The Best Time to Book Your Flight to BlogHer - or Anywhere
I started researching the best times to purchase airfare for my BlogHer '14 trip this summer.
While theories on the best window for buying plane tickets differ, most seemed to recommend purchasing 2-6 weeks ahead of your travel and caution against booking your flight too far in advance.
As I type this, we're just under 12 weeks away from the conference start. I really wanted to get my airfare taken care of and move on to the next thing on my list, but I worried I’d be purchasing too early and regret it if prices went down later.
However, as I thought about it and did additional research, I realized there’s more to consider.
Before you book your flight, think about this:
- How low? – Those lower fares during ideal times are less than 6% lower than average. That’s about an $18 difference on a $300 flight.
- Averages aren’t guarantees – The fact that research has shown when prices have tended to drop in the past isn’t a guarantee the same will happen for your flight. When to buy is still a gamble.
- Holidays – When it comes to holiday travel (and possibly summer travel too), all bets are off and the earlier you book the better.
- Availability – You may have fewer choices about when you fly as weeks pass and flights fill up. If specific dates and times are important to you, you might want to book sooner to dibs a seat at your ideal time. (For example, I’m looking at certain flight times to make my upcoming trip itinerary work better. Also, I should watch out for early flights.)
- Peace of mind – For me, the relief of having this taken care of and off my plate outweighed the amount of potential savings I imagined could come from waiting.
- Refunds – Whether you can get a refund for a fare drop is another topic for another post, which will be on Travelcraft Journal soon. (Subscribe to make sure you don't miss it!) [UPDATE: Can you get a refund on airfare if the price drops? is now online.]
In the end, I added all this up and decided to go ahead and buy my tickets and not wait for the 6-week window. It wasn’t what any source recommended, but it made the most sense for me and this particular trip.
(If you're curious, you can see more details on ticket-booking research on the original Travelcraft Journal post.)