TRAVEL
04/07/2014 06:43 am ET Updated Apr 08, 2014

How To Book Your Next Plane Ticket To Get The Best Deal

ASSOCIATED PRESS

You already know that you should be booking your plane ticket 54 days before take-off (if all else fails, you should usually book between 104 to 29 days pre-trip).

And while that's all fine and good, there are various nitty-gritty details you should be paying attention to when buying that ticket -- like day of flight and where to book. Luckily, the experts seem to agree on a few key points.

Here are some of the tips we found most useful and you might too, so we're passing them along to you.

Rick Seaney of FareCompare.com, CheapAir.com and the folks at Hopper.com all agree: To get the best fares, you should always try to fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. In particular, Hopper suggests that travelers should return from domestic trips on Tuesdays (to save up to $50) and from international trips on Wednesdays (to save roughly $60). The most expensive day to return is Friday. Because countless tour groups head across the pond throughout Europe's high season in the summer, CheapAir.com says, you should always play around with your dates if you're flexible.

While this may seem like a no brainer, don't ever rely on a single airline's site (because, say, you have miles). It's always best to comparison shop, Seaney suggests.

As for preferred days to buy, a study conducted last year stated that you should be purchasing those tickets on weekends; instead, Hopper suggests, the cheapest domestic tickets are more often found on Thursdays (to be fair, international tickets are generally cheaper on weekends).

One important caveat: Expedia noted to us that three days before domestic departure, ticket prices drop by 6%; for international trips, the price drops by 10% about 7 days before departure.

The lessons here: Buy early (if you can), buy on Thursdays and fly during the week.

In case you forgot, here are those pesky “magic numbers” for when to buy for some common international destinations:

Europe: 151 days before your flight
Asia: 129 days before your flight
The Caribbean: 101 days before your flight
Mexico: 89 days before your flight
Latin America: 80 days before your flight

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