For domestic travel, you’ll typically find the best fares one to two months before your trip. For international itineraries, you’ll often want to start searching for fares a bit further in advance, especially if your dates are firm or you’re traveling at a busy time of year. Add an extra month or two for peak travel times like holidays or major events. Some destinations, such as Disney World during spring break or popular beach spots in August, require even more advance planning, so do your homework.
To help you figure out when to jump on a fare, set up airfare alerts through sites like Airfarewatchdog (SmarterTravel’s sister site) or smartphone apps like Hopper (iOS | Android ). You can put in your targeted trip dates and itinerary, and you’ll be notified when the fare drops.
We’d love to point you definitively to a single booking site that always has the lowest possible airfares and hotel rates, but, unfortunately, that site doesn’t exist—and shopping around is always required. It’s best to check multiple types of sites before you book, including the provider’s own website as well as online travel agencies (think Expedia and Orbitz ) and metasearch sites (like Kayak and SmarterTravel’s parent company, TripAdvisor ).
A travel vacation should not only be an unforgettable experience, but offer solid peace of mind. That’s why USTOA created a consumer protection fund which protects consumers who book with our Active Members.Learn More