This is When It’s Cheapest to Buy Holiday Flights — and When It’s Too Late

airplanes parked at gates at the airport

Ever heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?”

Well, don’t suffer a monumental travel fail by paying more than you should for airline tickets this holiday season. Instead, plan now and book now.

The Best Time to Buy

This week is when airline tickets will be the cheapest leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to travel site Hipmunk.

Travelers who book flights this week could save up to 27% on Thanksgiving travel and up to 38% on Christmas trips, Hipmunk reports.

But don’t worry if you haven’t nailed down your holiday travel plans just yet. According to Hipmunk’s analysis, airline prices waver only slightly from now until the week of Halloween. But after that, prices will rise more steeply.

Hipmunk refers to the week of October 30 as the “point of no return.” Be prepared to pay much more if you buy your holiday flights after that.

Additional Holiday Travel Tips

When booking your travel, don’t forget to factor in airline baggage fees. Your cheaper flight may not save you much once you add in the price of bags.

You’ll also want to consider additional related costs, like travel insurance, snacks or selecting premium seats.

If you want to avoid the crazy airport crowds, Hipmunk suggests traveling on Thanksgiving or Christmas, when bookings are at a minimum.

If you choose the day before Thanksgiving or December 22 or 23 — aka the busiest days ever — don’t complain to me about the never-ending TSA lines and having to fight for elbow room on the plane.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She wants to stay home for the holidays.