When You Should Buy Your Flights for Every Major Holiday
Believe it or not, traveling during the holidays doesn’t have to be a frantic, expensive experience. Whether you’re planning trips for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Valentine’s Day (or all of the above) the travel search site Skyscanner has determined the very best times to book your domestic flights, with savings of nearly 15 percent.
Skyscanner analyzed troves of historical data from more than 50 million users to estimate the best time to book your flights for every major holiday of the year. These are the magic dates to keep in mind — and how much you’ll save — as you schedule your holiday vacations.
The last week of October
In 2016, the week of October 31 offered travelers the best deals, with savings as high as 7.73 percent. Compared to average prices, travelers could save 4.42 percent as early as the week of September 12 and a modest 1.98 percent on last-minute bookings the week of November 21.
The week of November 21
Travelers booking last-minute Thanksgiving flights should also book their December holiday trip at the same time, as the best potential savings on Christmas travel in 2016 was found the week of November 21 (a cool 6.41 percent). This is also the earliest opportunity for savings. Last-minute deals could be found on flights booked the week of December 5, when travelers could still save an average of 4.93 percent. Keep in mind that mid-November is also the perfect time to make your hotel arrangements for the winter holidays.
The week of December 5
Like Christmas, travelers could score saving on New Year’s Eve getaways as early as November 21, when savings on flights departing between December 26 and December 31 and returning between January 1 and January 3 could be as much as 4.14 percent. The best potential savings could be found the week of December 5, when New Year’s flights could be booked with a significant 10.57 percent savings. Last-minute getaways could be reserved for a savings of 6.72 percent the week of December 26.
The week of January 23
Looking to take a romantic getaway with your sweetheart? Trips booked the week of January 9 had the best potential for savings this year, with prices down 14.87 percent. The earliest savings could be found the week of December 19 (12.03 percent), though last-minute deals were even better. Travelers could save 12.89 percent the week of January 23.
The week of May 15
For the first official trip of summer, travelers could score savings of 6.82 percent by booking during the week of May 15. Deals (as much as 4.57 percent) could be found the week of April 24, and travelers still could save as much as 3.98 percent the week of May 22.
The last week of May
Taking a trip for the nation’s birthday could be much cheaper if you book your vacation the week of May 29, when savings could be as high as 9.55 percent. Travelers could score 6.79 percent savings as early as May 22, but may still find deals as late as June 26 (slim but valuable savings of 2.7 percent).
Labor Day Travel
The week of June 12
Book tickets for your last summer vacation the week of June 12 for savings of up to 10.04 percent. And while the week of June 5 could yield savings on flights of 5.52 percent, travelers can book a Labor Day getaway as late as the week of August 14 and still find savings of 1.51 percent.