This Might Be the Last “Good” Week to Buy Holiday Airfare

Otherwise, you’ll be paying a lot more for tickets.

airport-terminal
Photo by Jon Shireman/Getty images

If you’ve procrastinated on buying holiday airfare, or you've been trying to wait for prices to miraculously go down (probably to no avail), you might want to seriously consider purchasing your tickets the last week of October. Travel site Orbitz advises that the final week of the month will be consumers’ last option to snag (somewhat) affordable airfare for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve.

“Prices can rise significantly during the holidays and while some people think they’ll get a better deal if they wait, we’ve actually found the opposite to be true. In fact, this year the best deals on airfare for holiday travel can be found in October, so now is the time to buy,” senior editor of Orbitz.com Jeanenne Tornatore said in a press release.

These are the best days to book holiday travel this year, according to Orbitz:

  • Thanksgiving: October 21-23, 27, and 30-31
  • Christmas: October 19, 23-24, and 28
  • New Year’s Eve: October 18, 20, 23, 28, and 31

Related: This Is the Best Time to Book Your Hotel for the Holidays

Orbitz also looked at airfare averages and airport traffic. For Thanksgiving, the average airfare price to the top 10 travel destinations (including New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles) is $409. The busiest airports for the holiday are Chicago O’Hare International, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International, and Los Angeles International.

On the Christmas front, the average airfare price is $435 to the top 10 travel destinations. Chicago O’Hare International will possibly be the busiest hub during the holidays, with the most popular routes being flights from O’Hare to Denver International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.

And finally, for New Year’s, the average price is $370 to top destinations. It’s actually the least expensive holiday to travel—probably because only 16 percent of Americans plan on taking a New Year’s trip, according to an Orbitz.com holiday survey.

You can find more holiday travel ideas on Orbitz.com.