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Holiday Travel Tip – Fly the “Cheapest” Days (Specific Dates) and Times

September 17, 2008 | Posted in: Holiday Travel,Tips and Tricks

Face it, traveling during holidays is not going to be cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but we can help you buy tickets that are at least a bit cheaper. First, cheapest dates, then, cheapest times. Ready?

Thanksgiving – November 27th – Best Departure Days

  • Saturday, November 22nd
  • Tuesday, November 25th
  • Thursday, November 27th

Thanksgiving – November 27th – Best Return Days

  • Thursday, November 27th
  • Saturday, November 29th
  • Tuesday, December 2nd

Christmas – December 25th – Best Departure Days

  • Thursday, December 18th
  • Saturday, December 20th
  • Tuesday, December 23rd
  • Thursday, December 25th

Christmas – December 25th – Best Return Days

  • Thursday, December 25th
  • Saturday, December 27th
  • Wednesday, December 31st
  • Thursday, January 1st
  • Saturday, January 3rd
  • Tuesday, January 6th

NOTE: You’ll be charged more than usual for the convenience of non-stop flights during the holidays – but if you do travel on connecting flights, make sure you have plenty of time between those flights in case of normal holiday or weather delays.

Cheapest time of day to fly: The cheapest time-frame is typically — the first flight out in the morning (yes you have to get up at 4am)– flights during/after lunch– and flights at the dinner hour.

And don’t wait; book your tickets now or at least well before November.

16 Responses to “Holiday Travel Tip – Fly the “Cheapest” Days (Specific Dates) and Times”

  1. maltodextrin says:

    Your Dec. calendar is off. The 20th is listed twice, throwing off the days of the week for the 21st-31st. Christmas is on a Thursday this year.

  2. Megan says:

    I was surprised to see Nov 29 listed as cheaper….I priced flights to return Nov 28 or Nov 29 and all flights were higher on the 29th, most by at least $100.

  3. K Pekari says:

    The dates on the December calendar are one day later than they should be. Don’t be confused if you’re booking any reservations.

  4. Sarah M. says:

    Dates (days of the week) do not coincide with calendar.

  5. Joe Rinaldi says:

    Rick, the calendars are a nice addition. I bet you’ll see NW file their 3-level annual holiday sale in a month and a half with the same travel dates you broke out.

  6. K Hopkins says:

    It looks to me that your December calendar is off by one day. Christmas falls on Thursday not Friday as indicated by your calendar.

  7. Rick,

    You always provide such excellent advice for travelers. Thanks for these great tips on cheaper holiday flight days. Keep ‘em coming.

    I’ve linked you to my Picajet travel blog.


  8. Crystal Jones says:

    Just to let you know, on the calendar Dec. 20 is duplicated as the date on Saturday and Sunday.

  9. Rita Donaldson says:

    Rick, the December calendar above lists December 20 twice, once on Saturday and once on Sunday. Thanks for the info. Rita Donaldson

  10. Rick Seaney says:

    My apologies on the calendar typo all should be sorted out now. Of course these dates may not always be the cheapest on every route, but they are the most likely to be cheapest and the idea was to save you some time hunting and pecking for the best days.

    The bottom line for this holiday season is finding a “better bad deal” — I bought my tickets for holiday travel a couple of months ago …

  11. Kathy A. says:

    I spent a considerable amount of time looking for “best days” return rates and they were the same for the 29th and 30th for returns on thanksgiving travel.
    Maybe it’s just that the best rates these days can’t be classified as “best”.
    Thanks for the tips

  12. Rick Seaney says:

    Hi Kathy, On any given route (there are tens of thousands of them in the U.S.) the prices may not budge on those days, but in general these days have the most empty seats which typically has airlines quoting lower price points.

  13. Inge says:

    Hi Rick,
    We want to spend 3 months in Bangkok from the middle of Dec. to March.
    Last year we went direct from NY and that was ssoooo long…18 hrs.

    What’s the best way to break up the trip? What stops do you recommend? What dates are the best to save money?

  14. Sheila says:

    Hi Rick,

    Just wondering if you’ve done any analysis on the best departure dates for New Years? Based on what I’m seeing (for Hawaii), Dec 31st seems to be the cheapest departure date.

  15. Letitia says:

    My son is an Airman, and can only fly home on Christmas Day from DFW to CLT and return on New Years Day. Are there ANY round-trip deals for this young Airman for $350 or less?

  16. Rick Seaney says:

    Right now we are seeing prices at about $277 roundtrip. Go to FareCompare.com and see for yourself, at http://www.farecompare.com/ (you put in your departure and destination cities and the dates you want and the prices will appear).
    I must caution you: the best prices do NOT last long, so make your purchase quickly.
    And have a wonderful holiday with your son.

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