The team at Travel + Leisure is on the road regularly, checking out new destinations and experiences as much as we can. It’s made us avid planners, ever after a great deal and always scouting fares.
We’ve done deep dives into the best time to book flights for optimal rates—54 days, according to CheapAir.com, though there’s more to it than that. “There’s a sweet spot for domestic fares that CheapAir calls the ‘Prime Booking Window,’ and it spans from 21 to 112 days ahead of your departure date. Booking in that three-month span will offer maximum odds for a bargain booking,” Nikki Ekstein wrote.
Meanwhile, when Kayak released its 2016 Travel Hacker Guide, we summarized the top 10 U.S. destinations for travel, and the best times to book for airfare deals to each, citing the average highs and lows for rates in every spot.
We’re regularly on the lookout for ways to travel better, testing out airfare search tools, special travel services, and other tricks for starting your trip off right (and making sure it’s perfect until it’s time to come home). After our latest discussion on flight and train planning, we thought we should collect all of this finely tuned intel into a resource we can all use, again and again.
Our editors shared their tried-and-true booking strategies, from planning and research tools to tech tips and how they set up their flight alerts. We’ve got tips on getting the best savings on trains, how to secure the seat you most want, getting discounts on rental cars, and a number of sites we never plan a trip without visiting.
Read on for our advice, and use it to plan your next getaways. Want some inspiration for where to go? Take a look at the Best Places to Travel in 2016.