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Theres a Magic Number For When You Should Book Airfare to Get the Best Deal

Gahhh, you need a vacation. You set up alerts and keep a watchful eye on flights but never quite know when to pull the trigger. Wait a day and the prices go up 50 bucks. Wait two days and they’re down again.

Luckily, the folks over at CheapAir took matters into their own hands to figure out--once and for all--if there was a magical formula for when you should book your airfare. After analyzing over three million trips taken last year, they came to the conclusion that, on average, the best time to book a domestic flight is 54 days in advance.

Not on a Tuesday. Not at the last minute in hopes of scoring some crazy deal. But 54 days (that’s about 8 weeks) out from when you want to depart. And if you miss that, as long as you’re within the “prime booking window,” which is anywhere between three weeks and three and a half months, you will still find the best deal.

The only caveat is if you’re traveling during the holidays--or if you’re headed to a popular destination during a peak time (like New Orleans during Mardi Gras or Washington, D.C., during the Cherry Blossom Festival), in which case you should book as soon as possible.

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