Labor Day weekend may have just ended, but it’s not too early to start thinking about your next trip.
The week of September 12 is your earliest opportunity to score savings on Thanksgiving travel, according to travel search engine Skyscanner. But the best savings are available no more than four weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.
Skyscanner analyzed historical data from more than 50 million users to estimate the best time to book Thanksgiving holiday flights.
The week of September 12, travelers could save as much as 4.42 percent on Thanksgiving travel (flights departing between November 20 and November 26 and returning between November 27 and November 29), compared to average prices last year. But the very best deals are likely to be available the week of October 31, when savings may be as high as 7.73 percent.
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Travelers still not ready to book a flight at that point could still find modest last-minute savings of 1.98 percent.
This year's predictions are in contrast to previous airfare sale guidance.
“We uncovered that the week of August 10 was the best time to book Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve travel in 2015,” Randi Wolfson, Skyscanner’s head of communications for the Americas, told Travel + Leisure.
And it’s not just the week of the year that’s changed. In 2015, travelers could only hope for Thanksgiving travel savings of up to 5.5 percent. After having reviewed all of last year’s data, the Skyscanner team says that flights from the United States to destinations around the world are “overall below the average ticket cost,” and that average prices are likely to remain low until the second or third week of December.
Melanie Lieberman is the Associate Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.