The holiday spirit is in the air and so too are many travelers — and the cost to fly is skyrocketing. In fact, in the last year, the consumer price index for airline tickets has surged by 25%.
Rather than forking over $463 (the average price of a domestic Christmas flight, according to data from travel booking app Hopper) or more, you may want to ride out the holidays and book your flights for just two weeks later, in mid-January.
“We realized that if you’re just hoping to take a trip, you would save hundreds and hundreds on airfare by just pushing your trip back from late December to mid-January,” said Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. “The most abundant period of the entire year for cheap flights begins the second week of January and continues through the beginning of March. During that time frame, you’ll often see fares 80% cheaper than they were over the Christmas/New Year period.”
“For instance, a flight from Seattle to Honolulu December 23-30 currently runs $1,078 roundtrip, while that same trip January 16-23 is just $198 roundtrip, a savings of $880 per ticket,” Keyes said.
All Destinations See Price Cuts in January and February
It doesn’t matter where you’re traveling to or from, price cuts are there.
“Regardless of where you’re flying, fares tend to be inflated over the Christmas/New Year period, and substantially cheaper in January and February,” Keyes said. “Even ski destinations like Utah and tropical beach destinations like Hawaii see big price drops once the winter holidays have passed.”
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February Is the New July
Though consumers will see cuts in airfare across the board later in the winter months, Hawaii is looking especially appealing, price-wise. People may even want to consider taking their summer vacations in winter instead.
“Hawaii is an excellent place to travel in February,” Keyes said. “The weather is consistently great year-round, but it’s far less crowded in the winter than the summer. And fares are regularly sub-$200 roundtrip from the west coast and sub-$400 roundtrip from elsewhere in the U.S.”
Flights to the southern hemisphere are another great value in February.
“Whether to Argentina or South Africa or Australia, flights in February are a lot cheaper than in July,” Keyes said, adding that it’s also ideal to travel to that region in February because our winter is their summer.
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