Indeed, early October, nearly a month before, is the best time for cheap Christmas flights, according to travel website Hipmunk.
However, you should not book today. Wait until next week. Chris Slowe, chief data scientist at Hipmunk, announced the best time for buying flight tickets at this time of the year.
“Travelers often think the earlier they buy airfare, the more they’ll save. But our historical flight data consistently tells us that buying flights too early can be as bad as buying too late. The key is to know when prices will begin to steadily rise and then buy before that threshold.”
Hipmunk said those who purchase first week in October would pay an average of $398, compared with the $508 spent by those who wait until December to book. Buying later in October or in November yields average prices between $430 and $488.
The days you fly are as important as when you book. CheapAir.com’s Fare Index has identified the less expensive days to fly around Christmas. Those include December 18, 22, 23, 24 and 25. Most expensive dates are December 19, 20 and 21.
Moreover, while you are safe to wait until next week, start searching today. Travel site Hopper’s data shows Americans typically wait 12 days between shopping for flights and actually purchasing them and in that time prices rise an average of 4.5 percent.
So, if you start looking today and wait 12 days to book, it’s already the second week in October, and you’ve missed the sweet spot for finding the best deal.