If travel is in the cards for you in 2019, you might already be scouting out airline tickets. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know what days this year are likely to be the cheapest to fly on?
Days of the week & seasons: These could be the cheapest times to fly in 2019
Keeping in mind, money expert Clark Howard’s #1 travel rule of letting the sale determine the destination. It only makes sense that this extends to letting the day of the week or time of year help determine when you take your trip, as you’ll want to do it when ticket prices are at their lowest.
Travel site FareCompare.com recently released its forecast of cheapest days to travel for 2019. The site used more than 300 million records of proprietary airfare information, including routes, trip lengths, regions and other factors.
What it found sheds some light on how your 2019 travel plans will go if you’re looking to escape on a budget.
Here are the cheapest days to travel in 2019
The cheapest days to fly are generally Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with Saturdays as the third-most affordable option, according to FareCompare.
I recently flew to San Francisco on a Wednesday and saved 40% on my airline ticket over what I would have spent if I traveled on a Friday. As always, you should compare flights on sites like FareCompare.com, Google Flights and Kayak.
When it comes to specific dates to travel in 2019, these are ones that FareCompare says are best:
• U.S. flights: January 22-30
• Trans-Atlantic flights: January 30
• Worldwide flights: January 29
If you’re trying to book a flight well in advance it’s going to be more expensive, according to FareCompare, because most airlines don’t actively manage their flight schedules until five or six months out.
That said, we can still get a pretty idea of how airfares will look for 2019 if we chop it up by seasons. This is how things shape up for winter, spring and summer 2019, according to Farecompare.
Cheapest days to fly domestically by season, according to FareCompare
Winter 2019: Cheapest days to fly
January: The price of holiday fares will go down starting January 3, then we will see “some of the cheapest prices of the year,” the site says. The last week of the month — January 22-30 — will be especially cheap.
February: Airfare will still be a bargain, especially so during the last two weeks of the month.
March: During the third month of the year, those looking for flights will start to see prices rise on weekends, about 35% compared to Tuesday and Wednesday flights.
Spring 2019: Cheapest days to fly
April: Airfares spike considerably in the spring, with weekend flights up about 40% over weekday fares.
May: As the month of May progresses, airfares will be highest for Thursday and Friday flights.
Early June: Expect good prices on airfares until around June 13, when pre-summer pricing begins.
Summer 2019: Cheapest days to fly
Late June: FareCompare calls this “peak season,” beginning around June 23, when the airlines hike prices as much as 25% over pre-summer fares.
July: Peak season is when cheap airfares will be hard to come by because airlines know everybody wants to travel.
August: Expect fares to start dropping around August 20 for the fall.
Be ready for cheap flights to Hawaii
Hawaii has always been a hot travel destination, but with Southwest Airlines’ imminent entry into the market, passengers are eager to say aloha to some deals. Money expert Clark Howard has been saying that Hawaii flights are about to get really competitive among the major airlines.
“We’re going to see deals to Hawaii month after month after month because everybody’s jockeying for position,” Clark said in a recent Facebook Live. “Hawaiian and Alaskan Airlines both dominate flights to Hawaii and they’re facing down the barrel of Southwest Airlines announcing their service probably in the next few weeks.”
You can find cheap deals to Hawaii on January 14 to February 7, according to FareCompare. Also, the cheapest days to fly there will be on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May.
Now that you know when to travel, you also need to be informed about a category of cheap fares the airlines are increasingly selling: Basic economy. Here’s why Clark is not a fan.
Here are some more travel-related articles you might enjoy from Clark.com:
- 7 things to know before you fly Southwest Airlines
- See the full list of U.S. airlines ranked from best to worst!
- The best way to get a human on the line for airline customer service
- How one passenger scored a $10K travel voucher