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Best Dates to Book Travel and Save Money for 2024, 2025 Holidays

by Staff

If you’re looking for the best flight and travel deals, timing is everything.

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Listen, we like to look out for you here at Thrillist. We know travel—everything from the planning of it to the actual doing of it—can be incredibly stressful, time-consuming, and expensive, so we’re always looking for shortcuts for you to get the most out of your travel experience while also minimizing your stress and out-of-pocket expenses.

And when it comes to saving money on travel, there is definitely both an art and a science to it. While we certainly don’t lack expert guides and tips on scoring the best deals, we thought it was time to get more granular with this effort. So here are the specific dates you need to put in your Google calendar to make sure you’re getting the best deals on flights and turning these travel plans into a travel reality.

Of course, when it comes to timing, there are some key dates to know every year, especially when you are looking to either capitalize on the most popular times of year for flight sales or make sure you don’t miss what experts call the “Goldilocks Window” for booking trips around holidays that are popular for travel.

Plus, you should always remember to be smart about when to travel. If you follow our handy guide, you’ll learn when you can go on vacation using the least amount of PTO possible. For example, you could be on a remote beach for roughly 10 days while only taking three days off work—you just have to plan it right!

Thankfully, our friends at Hopper shared some key dates to remember for travel, and we’ve also identified the most common dates for taking advantage of travel deals. If you’re planning a trip for this or next year, don’t book it unless checking out the dates below first. You’ll be glad you did.

If you’re planning a Labor Day (September 2) weekend getaway, Hopper notes that you might anticipate some last-minute deals in the final few weeks before the September 2 holiday this year. Nevertheless, you’ll want to book at least one to three months before the holiday for the most options and best prices.

According to Hopper, you’ll want to book your Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and other holiday travel no later than Halloween this year if you are looking to save some money. Thanksgiving falls later in the month (November 28), and Hanukkah (December 25—January 2) coincides with Christmas and New Year’s this year, so you might think you can wait a bit, but you’ll find the best prices and availability in October.

November 29—December 3, 2024

If you love a travel deal, this is your Super Bowl. Beginning with Black Friday (November 29), a trio of faux holidays will offer significant savings on flights, hotels, and more—including some last-minute deals for New Year’s travel. The deals will continue to flow on Cyber Monday (December 2) and Travel Tuesday (December 3). Remember to subscribe to our Before You Go newsletter, where we’ll share the top deals.

Many airlines offer heavily discounted flights to celebrate New Year’s, and this time of year also tends to be the cheapest month for flight bookings. If you missed the boat for 2024, don’t make the same mistake in 2025!

January—late February 2025

If you want to book a cruise, this is the time to do it. This is known as wave season for cruise lines, which typically offer their biggest deals of the year on sailings. Book early for the most options.

If you’re planning an Easter weekend vacation (April 20, 2025), you will want to book it no later than this date, but you should be doing so ASAP to save money, according to recent Hopper data. If you want to book a cheap spring break getaway, this would also be a smart cutoff date for getting the best deal.

Are you looking to get away for Memorial Day (May 26) weekend? According to a recent Hopper analysis, this is your deadline for getting a deal. Even better, it would be best to start looking for flights as early as February.

The Fourth of July falls on a Friday this year, so why not make a three-day weekend out of it? You’ll want to book your travel for this popular weekend at least three months in advance (as early as March) for the best prices and most options, but according to Hopper’s recent data, you should have your plans set no later than this day.

Looking for more travel tips?

Whether you need help sneaking weed onto a plane, finding an airport where you can sign up for PreCheck without an appointment, or making sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to when your flight is canceled, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for up-to-date travel hacks and all the travel news you need to help you plan your next big adventure.

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Joe Erbentraut is the Editorial Director of News at Thrillist. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin’s School of Journalism and his writing and editing has also been featured in Fodor’s, the Village Voice, HuffPost, and Chicagoist. Joe is obsessed with soup, specifically when it involves lentils. Follow Joe on Twitter.
Serena Tara is a Staff Writer at Thrillist reporting on travel as well as space- and astronomy-related news and trends. With more than five years of experience in digital journalism, she has written and reported on a wide variety of topics, from news and politics to culture, fashion, and lifestyle. Her work has appeared in, Marie Claire, New York Magazine’s Bedford+Bowery, among other outlets. She holds a master’s degree in Digital Journalism from NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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