The best time to book holiday flights for 2019


With the 2019 holiday season approaching, you may be anxious about searching for cheap fares and decent flight times — but this new report can help!

Travel booking site Expedia just released several tips to guide you through the 2019 holiday travel season. Notably, there are two things you should know before you book your trip:

  • For Thanksgiving: The worst day to travel is Wednesday, the day before the holiday.
  • For Christmas: The busiest day to fly is December 21.

But don’t stop there! There are several factors that influence the price of airfare. Read on to see the best time to book and save this holiday travel season…

Report: When to book flights for the holiday season

When it comes to finding out how travelers can save with a little bit of planning, here’s what the data shows from two of the biggest holidays of the year. Let’s look at Thanksgiving first.

Thanksgiving holiday travel

Best time to buy

The best time to book a flight for Thanksgiving is any time within the two-week period of October 29 to November 13, according to Expedia.

The site says travelers who booked two weeks to a month out saved 5% on airfare. On the other hand, those who booked either more than three months out — or less than one week before — paid 20% more!

Best time to fly

To save the most on airfare, try to fly on Thanksgiving Day.

Travelers who traveled on the holiday last year saved around $100 on airfare compared to those who flew the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving Day.

If you can’t book on the holiday: Can’t fly on the holiday? Your second-cheapest option is to try to leave Thanksgiving week on Monday or Tuesday.

Christmas holiday travel

For Christmas, you and your wallet can have a jolly time if you plan your trip accordingly. Here’s what you need to know about when to book and travel for Christmas.


Best time to buy

The best time to book a flight for Christmas is between November 23 and December 9, according to Expedia.

If you’re the type of early bird traveler who purchases airfare 90 days in advance, you’ll likely pay 15% more! Meanwhile, booking last minute will cost you about 2% more.

Best time to fly

Surprisingly, leaving on Christmas Eve will save you the most money.

Those who traveled on Christmas Eve last year saved around $100 on airfare compared to those who flew the Saturday prior to the holiday.

If you can’t book on the holiday: If there’s no way you can fly on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, try to leave on December 23, the site says.

Final thought 

Knowing the best time to book and travel for the holidays is one of the best ways to save money when traveling. Here the three main takeaways:
  • Booking two weeks to a month out will typically save you some money.
  • Travel on the holiday (if you can) to get a better deal on your flight.
  • Try your best not to travel on the Saturday before the holiday. You’ll spend the most!

Have you saved money on your holiday flight by timing when you bought it? Let us know in the comments below!

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