Nov, YVR to Rome direct for $1000.00, would love to get close to a similar fare again–is this possible??
    Many Thanks for your effort, Karen

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Karen. It will be much harder to find good fares to Antalya than to Rome. Even Istanbul is usually more expensive than Rome – and Antalya will almost always involve one more flight than either Rome or Istanbul. You might want to reconsider whether you’ll fly in two segments as in this case it could save you a fair bit of money.

      Reply
      1. Karen

        Thanks David,
        My plan was to go YVR to FRA, which is I understand a good European gateway to Turkey, then catch a flight from there to Antalya. I was hoping to go with Luthansa, as I thought they would have onwards flights to Antalya. (I thought if I booked with 1 carrier I would also not have the bother of having to transfer my luggage from one carrier to the next, as well as avoid the long layover that I usually allow when I do my own booking (for fear of missing a connecting flight).
        I can find no good bargins for Oct, which is a long way off, but also when I input April/May which I thought would be an sale now (to get an idea of fares), I also find no bargins.
        Also I am puzzled as to which airlines I would look at flying from FRA to Antalya, Easy jet stops flying out of season (Oct.-Nov.)
        I think Condor flys during my time period, but again no deals so far.
        I did go to Istanbul in 2007 and I am sure I did not pay more than $1400.00 at that time. It would sure not be a good start to my holiday if I had to pay $1800.00.
        Thanks for all your help, Karen

        Reply
        1. David Post author

          I’d focus on price and not specific airports. I’ve never found a good deal with Lufthansa and their prices always seem change from the price consolidators when you click through to their website. (Not sure why.)

          For Frankfurt to Antalya try:
          http://www.sunexpress.com
          http://www.tuifly.com

          For Paris to Antalya:
          http://www.norwegian.com
          http://www.flypgs.com
          http://www.transavia.com

          For London to Antalya:
          http://www.flythomascook.com
          http://www.anadolujet.com
          http://www.atlasjet.com
          http://www.avro.co.uk
          http://www.easyjet.com
          http://www.germanwings.com
          http://www.monarch.co.uk
          http://flights.thomson.co.uk

          Good luck.

          Reply
  171. Roy

    Great Information! How do I go about flying by price alone? Everyone wants a date when you want to fly, I want to go places when the price is right, not by dates. Any help would be great and thanks in advance. Roy.

    Reply
  172. Melanie

    Hi there,
    Thanks for this very useful post (and the tip on hotels too). My husband and I are planning a trip to Croatia in September, and I was trying to figure out the cheapest way to get there from Portland, Oregon. We’d ideally like to fly into Zadar and out of Dubrovnik. Any tips on how to approach this?
    Thanks!
    Melanie

    Reply
  173. Brenda MIller

    Hi David,
    I appreciate all of this information. My husband, 18 y.o. daughter and I are looking for tickets from Detroit to Anchorage in late August, 2013. The tickets seem pretty expensive and the flights are so long! Do you have advice for us?
    Thanks so much, Brenda

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Alaska Air often has some good fares from Seattle to Anchorage, you could break up your trip by stopping there.

      Reply
  174. Kayti

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the great tips! I am trying to decide when to book my flights for a trip to Southeast Asia, and I am not sure when to purchase my tickets. I live in Boston, but the plan is to spend three weeks in London with my traveling companion before we head over to Asia. My dates are flexible, but I am tentatively looking at Boston to London around August 21, London to Bangkok around September 12, and Singapore to Boston around December 3. So far, the best flights I have found have been through STA Travel (I am under 26). I have found the first leg for $355, the second for $530, and the third for $975 (if I book flights from Singapore to London and then London to Boston separately). Are these good prices? Should I wait to buy my tickets or snag these ones? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      The first 2 fares are very good. You could probably beat that last fare home from SE Asia if you waited until the fall.

      Reply
  175. allan

    David
    Is it possible for a passenger who is flexible as to when he flies, to go to airport
    immediately prior to takeoff, and get fare saving when airline no longer has
    opportunity to sell a vacant seat?
    Thankyou
    Allan

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Airlines operate at full capacity now (sometimes over selling flights) so no, you won’t get a standby ticket anymore. Any seats available should be able to be purchased online right up to a few hours before the flight. I hope that answers your question.

      Reply
  176. Onega Ulanova

    Hello!

    Great work! Here is a really applying information about buying tickets.

    Could you please suggest the best possible route to flyo from Louisiana (USA) to Kazakhstan.

    Thanks)

    Reply
  177. Ann Kelly

    When my daughter and i go to Isreal, we are buying round trip tickets, but we probaly will be staying longer that the return date on the tickets. American airlines told me that the round trip tickets are cheaper than one way and there isn’t a refund policy on them. Since this is our first international flight, i am uncertain on how to buy the round trip tickets and leave the return date as undecided. Are we given that chose? I was told that in order to get into Isreal we have to have round trip tickets to get a temporary Visa, so we can show that we are just there, temporarily. We don’t know precisely how long we are staying and i hate the idea os losing a couple thousanf dollars on the two plane tickets.What do you suggest we do, to prevent losing this money on the airline tickets?Bless You !

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Sometimes if you say you’re booking for a one year return date they won’t be able to enter those dates in (because their booking system only accepts dates for 10 or 11 months out). They then (sometimes) leave these dates empty and you’ll be instructed to fill in the dates in a few months when those dates are available in the system. You can then enter any dates you choose and just play dumb as to why the dates were never entered in the first place. It’s worked for me before but there are no promises of course. Good luck.

      Reply
  178. Duarte, in Lisbon.

    Hey David!

    First of all congrats on a great post!

    I consider myself a good flight searcher and friends always ask me for advice, one year ago I flew from Lisbon to Mexico City for around 480 euros, a fact that I’m very proud of ahahah.

    However this summer I want to go to Miami, and stay there for a month and a half (fell in love, don’t even ask!). I was planning on going late july/early august, which is when I finish classes, and stay till mid september. I have tried EVERYTHING, and the lowest I could find was about 750€, which seems excessive, when I see promotions for 460€ if I fly in the next two months instead of the summer. So my question is, should I buy right now for 700, or should I wait a little bit for companies to launch the promotions for the time that I want to fly? Will those promotions even come? (I’ve never flown high season, so I don’t know how it is…). I don’t mind flying from other cities and getting an easy jet flight to somewhere in europe, but they seem to be more expensive if I do that than going straight from Lisbon…. Thanks in advance,
    Duarte.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That is a tough one. If you’re going for sure then I’d be tempted to buy. If it’s more conditional on finding a good fair then I’d wait. I’m hoping some of these trans-Atlantic fares will come down as we get closer to summer but it’s far from a certainty. Good luck and yes, keep searching from multiple airports.

      Reply
  179. michael

    Hi there,

    I am looking for flight from Cancun to Miami -January 6th for honeymoon (was able to use miles to get there). Currently direct flights are 440 for AA and Jet Blue has one cheaper but early in day and would waste that day… Do you have any idea if prices will go down or should I bite bullet and use miles 35k and 45 bucks in taxes…. They already sold out of the cheaper bussiness class upgrades thanks so much

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      For Jet Blue and other budget airlines once the cheapest tickets go they’re usually not coming back. So yes, especially since this isn’t a trip you have a lot of flexibility with, I’d go ahead and grab them.

      Reply
  180. biswarup basu

    I like to go to Kolkata,INDIA(CCU) from Washington DC,USA(BWI) …but not getting good deal ….prices are too high …what airline should give me the least price….also my VISA for staying in USA has expired by now…..someone told me that I’ll need transit VISA when going through any European Country,,,,and that’ll cost around 200 bucks…..Is there any way I can avoid that by taking some different rout?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’d look for flights from either Bangkok, Delhi, or Mumbai to Washington, and then bridge the gap with a flight on a budget airline. Not sure on the transit visas required for Europe though.

      Reply
  181. Alexandra

    Hi,

    I’m planning a trip to Baltimore (BWI) from San Diego (SAN) around July 3rd or 4th until the 8th. I’ve still got 2 months and a couple weeks before the trip and I noticed tickets are a bit high. I was wondering if the prices would eventually drop or increase (I have never traveled on the fourth of July) so that I could purchase my ticket ahead of time. I wouldn’t want to end up paying $600 if the prices do go up.

    Thank you

    Reply
  182. Tina

    Hello again David,

    Just need your opinion on fare prices of 900-1100 USD from Athens to New York via London return with either British Airways or Virgin for the month of October. Shall I book this or shall I wait a bit longer?

    Thank you for looking after us. Your time is much appreciated.

    Tina xx

    Reply
  183. Marina

    Hi David,
    I need to fly to Sofia/Bulgaria from Toronto or New York.
    My other option to fly first to Kiev/Ukraine and after to Sofia.
    What is the best way to get a better deal for my trip?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would (try to) go through Frankfurt using budget airlines. So from Toronto to Frankfurt you have Condor Air (http://www.condor.com), Air Transat (http://airtransat.com), and Air Berlin (http://www.airberlin.com) to try for cheap tickets. For Frankfurt to Kiev you have Air Baltic (http://www.airbaltic.com) and Transaero (http://www.transaero.com). For Kiev to Sofia you can try Bulgaria Air (http://www.air.bg). And from Sofia to Frankfurt you have Air Berlin (http://www.airberlin.com) and Bulgaria Air (http://www.air.bg).

      I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  184. Daniel

    Hi David,

    I’m planning to head over to the States from the UK from June 12th-around June 29th. On the flight back, I’m bringing someone back over who will then have to get a return booking for a couple of weeks after. What’s the best way in booking to make sure we get the same flight back over to London? Should we book separately but at the same time to try and make sure we get on, or is there a way of booking together somehow? Also why is it more expensive for her return ticket than mine? It seems about £200 more expensive for her. Any advice would be much appreciated

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Her’s is more expensive because it crosses over into July which is peak-peak season for that route. If you both bring up the ticket on the website at the same time and double check the flight numbers and then purchase right away I’m 99% confident you’ll be on the same flight.

      Reply
  185. Tina

    Hello again David,

    Just need your opinion on fare prices of 900-1100 USD from Athens, Greece to New York via London return with either British Airways or Virgin for the month of October. Shall I book this or shall I wait a bit longer? And, by when is the best time to finalise my booking if I am to definitely take the trip in October?

    Thank you for looking after us. Your time is much appreciated.

    Tina xx

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That’s a decent price (not fantastic but good) – I’d book it. Be sure to check with the BA and Virgin websites too – sometimes they can have better prices than sites like Kayak or Vayama. Good luck.

      Reply
  186. Charles

    Who do you think it is best to fly with (price-wise but also direct flights preferred) between the UK and the US in July? There doesn’t seem to be much price difference between them all (around £600 return). Help me please!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      There is no one carrier that is consistently the cheapest. Price aside, I prefer flying British Airways. If price is the deciding factor you just have to keep searching multiple sites and take what you get.

      Reply
  187. Charles

    Sorry for bothering you, but do you think American Airlines/British Airways prices for July will continue to increase in the next few weeks, meaning that I should book now, or do you think there will be a drop at some point? Because they’re major ‘luxury’ airlines, I’m doubting the prices will reduce. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would be surprised if they dropped much between now and July. It’s possible, but the downside (a big increase) seems more likely than a moderate drop. I hope that helps.

      Reply
  188. Diana

    Been checking the sites for good deal on tickets to Ireland from the Caribbean & the prices are high. Question do u think the prices might go down and too it is my first time booking online if it is safe to do so thru Kayak,travelation,priceline etc. Have heard reviews that makes me weary? What is ur suggesstion?
    Oh my trip is last week July to end of August.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That’s high season for traveling between the Caribbean and Ireland. I wouldn’t be expecting them to drop – probably just go up. I’d buy first decent price you see. Kayak, priceline, Vayama, etc – all the bigs ones are trustworthy and reliable. I’ve never had a problem. Good luck.

      Reply
  189. dj

    David,
    Thanks for the great info. I hope you don’t mind if I pick your brain.

    I absolutely need to be on a very specific non-stop flight from Switzerland to California on Swiss this July but am 100% flexible for when/how to return to Europe. Since I am already stuck with Swiss for the outbound flight, should I just buy a roundtrip with Swiss? Or can I save some money by finding a cheaper open jaw ticket? If so, what is the best way to find such a ticket? Am I right to guess that the cheapest return across the transatlantic would be from nyc to london because there are so many flights on that route? Or perhaps you can advise other potentially inexpensive routes and/or specific dates to check? I am desperately trying to get the price below $2000 — is that reasonable? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would look for flights from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Europe. Both Condor (http://www.condor.com) and Air Berlin (http://www.airberlin.com) fly from California to Europe. The cheapest flights from North America back to Europe will probably be with Air Transat from Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver (http://airtransat.com) – though you’d have to account for the added expense of getting to these cities.

      You should have no trouble keeping the fare below $2000.

      I hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
  190. Holly

    This was such a helpful article. I’ve been monitoring flight prices for a few months now, and am beginning to stress over it. You’ve given some great tips, but I have specific concerns.

    I’m looking to fly to London in the first week of October, from NYC and currently I’m not finding anything from my favourite carriers anything less than 900.

    Do you foresee prices dropping lower than 900 for October for London? And, if so, do you think July would be a good time to book?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would hold off a bit longer if you can handle it. June or July would probably be the best time to book.

      Reply
  191. tina

    Hi again David,

    Should I hold off booking for New York via London from Greece? Looks like the prices have gone up since the last time I wrote to you which was 1 month ago?
    I want to book for October so I don’t know whether I should wait until June or book now?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Tina. I can’t say there are any clear or easy answers. If you absolutely have to go on this trip for a given date then I’d probably err on the side of booking now. The more flexibility you have the more holding-off will likely work to your advantage.

      There are no guarantees though. Good luck.

      Reply
      1. tina

        Yes, I know what you mean. Looks like October is the only month to head over there for me so perhaps i should book. Just got an offer of 943 euros for the ath-lon-jfk-ath flight….. Perhaps i shall wait for june prices…
        thanks again xx

        Reply
  192. Stacey O

    Hi David,

    Great tips! My fiance and I are traveling to Puerto Vallarta, MX from Chicago,IL this November 27th (tues) – December 9th (sun) for our destination wedding. Do you have any tips as to when we should start looking for flights (and ulitmately book our flights) for our trip? We’ve already booked our hotel stay, so our flights are not flexible. Our budget is $1,000 rt (for 2), but I’d really like to get in the $700-$800 range, if it’s possible.

    Any and all help you can provide is appreciated. Thanks!
    Stacey

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Stacey. The cheapest I could find it was $487 on (http://www.usairways.com). I’d probably buy sooner rather than later seeing as your dates aren’t flexible. The downside of waiting could easily be a couple hundred dollars each, but I doubt whether you’d save more than $50 or $60 by waiting. Perhaps keep an eye on the Volaris routes (http://www.volaris.mx/en/where-do-we-fly) to see if they start something from Chicago to PV.

      Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Stacey O

        Thanks for the advice. So you don’t reccommend I wait the 3 1/2 months (mentioned above) before booking?

        If so, I was actually looking at a United flight, flight 1500 & 4658 / flight 1498 & 1091, since the duration of travel is the lowest compared to other flights. I noticed this morning that the flight was $998 (rt/for 2), but in a matter of a few minutes to price went up $32, to $1030.

        Do you think if I wait another week (until next Monday/early Tuesday) to see if the flights go back down to under $1,000, that I will see a decline in the price?

        Reply
        1. David Post author

          This year I’ve gotten progressively more and more conservative with when to book. So, I think it’s best to wait for that window if you’re open to a bit of risk. Could they fall next week? Maybe. Could they go up? Maybe. I wish I could be more help but all you can do is look at the trends and then make your best guess. I’d guess that they won’t change between now and next week.

          David

          Reply
          1. Stacey O

            Okay..this is all helpful! :) I’m going to try and wait it out and just see if it drops below $1,000…if so I will book ASAP. I should’ve just booked it this morning when I saw the price, but wanted to talk to my fiance before booking…and of course, by the time I did, the price went up.

            I believe you mentioned there was a site that tracks trends for flights, what was that again?

            Thanks again!

  193. Stacey O

    Just an update..the price did drop below $1,000..which was good enough for me, so I booked it. Thanks again for all the help!

    Stacey

    Reply
  194. Jennifer

    So this might sound crazy but I still haven’t booked tickets to go to Philadelphia (from London) in like two weeks (the 12th). It seems that prices are cheaper on tues/weds (booking on British Airways), is it worth me waiting til tues/weds to save about £100 over the return or do you think prices will go higher and I should just book asap? I’ve flown this route before and it is never busy. Please can you offer some advice. I know £100 may not seem that much but its the difference between a £500 and £600 flight which seems quite a lot to me!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It depends how comfortable you are with risk. Yes, you could save £100 but it could also cost you £200 or £300. Typically airlines raise the price just before departure as it’s usually business travelers who buy last-minute tickets.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  195. Ilya

    Hi,

    I’m getting very nervous right now for a flight to Amsterdam in August.. From where I’m flying all the prices are $1750+. Last year I remember one weekend (was in July or late June I belive) the price dropped to $1275 with KLM then shot back up to $1600+. What do you figure the next few weeks will bring? I will buy as soon as it goes down to anything under $1450..

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It’s just a guessing game at this point. Try to check everyday, or every few days. You could look for flights to nearby cities too and then take the train or a cheap flight to Amsterdam. Frankfurt often has very good fares from North America.

      Reply
  196. Marge

    Hi David:
    I’m planning a western european trip in March of 2013. My sister-in-law and I will be traveling from Las Vegas to Rome where we will meet up with other family members coming from Asia. Which airlines would be the best for us? We were thinking of Air Italia but have no experience with that airline and how they treat seniors. We will have about 3 weeks for our trip and will do land travel via the rail. Any help you can give us will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I like Air Italia but I wouldn’t pick the airline first. I’d search for flights first, choose the cheapest you find, then take a closer look at the websites for each specific airline to narrow down your choices.

      If you settle on an airline first, you’ll almost certainly end up paying more for your flight.

      Reply
  197. carol

    we (family of 4) are planning a college tour trip from so. orange county to the east coast (VA-NC…possibly GA.&/or Boston? wide spectrum we know) anyway, planning for late Aug trip. Do we want to get tickets now or wait until August. I hear the prices dip down in late Aug. What do you think and where should we fly into for the best deals. Thank you so much

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I wouldn’t focus on one airport so much as flying into the south (Atlanta, maybe) and flying out of the north (Boston, perhaps) – or vice versa. That way you can rent a car or take the train north or south and fly home at the end of your trip. Not having to re-trace your steps will save you more money than any differences in the price of tickets.

      Good luck.

      Reply
      1. carol

        IF we don’t go to Boston…and just stay south. What do you suggest as far as when to purchase tickets…if we hope to leave about Aug 28/29th-Sept 5
        THANK YOU SO MUCH!

        Reply
  198. Julia from Boston

    Hello! A friend and I are planning a trip to Italy. 9\30\12 to 10\10\12. It is an open jaw. BOS to FLR; then FCO to BOS. I have checked many airlines thus far and all are pricing the same. Any where from $1,180 to $1,150. This seemed a bit high to me. I figured it should be around $900 for October 2013. Am I way off? Or is it still too early to book. I was thinking of waiting until end of July or first week in August. I have checked AirFrance, Swiss Air, Alitalia and Lufthansa.

    Ciao,
    Julia

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would think about buying sooner rather than later – maybe in the next 2 or 3 weeks and certainly if a better deal pops up, grab it right away.

      Be sure to check Vayama and Kayak as well as the individual airlines.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  199. Dr. Baspin

    Hi David,
    It will be great if you could help me..
    I want to travel from South India ( From Chennai or Bangalore) To Santiago-Chile.
    Can you suggest me the easiest air route and your suggestion which cheapest flight to be opted… Thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Your best bet (and most likely route) will be to go through London. You’ll almost certainly have to do 2 stops along the way but you should be able to keep it under $2000 if you’re flexible with your travel dates.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  200. Carlos

    Hey David,

    I´m thinking of booking through Priceline, any observation? I´m in La Paz – Bolivia (Southamerica) and I want to go to New York City, and Priceline offers me as the other fare websites price, but this one has the “name your own price” to bid with a price, is that reliable? should I try?

    Help me out with it, please.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Priceline is great and I’ve used them many times myself. To make it worthwhile you’re best to bid well on the low side. Then you can always fall back on another website if your bid isn’t accepted.

      Reply
  201. Aliza

    Hi David!

    Amazing information, thank you for posting this up. i’m booking from Canada through a European website. lastminute.com I’ve never done this before and although i’m willing to pay the conversion fee on my credit card, it still seems okay to book a flight this way.
    Any advice? lastminute is a sister company to travelocity. I asked travelocity to match the price but they could not.

    Bye Bye!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Aliza. This is completely fine. Lastminute.com is a reputable company and you should have no problems.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  202. Edward

    Hi David,

    I want to fly from US (Philadelphia, NYC or Baltimore/DC) to Rome for a 10-day vacation, mainly in Abruzzo (from Rome by train) and also Rome itself. I’d like to go Sep or Oct or otherwise wait until later in Spring 2013. I’ve been holding off because the airfare is ridiculously high. Normally, it’s better to buy 21-22 weeks ahead of time for Europe and the window is already less than that. Any tips? Keep waiting it out? Or are there any other European destinations or flight routes that may be known to be cheaper the flight, and then I could take a train to Rome?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      The more destinations you can look at the better chance you’ll find a good deal. Don’t think so much about connecting by train (unless it’s from within Italy) but look for cheap budget flights from another European capital. Amsterdam, London, Paris, and Frankfurt typically have the lowest fares. If you find something to those cities then use a budget airline to connect to Rome. If price is important then waiting until 2013 might be wise.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  203. Monique

    Hi David,

    I am looking to go from Washington, DC (DCA or BWI) to Cancun around the 21st of July for about 5 days and am finding the flights are a little steep right now. What is your take on whether you think these prices will go down over the next month or do you think I should go ahead and purchase? Thanks

    Reply
  204. Sarah

    Hey I’m from South Carolina and I’m planing on flying to Japan some time this year. What would be the best/cheapest way to go about this? Like should I drive to a different airport than CLT? I’m only going to be there for a week and I’d like to get the flight costs below $1000 if possible…

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I doubt you’ll find fares to Japan for less than a $1000 from the east coast. Atlanta will probably have the best fares. To find the cheapest flights it comes down to research and effort. You have to try every option and multiple airports with flexible dates. It’s not very fun but that’s what you have to do to save money. Good luck.

      Reply
  205. Rishabh

    Hi David,

    This is an amazing piece of info you’ve put up all together. Thanks a lot!!

    I will be traveling (one way) to Pullman, US from India(preferably Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata) in first week of august. I’ve been tracking the fares for last three months of next week, month and my required date. 2 weeks ago, the fares upto almost September suddenly jumped and have almost doubled. Lufthansa was offering it earlier for $700.

    What should I do? My VISA and stuff would be finalised by July7th or so. Any suggestions shall be much appreicated.

    Thanks again.

    Alex

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      To be honest they’re probably not coming back down. You’re now inside that 3 month window and the best time to buy has passed. I would look for fares from Bangkok to the US. If you find something good then fly Bangkok to Calcutta with Air Asia or Kingfisher – both have very cheap fares on this route.

      Reply
  206. PRAYAGA N. MURTY

    Hi David,
    I with my wife plan to go to New Jersy and Toronto from Bombay/Delhi – in 1st/2nd week of October and return in 20/25 days. Can you help in finding out best price.
    Murty Prayaga.

    Reply
  207. Beverly

    Hi,
    As a US citizen, is it ok to buy a ticket on from a European website for a flight between New York and Rome? Any problems with this?

    Reply
  208. Dale Guerrero

    I’m planning to book a return flight for Oct 31/Novmber 10 (New York-Los Angeles-New York). A month ago, Delta’s price was $320. Today, they slashed it to USD290. Should I buy this cheaper deal NOW? Or must I heed your advice to buy my tickets 6 weeks before my intended trip?

    Thanks a lot and more power :)

    Reply
  209. Valeria

    Great post! With a lot of details. I need to travel from Vancouver to London stay 2 weeks and then travel from London -Buenos AIres in september. Any advice. KlM seems to be the best option but there’s is return flight with almost 11hrs transfer time in Amsterdam. Do you know if it is possible to leave the airport for sleep ?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  210. Steph

    Hi David,

    We are heading from Australia to live in Vancouver for 12 months. We will be leaving around Christmas time. When would be the best time to buy our flights and what is the current time limit for purchasing a return flight. i.e. will we be able to buy one from over twelve months after our departure date?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’d start looking now and book when you see the first decent price. Christmas is a very busy time to travel, of course, so the sooner the better for that season. Most flights can only be booked 10 or 11 months in advance so they might leave the return open for now and you’ll be able to fill in the dates when they’re in the system. It can vary from airline to airline so you’ll just have to ask.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  211. Rich V

    I am planning a trip to New York for 3 nights the last week of July (a little over 4 weeks away). My wife does not know if she can get the time off and will not know for 2 or 3 weeks. I would like to buy the airline tickets now and was wondering if I can buy 2 tickets and either take my wife OR my daughter. Do I need to list a name of the person going with me?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      You do need to enter a name when you book the ticket. If there’s anyway you could just use initials (if they have similar initials) for the first name you might be able to get away with it for a domestic flight. But for an international flight, which requires a passport, there’s no way you can get away with any significant difference between the name on the ticket and the name on the passport.

      Reply
  212. Karen

    Hi David,
    I am planning on a month in Thailand in Nov.
    I see fares of $1023.00 from China Eastern Air.
    I like this price, but would prefer to fly a different airline, (Eva Air, Cathay Pacific, Air Canada). Should I wait and see if a seat sale pops up–or grab China Eastern for $1023.00?
    Many Thanks Karen

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’m assuming you’re flying from North America. If so that’s not a bad fare but not great either. They can be as low as $800 at that time of year. But with fares being very high over the previous year then that might be hard to beat. Eva Air often has cheaper fares on its own website than on the flight search sites, so check there before booking anything.

      Reply
    1. David Post author

      Look for flights to Venice (usually the cheapest destination in that region) from Jacksonville or Atlanta. From there look for flights on Norwegian to Split. You could also take the Ancona to Split ferry. Good luck.

      Reply
  213. casey

    Hi David,
    When is the best time to buy tickets to fly into Cancun for first week in March or April 2013?
    Right now the best fare for 3 (non stop) is $730 per person. Should I wait until end of the summer?
    Thanks for an informative article.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Not sure where you’re coming from so can’t speak to how good a fare that is, but I would wait until September and have another look then.

      Reply
      1. casey

        Hi David,
        I forgot to say that I’m flying from Minneapolis to Cancun. I’ll try to hold off until September and hope the rates drop a bit by then.
        Thanks.

        Reply
  214. Ahmed

    Hi David,

    Looking for the best fare from Chicago O’Hare (depart: August 17) to San Francisco (return: August 28).

    Best fare/connection I see is Virgin America for $388 – it’s been around that price point for a while now. Bing price predictor has been saying for the past 4/5 days that fares are steady or falling and is advising to wait. Given that it’s now just under 4 weeks to my travel date (and I even waited for the 3 PM EST Tuesday to see if anything changed!) – would you recommend I book this now?

    I really like the Virgin connection (direct, 3 flights a day) – and would consider changing that to a less convenient one only if price drops by at least $50, otherwise not worthwile from my point of view.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Under these circumstances I would buy now. I doubt it will drop by more than $50, if it does at all.

      Reply
  215. Nolo

    Hi David. I’ve been wanting to go to South of France (St.Tropei, Monaco, Nice) in September. any advise you can give me in terms of cheap flights and hotels as well as the weather over there. i’ll be leaving from South Africa.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      The weather will be great in southern France in September. And the crowds will have thinned (a little) from August. I’d fly to Milan or Rome, visit the Cote d’Azur, then on to Barcelona or Paris and fly home from there so you won’t have to waste time and money retracing your steps. Good luck.

      Reply
  216. Cathy Shino

    Hi David!

    I am planning a trip from LAX (Depart: Dec. 22) to Japan (return: Jan. 3) for two adults and three children (ages: 7,9 & 11 yrs.). Looked around a little and found out it will cost $1,500 to $2,000 per seat. Yikes!! I know this is a busy time to go but with school and work this is the only time we have to travel.

    What should I do? Where can I get the best deals? We don’t need hotel since we have family there. Should we also get the JR Railway pass?

    Thanks for your help.
    Cathy

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      If it were me I’d wait a month or so. They’re so high already I bet they won’t increase but they could come down a bit – maybe a lot. Flights to Japan have been very expensive for the last year.

      The JR Rail pass is worth it if you’ll be traveling a fair bit. If it’s only for 2 or 3 train rides then probably not – though it’s all in the details so to know for sure you have to crunch the numbers for the routes you’d be taking.

      Here’s an excellent overview on the JR railpass: http://theroadforks.com/worldtrip/japan/buy_a_japan_rail_pass_or_not

      Reply
  217. Jennifer

    Hi David,

    Thanks for all the tips that you have posted! My husband and I are planning a trip from SFO to TPE (Taipei, Taiwan) either in Feb. 2013 or March 2013. I have started looking for tickets, and most of them are around $1200 (non-stop & round trip). Am I starting my search too early? I remember that last time when I went to Taipei from SF, I found tickets that are around $900. Any advise on finding cheap tickets during Feb or March? Also, do you know when are the best time to travel to Taiwan (cheapest ticket) as our schedule is pretty flexible.

    thank you very much for your help,
    Jen

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Chinese New Year falls on February 10 in 2013 so anything around then will be very expensive (flights, hotels) and difficult to plan (transportation around the country can pretty much shut down). So look for late February or March. With some patience you should be able to find something around $1000. If I had to guess, I’d say the best month to buy would be October or November (for a March visit). Good luck.

      Reply
  218. Ivan

    Hi David,

    I’m travelling to Peru in december, I traveled there before and tickets are usually around 1000, but this year are around 1500-1600. Do you think they will go down?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Tickets have been very expensive for the last year or 18 months, but the last few months I’ve noticed a drop-off. Not sure about flights to Peru but in general ticket prices are improving so … maybe.

      Reply
  219. mike

    Hi David I need 2 tickets from Toronto to malaga spain in mid October any idea on how to get a great price since they all seem high in cost and no such deals anymore

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’d try flying Air Transat to a city in northern Europe and then get a budget flight to Malaga (maybe with RyanAir). Good luck.

      Reply
  220. Sarah

    We used to go to South or Central America (mostly Chile) every February for the past 12 years; however with 3 kids and rising prices, it now seems astronomical. We used to pay $750-$900 up until 2 years ago to go to Chile. Now we can’t find anything under $1050- $1100 with long lay overs. Any forecasts or relief in sight? Special websites for South America? Are the planes really that full? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      It seems like fares have come down a bit over the last few months for routes that I keep my eye on. So maybe these will fall too. All you can do is keep searching. No special websites for South America that I know of. I wish I had more to tell you.

      Reply
  221. Jamie

    Hi David, we’re travelling (2Ad, 1 8yo) from London to New Zealand next July for 4 weeks (including travelling). Which route should I take, and when should I book my tickets? Prices are from £1092 via Singapore at the moment. Could these prices come down much considering it is during British summer holidays, and, he understates, is quite a long way!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      That sounds like a decent fare for London to New Zealand. You might be able to beat it with a stopover in Bangkok or Singapore and then looking for a cheap flight on the London-Bangkok or London-Singapore leg (as this is a very competitive route). Good luck.

      Reply
      1. Florence

        Hi David,

        We are from Singapore. We would like to fly from Los Angeles to Orlando on 5 Dec but the airfare is still high now. Do you think it will drop ? When is the best time to book ?
        I am also flying from Orlando to Las Vegas on 20 Dec, when should I book ?
        You advise is most appreciated.

        Reply
  222. Lisa

    Hi David,
    Great advice on ur blog….ok I’m traveling to Australia next yr September. The days are flexible within the first two weeks. How far in advance to I need to book my tickets? Also, I know it’s not a straight flight, what airlines to u suggest I look at when looking for the best flight?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’d casually start looking soon so that you have a feel for what the usual fares are. I’d predict the best fares will be for sale around March or April (for a September flight). Use the flight search websites I list above to find the best fares. Then search the websites of those airlines to see if they can beat the earlier fare (sometimes you can get a better rate through their website). Using the airlines website might also give you more stopover options as many airlines allow a free stop in Hawaii or the South Pacific.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  223. Maria

    So I’m traveling to England for spring break specifically Manchester and I just dont know when to buy, according to this now would be a good time, but I just dont want to buy too soon and then overpay, but prices keep going up. Whats your advice?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would buy soonish. Search the different sites and be sure to visit the websites of the individual airlines that have the best deals. It’s all guess work though. Good luck.

      Reply
  224. Maria and Eric

    Dear David,

    Hope all is well. Your website provided us with a lot of information, thank you. We are thinking of booking a trip to Greece this coming summer from the beginning of July to the end of August (2 adults, 4 children). Any recommendations for travelling with young children and for keeping the cost low. Based on the information you posted, the best time to book flights would be between Feb. to March for an early July departutre, is this correct?

    Thanks in advance for your assistance. Everyone thinks we’re nuts for travelling with four young children!

    Cheers,

    Maria and Eric

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Keep an eye on flights starting now (so you have some idea what makes a good price and not so good) and think about booking sometime in the New Year. The more flexible you are the longer you can wait – whether that be with dates or destinations. Some good options to consider would be flying into Athens and out of Istanbul. Fly into Venice (and ferry to Corfu), fly home from Athens. Or fly to Western Europe and take a one way charter flight directly to a Greek island. You’d then have the luxury of leaving your return date and point of departure open. Lots of choices. But, if you’re committed to flying on specific days (or a small window of days) and want to fly into and out of Athens then the earlier you should book. Maybe even January or February.

      Not sure if you saw my new site for Greece with Kids: Greekido.com

      Good luck.

      Reply
  225. Steve

    Hi David…. awesome info! Thanks so much for compiling! Quick question: I’m a member of a vacation exchange program and am actually trying to plan a trip using airfare price as a deciding factor more than actual destination (does that make sense?.. it’s a balancing act between what’s available for exchange and price of airfare). Of course I’ve procrastinated and now need to travel before Feb 2013… what’s a good way to shop airfares to places around the world during a predetermined time period (i.e. cheap flights to Caribbean in January)? I’ve checked out Google Flights and that’s pretty good… any other tips? Thanks again!!

    Steve

    Reply
  226. Lisa in Chicago

    I need some serious advice. It’s November 6th and I’ve decided I want to go to Myanmar for the last 2 weeks of the year. I have wiggle room of a few days either way. Any recommendations about airlines/tickets/best cities to fly through? The prices I’m seeing take my breath away. Any other thoughts? This is going to be tough to pull off, so I need all the help I can get :)

    Thanks so much!

    Reply
  227. Lisa

    Hi David,

    Flying to Hawaii from the UK in July. Few questions.

    1. When should I book my ticket, should i do it ASAP or wait until about March to see if there are any sales? I just don’t want the ticket prices to go up.

    2. The cheapest fare im seeing so far is American Airlines. What are your thoughts on them? I heard they dont give complimentary meals and the flight from O’hare to Honolulu is 10 Hrs. What do I do cuz I will be traveling on my own with a toddler and an infant.

    3. Any advice on traveling with Kids?

    4. I also heard that AA don’t reserve the bulk head seats for families but for the other ppl who pay more for the seat when traveling domestic in the US. How do i ensure I get a bulk head seat for that really long journey?

    Lisa

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I’d buy pretty soon. Keep your eyes open for deals but don’t let it get past the end of February.

      You’re right, there won’t be food served but you will be able to buy food on board. However, they do sometimes run out of meals. I’d buy something in the airport to have during the flight. Or make 5 or 6 sandwiches for the flight – you never know how much you’ll need. Peanuts, raisins, snacks like that are good.

      You should be able to pay an extra fee which will allow you to reserve tickets in advance. Whether you’ll get the bulkhead is anyone’s guess.

      Hope that helps, good luck.

      Reply
  228. Nicole

    Last year I monitored flights between Boston and Paris for September of 2012, and saw them around the $775 mark. This year, for flights in Sept. 2013, I can’t seem to get below $950. Should I be waiting a little longer for the sales??

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Hi Nicole. It is still early, so I would wait a little but prices have definitely increased. Then again, $950 isn’t that bad.

      Reply
  229. Dan

    Hi David,
    Im planning on going to Copenhagen from Toronto for 2 weeks at some point this summer. I’ve been looking at flights throughout the summer period and the cheapest that i can find is about $1500 for a return flight. Any suggestions on cheaper options?

    Reply
  230. Dorothy A Graham

    Hey David,
    I’m planning a trip from LAX to PHL in August to visit family. I’m on a limited income but completely flexible on dates. Are there search engines available that look for (ie- lowest 5 day trip in August) out there? I’m on a really tight budget and it’s really time consuming modifying my search for everyday of the month. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      http://www.kayak.com sort-of does. When you plug in your cities you’ll see a calendar on the right populated by fares that others have found. It gives a general idea of what to expect and when to look (later in the month in your case). Hope that helps.

      Reply
  231. Anthony

    Hi David,

    I have to travel from JFK to London, I must arrive in London on the 27th or 28th and leave to go back to JFK around July 5th. Airfare seems high, $1200 range, I was also looking at flights to Paris or Brussells and then taking a train to London but that seems just as expensive. Do you think airfare will drop in the next month or so? What is my best option?

    BTW- Thank you! Your BLOG is awesome :)

    Reply
  232. Bryan

    Really enjoyed and appreciated your article and insights. My challenge:

    - Travelling from RDU to Barcelona (BCN) in mid June 2013 with my wife and 2 kids. Fares are so outrageous right now, it’s posing a huge financial challenge.

    - Have tried some of the tricks — in terms of different search engines, changing routes, etc. But tickets are still around $1400 – $1500 minimum

    Do you have any advice on how long should we wait for fares to go down, or other strategies? Given that this season is likely to stay very high-priced — what is a good “target” to shoot for — $1100 – $1300, less??

    thanks much in advance!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Staying as flexible as you can with dates (and even airports, if possible) is your best bet. Check the fare predictor on Bing travel to see what recent data suggests will happen with the price. Good luck.

      Reply
  233. Nicole

    Dear David:

    Excellent information – thank you! My family and I (4 total) will be traveling to Germany (O’hare to Frankfurt) for Easter, 2014. We’re booking our flights from April 14th to April 28th (Monday/Monday) on Lufthansa. We’re staying with friends, hence, no need for a hotel, but we’ll rent a car. Based upon your expertise, I will look into purchasing these tickets sometime after Halloween of 2013. Other than monitoring this carrier’s fares during this time-frame, are there any other variables I should consider?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      If possible, search for flexible dates – this can make a huge difference in the cost of a ticket. If you’re going to travel around the area at all consider an open-jaw ticket (fly into Frankfurt but fly home from Amsterdam) so you don’t have to spend time and money backtracking. If you’re really flexible check out GetGoing.com and pick 2 cities in Europe. Good luck.

      Reply
  234. George

    I plan on flying to Paris from Chicago in mid-October 2013. Right now the prices are: Air Canada $1400 and Air France $1700 both for premium economy. I’ve been watching the fares for 3 months and they haven’t really budged. Can I expect a drop soon or should I just buy my ticket now? Thanks!

    George

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Personally, I would buy now as you’re getting close to that 6 week window when they can start to rise.

      Reply
  235. jenny

    I looked at Tiger air to fly Perth to Singapore. It is actually cheaper to buy a flight through to KL. Can you jump off at Singapore, where it has a stop, and just not bother reboarding the flight?

    Reply
  236. claudia

    Hello David,

    Any suggestion on traveling from Miami, Florida to Merida, Yucatan Mexico. I want to go there during winter break (Christmas time – high season) and I do not find anything cheaper than nine hundred dollars. Am I buying it too late or do I still have some hope?

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Yes, I think you’re too late for the cheapest fares. But flying to Cancun will likely be cheaper. The buses from Cancun to Merida are very nice with a/c and toilet and only take 3 or 4 hours.

      Reply
      1. claudia

        Thank you for your quick response. I checked on Cancun and they are at a similar price than to Merida so if I am paying almost the same, I think I will stick to going directly to my destination. Thanks for the advise! Happy Halloween.

        Reply
  237. Jonathan Barton

    This is a great resource which everyone should before making an air travel. People usually doesn’t have idea about the best time to buy tickets, I usually end up taking tickets in weekends. I think your idea of suggesting to buy ticket between the duration of Monday night and Wednesday will work. The sites like air fare watchdog and travel zoo are really helpful. I am looking forward to use your tips in my next air travel.

    The low cost carriers are one of the best ways to find cheaper tickets but there are also there are some other tricks to find cheaper flights. I found some of the tricks in http://anyonecantravel.com/

    Thanks for the great article.

    Reply
  238. julia tuck

    hi david, myself my husband and a friend need to travel to Nagoya japan from London England, (3 adults) on around 3 may 2014 and come back to London around 17 may 2014,

    we have a wedding to go to in japan on 9 may,

    please can you explain about if I can buy a ticket with 1 airline to go and a different airline to come back, we have found prices start at £540 English pounds each but have never done this before so don’t know what we are doing

    thank you

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Yes, this is completely fine – just be sure you have both tickets available before you book. One way tickets (you’re essentially buying 2 one-way tickets) can be more expensive so be sure you’ve found good prices on both routes before buying. Good luck.

      Reply
  239. Sara

    Hi David,

    I’m planning to fly from the Baltimore/DC area to Seoul over the Christmas/New Year holiday. I found tickets for $1120 through Turkish Airlines, but am having a hard time gauging whether this price is the best! I’ve done some searching and have tried the flight tracker, but am still in limbo. I’d appreciate your thoughts! Thanks!

    Reply
  240. ybur

    Hi David,
    I’m planning to fly to Manila around 3rd week of December, 2014 (before Christmas). When do you think is the best time to buy airline tickets? The price now is quite steep, is there any possibility that it will go down?
    Looking forward for your reply.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      There are no guarantees but yes, I would probably wait a bit. Maybe until late August and see what happens with prices.

      Reply
  241. Flight from mumbai to toronto

    Hi David,
    I got admission offer for Ph.D at Toronto and I have to join there on September 1st. So can you please give me some suggestion on at what time should I book the ticket, so that I can get ticket at a lower fare.
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
      1. Flight from mumbai to toronto

        Hi David,
        Thanks for your early response.
        The ticket rate for august 20-30 is above 55000 INR, while for september and july, the rate is around 45000 INR. So can I expect a reduction in price for August or should I book as early as possible with this rate.

        Reply
  242. Travel to India in Oct/Nov

    Hi David, I want to travel to Kolkata(CCU), India from Houston, USA in between any date approx 23rd October to 14th November and will come back after 15 days from Kolkata to Houston. Means travel dates are:
    Departure:- 23rd Oct to 14th Nov any date
    Return: 15-18 days after day of departure

    Can you please let me know what is the best time to buy tickets? The price showing is about 1500+ USD now. Will that be going down in coming days? Thanks for your help in advance.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I doubt prices are coming down much from here on in. I would look at cheaper flights to Bangkok and then a budget flight from there. Just an idea. Good luck.

      Reply
  243. Flying on Christmas Day

    Hi David: I have been looking at airfare from Newark NJ to Orlando FL, for my family of 4. We will be traveling on Christmas day (in the evening) and returning on New Year’s Eve (also evening). I am looking on United because I am a member of the frequent flyer club. However, United is only showing First Class seats to buy, but the entire economy class is open/available when you click on the details. Why aren’t those seats released? Is it too soon to be buying airfare? It’s now mid August. Should I wait until the end of September? I don’t want to miss out because we have a family event that week. I thought flying on Christmas Day would be cheaper.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      Sometimes you have to break down and call them and that’s what I’d do in the case (or send @united a tweet if you’re on Twitter). I often find great prices on Christmas day so yes, that’s a good day to search for.

      Reply
  244. Lisa

    Hi David,

    Thanks for all the info on this blog!

    We (2 adults, 1 child, 1 infant turning 2 during the journey) are travelling from Sydney, Australia to Toronto, Canada for a wedding at the end of June 2015. We’d like to take 4 weeks holiday and are flexible with that around the wedding. We’d like to visit friends in San Diego and also spend some time on the east coast, NYC or Washington DC perhaps.

    Any ideas on cities I should be looking at to travel through? We don’t mind a bit of driving or train travel to get to see a bit more but I’m having trouble getting my head around who flies out of where and hub cities etc., Australian domestic flights are so simple by comparison!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I think you’ll find the cheapest tickets by flying Sydney to LA return. Then book separate LA to Toronto ticket. Take the train to NYC and then DC. Then fly DC to LA.

      Reply
  245. Flight to the Domincan Republic

    Hi! Our family will be taking our next vacation to the Domincan Republic in early April. Recommendations on booking the flight or where the best place to stay is? We live in Seattle. We have a 9 and 16 year old. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would start looking now (to get familiar with the pricing) and then buy when and if you see a dip or in November/December if you don’t. I haven’t been to DR so can’t help there. Good luck.

      Reply
  246. Flights to Vietnam

    Hi, I’m traveling to Vietnam /SE Asia January and wondering if I should wait a little longer to purchase flights. I was looking this AM and prices were under $1,000 and when I chekced again a few hours later it was over $1,000. Very frustrating and I was told I should delete my cookies… Does that help?

    I live in SF, CA by the way….

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      I would buy. That’s a good price. Good, not great – I have bought tickets from the west coast to Vietnam for $700. Deleting tickets never hurts.

      Reply
  247. Flights to Las Vegas

    Hello, thank you so much for your information! I’m looking into a round trip flying from Portland to Las Vegas the 29th or the 30th of December and returning the 2nd of January. When would be a good time to by those tickets? I’ve been looking this week and there are tickets that are $217. Is that a good price? Should I jump on that? I’d love your input!

    Best,
    Katie

    Reply
  248. What Airports Have the Best Fares?

    In search of the lowest airfare, are measurable savings most times found using area hubs v. a local airport? Ex: Greensboro NC, better to use RDU or CLT? Does the destination factor in? In my case, San Fran from GSO. Thx.

    Reply
    1. David Post author

      In can but there are no guarantees. If budget airlines use those smaller airports then yes. If they don’t, then no. You just have to search. Use Kayak.

      Reply

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