When To Book Holiday Travel

When To Book Holiday Travel

Jennifer Hunter
Sep 4, 2014
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Hint: You're reading this, aren't you? That's right, it's time to start thinking about making those holiday travel reservations. Sure, you could put if off, or you could save money (and get a window seat) by following this handy guide to holiday booking.

Airfare is a tricky game with prices changing not only day to day, but sometimes hour to hour, but a general rule of thumb is it's better to book early. There's not much to gain by waiting until the 11th hour except lots of travel stress.

According to Cheap Air, the best time to book is between 104-29 days prior to your flight. We're currently within that window, but don't freak out yet, the sweet spot is really day 54.

(Image credit: Cheap Air)

Don't worry, we did the math for you:

Thanksgiving - 54 days = October 4th.

Christmas - 54 days = November 1st.

Hanukkah- 54 days = October 23rd.

But as they smartly point out, ticket price fluctuations only occur when airlines have extra seats (and want to unload them) so if you want to fly on a popular date (ahem...day before Thanksgiving) or to a busy location, book early.

Our favorite strategy to avoid the price gouging of high traffic days, is to choose traditionally unpopular days to travel (hint: flying on a holiday is always cheaper) or times (5:30 am, anyone?) but you have to decide how much inconvenience you can endure to save the cash.

Wanna get really technical? Check out this Holiday Fare Index which tracks 11,000 flights daily to give you a picture of what fares are doing right this moment so you can wait until the best moment to pounce.

Bottom line: start getting your plans in order, mark your calendars with the must-buy date and get to your holiday destinations on the cheap!

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