It’s that time of year again; the holidays are upon us and if you haven’t already made Christmas travel plans you’re probably brainstorming where to spend the season. After all, you’ve now only got a little over a week!
Traveling over Christmas is a fantastic way to escape the usual stress the season may bring. And holiday memories are often the memories that are most cherished.
But when do you actually pull the trigger and book your flights? Some people think they should book their tickets as soon as they can. Others want to wait out until the very last moment.
But if you haven’t already run your flights comparison and booked your flights, you may be cutting it too close. Whether you’re interested in a beach getaway or skiing vacation, Travangelo has revealed the best time to book flights as Christmas fast approaches.
Travangelo Reveals the Best Time to Book Flights for Christmas
NOW is the Time to Book Your Flights!
Those who love to be organized may have a heart attack at the very thought of not having yet booked Christmas flights, but research reveals that many people make Christmas holiday decisions at the last minute.
This obviously makes it tricky to avail the best flight deals and offers, as you usually need to start planning your trip at least a month in advance to catch the best deals available on the internet.
But with a week and a half until Christmas, Travangelo research reveals that now could be the perfect time to pull the trigger on those flights. Last minute Christmas deals are a plenty as airlines scramble to fill seats on routes that haven’t sold out yet.
This does mean that you might not be guaranteed a flight to your first preference destination, but if you’re willing to be flexible and run some research, you may just find some fabulous last minute Christmas deals you wouldn’t have had the chance to book earlier.
The Balance Between Last Minute and ASAP
It’s a fine balance between booking well in advance, and leaving your bookings to the last minute. On the one hand, last minute deals can be truly tempting, though on the other you don’t want to completely miss out.
It will of course be different for every individual, so it’s important to find the right balance for you. There are different factors that determine which flight is most suitable for you. It consists of flight timing, schedule, meals, stay in transit, fares, weight allowance and much more.
You’ll have less control over these type of decisions the closer you get to the date of travel, as last minute bookings don’t always offer a great deal of choice. So if you’re someone who doesn’t have flexibility in your travel plans, book NOW!
If you’re someone who throws caution to the wind, can roll with the punches and loves the adrenaline that spontaneity brings, by all means, you may find great deals even the day before Christmas!
The Best Time to Book Flights for December
Speaking generally, the best time to book a flight for December will always be between 15 to 19 weeks out, depending on the opening of the flight window. And this is especially true if you’re heading to a destination that is popular over Christmas.
The laws of supply and demand say that if you’re traveling to a destination you know will book out, you should book well in advance. Unfortunately if this is the case, you may have already missed your window.
It will also depend on the airline though, as some take flight bookings up to 6 months in advance, others take bookings even longer. And then there are airlines who might only open their booking window 2 months prior to the flight.
Research shows that booking at least 16 + weeks in advance means you automatically save up to 40% on your ticket. This wouldn’t be mentioned on your reservation in the same way a slashed price discount would, as you’re paying full price, however ‘full price’ then increases over time.
Book in August for December Next Year
Booking 16 to 19 weeks in advance isn’t feasible for a lot of people. And for this year, this window has long passed. But if you’re able to take knowledge from 2018 research and apply it to your travel plans next year, try to start booking your trip in August.
In terms of Christmas this year, if you’ve not yet booked your flights there are still a couple of tricks to securing a cheap one. And that starts with not flying on the 21st.
Sky-scanner has reported that the 21st of December will be the most expensive day to fly. Once again this comes down to supply and demand – this is the most popular day to fly.
If you’re willing to fly out on the 23rd of December, you might find a significant reduction in the cost of your flights. And even more so if you’re happy to sacrifice Christmas day and spend it in flight.
The booking of your return flight can also play a big part in determining how much of a discount you can find. Christmas flights do fly almost full to their destinations, but they return almost empty to their hubs.
So if you plan a very short trip before Christmas, and you’re happy to return on Christmas or the next day, you might enjoy an amazingly low-cost flight home.
Photo credit: Jetstar Airways (CC BY-SA 2.o)
Tips for Finding Cheap Flights
When booking your flights at any time of the year, there are always secret tricks to finding something cheaper.
Tips for Finding Cheap Flights
➡ Clear your cookies and history before searching for flights.
➡ Avoid flying on weekends. Instead, manage your flights on weekdays. The cheapest days to fly are when other people don’t want to.
➡ Consider flying on the actual holiday. The biggest savings typically come with flying on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.
➡ Research whether or not it’s cheaper to book your flight as return, or book two one way tickets separately. If booking two one way tickets, you can split them between different airlines.
➡ Consider traveling to a less popular airport. Most cities only have one or two airports. A handful have three or four, however some have up to 6 (flights to London can be confusing!!).
➡ Subscribe to sites like Travangelo. Getting notifications and alerts of flight deals and discount offers is one of the best ways to stay on top of your research.
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