With any trip I have ever planned to take, I have always bought my airfare as soon as I see what I think will be the lowest price. Sometimes this means a much as 8-9 months off. When my son was still in high school but starting college in Tampa in the fall of 2003, I purchased his Thanksgiving ticket home in February of that year since it was only $200.00. When he started college in August, I checked the airfare for Thanksgiving and it was over $400.00. Did the same this year for both my kids to come home from Tampa, they both attend college there (we're from Massachusetts) and saved a good amount of money again. If you do purchase the ticket at a low fare and by some chance it comes down, the airline will give you a travel voucher for the difference. But if the fare goes up, you're all set and you saved some money.