Posted: Dec 5, 2010 5:39 PM by Matt Stafford
Before many travelers take off this holiday season, they'll be taking their credit cards to the internet.
"Looking for the best deal," says Daniel Finholm.
But how far in advance tickets are purchased is different for everyone.
"I just wait for those prices to drop, and wait for those last minute deals," says Finholm.
"Far in advance because I had always heard doing it like that, you get a better price," explains Dewey Lowman, getting ready for a flight at the Colorado Springs Airport.
Randy Petersen, editor of InsideFlyer Magazine -- geared toward frequent flyers -- deals with these questions all the time. News First 5 asked him, should you buy early or wait?
"If you need to go someplace, always, buy early," says Petersen. He says buying tickets six months in advance is usually best. Then the prices fluctuate.
"It pays to actually continue to watch that airfare," Petersen says. Prices tend to go up one to two months out, and then get more expensive until the last week before the flight. That's when Petersen says you can really find some good deals.
The key to the "wait and see" strategy is being flexible.
"Be prepared to grab your bags, because it's usually it's only within 3 or 4 days, right before the flight," Petersen explains.
Once you think you've found the lowest price, Petersen warns to look at what's included -- fees can add up.
"Make sure you understand the entire price."
He says it can be tough, but with diligent shopping you can find good deals any time of the year. Peterson suggests signing up for alerts from booking websites and the airlines themselves.