Finding the “sweet spot” for advanced bookings

Like many services, travel is often a case of supply and demand. If there are cheap fares on offer for a flight, chances are it’s not a popular flight. If fares are high, you can be sure there are not many seats on offer. To complicate things, airlines may lower the price even further at times to help stimulate sales. So what is the best strategy when planning that next trip?

Have been researching our overseas holiday to the US on & off for six months. Had it roughed out a few times but changed dates and locations a number of times. Booked an early bird fare to the US travelling in August and back late September 2015, yes it is in Economy but $2,500 return for two people in my opinion is pretty good.

Since I booked the flights I have found I keep scanning sites and making bookings even though 10 months away, however most of them are able to be cancelled if a better deal comes along. Just wondering how many book a long way out, or how many wait until much closer.

It could be argued that our member has done well for themselves, booking good value airfares almost a year out. At $1,250 per person, that’s certainly at the bottom end of the price range for travel to the USA. However the right time to book can also depend on what your booking or how your paying.

Well we have booked our August/September 2016 cruises. If planning award flights always done as soon as available. Tend to book hotels 12 months out on a cancellable rate and change if price goes down.

If you are planning on booking seats using points, knowing when an airline releases seats can make all the difference. Qantas release seats at 355 days before departure. If your using American Airlines miles, those seats wont be available to you until 330 days from departure. On the busy North American route, chances are those seats will be gone by the time they are bookable using the cheaper American Miles avenue. The same principle applies when booking accommodation using points. With some hotels restricting award bookings to just a few months before the stay, so timing is everything.

If points are not an option, booking well in advance may not be the best idea. Sometimes it can cost you money.

Accommodation is another question though. It’s easy to be sucked in with advance ‘deals’ that are actually more expensive than leaving to the last minute (or month). Still it’s very nice to have everything booked well in advance.

There seems to be no advantage to booking car hire/rental much in advance. You can book deals as they come up but then cancel them with no penalty when another comes up.

When do you book your travel, and what has been the best strategy, share your tips HERE.


Related Articles

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

Struggling to Redeem Your Frequent Flyer Points? Frequent Flyer Solutions takes the hard work out of finding award availability and redeeming your frequent flyer or credit card points for flights. Using their expert knowledge and specialised tools, they'll help you book a great trip that maximises the value for your points.
Earn Cash from everyday purchases Get paid up to 25% in real cash from your everyday purchases from leading companies such as Virgin Australia,, Coles, Apple, Microsoft and much more. Free to join and no catches!

AFF Supporters can Login Now to remove all advertisements