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Expert tips to book cheap spring break travel now

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(NEW YORK) — While snow and frigid temps are sweeping parts of the country, travel deals for spring break are heating up.

Experts like Going.com founder Scott Keyes explained to ABC News’ Good Morning America why now may be the best time to book flights for spring travel.

Spring break travel tips: Book flights before March

“I would not be putting it off much longer if you’re hoping to fly somewhere, because chances are once March rolls around, spring break flights are going to get more expensive, not less,” he cautioned. “Right now we are in the Goldilocks window for cheap spring break flights.”

The so-called “Goldilocks window”, Keyes said, is the ideal time to book your flight — it’s not too early or too late for the price to be just right.

“If you book 11 months in advance, you don’t see many cheap flights, but also, if you wait until a week or two before, your likelihood of a cheap flight at that point is gonna be very low,” he explained.

Spring break travel tips: Find the cheapest destination

When it comes to booking trips for the family, Keyes said to be flexible with your destination.

For example, if a beach getaway is at the top of your vacation list, look for the one with cheapest airfare, and for bigger families, Keyes suggests booking the tickets individually.

“When you do one booking of four tickets, all four tickets have to have the same price, and if there’s only 3 tickets left at the cheapest price they’re gonna sell you the next most expensive one,” he said. “Instead, book three tickets at once at the cheapest price — then book the fourth ticket.”

Spring break travel tips: Round trip vs. one-way flights

Keyes also advises travelers looking to book for spring break to compare round-trip and one-way fares.

“The cheapest non-stop flight from New York to San Diego for a week in late April is $448 per person round trip. But if you book each leg separately, you can fly one-way to San Diego for $139 and back to New York for $254 — totaling $393. That’s a savings of $55 per person,” he said.

Expert’s top travel tip for booking flights: Follow the 21-day rule

Keyes reminded travelers to follow his golden rule of air travel, back-timing when to book based on your departure date, in order to align with an airline’s “advanced purchase requirement” found in the fine print of the fare terms and conditions.

“Pull up a calendar and circle 21 days before your travel date,” he said. “That needs to be your sort of drop-dead date to get your flights booked by.”

Other deals and thinking ahead to summer travel

It’s also a great time to book a cruise, now that we’re in what’s known as the wave season — the first three months of the year when cruise lines often offer a wide range of discounts.

AAA shows discounts between 30% to 60% off, and travelers will likely see cabin upgrades, as well as buy one, get one offers and possible onboard credits.

While most searchers are in spring break mode, experts also say now is a good time to start thinking about summer travel.

If you’re looking for domestic vacations, plan to try to book them one to three months out from the travel dates, while we are still in the opposite season.

Finally, remember to turn on flight alerts via Google flights or a price tracker app.

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