If I had a nickel for every time I was asked “do you think airfares will go down,” I’d be a millionaire. We spend hours upon hours looking for the best airfares. We wait weeks just to see if airfares will drop. Sometimes someone will get lucky. But more often, we end up booking an airfare pretty close to the airfare we originally found before we invested our time and energy into trying to beat the rate. So, what’s the secret to getting the best airfares when you’re traveling to Mexico and the Caribbean?
The major airlines (Delta, American, United) release their flight schedules 331 days in advance of travel. This means you can start looking for airfares 331 days prior to your flight home. However, some smaller airlines (Southwest, Jet Blue, Sun Country) only release their flight schedules within 6 months of travel. So, for about 5 months, the major players have less competition, and airfares tend to be higher. We always recommend looking, and of course if you see something good, book it. But if airfares are high, wait until all of the airlines have their schedules released, then get serious about booking.
If you’ve already passed the 6 month mark and airfares are still high, pay closer attention to doing your price checks on Mondays and Tuesdays. We tend to see airfares climb as the week goes on, then drop off after the weekend as Monday rolls around again.
If you’ve been diligent about watching and airfares still are not budging, there is a very good chance that they just won’t. If you are 2-3 months before travel and still haven’t booked, just book it! It is costing you more in time and effort at this point, and any potential savings more than likely won’t make up for your time investment. If you’re 2 months from travel, do yourself a favor… book your flight, and move on to planning the FUN parts of your trip!