April 14, 2024

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Traveling Around the World

10 Ways To Save Money When Booking Flights For Holiday Travel Season


  • Book flights on Sundays to save up to 30% of the cost. Tuesday used to be the best day, but now airlines don’t launch sales then.
  • Avoid buying airline tickets on Fridays due to high demand from weekend tourists and business travelers, which increases prices by 5% to 15%.
  • For international trips, book flights at least six months in advance to save 10% on total costs. Flights to Mexico or the Caribbean don’t need as much advance booking.

Planning for a holiday trip involves a lot of preparation and budgeting, whether visiting the most trending destinations in the world, top UNESCO Heritage Sites, or the most iconic cities around the globe. Plus, if exploring some of the greenest locations on the planet, one may need to book with one of the world’s eco-friendly tour companies instead of regular operators. Vacationers also need to make reservations at hotels, restaurants, and, most importantly, flights.

While many travelers always assume that flights are cheapest during the off-season, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes it works, but not always. There are plenty of other money-saving flight hacks to consider to bag a bargain, especially during the busy holiday period. So, for those wondering how to save money when booking holiday travel flights, keep these flight booking tips handy and put them into motion.

Related: 10 Of The Most Remote Places To Visit In The World As Of 2023

Book Flights On The Cheapest Day Of The Week

An airplane wing seen from the plane window during a flight above the clouds
Photo by Jerry Zhang on Unsplash

An airplane wing seen from the plane window during a flight above the clouds

One can save a lot (up to 30% of flight cost) by choosing to book on Sundays. Historically, Tuesday was considered the day to get the best deals on flights. This was when certain airlines launched new sales, which was followed by other airlines trying to match another’s flight costs. But this is something that happened years ago.

Things have changed, and it’s hard to find airlines just launching sales on Tuesday, let alone charging the same price as their competitors. According to Expedia, Sunday is when flights are most affordable.

  • The cheapest day to book flights: Sunday

Avoid Buying Airline Tickets On A Friday

Flight Attendant on Singapore Airlines
Sorbis / Shutterstock

Flight Attendant on Singapore Airlines

Planning to visit some of the ideal destinations for a 3-day weekend from the US? Whether flying for a quick trip or a months-long adventure, travelers can save a lot of money by avoiding purchasing a plane ticket on the wrong day of the week.

Several myths have spread about which days of the week to book flights for cheap, but some people don’t realize that this information is exaggerated. As a result, instead of finding cheaper deals as expected, one ends up paying more.

One of the ways to save money while booking flights is to avoid buying flight tickets on Fridays, as this may cost more by 5% to 15%. This is when many last-minute weekend tourists book flights while business travelers make plans for their next week’s trips, which heightens flight demand, and as a result, the cost of flying also increases.

  • Why travelers should avoid booking flights on a Friday: High demand for traveling (among weekend and business travelers)

For International Trip, Book At Least Six Months In Advance

a food selection on the new Emirates flight from Montreal to Dubai
AK Hiraki 

a food selection on the new Emirates flight from Montreal to Dubai

If planning to spend one’s holiday abroad, the best option is to book a flight at least 6 months in advance. This will allow tourists to save at least 10% of the total flight costs, which wouldn’t happen if one decides to book two months earlier or less. When to book is also influenced by the one’s destination.

For example, those planning to explore some of the best destinations in Mexico for an unforgettable winter vacation may not need to plan quite as far ahead; flights to Mexico or the Caribbean don’t usually need booking so far in advance. Generally, the best flight deals are found 59 days in advance, on average, with the lowest prices between 37 and 87 days in advance. In contrast, flights to Europe are most affordable when booked 129 days in advance, but anywhere between 50 and 179 days before departure would still work.

  • The best time to book a flight to the Caribbean: is 59 days in advance
  • The best time to book a flight to Europe: 129 days in advance

For A Domestic Flight, Don’t Book Too Far Ahead

An Emirates flight in mid-air
Miguel Lagoa / Shutterstock.com

An Emirates flight in mid-air

For domestic flights, visitors don’t have to book too far just to get the cheapest deal. A month or 35 days is enough to get a great deal. Expedia suggests booking a flight between 28 days and 35 days earlier. According to Google, booking a flight 44 days in advance would just be great.

While booking way earlier before the departure date isn’t considered ideal, one shouldn’t rely on last-minute bookings because prices hike at that time. The best time to book flights for a domestic flight is 21 days in advance.

  • The best time to book a domestic flight: 21 days before the departure date

Compare Prices Across Airlines

Helicopter flight above the Canadian Rockies

View of the Canadian Rockies from a helicopter 

While people are used to booking flights and accommodation as a package, it is advisable to compare the costs of flights across different airlines. As competition increases among airlines, some companies come up with unique marketing and promotional strategies, which lead to better deals, depending on the time of the year.

There are incredible chances for getting discounts or a lower-cost flight if one takes their time to compare prices before booking. Skyscanner, Kayak, and Expedia are useful search tools for a quick overview of flight deals from different airlines.

Before navigating through an airline website, vacationers should ensure they clear their cache and cookies. Whenever one browses on the internet, websites keep the IP addresses and locations, and without clearing the history, some customers will end up paying for raised fairs. Vacationers can use different browsers, clear their search history, open an incognito window, and have all cookies disabled before browsing prices across airlines.

Avoid Booking Flights On Specific Dates, Depending On The Destination

Air Canada aircraft, white with red logo, airborne
Photo by Ansel Huang on Unsplash

Air Canada flight, Vancouver, plane in the blue sky 

Regular vacationers can guess which days of the year are the worst to book flights. The worst days to book flights are the times when the demand is the highest. These include major holidays and festivals in various destinations, sports events, and when schools take a break.

When holidays are considered with schools closing, that can be the worst time to book a flight. In the US, tourists should avoid Thanksgiving and Christmas & New Year’s Eve.

  • Holidays to avoid in the U.S.: Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Eve

Related: Celebrate Mardi Gras At These Budget-Friendly New Orleans Hotels

Opt For Local Airlines If Traveling Within Your Country

Person drinking champagne on a flight

Person drinking champagne on a flight

If planning to go on a vacation within one’s own country, vacationers should not book flights with international airlines. The problem with booking with international airlines is that, in most cases, they connect flights with long layovers, which is good for tourists with multiple destinations in their itinerary, but it makes the overall transport price more expensive than domestic flights with domestic airlines.

The only downside of this is that some search engines may not show options for lesser-recognized routes. Even so, visitors should check for local airline deals because sometimes they offer better deals than international airlines.

When booking a domestic flight, vacationers still shouldn’t forget to get travel insurance, which can help protect them in the case of flight delays, loss of luggage, sickness, or injuries. Most travelers don’t think to get travel insurance for domestic flights, but this is a mistake.

Land On Better Deals By Following An Airline’s Social Media Page

A person staring at images on a laptop
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

A person staring at images on a laptop

One of the ways to save money while booking flights for travel season is following airlines’ social media pages, which sometimes post flash sales or promotional flight deals or codes on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other popular platforms.

This is why tourists should follow the airlines they love, so they stay updated about the available discounts, including coupons, and see whether there are last-minute flight ticket sales. One should also check with their credit/debit card providers to see if they can get any discounts on flights, as many of these companies work with airlines.

Another tip for getting cheaper flight deals is joining travel groups and communities via social media platforms. In these spaces, people share travel tips, advice, and some of the best deals not to miss in a given season.

Keeping Within Luggage Allowances Can Save Some Money

Paro International Airport, Paro, Bhutan
Photo by vineet singh on Unsplash

Paro International Airport, Paro, Bhutan

Airlines limit the weight, size, and quantity of luggage that one person can have on a flight. This is to help ensure that every passenger’s need is fulfilled while saving on the fuel used to fly people from one destination to another.

To help save some money on flights, travelers need to understand how many bags are allowed and what kilos their luggage should weigh. Vacationers whose bags weigh more than the weight allowed will have to pay extra cash, and the charges vary across different airlines. These charges can be very expensive!

It is important to have one’s luggage weighed before getting to the airport. This will help one know if they are within the luggage allowance or may need to pay extra fees to have their needs accommodated. Employing minimalist packing hacks for a flight can help travelers reduce the amount of things they need and, therefore, the weight of their luggage.

Related: These Are The Most Beautiful City Squares In The World

Opt For A Multi-Destination Flight That Offer Free Stopovers

Airplanes On The Tarmac At An Airport At Sunset In Logan Airport Terminal C, United States
Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

Airplanes On The Tarmac At An Airport At Sunset In Logan Airport Terminal C, United States

One of the ways to save money while booking flights for the holiday travel season is by buying a flight ticket from an airline that offers multi-destination flights. For instance, one might want to visit New York City, one of the most expensive cities in the world, and stick around for a while before moving to the next destination.

Some airlines let tourists stop over at a destination without paying extra fees, sometimes even with accommodation included in the flight price. It is a perfect way to save some money while exploring some of the most beautiful countries in the world.

If one wants to buy a multi-city flight ticket, one should go to a website like Skyscanner, select multi-city, enter departure dates and destinations, put in the number of passengers on the flight, and then search.