This is the Best Time to Buy Holiday Flights this Year
If you’re planning on traveling this holiday season, the best time to do that is the middle of October, according to data from travel booking site Hipmunk.
Specifically, they say that the best week to buy that Christmas plane ticket is the week of October 15th. That week you’ll see an average price of $357, which is a 25 percent savings off of the peak booking price. For Thanksgiving, the best time to buy is a little before that, the week of October 1.
The best day to fly for the holidays is, of course, flying on the actual holiday. It probably won’t quite work for those cross-country journeys, but if you can swing it, flying on the actual day of Christmas or Thanksgiving can save you a bundle of cash. Hipmunk estimates that flying on Thanksgiving will save you 21 percent on a booking price while flying on Christmas will save you 20 percent on that ticket.
Beyond that, Hipmunk suggests setting a fare alert on your destination (on its site, obviously), which can let you know when that ticket price drops (or starts to go up), and considering flying out of another airport. For instance, I traditionally fly out of San Francisco, but if I pick Oakland’s airport a short and cheap train ride away, I can sometimes save hundreds of dollars on a fare or find a less crappy route to take.
Likewise, the holidays might be the time to consider a basic economy fare. Keep in mind those typically aren’t going to let you pick a seat or carry on a bag, but if you’re a light packer going on a short trip to tag Mom and Dad for the holiday’s, then the savings might be worth it, or at least worth considering. You can always ship all those gifts (and maybe your clothes for the week), right?