Trust us — there are a handful of days in 2018 that you seriously DON’T want to travel on. (iStock)
This is a good time to start planning a vacation, because if you know when to fly – and just as important, when not to fly – you could save some real money.
An analysis of airfare data from Fare Compare provide several do-not-fly dates that shoppers should keep off their calendars.
- The early January date: Relax, the do-not-fly date of Jan. 8 has already passed, so you don’t have to worry about it; we only mention it because this final day for expensive holiday fares returns every year (though it varies by a day or two). In 2018, the cheap winter travel season officially kicked off on Jan. 9, and continues into March. There are some notable exceptions, though, so keep reading.
- Feb. 15-17: These dates are typical travel days for Presidents’ Day weekend, because some folks are lucky enough to get that Monday off. Airlines know demand rises during this period, and in turn, raise their prices. If possible, pick another weekend in January or February for a getaway.
- March 10-11: Another expensive weekend, because it marks the start of Spring Break for schools in several cities across the U.S. These expensive weekends will continue through April 21-22, so if you want to travel during this time without breaking your budget, we suggest including at least one weekday in your itinerary, especially a Tuesday or Wednesday.
Avoiding certain dates gives you a better chance of avoiding popular travel days — and it saves you money, to boot. (Reuters)
- June 22: This is the last relatively cheap day before the expensive summer season gets underway, and note that we say ‘relative’ — airfares for flights in this time period will have been on the rise since April. If you can get away before June 23, which is the start of the peak travel season, you will almost always see some savings.
- Aug. 27: This is the last do-not-fly date of summer; the airline fall season gets underway Aug. 28. At that point, kids in many school districts across the U.S. head back to class which means a lot of the demand for travel disappears. However, if you can get away starting Aug. 28 or beyond, you may be able to save significantly.
- Sept. 9: This is the last do-not-fly date of summer for travel to Europe. Fly to London, Paris or Rome starting Sept. 10, and fares will be cheaper. But if you want to find really cheap fares to Europe? Go now, in January and February.
Not sure which are the cheapest days to fly from your city? Use a month-by-month search tool, like the one on FareCompanre, but there are others. They’ll all help you see instantly the cheapest deals from your part of the world.
Even if you weren’t planning a trip this year, you might want to take a look just for the fun — some of the prices can be extraordinary.
Rick Seaney is an airline travel expert and the co-founder of FareCompare.com, an airfare comparison shopping site