For most people, the best time to fly is whenever they prefer. However, if you have a limited budget, your preferences may be unable to dictate when you travel. Instead, you may need to find the best deals. So, when is it cheapest to fly?
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In the off-season
If you're traveling to someplace popular like Disney World in Orlando or Colorado, expect to pay more during peak tourist months. During winter, tourists flock to Colorado to enjoy skiing. Airlines know this, so they charge premium fares. Conversely, Colorado is not a hotspot in the summer months since there is no snow. It's harder to fill flights to Denver, so the airlines offer deals and discounts. If you can, without ruining your trip, fly in the off-season. You could save $100 or more on your airfare alone. Moreover, since it's the off-season, you may also score discounts on car rental and hotels.
In the Early Morning or Afternoon Hours
Usually, airlines have early morning flights departing at five or six in the morning. The reason this is the best time to fly is that these flights are rarely booked solid. After all, who wants to get up that early to start a long day's journey? Certainly not this girl right here! But if you want to save money, you should (No thanks, I'll sleep in and pay. LOL). Remember, airlines offer discounts to fill flights. You are more likely to get a discount on a 6 am flight than you are on a 9 am flight. Afternoon flights are also a good choice. Vacationers usually like to fly in the morning or at night (night owl here!). Some feel they waste a vacation day by departing in the afternoon, so these flights are usually less full to, which means you can probably score a discount.
Not During the Holidays
One of the most expensive times to fly is during the holidays. Spending time with family during this time is special, especially if you are far away. Unfortunately, airlines exploit this and capitalize on it. If you were to fly home to visit your family in the middle of July, as opposed to two days before Christmas or Thanksgiving, your airfare could be hundreds of dollars cheaper.
At Least Three Days Before a Holiday
As previously stated, people want to fly home to visit family during the holidays and they do, no matter how much it costs. But, if you're trying to save money, do not fly the day or two before a holiday, like Christmas. These are peak travel dates; they are when most people are trying to get home for the holidays. Your flight will still be expensive, but you may save $50 or more by spending an extra three days with your family.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays
When it comes to the best days to travel, Wednesdays and Saturdays are your best option. Mondays and Fridays are the most expensive. Why? People traveling for business tend to fly on Mondays. They are the airline's two most profitable flying days, so avoid them. By flying on Saturday, you miss most of the weekend warriors; remember, they flew on Friday. 😉
Just to recap, when you travel can affect how much you spend on a trip. If you can be flexible, you'll save more. But ultimately, travel when it's best for you.
When is best and cheapest time to fly?
- In the off-season
- In the early morning or afternoon hours
- NOT during the holiday
- At least three (3) days before the holiday
- On Wednesdays or Saturdays