Regardless of the means of transportation, the majority of us try to spend as little as possible when planning a trip. With ticket prices constantly fluctuating, it can be difficult to determine the best time to buy, but by following a few helpful guidelines you can save time and money.
It’s generally believed that the best time to buy plane tickets in the US and Canada is Wednesday from midnight (meaning right after Tuesday night at 11:59 p.m.) to 1-2 a.m. This is when airlines generally update their price databases and post lower fares. Consumers need to be quick, however, because this knowledge is relatively wide-spread, so the tickets can get snatched up in a matter of minutes.
Apart from being the best day to buy tickets, Wednesday is also commonly the cheapest day to fly (followed closely by Tuesday and Saturday). On the larger scale, flights are cheaper at the time of year when the desired destination is in its low season. For instance, flights to tropical locations are much cheaper in the rainy season than in the tourist-friendly dry season.
Check out this cheap airfare guide on farecompare.com for more tips on finding inexpensive plane tickets.
Though the cheap airfare hunt can become a bit complicated, finding cheap train tickets is a bit more straightforward. The general rule when buying train tickets is to buy in advance, the earlier the better. In most cases, two weeks should be enough, but according to a train cost-cutting guide from moneysavingexpert.com, the absolute best time to shop for train tickets is 12 weeks in advance. This is due to the fact that many rail companies are contractually required to set their timetables at least 12 weeks in advance, and the cheapest tickets will be available at that time.
The strategy for buying cruise tickets is essentially the same as with train tickets: the earlier the better. It is true that there are usually last-minute deals as cruise ships try to fill up empty space before departing, but it’s generally safer to buy in advance.
Rent A Car
When it comes to renting a car, there’s no real strategy involved. Generally, car rentals cost the same whether you plan in advance or buy them on the spot with the only exception being weekend discounts. Most of the larger car rental chains offer deals for travelers looking to rent a car for just the weekend (defined as Friday through Monday), sometimes for as much as 50% off, so if you’re planning a short trip it might be a good idea to limit it to the weekend.
So, next time you’re planning a trip, whether it be by land, air or sea, be sure to keep these helpful tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to huge travel savings.