by Gabe Zaldivar
Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Wed February 24, 2016
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
We understand your plight. We know it all too well. You sit there at your computer or on the couch staring at your smartphone, sweat dripping down the side of your face as you contemplate if now is really the right time to pull the trigger and buy that seat on that flight.
CheapAir.com would like to figuratively rub your shoulders and tell you it's going to be just fine, then give you a heaping dose of help in the form of a When to Buy Flights page that offers a wonderful view of when you can expect to get the best price on that family vacation or corporate trip.
The travel website pored over its data to better identify when you should be booking travel, discovering that 54 days is the flight reservation Goldilocks area.
But you can see for yourself by clicking the above link and inputing your itinerary details, finding when you can expect to get that timely discount.
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For example, entering in a flight from LAX returns an immediately useful graph that illustrates when it's advisable to book travel, roughly 29 to 125 days in advance - although it seems booking as close to the 70-day mark as possible is the best bet.
The tool will serve as a crucial step for future travel. But there is more, because you can become a sort of airfare soothsayer with the following graphic that offers some general wisdom.
Graphic courtesy of CheapAir.com
What you see above is CheapAir.com's breakdown of the 11-month booking window, which features five moments in time that yield varying results on your wallet.
As mentioned in a press release, the prime booking window is relatively self-explanatory. Those are the days when you should be plunking down the credit card for that future trip. But let's say you are hot to trot and can't wait to spend some money. Well, you are going to suffer just a bit monetarily as CheapAir.com found travelers spent roughly $50 more if they called first dibs.
Now, if you are an extreme traveler then you probably carry a GoPro and parkour across the world, or you merely wait until the last minute and lob what the website cleverly calls a "Hail Mary."
In any case, the above is a nice general guide to how you might decide to buy.
Jeff Klee, CEO of CheapAir.com, offered, "54 days is a good number to start with, but it's important to know that every trip is different."
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Klee went on to expound on the prime time to book, but later warned that procrastinating could cost you: "Generally, a trip price starts off high, slowly drops and then starts to climb a few weeks before the flight. People ask all the time if it's true that at the last minute the airlines have unsold seats that they practically 'give away,' but that's rarely the case. Fares usually go up dramatically within 14 days of the flight."
Now you have an infographic for the back pocket and a page that will give you specific details, which means you have no excuse to ever wonder when the best time to book might be.
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