Ever feel like deciding when to buy plane tickets is a bit of a gamble? Say no more. While finding the best time to book flights isn’t an exact science, we’ve analyzed the trends from our data so you can always be sure you know when to get a good travel deal on our website. Since we have unique contracts with our airline partners, our prices don’t rise in the same way that other websites do. On other travel websites, you should probably buy a good deal as soon as you see it. The same isn’t true for our flights!
But we get it. It’s complicated. We’re here to uncomplicate things for you. We’ve got a key to the best times to buy airline tickets for Christmas and snag cheap holiday flights, all based on thousands of pieces of data we’ve gathered.
Holiday Travel Deals in the US
For Christmas and other winter flights, domestic prices hold a bit more steady. September and October are great months to score cheap Christmas flights. If you have some flexibility with your departure date, it’s usually cheapest to leave on a Monday or a Tuesday. Think you don’t have any flexibility? Think again. You might be able to stay over in your college dorm a few extra nights. You can even ask a professor if you could take a final a day early so you can get a better fare. We know, we know, no one’s ready to take their finals early–but then you’ll be done with finals before all your friends and you can sometimes save over $100! A win-win, right?
Since you’re here, we’ll even tell you a secret: our best sales for cheap domestic flights are usually on Black Friday. If you can wait until then to book your holiday flights, you might be able to score an awesome last-minute travel deal!
Takeaway: The best time to book Christmas flights is sometime in early to mid fall, usually before Thanksgiving. Leave on a Monday or a Tuesday for the best deals.
Holiday Travel Deals for Europe
Ok, so maybe you’ve decided that instead of hanging out around home for your whole winter break, you’re actually going to check out the Christmas markets in Austria, go ice skating on the Eiffel Tower (it’s a real thing), or go skiing in the Alps. Even better, since winter is off-season for most European destinations, travel within each country tends to be cheaper too. Convinced yet? We thought so. But when’s the best time to book flights?
Prices tend to drop in September. Once October hits, fares start to rise and then skyrocket once November hits. Hate to say it, but a spontaneous Christmas trip to Europe is probably not your best buy. (Unless you’re looking on Cyber Monday, when we usually have our best international sales of the year. Wait at your own risk, though!) If you have any flexibility, try to leave on a Monday or Tuesday. You can sometimes save as much as $200 just by flying out on a different day!
Takeaway: Holiday flights to Europe tend to skyrocket in price once late October hits. The best time to book flights for Europe is in early fall for the best December travel deals.
Holiday Travel Deals for Asia
If you’re hoping to head to Asia, planning ahead can save you a ton of money. The best time to book winter flights to Asia is in September. Prices start dropping in late summer and are low through September. According to our data trends, prices usually start to rise in October and then shoot up in November. If you can be flexible with your travel dates, it’s often much cheaper to leave on Monday or Tuesday than on Friday or Saturday. Make sure to take advantage of our early bird and fall sales to snag a promo code and save even more on holiday flights to Asia!
Takeaway: The best time to book Christmas flights to Asia is in early fall before the end of October. Leave on Monday or Tuesday for the best deals.
Should you only buy tickets on Tuesday? Are they cheaper if you buy in the middle of the night? When is the best day of the week to book flights? Will prices rise if you don’t search for tickets using an InPrivate browser?
There’s a lot of general advice floating around the Internet, but not all of it applies to our website! StudentUniverse has exclusive contracts with airline partners which not only allows us to offer you special pricing, but also means our price trends will vary compared to other booking sites. For example, booking date and time doesn’t really make a difference in pricing on StudentUniverse. Feel free to book on Tuesday morning, Friday at midnight or Sunday afternoon. We’ve got great prices all the time.
Some people swear by using InPrivate browsing to search for flights, but for StudentUniverse flights, feel free to just use your regular browser. The logic behind this rule is that many travel sites increase prices if you repeat searches. However, we don’t do this—and actually, we’ve even sometimes reduced the price of the flight if you search again. Our best advice? Don’t go incognito.