Never Too Soon: This Is the Best Time to Buy Flights for the Holidays

Updated 08/21/19
a traveler at the airport

Fresh off of Labor Day weekend with two more weeks until summer officially ends, we have a tendency to feel like the holidays are far away. But before we know it, we'll be smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, scrambling to square away our travel plans and secure a good flight deal. As with many things in life, when it comes to buying flights, the early bird catches the worm. Hipmunk just completed its annual Holiday When to Buy analysis and found that there's one particular week to book your holiday travel in order to score the best deal.

According to the data, travelers can maximize flight savings by purchasing tickets the week of September 25. While it seems intuitive to book early to save money, the vast majority (64% of Thanksgiving and 84% of Christmas) travelers wait until October or later to buy their flights. So whether you're looking ahead to Thanksgiving or organizing holiday travel for late December, it's wise to have your ducks in a row by September 25 to get the best possible deal. If you miss this ideal week for flight booking, Hipmunk notes that you still have until Halloween before airfare takes a significant upturn. Travelers who booked the week of October 30 still saved up to 24% on Thanksgiving flights and up to 31% on flights around Christmas.

"Flight prices for holiday travel tend to fluctuate through September and October, so it's best to set a fare alert—like the one available through Hipmunk—so that you are notified when prices change," advises Hipmunk's co-founder and CEO Adam Goldstein. So as long as you book before Halloween, you'll usually avoid the highest prices.

Where will you be spending the holidays this year? Share your travel plans with us in the comments.

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