The best time to book flights for Thanksgiving & Christmas
You’re in luck! The second half of October, Surry says, is generally the best time to lock in the cheapest Thanksgiving week flight prices. But he warns that prices tend to start climbing by about $10 a day two to three weeks before Thanksgiving.
Just as you want to book Thanksgiving tickets a little before Halloween, you want to book your Christmas tickets just before Thanksgiving, Surry says. Christmas prices tend to stay flat until a month out, when they rise about $5 a day for a couple of weeks. Wait until 14 days out, and you’ll see increases of $7 a day.
Kayak’s findings echoed this; the sweet spot for Christmas travel was booking four to six weeks before the holiday, Solomito says. He did add, however, that if you wait to fly last-minute for New Year’s, you’ll typically find a deal.
The easiest way to save money: Fly when no one else is
Flying on days like Thanksgiving and Christmas are particularly inexpensive, as are red-eye flights on New Year’s Eve. Dates long before and after each holiday are cheaper too, if you can stand to be away for that long. The key is to stay flexible and, like going to Costco on a Tuesday at 10am, try and do things when no one else does.
“Thanksgiving happens at the same time for everyone, so the airlines know they have you over a barrel when it comes to pricing. They go high and stay high,” Surry says. “The only way to save is to vary your dates.” This might mean taking the kids out of school for a few days or, heaven forbid, using your actual vacation days to go see your mother.