Travel Hack: The Best Time to Buy a Plane Ticket So It Costs You the Least Amount of $$

Start thinking about summer vacation now.

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If you've been daydreaming about your summer vacation for months, but are too nervous to pull the trigger and book your flight already we feel your pain. Airfares change so often it's hard to figure out when the best time to buy a ticket actually is.

Thankfully crunched 921 million airfares to give us some answers. According to their 2017 Annual Airfare Study, the best time to buy a flight within the continental U.S. or Canada is 54 days in advance, on average. So if you've been meaning to book a flight to visit your BFF in L.A. over Memorial Day weekend, the time to book your ticket is now.

Looking to head somewhere more tropical this summer? You'll want to plan a little bit further ahead since you'll want to book your flight to Hawaii, the Caribbean or Mexico 79, 76 and 61 days in advance, respectively.

You'll need even more time to book a flight to Europe (99 days in advance), South America (81 days) or Asia (90 days). While flights to Africa and the Middle East should be booked almost four months in advance (119 days on average), if you're planning a trip to the South Pacific you should look for fares about three months ahead of time.

Keep in mind that these numbers are just averages, however. recommends searching for airfares with a date range in mind. You're more likely to find the sweet spot in what they call the "Prime Booking Window" which occurs anywhere between three weeks to 3.5 months before your trip. If you book too early, you might miss a significant dip in prices. But if you wait too long, many flights will be sold out leaving you with an extra-expensive ticket.

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Lyndsey Matthews

Lyndsey Matthews is the Destination News Editor for AFAR; previously she was a Lifestyle Editor across all of Hearst Digital Media's brands, and a digital editor at Martha Stewart Weddings and Travel + Leisure.