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Farewell

Have a truly bon voyage knowing you got the best ticket price.

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This story appears in the August 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Because airfares change frequently every day, when you book your ticket is a huge factor in how much you'll end up paying. The variance can be $300 or more on a domestic round trip. So how can you tell when you should buy and when you should hold off? Two data-mining websites can help you calculate the odds that you're getting a good price.

FareCompare.com looks at historical prices for trips on 77,000 city pairs in the U.S. and Canada. Type in your flights, and up comes a "Fare Trend" chart that shows whether prices have been increasing, decreasing or staying steady. A four-star rating system shows how good a particular fare is compared with past prices on the date and route you've highlighted. By considering volatility, you can determine whether it makes sense to wait for a dip before booking. You can't make reservations at FareCompare.com, but you can click though to airline websites.

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