Thanksgiving is still three months away, falling on Nov. 23 this year. But now is the time to plan and possibly book your air travel.
Airfare will only become more pricey — and seat selections will only dwindle — as the holiday nears, according to CheapAir.
The website explains in a recent blog post:
“You can avoid paying too much for most holiday flights by buying on the early side. Some of the best airfares for Thanksgiving are generally found in the month of September, with costs increasing in October and again in November.”
You can also minimize Thanksgiving travel costs by booking flights on the cheapest days, or at least avoiding flying on the most expensive days.
CheapAir tracks 11,000 airfares for flights during the holiday season and uses that data to create holiday flight reports each year. According to this year’s report, the least expensive days for Thanksgiving air travel are:
- Nov. 24 — offers the “deepest discount,” CheapAir says
- Nov. 25 — “deepest discount”
- Nov. 19 — “good value”
- Nov. 20 — “good value”
The holiday itself and the other days before and after it are more expensive days for Thanksgiving air travel.
CheapAir describes airfares for Nov. 18, Nov. 21-23 and Nov. 27 as “a little pricey.” Airfares for Nov. 17 and Nov. 26 are highest.
Another reason to avoid flying on Nov. 26: It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which CheapAir reports is the busiest travel day of the year.
The best way to save money on airfare
Regardless of the time of year you fly, you can boost savings by being flexible. It’s perhaps the single best way to save money on any type of travel, and it applies to multiple aspects of travel, including:
- Dates: If you aren’t set on flying to or departing from your destination on specific days, you can save a lot of money. Thanksgiving travel is a perfect example, as evidenced by CheapAir’s 2017 holiday travel report data.
- Airports: If you are willing to fly out of one airport and return to another, you can save. As we explain in “14 Super Smart Ways to Save on Travel,” you’ll often find lower airfares if your ticket search includes smaller, regional airports in addition to your primary destination airport.
- Lodging: If you can’t get travel lodging for free by staying with family or friends, check out “10 Ways to Score Free Lodging for Your Next Vacation.” Failing those options, consider cheaper alternatives to hotels. These include hostels and vacation home rentals available through sites like VRBO.com and Homestay.com.
What’s your favorite way to save on airfare for the holidays? Share it with us below or over on our Facebook page.