Cheapfares Blog

Cheapfares travel blog with the latest news and tip.

When is the best time to book flights for the December holidays?

For the cheapest fares on flights for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s, Nastro says it’s best to book in the summer months. But if you didn’t planned that far ahead, you can still find bargains for several more weeks.


10 Steps to Find the Cheapest Airfare

“For peak seasons, you’ll want to book by three months out for domestic flights and four months in advance for international,” says Nastro. “Again, you aren’t out of luck if you haven’t booked already, but do not wait much longer since you may end up with not only expensive flights but extremely expensive flights.”

Skyscanner’s data shows the best time to buy a flight for December travel is between the weeks of October 8 and November 19, according to Lindsay. “Booking during this time period could save you an estimated three percent,” Lindsay says.

Best days to travel for Thanksgiving and winter holidays

Normally, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, according to Nastro. “But, when it comes to holidays, this thinking sort of goes out the window,” she says. “If a holiday falls on a Thursday (like Thanksgiving), then the Wednesday before sees way more travelers than any normal week, putting upward pressure on prices.”

So the most reliable way to ensure you travel on a low-price day is to head to the airport when others are already celebrating. “For exactly the reason you’d expect, flights on a holiday itself—Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or Day—are almost always cheapest, often a discount of 35 percent or more, as many are already spending time with loved ones, not hopping on flights,” Nastro says.

If that tactic doesn’t fit your plans, try being more flexible with your departure and return days. “Searching by multiple dates is one of your best chances of finding a bargain,” Lindsay says. “Consider traveling a day before or a day after your original departure dates, as flying on less popular days of the week can be cheaper.” Whatever days you chose to fly, be sure to add some buffer time for factors like bad weather and inevitable delays and cancellations.

When is the best time to book flights for the December holidays?
Scroll to top