Holiday travel is stressful as it is. Add in the booking and cost of flights and it’s enough to make you want to stay home for Thanksgiving. But, you shouldn’t let a busy travel day get in between you and the ones you love. And, while we can’t promise there won’t be crowds — after all, Thanksgiving is considered the busiest time to travel — we can promise to find you a good deal. Or, at least narrow down on the best time to book Thanksgiving flights.
With that in mind, we tapped Priceline to find out when the best time to book Thanksgiving flights is. Find out what their data says, ahead.
The cheapest time to book Thanksgiving flights
We hate to break it to you, but the cheapest time to book Thanksgiving flights has already passed. Many travel sites suggest booking Thanksgiving flights in September for the best deal. However, booking a flight in October is still more affordable than early November. So, if you don’t have a confirmation number yet, you’re not missing out on the deals entirely.
The best time to book Thanksgiving flights
When it comes down to it, Priceline says the day you book matters more than the date. According to data shared with The Cheat Sheet, the best time to book Thanksgiving flights is on a Thursday. That’s when they are overall the cheapest (whether you book on time in September or last minute).
If booked on Thursday, the average price for a round trip flight is $351, according to Priceline data. So, even though the flights are going up — and will continue to do so through the holiday travel season — you can still save money by booking Thanksgiving flights on a Thursday. And, “if you’re willing to arrive on Thanksgiving Day, late October [aka, right now] is the best time to find the greatest deals on flights,” says Priceline.
The worst time to book Thanksgiving flights
What day should you avoid booking a Thanksgiving flight? According to Priceline data, “Monday is the most expensive day of the week to purchase a flight for Thanksgiving.” In addition, waiting until November to get your travel affairs in order can also cost you, as Priceline data says October is the last chance to score a good deal on ticket prices.
The best time to book Christmas flights
If you still need to book your Christmas flights, there is time. “Mid-November is prime time for snagging the deepest discounts on flights if you’re willing to arrive on Christmas Day,” says Priceline. If you’d like to arrive before then, many travel sites recommend booking in October. “For booking Christmas travel, the overall cheapest day of the week to book is on Sunday,” notes Priceline. According to their data, the average round-trip Christmas ticket costs $321 when booked on a Sunday. And, Tuesday is the most expensive day to book a flight for the holidays.