It's the age-old question: should you book your flights months before you want to go on your vacation, or do you take a chance and see if doing so last minute would be a good idea?
There are a lot of people who feel very strongly about it either way, and there are a lot of good points on each side of the debate.
Before you plan your next vacation, it's time to think seriously about how you can benefit from booking your plane reservations with a lot of time to spare, and why you would want to hold off.
Here are 10 reasons to buy a plane ticket WAY ahead of time (and five reasons to wait until the last minute).
15 Ahead Of Time: Buy Your Tickets 54 Days Before Flying For A Great Deal
This is a very specific number but that's on purpose as people who give advice about getting flight deals focus on these details. It's definitely food for thought, right?
14 Ahead Of Time: If You're Traveling During The Holidays, You Have To Think Ahead
Smarter Travel says that traveling during the holidays is when you would want to book ahead of time. If you're going home for Thanksgiving or seeing some family over Christmas, your flight should be booked with a lot of time to spare. This can be quite a crowded time to fly.
13 Wait Last Minute: If You Buy Your Tickets Super Early, You Can't Use Any Good Deals
According to Gz.com, it would be a shame to buy plane tickets super early... and then realize that you can't use any good deals.
This is one reason to wait until the last minute as you would be pretty sad to see some awesome prices that you wouldn't be able to use.
12 Ahead Of Time: Waiting Could Set You Back A Few Hundred Dollars
If you don't mind spending a few hundred dollars more, then you can definitely wait until the last minute to book a flight. But if you want to save as much as you can, do it ahead of time.
According to Mental Floss, "The difference between the best-priced and worst-priced summer flights in the study was $203, and the difference in the spring was $263."
11 Ahead Of Time: The Advice Is 99 Days Before You Want To Fly To Europe
The advice about when you should buy plane tickets can change depending on what your dream destination is. What should you know about going to Europe?
Cheap Air says if you're heading over there, you want to buy your plane tickets 99 days before you want to fly.
10 Ahead Of Time: Buy Tickets Three Months Before Going To The Caribbean Or Maui
Bustle says that the Caribbean and Maui are "popular" places and that means that they can be pricey. Another reason that you want to make your flight arrangements ahead of time is if you're heading to these places. It seems like they are always going to be kind of expensive since so many people like going there.
9 Wait Last Minute: You're Willing To Do The Research (And Like It)
Reader's Digest says "sleuthing" is what you have to do when you're booking flights at the last minute.
It seems like if you're willing to do the research and you like finding different prices, then you should always wait until the last minute. You're good at discovering deals, so why not?
8 Ahead Of Time: If You Find A Good Price, There's No Reason Not To Jump On It
On the other hand, if you find a good price a few months before you want to go somewhere, why not take it?
Sure, you might be able to find a better price if you book last minute, but maybe you won't. You're honestly leaving it up to chance either way and you might want to just jump on the deal.
7 Ahead Of Time: You Can Use Your Frequent Flyer Miles
If you want to use your frequent flyer miles, it might be a good idea to plan ahead in terms of your plane tickets. A Reddit user pointed this out and posted, "If you're trying to use frequent flier miles, start looking to book 6-9 months out." This is definitely something to take into consideration.
6 Wait Last Minute: It Works If You're Spontaneous And Want To Be Free-Spirited
Some people plan vacations a lot and others like to be free-spirited. If you're the latter, then you should wait until the last minute because it won't make much of a difference to you.
Reader's Digest says, "If you know exactly what you want—and will be bummed if you don’t get it—last-minute may not be right for you."
5 Ahead Of Time: You Know That You Have The Flight And Don't Have To Worry
According to Cheap Air, the "peace of mind" that you get when you book a flight ahead of time isn't something to forget about.
It would definitely be nice to know that you have the flight and you don't have to worry. If you're dreaming of a certain destination or have to see family, this is important.
4 Wait Last Minute: Flights Could Be An Awesome Price If Not Enough People Are On Them
According to a user post on Reddit, "Undersold flights can be quite inexpensive, especially 1 to 4 weeks prior."
If you do wait until the last minute to book a flight, you could find awesome prices because not enough people might have booked certain flights. Yes, you're leaving it a bit up to chance but it's good to know.
3 Ahead Of Time: Even If You Pay $50 More, You Get Good Times And Sit Where You Want
Cheap Air says that you would probably pay $50 more if you book flights ahead of time... but you can get the flight times that you're looking for.
And, perhaps the most important thing of all, you can sit where you want. These are some really good reasons to plan ahead.
2 Ahead Of Time: If It's A Trendy Time To Fly, Don't Wait
Smarter Travel says if it's a really trendy time to fly, then you definitely don't want to sit back and wait. The publication mentions "a flight to Orlando during spring break" as something that might require booking a flight earlier than you might want to. It's a good idea to remember that if it's a really busy time of year for travel, you want to be safe rather than sorry.
1 Wait Last Minute: Flying On Wednesday Or Tuesday Is More Affordable
Market Watch gives the advice that flying on Wednesday or Tuesday is going to be a lot more affordable.
This seems like a good reason to wait until the last minute to book your flight. As long as you book on one of these two weekdays, you should be able to find a pretty good deal.