The Best Time to Book Summer Flights

You may have heard that Tuesdays are allegedly the best days for booking plane tickets, and Sunday evenings the worst. But with roller-coaster price fluctuations, and hosts of bargain sites filling your inbox with travel deals, how’s a traveler to know when really to watch for maximum savings?

The flight wizards at CheapAir.com recently released their annual study of optimum (and less than ideal) booking periods throughout the year. Looking at over 917 million airfares, they outlined price and travel trends and created “prime booking windows” for each season.

Anyone who’s tracked a flight before buying knows that the ups and downs of fare prices can be rather turbulent. Interestingly, the study found that contrary to popular belief, there’s not necessarily a cheapest day of the week to book, since the average lowest fares only vary within a couple dollars among different days of the week. When it comes to flying, however, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most budget-friendly days to travel, while Sundays, by no surprise, are the priciest.

As summer travel looms ahead, you might be curious to know when to snag the best fares. Given that it’s the travel-heaviest season in the States,CheapAir.com recommends booking earlier for summer trips. Within the continental U.S., the best time to buy tickets, on average and throughout the year, is 70 days in advance. But for busy summer months, booking 47 days (or a month and a half) in advance is likely to get you the best bang for your buck. Willing to postpone that summer vacay? The study suggests traveling in August and September will offer the best deals of the season.