SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — If you’re thinking of booking flights for the holidays, you may want to get it done sooner rather than later, according to a new guide from travel website The Vacationer.
There are a limited number of flights available during the holidays, so it is more important during those times to book ahead. The Vacationer suggests booking Thanksgiving flights before Halloween and Christmas flights before Thanksgiving.
As for how to book, online travel websites can have some of the best prices, but, in the case of a canceled or delayed flight, can bring added headaches. To avoid extra time spent problem solving through middlemen, The Vacationer suggests booking directly with an airline.
As KRON4 previously reported in the summer flightmare guide, early flights are best. The Vacationer suggests booking early-morning flights because they are canceled and delayed less frequently than later flights. The earliest flight of the day also gives you breathing room if one of your flights is canceled or delayed.
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Another tip for saving money when it comes to holiday bookings is to utilize travel tools such as Google Flights to find some of the most affordable rates. If your home airport is smaller or more expensive, The Vacationer recommends that you consider flying from another airport nearby that may be cheaper.
Best Days to Travel this Holiday Season
The busiest travel days for Thanksgiving will be Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 27. The Vacationer says if you’re looking for more affordable flights or less of a hassle while traveling consider flying out on one of the following dates:
- Sunday, Nov. 20
- Monday, Nov. 21
- Tuesday, Nov. 22
- Thursday, Nov. 24 (Flights on Thanksgiving Day are cheaper)
Timing the return trip well is also key to easy traveling over Thanksgiving week. Consider returning home on one of these, less-traveled dates:
- Friday, Nov. 25 (Black Friday flights are often more affordable)
- Monday, Nov. 28
- Tuesday, Nov. 29
Traveling for Christmas can be an even more challenging task. The busiest travel days for Christmas are as follows:
- Thursday, Dec. 22
- Friday, Dec. 23
- Monday, Dec.26
- Tuesday, Dec. 27
When it comes to Christmas travel, leaving a few days earlier can save you some cash. Here are the best days to fly out for the Christmas holiday:
- Sunday, Dec. 18
- Monday, Dec. 19
- Tuesday, Dec. 20
- Saturday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve flights are often cheaper)
- Sunday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day flights are cheaper as well)
When returning from your Christmas travels, it’s best to avoid traveling on Dec. 26 and 27. Instead, try waiting until Wednesday, Dec. 28 or Thursday, Dec. 29 to head home.