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 in 2024, there is definitely both an art and a science to it. We recently shared our top expert tips, but it’s now January and we know you’re probably in planning mode thinking about all the places you’ll want to go this year. We thought it was time to get a bit more granular with this effort and offer you up all the dates you need to put in your Google calendar to make sure you’re getting the best deals on flights and actually turning these travel plans into 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. Thankfully, our friends at Hopper recently shared some key dates to keep in mind for 2024 travel, and we’ve also identified the most common dates for taking advantage of travel deals. If you’re planning a trip for this year, don’t book it unless checking out the dates below first! You’ll be glad you did.
January—late February 2024
If you’re looking to book a cruise, this is the time to do it. This is known as the wave season for cruise lines, when they typically offer their biggest deals of the year on sailings. Book early for the most options.
February 9, 2024
If you’re planning an Easter weekend vacation (March 31 this year), you’ll will want to book it no later than this date, but you should be doing so ASAP to save money, according to Hopper’s data. If you’re looking to book a cheap spring break getaway, this would also be a smart cutoff date for getting the best deal.
February 29, 2024
2024 is a Leap Year, which means that airlines and other travel companies—always looking for an excuse to run a promotion and attract new customers—are expected to come out with major promotions around this time of year. Keep an eye out for deals in the weeks leading up to Leap Day and subscribe to the Thrillist newsletter Before You Go where we’ll be highlighting the best offers.
April 15, 2024
Looking to get away for Memorial Day (May 27) weekend? This is your deadline for getting a deal, according to Hopper. Even better, you should start looking for flights as early as February.
June 1, 2024
The Fourth of July falls on a Thursday this year, so why not make a four-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, you should have your plans set no later than this day.
August 8, 2024
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, for the most options and best prices, you’ll want to book at least one to three months before the holiday.
October 31, 2024
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, according to Hopper. 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 no later than the arrival of scary season 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 major 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). Make sure you subscribe to our Before You Go newsletter where we’ll share the top deals.
Early January 2025
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. You’ve already missed the boat for this year, but don’t make the same mistake in 2025!