Here's the ideal time to buy plane tickets if you want to save money

Typically, the earlier you book flights, the less you'll pay. But just how far in advance do you have to plan?

Ashlea Halpern of New York Magazine asked 23 airline experts for their best travel hacks, including the ideal time to book a flight.

For starters, she found, you can't bank on cheap last-minute tickets the way you could in the past. "Years ago, airlines would slash prices shortly before a flight in order to meet capacity," NY Mag says. "Now they do the opposite: jack up the fares to nail last-minute business travelers who'll likely expense the tickets anyway."

If you want to get a good price, aim to buy your ticket one-to-three months before your trip. If you want to get the best price, track your desired trip and dates on Google Flights, Halpern reports, and buy when the ticket prices fall below trend. You can also set up email alerts to get updates on price changes.

If your schedule is flexible, fly midweek. "Tuesdays and Wednesdays (and Thursdays, if you're flying internationally) tend to have the best fares," NY Mag reports, as there's less competition.

In fact, a good rule of thumb is to travel when others won't. As expected, traveling during holidays and peak season is going to cost you more, so if possible, plan your trips during the off-season.

Chances are, your destination will also be much less crowded.

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