The Best Times to Buy Airfare

Surprisingly, there’s no difference in airfare whether buying a ticket on a Sunday, Tuesday or any other day of the week. The cheapest fares are typically found when you book about 70 days before departure.

Bargain shopping? Try to monitor airfares for travel routes during the prime booking window (4 months to 3 weeks before leaving). Destination discount fare alerts can be set up on such sites as,, or an app like Hopper. The one factor that plays a significant role in price is the time of year you plan to travel.

Here are some tips on when to buy flights for each season:


The best summer deals are in August and September, with late summer offering the lowest prices overall.

  • The average best time to buy is 47 days (about 1.5 months) in advance.
  • Prime Booking Window is 14 – 160 days (2 weeks – 5 months) from travel.


If you’re traveling in the fall (excluding Thanksgiving), you can usually wait a bit longer to book air tickets and still not miss out on the good prices.

  • The best time to buy is 69 days out
  • Prime Booking Window is 21 – 100 days from travel.


Here are tips for general (non-holiday) winter travel.

  • 62 days from your expected travel date is the best time to buy an affordable airline ticket in the winter months.
  • Prime Booking Window is 21 – 110 days from travel.


With Spring Break dates spanning March through April, finding a good deal in the spring can be challenging.

  • Exactly 3 months (90 days) from your travel date on average is the window to buy best airfare for spring air travel.
  • Prime Booking Window is 46 – 122 days from travel.

Happy vacationing!

Article Source: Myriam DiGiovanni for


3 Tips for Saving Money While Traveling Abroad

The Doge's Palace and Cathedral of San Marco, Venice, Italy

Here are three tips on how to manage your money when traveling overseas, while still having an unforgettable journey.

Set a daily budget while planning your itinerary.

When traveling abroad it’s important to make the most out of your trip, especially if you are not there for much time. Everyone knows the value of having a game plan for things you want to do and see, but alongside that, it’s a good idea to set a daily budget. Consider how much you will spend on each meal, activity and attraction. If you do your research, you can find out ahead of time how much certain sites will cost you. This way, you’ll see what you can afford to do in advance.

Shop wisely for food and gifts.

Make a list before traveling of the items you want to purchase when on your trip. If you want to buy gifts for others, set an amount you are willing to spend on each person. Additionally, if you plan to buy drinks or snacks to keep with you or in your room, avoid purchasing them at busier sites such as train stations or near tourist attractions. Look for local markets or shopping marts, so you can buy things at a lower price and shop at stores where locals typically get their essentials.

Explore different means of transportation.

Sure, it may be quicker to hail a cab and be on your way, but first consider the cost. If you are in a city, check out their different forms of public transportation and compare the cost of each. Additionally, when going from city to city, you may find that if you take trains that make frequent stops, rather than a direct trip, it brings the cost down significantly. Therefore, although the cheaper way to travel may not always be the fastest, if you plan for the extra time, you’ll have more money in your pocket, and every little bit helps, especially when traveling abroad.

Planning to travel outside of the United States? First Financial offers Foreign Currency Exchange! Foreign currency exchange allows you to exchange our currency for another country’s currency when planning to travel abroad.* Give us a call at 732.312.1500, email , or stop into any branch to learn more about foreign currency exchange today.

*You may purchase Currency Price Protection (CPP) for an additional $10.00 in order to protect the purchase rate of transaction. The protected dollar amount may vary based on selection of currency. There is also a purchase/shipping cost for $14.50 per transaction.

Article Source: Wendy Bignon for

21 Ways to Save Money On Your Next Trip

bigstock-Man-Traveler-relaxing-alone-in-84557870Every cent counts for budget travelers, and the internet is full of helpful tips for saving money. There are so many, in fact, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all. Here we’ve pulled some of the most helpful suggestions for strategies and tech to use while you are out on your adventure so you can save up every last dollar (or Euro, or peso…)

Financial Institutions and Credit Cards

1. Open an account with a financial institution with no ATM fees or with international partners so you can withdraw money for cheap, wherever you are headed.

2. Make sure you are using a credit card that gets miles that can be used easily — i.e. there are no blackout dates or restrictions on which airlines you can use. Travel-themed credit cards also often give huge mileage bonuses when you sign up, so be sure to do your research to see which one has the best deal.


3. Subscribe to airline newsletters so you are the first to know about sales or special promotions. Airlines like Alaska, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest and Virgin offer promo codes and special deals through email notifications (though sometimes you must register for their frequent flyer program to receive the alerts).

4. Follow flight deal accounts, like @TheFlightDeal and @FareDealAlert, on Twitter and check in regularly for information on sales and the occasional mistake fare.

5. If scheduling allows, fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday. Even better, take the 6am flight. The less popular the flight, the cheaper you are likely to get it.

6. Look for flights on Tuesday — this is still the traditional best day to buy U.S. domestic tickets because it is the day that airlines are matching their competitor’s deals and offering lower prices.

7. Don’t wait until the last minute (the belief that airlines offer last-minute bargain deals is mostly a myth). Book at least 1.5 months out for most destinations, though some U.S. domestic fares are still good through about two weeks out.

8. Clear cookies on your browser before looking for flights (or check on an incognito window). Airlines and booking websites like to keep tabs on you, and if you search for a flight multiple times, it will bump the price because it knows you are likely to buy.

9. Having a single favorite airline or booking website may cost you — sometimes checking the same flight on a different website can yield a significant price difference. Check a couple price comparison sites, like Kayak, Momondo, or SkySkanner, and then once you have a general idea of the flight you want, check the airline’s own website.

10. Take a little extra time and be creative with how you look for flights. “Hacker” fares — combining two one-way trips or booking two round trips with a “layover” in between — can save a lot of money, but you’ll need the patience to try lots of different options manually.


11. Compare hotel prices on Gogobot to make sure you are getting a good deal. (Duh!)

12. Traveling with a big group? Consider a vacation rental — it can be cheaper than booking multiple hotel rooms, and give you a more authentic local experience. Plus, you’ll have a kitchen where you can cook your own meals and save a little more dough.

While You Are Traveling

13. Get a collapsible water bottle. You can take it through security at the airport, and it will pay for itself pretty quickly when you don’t have to buy a $5 bottle of water at your gate. Plus, you can keep it tucked away in a purse or backpack and refill it on your travels to save even more.

14. Take public transport as often as possible. Especially in foreign countries, it can be daunting, but grab an app for your phone (or print a public transportation map) before you leave to make things easier. Google Maps can be viewed offline if, while you are still on WiFi before you set out, you type “ok maps” into the search bar to save your current view. MetrO (for iOS and Android) is another great app for navigating public transport around the globe.

15. Bring your student ID card to get discounts at attractions. Even if you graduated a few years ago, many student IDs don’t have expiration dates.

16. Do a bit of research on when the local museums and attractions have free or discounted days to save on entrance fees.

17. International data plans for your phone can be pricey. If you don’t plan on needing much data (and can mostly stick to WiFi), a basic international plan with your carrier might work. If you need to take internet with you wherever you go, try a mobile option like MiFi or Tep Wireless. You can also use apps like WiFi Finder to map out where you can grab free WiFi while you are out and about.

18. How easy is it to accidentally buy twelve too many gelatos in Rome and end up throwing your travel budget out of whack? (Really easy, for the record.) Manage your finances while you travel with easy-to-use apps like Trail Wallet (only iOS).

19. Do not — we repeat, do not — use the phone in your hotel room to make international calls (or any calls, for that matter). There are lots of apps that you can use over WiFi to call for free or cheap, like Skype, Viber, and more. Need to make a local dinner reservation or book tickets for an event? The hotel concierge or front desk will often do that for you, so you don’t have to pay for the call.

20. Street food should be your go-to meal. Empanadas in South America, kebabs in Turkey, samosas in Mumbai — these foods are cheap, easy, and delicious.

21. Shop at local grocery stores. This is, first and foremost, a cultural experience — you’ll get to see what new and exciting foods and drinks stock the shelves (and guess at what they might contain if you don’t speak the language). It’s also considerably more affordable than eating out for every meal.

*Article source courtesy of Alix Farr of the Huffington Post.