Planning to book a flight in the next few weeks? If so, you’ve probably asked yourself when is the right time to buy.

older couple shopping for cheap flights on their laptop

Here’s how to think strategically about snagging cheap airline tickets.

The best time to buy an airline ticket to get a good price often comes about 3 weeks to 4 months from your expected travel date. That window of opportunity where the best fares generally fall is what we call the “prime booking window.” You can read about this wallet-friendly phenomenon in our annual When to Buy Airfare Study.

Sometimes the hope of getting the “best deal” results in travelers taking the riskier route and waiting too close to travel dates to buy. Then you get burned by much higher prices. Remember: fares increase at certain intervals – fares will climb 21 days, 14 days, 7 days and 3 days prior to your travel date. So it’s definitely not too early to book to get the best fare for your flight.

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