So, a few day ago I posted this question and it kind of blew up, way more than I expected, and I don't know what the best practice is for this situation. I find an answer that feel is the best one, even though it's not the most popular. I plan on accepting it, but since the question is still highly viewed, should I wait to see if someone puts something similar but with an approach I might find better? Or should I validate it ASAP?
First, thanks for following up on your question and asking about your situation! It's always great to see users who are actively involved in their question. We much more often run into the opposite problem - of users never accepting an answer or accepting one immediately before more answers can come in.
I always recommend that users wait at least 24 hours before picking an answer, so that people around the world have a chance to see the question and post an answer. You are more asking the opposite question though - how long is acceptable to wait. The honest answer is, as long as you want! If you want to wait to allow more users an opportunity to post, there's no problem with that. On the other hand, if you see an answer you're really happy with now, then you are welcome to choose that now too. You can always go back and choose a different answer if you change your mind. The biggest thing is not put it off so long that you forget about it and never select an answer. I would say a week is more than enough to for most questions to allow the traffic to die down.
On a related note, since your question has been getting attention, you might find that more than one answer is helpful for you. Here's another Meta post on what to do if you have multiple answers you like.
I hope you've found helpful advice here, and welcome!
You can accept an answer when you receive one that solves your problem. If a better answer comes along later you can accept that one instead. It's a good idea to give the community a day or so to answer before accepting -- basically, give people in all timezones a shot at it.
Accepting an answer signals to the community that you're satisfied. An accepted answer might lead some people to not add new answers and invest their time on other questions, but it doesn't prevent new answers. Somebody who has a better solution might still post it for the benefit of the community -- and you, if you're still paying attention to the question.
Accepting an answer is never required.