For our latest When to Book analysis, visit our 2018 Travel Hacker Guide.
It’s a topic that leaves many travelers in a holding pattern (bad pun intended). When should I book? What are the best days to travel? To answer these burning questions, we analyzed over a billion annual searches on KAYAK to bring you this two-part answer (because like your dog, Pinto, the holiday season is a special case).
PART 1: Because the holidays are approaching, we’ll go there first. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to save enough on travel to really spoil your loved ones.
- Book now. Both domestic and international airfare begin to rise steeply come mid-November.
- For domestic and international flights, departing on Monday 12/25 and returning on Thursday 12/28 could save you up to 45%.
- This year, travelers could be paying 28% more by departing on Saturday 12/23 and returning on Saturday 12/30. If you can, fly during the week to save some money.
- For New Year’s travel, consider departing on New Year’s Eve and returning on Monday 1/1 or Tuesday 1/2 to save up to 49%.
PART 2: For general year-round travel, the lowest average domestic airfares are usually found 2-4 weeks prior to departure while international airfares are at their lowest point 2-3 months out. Here are some additional travel secrets:
- Don’t book too early. The average domestic fare found six months before a departure date was 2% higher than the fare found 2-4 weeks out.
- Travelers planning a week-long domestic trip should depart on a Saturday and return on Monday to score the cheapest airfare (roughly 16% lower than average).
- For international week-long trips, we recommend departing on a Tuesday and returning on Wednesday to save some $$. These flights were 21% lower than the average.