Have you ever tried to book award travel but then found that nothing was available or insanely priced?
Much of my air travel (in particular international long haul) is done using awards but you need to know when to book. For this kind of travel, many airlines tend to either have the best options available either 330 days out or within 14 days of departure.
Waiting until 14 days before a trip introduces too much uncertainty for me, as it's always possible that what I want never appears and then I'm left in a bit of a pickle with few good options and possibly a very expensive last minute ticket to buy.
A year out however, gives me the time to formulate a backup plan if things don't go as expected at the 330 day mark. I take this pretty seriously: it's June 2017 right now and I have already flights booked all the way through March 2018.
Don't get me wrong, I haven't done this with every trip I plan to take this year, just the bigger ones or those around peak travel times like the holidays. I also don't usually apply this same logic to hotels and other bits of a trip, as there are far more options when looking at where to stay and what to do compared to the task of figuring out how to get there. Once I know where and how, I'm fine letting the rest wait for a bit.
This approach also ensures that I always have something to look forward to! Coming back from a trip with nothing else on the radar can be depressing but that's unlikely with this strategy...and if it means I get my pick of flights and access to business class then why the hell not?
The early bird in this case, generally does get the best worms.