Los Angeles to Singapore for just $400 is an incredible deal. Do you believe that because I just told you? Or, do you know that, because you look regularly? That’s it. That’s the whole lesson. I’ve been quoted countless times in many of the finest and trashiest magazines with tips on scoring the best flight deals, but the one piece of advice that really matters is knowing a good price when you see it. 

It’s All About Understanding History…

Knowing a good price when you see it boils down to history. How do you understand history? Reading it, watching it, tracking it. I regularly search for fares, even if I have no current travel needs. By seeing the average price of a route on a weekly basis, I know when something stands out as abnormally low. Search many routes, search often and keep track…

And Destination Seasonality…

What you’ll pay to visit London in November is generally vastly different than what you’ll find in August. Blame it on school holidays, the general phenomenon of “peak” summer travel, or Wimbledon, but however you cut it, and for whichever destination, it’s an important distinction. Know when “peak” season is – to either avoid it, or be quick on the draw to lock in a great deal if one comes around for the peak season. As a side tip, business class fares are often at their lowest during these leisure months, hoping to tempt customers up front…

And Price Alerts Are An Excellent Resource…

To set a price alert, you need to search prices at least once. In that regard, it’s a truly excellent resource and learning tool. With price alerts, you can search once, and if fares drop or rise, you’ll receive an email or notification. By setting many alerts for many routes and dates, you’ll really get a feel for how often prices change, how drastically they change and see when something is out of ordinary.

So If It Seems Great, Lock It In, If Not, Don’t Be Afraid To Wait A Bit…

On the whole, people PANIC when it comes to booking airline tickets. They’ve heard idiotic advice that the lowest fares are on Tuesdays, or that there is one single magic day, and if they miss any of the above events, they pass out and then purchase. By doing the research above, you’ll know when something is worthy of pulling the purchase trigger. If you don’t see anything immediately moving, don’t be afraid to wait it out. In general, you always want to avoid booking within 21 days of a flight, but outside of that fares rise and fall based on availability. If a flight is near sold out, it’s likely not going down, but if it remains near empty, it may very well. Just keep on it and don’t panic. Only panic when a great deal comes out that you need to purchase immediately. The best deals last mere hours, not days…