If you have any plans to fly somewhere for holidays, it’s time to look for tickets. In fact the best time is between September 25th and October 27th, according to travel experts at AAA, and most people find tickets during this time.
Waiting can also bring some good deals, but it’s very uncertain. Last minute deals can happen 7-13 days before the flight, but you have to be willing to keep your planning and hotel booking on hold, and who wants that before the biggest holidays of the year?
Given all the uncertainty and your desire to let your mom and dad know you are coming home for Christmas ASAP, here is a list of ways to save without waiting for the last minute deals:
What are some useful tips for saving money on airline tickets?
- The best days to buy tickets are Tuesday and Wednesday
- The best days to fly are also Tuesday and Wednesday
- Sundays are the most expensive to fly
- The cheapest flights are on the actual holiday, such as 6 am on Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Only about 52% of all ticket inventory is online, so pick up the phone and call the airline
- Sign up for airfare alerts and get notified when deals come up for your location and time
- Sometimes buying 2 one-way tickets is cheaper than buying 1 round-trip
- Be very flexible with dates and time, especially if you are waiting for the last minute deals. Also be ready for early flights and long layovers.
- Thanksgiving prices typically start high and remain high, so it’s not as crucial to get them early
- Christmas tickets start lower and vary more, so you will benefit if you’ll buy as early as you can
- The industry anticipates that Thanksgiving travel will be 3.9% down for round trip and Christmas tickets will be 9.2% down this year, which is significant
- It’s never too early to start hunting for deals
- The second you find a great deal, get it, it’s not worth risking to miss it while waiting for some miracle
- Get familiar with average prices, so you can spot a good deal when you see it
- Select alternative airports when looking for the best deals, don’t just settle for the main one as it often is more expensive versus a smaller one 30 minutes away, especially in Europe
- Don’t spend too much money for a seat and always settle for the middle one if it’s cheaper
- Monday before Thanksgiving often has the best deals, as does Thanksgiving Day itself
- Avoid the weekend before Christmas because it falls on Wednesday this year and most people will be trying to fly the weekend before, given such a short week
- Best deals are currently for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day morning