The Best Time to Book Holiday Travel

Heading home for the holidays this year? Booking a flight can be a bit daunting – especially since prices can skyrocket in what seems like no time. So when is the best time to book? Our PHL Airport parking company explores the options:

Avoid Popular Dates

For both Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are simply some days that people fly more than others. For example, the Wednesday before and the Friday after are the most popular travel times for Thanksgiving, while the days leading up to Christmas Eve (the 22nd and 23rd) and the days after Christmas (the 26th and 27th) are the most popular. When booking your flight, try to keep your schedule flexible and fly earlier or later than peak travel days.

Checking Early

The sweet spot for booking your flight can vary depending on where you’re flying to, so it’s important to check prices early and frequently so you can get an idea for the best price. Then when you find it, you can book it with confidence.

The Two-Week Mark

We encourage travelers to book their holiday flights early, but if you have to book yours last-minute, do so at least two weeks before Thanksgiving. According to Kayak, the average price for holiday travel (November 18th to January 3rd) starts to increase after Nov. 11.


Want to skip the traditional American Thanksgiving or Christmas and spend the holidays in Europe? The best time to book is mid-October (or about 6-8 weeks in advance). International travel to Europe starts declining late summer until around mid-October for the holiday (November 18th to January 3rd).

Airport Options

If you’re fortunate enough to travel to an area with more than one airport in the area, do yourself a favor and check the price of a flight into all of the surrounding airports. You may just find that the price for one airport is significantly lower than for another.

Prime Time

So how far in advance should you buy your domestic holiday airfare? This is the big question that is always difficult to answer, given that prices can change depending on where you’re going, where you’re coming from and the dates. However, if we narrow it down, Hopper says that buying your Thanksgiving flight 55-65 days ahead of time will yield the best results (an average round-trip cost of $270) and buying your Christmas flight about 85 days head of time will be your best bet (an average round-trip cost of $325).