When to buy holiday flights according to a major flight search tool
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

With the fall and winter holidays coming up fast, the questions about when to buy holiday flights keep pouring in. I’ve already updated my annual posts on booking Thanksgiving and Christmas flights, so if you missed them, you can check them out below:

But more help booking holiday flights can’t hurt, right? Flight search tool Hipmunk published its own guide to buying flights for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, which you can check out here. Hipmunk used its “holiday flight data to find the best time to book for maximum savings” and “break down every possible date combination so you can make the smartest holiday travel plans.”

Hipmunk identified early September as the best time to find cheap holiday flights, but if you haven’t booked yet, hope isn’t lost. “Don’t freak out if you miss[ed] the early September date,” Hipmunk writes in the post. “Historically, Thanksgiving flight prices peak mid-October and then dip down again towards Halloween and beginning of November, then rising sharply in the two weeks prior to the holiday. Similarly, Christmastime booking prices see a drop in the two-week window before the holiday, then increasing sharply the week of.”

On Thanksgiving flights

“Departing on Thanksgiving day saves 12 percent when compared to Wednesday, the most-booked departure date,” says Hipmunk. “But no matter when you depart, returning on Sunday has the biggest impact on flight price—increasing median flight booking prices 32 percent.” See the full Thanksgiving flight breakdown here.

On Christmas flights

“The number of possible departure and arrival dates increases with Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year,” writes Hipmunk, “but similar to Thanksgiving, the least expensive flight itinerary is departing on Christmas Day and returning the day after.” See the full Christmas flight breakdown here.


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