When should you buy an airline ticket?

/ Source: TODAY

When is the best time to buy airline tickets? It all comes down to timing. According to a report by Expedia and ARC analyzing over 5 billion airfare searches, there really is a day of the week and a time period when fares are the lowest.

That magic moment is Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST, 50-100 days before your flight.

There's two things going on here. One, Tuesday at 3 p.m. is when most airlines release their fares for the week. So there's the most competition for your dollar.

Two,the data shows that 50-100 days before your domestic flight takes off is the longest stretch of time before fares start going up as seats start selling.

Each tip works on its own, but combine them and you can save on average over $100.

Just remember that unadvertised sales can pop up at any moment with the best savings of all. Set an airfare alert with a site like Airfarewatchdog or Farecompare and keep an eye out for deals taking flight.

With a little advance planning and some luck, you can avoid paying top dollar for your airline ticket, leaving you more cash for margaritas and snorkeling lessons.