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Why or how far in advance should book your flight in advance? This is always a confusing question for those who want to book cheap flight tickets. It doesn't matter whether you are looking for cheap flights from the US to India or UAE to Georgia or any other locations, choosing the right date and time is very crucial for every passenger to get the best flight deal.

Most of us imagine that having a travel agent would be outside of our budget or just superfluous for the short domestic kind of travels. But, in reality, it is not. You would be astounded to find out how much a professional travel agent can help you and make things simple for you, so all you have in the end is a stress-free and fun-filled holiday time to look forward to.

Book as far in advance as possible and choose seat close to front of plane. Aisle is best so you can stand and exit without disturbing people. Why you need a travel agency for planning your business as well as fun trips within the country? Summertime is the best time for a getaway. We always need it at this time of the year.

Most of us take care to make enough savings and manage to obtain a few days off work. This means we are completely ready for going on our hard-won break. However, first of all, one requires planning it effectively. It might be fun to fantasize about destinations like Honolulu, the actual part of trip planning shouldn't be treated as a second job done in a hurry.

We all know that it can pretty stressful to organize the logistics of relaxing and fun moments we have been pondering on. At such times, hiring a reputable travel agency can be a tempting and wise decision. Even though it gives an extra line to your travel budget, it’s completely worthwhile to spend for this service.

While some airlines offer tickets to specific destinations on various discount sale, some others promote their tickets in the name of anniversary sales, early-bird offers etc. However, recent studies suggest that the best time to book a domestic flight is about 8 weeks, to be exact 54 days, in advance. Though the prime booking dates vary according to the destinations, for international flights also, travellers need to book earlier than late.

how far in advance can you book flights

Read on further to know why having a travel agent for your domestic trips is important.

1. Save Big on Online Flight Tickets


Online flight ticket booking, the most preferred airline ticket booking option helps not only the travel agencies to grow their business, but also help the travellers to book cheap flights from anywhere at any time across the world. Experts are of the opinion that booking your flights 3 months in advance will be the best decision to grab cheap flights on reasonable rates.

The day you book your airline ticket is very decisive in determining the ticket fare. The first thing you should keep in mind is that on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the ticket fare will be higher while compared to other days. Higher will be the ticket fare of weekends.

Generally, experts in the industry have pointed out 90 to 95 days before the departure as the best time to book flight tickets. The day you book flight tickets also determines the price of the ticket. Weekends usually tend to have higher rates when compared to weekdays such as Tuesday or Wednesday.

For example, you may easily find cheap flights from Dallas to Kochi on weekdays, especially on Tuesday or Wednesday as the ticket fare will be lower on these days.

2. Best Time to Book Flight Tickets


Contrary to popular belief, there is no best day or time to pay for the flight. Despite this, there are some general guidelines. Purchase domestic flights 1–3 months in advance, unless, you are booking during a holiday period or travelling internationally, in which case around 6 months is best.

The only other exception to this rule is if you find a ridiculously cheap flight that you know is an absolute bargain. Buy it irrespective of when the departure date is.

If you are looking for a price drop on your flight on domestic flights, you need to book at least 6-7 weeks in advance because a reasonable price drop demands a modest number of seats left on a flight unless the airlines will not give any discount. Those who are travelling to any popular destination at a highly acclaimed season, the chances will be higher for flights to get filled up at a faster pace.

Obviously, the airlines never need to put those flights on sale. Since tickets to popular holiday destinations or business spots are more likely to sell out faster, it’s always recommended to book earlier. While booking international flight tickets, experts consider buying tickets well in advance than booking a domestic ticket.

The availability of flights for those who are travelling abroad will depend on how frequently the airlines offer flights to the destination you fly to and how popular the destination is.

Studies reveal that the best time to fly to Asian countries is four months before departure. For Africa and the Middle East countries, it is 215 days before departure. For Australia and South Pacific tickets, book 320 days in advance. For best Europe flight deals, book 120 days in advance. For Central and South America in addition to Canada and Mexico flight deals, book 70 days out from travel dates on average.

Some people consider convenience over the lowest fare. For those who are concerned about factors such as which airlines to fly, nonstop flights or direct flights, weekend flights, time to fly, it would be best to book earlier than someone who is flexible on airline choice, travel date and travel time.

Always remember that as time goes by, you will get fewer options to choose from, even if the lowest possible fare stays around the same. If your destination has a limited number of airlines, and a small airport with minimal service, waiting too long to book your flight ticket will end up at higher risk. As these destinations will not offer much competition scope for airline services, the fare will be also higher.

If you are planning to fly to a destination on vacation or for business purposes, early-bird purchases will bring you the desired seats, lowest airfare, the itinerary of your choice and much more.

3. Avail discounts or special offers


The best time to book flight tickets is generally three to four months in advance of your departure date. Booking during this period will help you avail discounts or special offers on desired flights. If you are flexible on the travel date and time, you can grab better deals as travel agencies offer good flight deals for midnight and early morning flights.

Off-seasons are also considered as suitable periods to fly because travel websites come up with various offers to attract customers during this time.

Before making your purchases, search for low-cost airlines by comparing the price of various service providers and look for various sales bonanzas offered by travel agencies. How far in advance you book the flight and choosing the right time for your journey will significantly determine the possibility of getting the best deal on your flight ticket.

Travel agents have strong relations with various service providers like airlines, hotels chains, rental car services, and more. This is not possible for an individual customer. Thus, signing up for the services of the travel agents, you are also getting closer to the company’s reward programs. You are unlocking a big heap of perks, which you can’t otherwise. These may include spa credits room upgrades and much more.

So many perks at regular prices and while someone else is doing all the work for you, isn’t it much more than sweet deal?

4. Mistake Fares


Booking cheapest airfare tickets at the right time is an art. It is possible to get flights for as cheap as 75% less than the usual asking price. These mistake fares are exactly as the name describes. An airline accidentally puts tickets on sale for cheaper than they intended from a mistake with their own internal processes. It could be as simple as hitting the wrong button on a keyboard.

Because of this, they never last long! Aside from being glued to airfare websites, the best way of keeping on top of these is by signing up to one of the many email lists that provide these alerts as a service.

5. Flexibility


Planning everything is much more fun when you are going on vacation. If you think your inner adventurer would lose ground hiring a travel agency, you are not right. You still retain the ultimate control on what you actually want to include in your itinerary. While the agency gives you suggestions, you would still be doing the research and planning and after that you can tell your travel agent to do the booking.

Even if it is short term jaunts within the country, hiring a travel agent could make the trip much easier and manageable. If you want to book cheap flights from Washington DC to Los Angeles and cheap flights from Washington DC to Honolulu, hiring a travel agency in Seattle is the right choice.

Having some flexibility when you travel will no doubt help you find cheaper fares. On any basic flight search, altering the dates and times will give you wildly different prices. As a general rule of thumb, flying on Friday and Sunday will be most expensive, whilst Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday will be cheapest.

However, most search engines will allow you to do a flex month search to give you the best options. If you want to go a step further, be flexible on the departure and arrival cities. Altering your departure city also works with the destination. If you are heading to Europe from the US, just find the cheapest trans-Atlantic flight, then once you’ve crossed the pond, take advantage of cheap intra-Europe fares on trains, coaches and flights.

It takes effort to do the research but if you want cheap flights, it is one way that definitely works!

6. Throwaway Tickets


Before going into this one, be warned, airlines are not a fan of it, and it is a move that isn’t without risk. In fact, Lufthansa was in the news for suing a passenger who had a throwaway ticket. Because ticket pricing is based on supply and demand, sometimes, there are alternative destinations to your preferred route that have your target destination as a layover or part of the trip.

You book the cheaper route, and get off on the layover and don’t bother using the last part of your ticket.

7. Switching Your Location


Some travellers swear by using a VPN to switch your location and access cheaper fares on flight websites. Either use a VPN so the site reads your IP as coming from another country, or check if the website has alternative country versions (sometimes there is a flag in the footer) - switch it to a location you think will have cheaper flights (usually countries with weaker economies) and see what is brought up for your itinerary.

Note: you may need Google translate to understand the site!

8. Fees


One of the things airlines have got better at, especially the cheaper ones, is hidden fees. There’s nothing worse than finding what appears to be great deal, only to go through the checkout process and after you’ve checked a bag, selected a window seat and added a meal, or changed the itinerary, the price is the same as every other flight.

There are a few things you can do to avoid fees, the first being sign up to the airline’s credit card - the majority offer no fees on checked baggage.

To avoid potential costs for changing the itinerary, if you decide fairly soon after buying you want to change it, as long as you’re not flying in the next week (7 days), federal regulation requires the airlines allow you to change or cancel your trip within 24 hours of the original booking with no penalty.

If you have booked a flight, and they change anything about the original booking you can try to call them up and change it. A lot of companies will honour that as they have changed your original booking.

9. Hiring a travel agency is affordable


As per the magazine Travel+Leisure, travel agents get a majority of their income from the commission paid by the hotels, tour operators, cruise ships, and airlines. Thus, though your travel agency may charge you a booking fee, it can be as low as a hundred dollars, making it highly reasonable one given the amount of comfort you get.

Apart from this, there are some travel agents who do not charge you at all, as they are relying more on the service provider for the kickbacks. Thus, your fantasy trip to places like the Oahu islands would be the same cost as you would pay for it by arranging everything yourself.

Good travel agencies want you to be their returning customers and they would rather like that you refer them to your friends. However, it is important to ask your travel agent about how much fees they would be charging you.

Due to their deals with airlines, the travel agencies can provide you with cheaper flights tickets. Thus, you can get book cheap flights from Washington DC to Los Angeles and cheap flights from Washington DC to Honolulu than you would have done otherwise with the service of a travel agency.

And this means you have savings with you which you can rather spend on a spa or having fun activity on your trip to your dream destination.

10. Skip In-Flight Meals


Bring a frozen lunch tote and pack your own food like organic fruits and veggies like carrots, dates, olives, spinach, a small glass bottle of olive oil, grass fed cheese, strips of precooked grass fed beef, smoked wild Alaskan salmon, almonds, seeds, etc. Airline food is deadly. That tiny bag of pretzels and nuts they hand is a dose of toxic fats, sugars and salt. Also pack a small plastic plate to eat on. Fits right into backpack.
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