Travel can easily be the most stressful part of the holidays. But if you book smart, you’ll save a ton of money while getting over the river and through the woods just fine.
The airfare analysts at Hopper crunched current ticketing data to find the best time to book holiday flights this year. According to their calculations, this week (Oct. 5 through Oct. 12) is best time to purchase flights for Christmas, as tickets will be cheapest about 80 days before the holiday. You can afford to wait a bit before purchasing Thanksgiving flights, but be sure to book by the end of October to snag the lowest prices.
Hopper’s data comes from an analysis of several billion flight price quotes every day. Their prime booking dates for 2016 are very similar to the ones other experts predicted last year, though with a bit more leeway for Thanksgiving travel.
Domestic Thanksgiving flights are currently priced about 7.8 percent below last year’s average, and Christmas flights are down about 12 percent, according to Hopper data.
Days to avoid
The rules of booking a holiday flight are easy: When you see a cheap flight, buy it. Avoid the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving if you can, and prepare to score big if your schedule allows travel on Thanksgiving Day.
Finding cheap flights