A Thanksgiving turkey and a white Christmas might be the last things on your mind as you’re sweating through this hot summer, but they shouldn’t be.
According to a new study by travel search engine Skyscanner, the best time to book flights for the 2015 holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve — is the week of August 10th to August 16th.
Yes, that’s next week.
Crunching the numbers on 2014 holiday travel data, the study found that purchasing flights for the historically expensive holidays next week can save you almost 5.5% on Thanksgiving trips, 18.7% on Christmas travel, and 14.4% on New Year’s Eve getaways.
Can’t plan that far ahead? Skyscanner offers up some alternatives, though the savings will generally decrease the longer you wait.
For Thanksgiving, waiting to book until September 14th will still glean savings of about 4%, which is not that much more than the 3.8% procrastinators waiting until two weeks before Thanksgiving will receive.
For Christmas, waiting until the week of August 31 will still net you around 12.7% in savings, dropping to 9.1% if you wait until September 28th. However, the study warns not to book Christmas travel past November 2nd, when savings drop even further, to 4.76%.
For New Year’s, booking flights the week of September 14th will save you around 8.6%, the week of September 28th around 8.5%, and really waiting until the last minute, until December 14th and 20th, will save you 6.3%.
Either way, planning ahead means saving a nice bit of cash for extra gifts.
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