Although it seems like summer just ended, fall is moving in… which means the holidays are just around the corner. And in travel terms, that means there isn’t a second to lose. If you’re like me, and presumably everyone else too, you like to get a good deal on your trips, especially during the notoriously pricier winter months. I reviewed Hipmunk’s recent airfare analysis, which examined historical prices for US flights on and around holidays, to figure out when all of us can score the best deal and avoid those busy lines.
According to their data, booking prices are on a steady incline throughout the second half of the year, however it begins to steepen after October 15th- making prior to the 15th the best time to get a good deal for the holidays, with expected savings of 25%.
And even though our thanksgiving here is different than our neighbours in the states, if you’re travelling to or through America around the fourth Thursday of November -this year the 22nd– keep in mind that it’s going to be a lot busier and pricier than normal! Hipmunk recommends booking travel for the Thanksgiving week prior to October 1st for 23% savings.
And better yet, if you’re not actually celebrating American Thanksgiving, look into flying on the 22nd, as fewer people are travelling on the holiday and prices may be lower for this less-desirable day. Keep in mind thought that the most expensive day to travel will be Wednesday the 21st, Thanksgiving Eve.
Similarly, be sure to avoid travelling on December 21st, and most likely December 22nd and 23rd too, if you can. This year the 21st is predicted to be the busiest and most expensive travel day, with the 22nd and 23rd historically not much better.
On the other hand- very few people are physically travelling on Christmas day. If you want to avoid the chaos that is an airport in the week leading up to Christmas, book your flight for the 25th. Enjoy your holidays in the morning, then head to the airport for a relaxing winter-escape or to spend the rest of the celebrations with family elsewhere, without any traffic or hour-long lines.
Another thing to think about is that only 1% of bookings happen on Christmas day, the 25th, so if you’re willing to take some time away from the tree to quickly book a flight for anytime in the year- it could be worth it!
Travelling throughout the holidays can be a stressful and expensive experience, especially with kids in tow! Hopefully this analysis breaks down the best times to book so to accelerate your travel planning and journey.