If you’re anything like us, you’ve already started planning every detail of the upcoming major holidays — not only have you already created a Pinterest board for Thanksgiving turkey recipes, but you’ve already scribbled a few tidbits on your Christmas list, and have even started window shopping for the perfect New Year’s Eve dress. But despite all of our careful planning, there’s still one thing on our holiday to-do list that we haven’t quite determined how to tackle yet: figuring out how to score the best deal on holiday flights.
Luckily, travel planning hub KAYAK is trying to change how we travel during the holidays. KAYAK’s new 2017 Holiday Travel Hacker guide is jam-packed with useful information that’ll make finding your holiday flight easier than reaching for a second slice of pie. Along with unveiling the top 10 wallet-friendly North American flights and international flights to take during the holidays, KAYAK also deciphered the best time to book your airfare for Thanksgiving, the winter holidays, and New Year’s Eve. Here are KAYAK’s top holiday travel tips — including which dates are cheapest to fly and when to buy your tickets for the maximum savings.
Cheapest Dates to Fly: November 20-24
Best Time to Book Tickets: Two weeks before Thanksgiving
It’s almost turkey time, folks! Using data collected in 2016, KAYAK is able to predict the least expensive dates to fly during the Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) holiday. Since Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 23 this year, the ideal dates to fly home for the holidays would be anytime between Monday, November 20 and Friday, November 24 — especially if you book your return trip for November 24 or November 25. For this foodie holiday, the longer you wait to actually book your tickets, the more money you’ll save, as the cheapest price for a plane ticket during the Thanksgiving holiday usually pops up just two weeks the big day.
Christmas and the Winter Holidays
Cheapest Dates to Fly: December 23-26
Best Time to Book Tickets: Four to six weeks before Christmas Day
While you may be tempted to take the week before Christmas off to enjoy some time with your loved ones, it is actually cheaper to fly on Christmas Eve than the week leading up to it. If your travel dates are flexible, you’ll be able to score a fantastic airfare price on Christmas Eve and an even better price on Christmas Day. But if taking a plane trip during Santa’s big day doesn’t work with your family’s plans, historical KAYAK data shows that the sweet spot for scoring the best deal is departing on December 23 and returning on December 26. Unlike Thanksgiving, you shouldn’t wait until the very last minute to book your winter holiday airfare — the best time to find the lowest fares is between four and six weeks before Christmas Day.
New Year’s Eve
Cheapest Dates to Fly: January 1-3
Best Time to Book Tickets: Two weeks prior
If you’re planning on flying out of town for New Year’s Eve, the best days to book your flight is actually NYE itself, with a return ticket anytime from January 1 to January 3. Of course, if you want to get situated in your holiday hotspot before you ring in the new year, KAYAK suggest picking a day as close to December 31 as possible — airfare prices skyrocket on Monday and decline in price every day leading up to Sunday, December 31. For New Year’s Eve travel, the best time to purchase a ticket is roughly two weeks before your flight takes off. If you’re still deciding on where to kiss your S.O. at midnight, KAYAK also uncovered the top 10 trending locations to travel to for NYE. First place goes to Guadalajara, Mexico, while Kingston, Mexico City, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona, Paris, Madrid, Montréal, and Athens are also predicted to be some of the hottest New Year’s Eve party spots to welcome in 2018.
Are you traveling for the holidays? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo.