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Whether it’s a white Christmas you’re after or festivities on the beach, book tickets for your December escape. And do it sooner, rather than later — because hands down, Christmas is an expensive time of year to fly.
Compare fares during the holiday season from hundreds of booking sites and airlines by using the search below.
The best time to book a domestic flight to be home for the holidays is 61 to 90 days before Christmas, according to AAA’s most recent analysis of member flight booking data. This year that’s between September 26th and October 25th. The average price of tickets during this time is $551 —lower than if you book before or after that window.
Still you can still get a good deal around Thanksgiving — between 28 to 60 days before Christmas. The average ticket jumps slightly to $561.
Depending on where you’re traveling, it could be cheaper to fly on Christmas day.
However, you could save by traveling on Christmas Eve, according to AAA. It found that Christmas Eve is “the lightest travel day of the week,” and has the lowest average price per ticket compared to December 21st, 22nd and 23rd — about $527.
So check both Christmas Day and Christmas Eve flights to compare when you’re looking to book cheap holiday travel.
To book cheap Christmas flights in the US, you’ll want to avoid departing between December 21 and 23, which tend to be the most expensive days to fly. Instead, consider scheduling your departure prior to December 21st, or on Christmas day. If you take an early bird flight, you might get to your destination in time for Christmas ham.
The actual cost of cheap Christmas flights can vary widely depending on your location and the airline you’re flying with. It’s worth toggling around to find the cheapest days for your situation.
The rules for booking cheap international flights are similar — avoid the handful of days leading up to Christmas if possible, and book on the 25th for the cheapest fares overall.
“Cheap” and “Christmas” are a whole lot more compatible with these insider hacks.
Cheap Christmas flights aren’t completely out of reach, but it does take some thoughtful strategy and planning ahead to land opportune rates. After booking your flight, browse hotels to find a place to stay.
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