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The Best Time to Book Holiday Flights Is…

posted: 08/11/15
by: Mara Betsch
Airplane and boarding pass
iStock

If you're lucky, you have family that lives nearby and rarely have to travel more than 30 minutes for your holiday celebrations. But if you're one of the 5.7 million Americans who takes to the skies for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve, it's time to buy your ticket

According to SkyScanner, a travel search engine, this week (August 10-August 16) is the best time to snag a deal for the holidays. They analyzed 2014 purchasing patterns and discovered that those who booked their travel this time last year saved 5.5 percent for Thanksgiving week, 19 percent for Christmas, and 15 percent for New Year's Eve.

If possible, book you and your family's travel now to save money that, let's be honest, is better spent on delicious foods and gifts for loved ones.

But if your bank account can't handle a big purchase right now, you can still do things to cut costs on flights in the future. Use these tried-and-true travel budget tips:

Consider flying at off-peak times. Flying in on Christmas Eve or early Thanksgiving morning could save you a fair amount of money as long as it doesn't disrupt your family's events.
Check smaller nearby airports. Most big cities have several airports, so if the fares at the nearest one are steep, check other airports for better deals.
Try flying midweek. If you can avoid flying in or out of your hometown on the weekends, you may be able to bank some extra cash.
Look at fare drop policies. Some airlines will give you vouchers if the flight you book's price goes down within a certain time period.