This is not a drill.
Okay, it’s time to get serious here. You have got to book your holiday travel tickets. Like, now. We have officially reached the optimal window for purchasing holiday flights, according to Hopper’s Holiday Travel Index, and that window is going to slam shut before you know it–as in one week from now, October 31.
Planning for holiday travel is stressful and flight prices can change multiple times throughout any given day. In fact, Hopper says that between now and Thanksgiving, flights prices are expected to change an average of 102 times. And that’s just Thanksgiving. December holiday prices have even more time to change, and will–152 times. And, if your travel plans include a major city like New York or LA, flights will most likely change an average of 250 times.
So, yes–very stressful! And if you’re saying to yourself, “Uh, it’s not even Halloween, I’ve got time,” then know that when November hits, ticket prices are going to surge. Here’s the breakdown:
Currently, prices are averaging around $321 for a round-trip. The best days for departures are the Monday before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day itself, while the best day for return flights are the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. Your best bet for the cheapest flights is the last week of October–so, now. If you want to be super sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck, Hopper can send notifications right to your phone, telling you exactly when to purchase tickets. Just be warned that with every day you wait throughout November, the cost will probably go up, on average, about $3 per day.
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Christmas & New Year Travel
At this very moment, round-trip flight prices for Christmas are at $323. October is the best time to buy (again, now) and it’s going to go up several dollars with every day that passes in November. Historically, the best day for departures is Tuesday, December 18, with a return flight of December 27. Christmas Eve is also a good day for return flights if you don’t care about missing actual Christmas, and if you can stay through New Year’s, the best date for return is January 4.
If this sounds moderately inconvenient to you, that’s because… well, it is. However, it pays to be slightly inconvenienced: Hopper also indicates that flying on the holiday itself generally saves you about 22 percent on the overall price. In addition to this, flying at stranger times will save you money (and help you beat crowds)–in other words, that semi-ridiculous 3 am flight is going to make your airport adventure a little cheaper and a little quieter.
For a full analysis of flights and prices, visit Hopper–and book your flights already, will you? You’re stressing me out.