There are two good times to book cheap Christmas holiday flights

Andrew Munro 6 September 2017 NEWS

shutterstock christmas santa flights plane 738x410

By the numbers, there are two cheap travel windows to aim for.

The age-old rule is true. Book early for the best chance at the cheapest prices, especially when you're travelling in peak holiday periods or other busy times. However, sometimes you might find better prices by holding off.

According to pricing data from Expedia, there are some clear low-price windows that you want to try to climb in. There's one best time to make your Christmas bookings, but if you miss it then there's also a very clear second-best time to aim for.


The best time to make your Christmas bookings

The best time to make your Christmas bookings is usually going to be ASAP.

"Start your research now and have a look at a price you are comfortable with and try to lock it in as soon as possible," advises Expedia managing director Michael Pearson. "Typically as seats run out on airlines they will yield up to higher fare classes which can result in higher costs."

According to Expedia's numbers, the early booking window runs until about 90 days before Christmas. Once late September rolls around the prices often spike as cheap options run out and the laws of supply and demand take over.

Space will always be limited, so this rule can hold true across flights, cruises, hotels, tours and everything else you might do on holiday. The price rise has likely already begun, but there are still a couple of weeks to book cheap flights. If you book for the Christmas period a month from now you can probably expect significantly higher prices.

So instead of booking then, you might want to wait for the second window.

The second-best time to make your Christmas bookings

According to Expedia, the second window opens in November. Once it's less than 90 days to Christmas this is the time to find a deal, although your options will naturally be fairly limited. This might be because the rush is over and various providers still have space to fill, and simply because November is typically an all-around cheap time in the world of travel.

If you're looking for cheap holiday flights after September ends, your best bet might be to wait until November. It's a risky move though, as space keeps filling up and your options are limited further. On the whole, it's definitely better to pick a destination and book as early as possible.

This also gives you a bit more flexibility to jump on tricks for saving, like looking for less busy flights on Christmas day itself. If you have yet to book, it's worth quickly checking out this cheap cheat sheet for Christmas flights for ten solid ways to save.

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