I am planning a trip to Southern Italy leaving May 20th and returning June 4th. Any suggestions on when to purchse tickets. Do you think prices will go down after Christmas?
You buy when you think the price is right. Like buying stock, almost impossible to buy at the lowest price. Use farecompare.com to see a historical range of prices for that flight. But remember history is only an indication and not a prediction. You times are approaching peak travel so prices will be higher than January or February. Several recent news articles have suggested that price may stay higher this year than in past years. Who knows? A $1200/1300 fare from CA might be reasonable this year.
Elizabeth, I too use kayak.com and farecompare.com to see what the going rates are but then go directly to the airline site to purchase. Coming from a small town and having to make several connections, schedule and town connections are really important to me. (I prefer to change in Europe rather than fly across the US.) This year because the fares seem so high, I'm thinking about using easyjet.com to make my connections in Europe but of course that means giving us plenty of time for any delays. The last 2 years it seems that, at least for us, the fares only go up the closer we get to our trips.
Hi Elizabeth. I also use Kayak.com to compare prices. You should start watching prices regularly and if you see anything that looks like a good deal, buy it! And it's best to book directly with the airline, as others have said, in case there's a problem. Often on Kayak, the airline's price is the same as prices on Orbitz or Expedia. Another idea is to look at flights from the East Coast, Chicago, Atlanta, or any other big hub. There are almost no international flights out of St. Louis, so in the past few years I've booked international flights from Chicago and Newark and then booked a separate round-trip flight from St. Louis. This seems to be cheaper than booking a round-trip international flight from St. Louis. But since you live in California, you may decide that it's best to book all the way through to Italy instead of risking missing your "connection" in the States.