The Best Time to Book Flights for Holiday Travel If You Don't Want to Spend a Fortune

If you're going anywhere for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's Eve, read this first.

It may only be August, but it's time to start thinking about booking your flight home for the holidays (opens in new tab) already.

Whether you plan on traveling this Thanksgiving (opens in new tab), Christmas, or New Year's Eve (or all three!), the experts at KAYAK (opens in new tab), the fare aggregator and travel search site, crunched the numbers to determine the best dates to find deals for travel between November 18 and January 3.

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Flying from East Coast? Now's the time to book your holiday flights. KAYAK says they start seeing a decrease in median airfare after July 31 typically.

Flying from the West Coast? June and July are historically the months when airfare for the holiday season is at its highest. For the best deals, you'll want to wait until after September 4 to book your flights, according to KAYAK.

Check out more flight deals at Expedia. (opens in new tab)

Flying from the Southwest? If you're looking for flights from airports in the Southwest this holiday season, wait to book until after August 16. According to KAYAK, this is historically when they've seen median airfare start to decrease.

Flying to Europe? If it's always been a dream of yours to visit Europe (opens in new tab)'s Christmas markets you still have plenty of time to find amazing deals for flights across the pond. While airfares start to decline from now until the end of September and mid-October, if you wait to book your flights until October 10, you're likely to find the best deals about six to eight weeks ahead of your travel dates, according to KAYAK.

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Landmark, Tower, Architecture, Monument, Sky, Yellow, Arch, Metropolitan area, Spire, National historic landmark,

(Image credit: Archives)

Read more about Christmas travel at TripAdvisor. (opens in new tab)

But remember, if you see an airfare that fits your budget earlier than these dates, just go ahead and book it.

Methodology: KAYAK pulled internal data based on all coach, roundtrip flights from the U.S. with search dates between January 1 and November 17, 2016 for travel dates of November 18, 2016 to January 3, 2017.

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Lyndsey Matthews
Lyndsey Matthews

Lyndsey Matthews is the Destination News Editor for AFAR; previously she was a Lifestyle Editor across all of Hearst Digital Media's brands, and a digital editor at Martha Stewart Weddings and Travel + Leisure.