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I'm trying to figure out when would be best to travel, as I'm planning to travel towards the end of November, again in December, and again in March, if possible. I want to use vacation all three of these times since I have some built in vacation days each of these months already, but don't know what dates I should block in order to get the best deals on airfare.

If it matters, I'll most likely be flying within the United States in November and December, and then hopefully somewhere in southeast Asia in March.

So the question: What are the cheapest days within a week or weeks within a month to fly?

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2 Answers 2

Obviously you want to avoid holidays of basically any form - Thanksgiving style holidays are the worst, but even long weekends, school holidays, etc will increase demand, and thus prices. Beyond that, there's not a lot at the time-of-month level that affects prices.

However day of week is a different story. In general, airlines will have cheaper fares on some days of the week, although which days depends a lot of whether it's a business route or a tourist route. In general you can expect Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday to be the cheapest days, normally followed by Saturday. Friday, Sunday and Monday are normally the most expensive.

Most of the travel sites will allow you to select a "My dates are flexible" or similar box, which will show you to cheapest dates for up to a week around the date you've selected, which is normally the easiest way to find the best dates to travel on if your schedule is flexible.

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Fun fact - I've seen on a regular basis that various routes are cheaper on Friday the 13th. Yes, enough people are superstitious that it can affect airline prices. For this reason a friend emigrated from NZ to Aus on a Friday 13th, and even got married on a Friday 13th :)

Generally, however, weekends are more expensive than weekdays - as people try to reduce how much leave they're taking when going on holiday, and of course flights are used for weekend breaks. As such, Friday evening and Sunday evening tend to be expensive.

Often Saturday morning flights (very early) are a lot cheaper.

Your best bet is to look up holidays for the destination (and source) of your flight, and try to avoid travelling on those days. Also check dates for school holidays as those tend to bump up prices as well while families go on holiday together.

Then go to a price comparison website like Kayak and when you search for prices, check the 'Flexible days' - often it'll help you out by showing you that if you fly a day earlier you'll save cash.

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