The Best Time to Book Your Travel is…


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.

  1. Book now. Both domestic and international airfare begin to rise steeply come mid-November.
  2. For domestic and international flights, departing on Monday 12/25 and returning on Thursday 12/28 could save you up to 45%.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.


*This blog was originally published on Nov. 14, 2012. Updated: September 2017
Header Image Attribution: Andrey_Popov/