If You’re Traveling Around a Holiday
Pelletier told me Thanksgiving is the absolute hardest to buy tickets for, because everyone is trying to fly out and return on the same days (Wednesday to Sunday). Christmas is more flexible because people choose different days off. Notice when holidays fall midweek. For example, if July 4th falls on Wednesday some people take time off before, some after. This allows you more flexibility in buying tickets.
When to buy: At least three months out. Aim to buy Thanksgiving tickets the Tuesday after Labor Day; don’t book too early because rates will usually come down at least a little after the summer, when rates are high because gas is expensive.
Bonus tip: If you can, avoid Sunday flights and traditional travel days. That could mean leaving before and coming back later than most people, or flying on the holiday itself. Pelletier told us you can often save 50 percent on a ticket by flying Christmas Eve or day. “We saved $300 per ticket around Thanksgiving for our family of four by flying out the Saturday before Thanksgiving and coming back the Saturday after,” Pelletier said. “Not everyone can swing that with their work schedules, so my advice is to leave Thanksgiving Day and return on Saturday for cheaper fares.”