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 trip, especially during the notoriously pricier winter months. I reviewed Hipmunk’s 2018 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, for the Christmastime holiday, the best week to buy is the week of October 15th, when the average flight price of $357 can save 25 percent off peak booking price.
So ideally, have your travel plans for the Holidays planned out by the end of September and booked by October 15th.
And even though our thanksgiving here in Canada 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!
However, looking into booking a flight for the 22nd could be beneficial, as fewer people are travelling. According to HipMunk, traveling on Thanksgiving day will save you 21 percent over the peak booking price. No surprise, the most expensive day to travel is Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve. Be sure to book this prior to October 1st though, as that’s when prices are predicated to start increasing.
If you’re still a last-minute planner, just be sure to avoid booking on December 22nd and 23rd. Those are the two busiest booking times according to last years report- with 56% of yearly bookings happening on those two days.
Alternatively, 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- it could be worth it! Booking on Christmas Day as well will save you 20 percent off of peak travel prices.
Another thing to think about is how few people are physically travelling on Christmas day, too. If you want to avoid the chaos that is an airport on Christmas eve, or even the week leading up, considering booking 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.
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.