The Cheapest Days to Fly for Christmas

If you’re traveling for Christmas this year, you’ve probably already started researching flights for you and your family. This process can leave you feeling a bit like you’re on a mining expedition, sifting through airfares in the hopes of finding that rare gem of a deal.

best dates for christmas travel

Our number crunchers here at CheapAir have simplified what can be an overwhelming process by clearly identifying which dates of travel offer the best overall value. Here’s what we’ve unearthed:

Cheapest departure days: Wednesday December 23rd, Thursday December 24th, Friday December 25th (Christmas Day)

Cheapest return days: Wednesday December 31st, Tuesday January 6

Cheapest overall itinerary: Thursday, December 17th to Friday, December 25th (Christmas Day)

Cheapest “practical” itinerary: Thursday, December 24th to Thursday, December 31st

Christmas Calendar 2015

Average savings flying on the cheapest departure days: $101

Average savings flying on the cheapest return days: $142

(*average savings compared to most expensive travel days)

As you calculate the overall monetary cost of your flight, don’t forget to factor in intangibles like convenience and weather when choosing an air itinerary this holiday season. Sometimes the lowest ticket price is not always the best overall value if you look at things with the big picture in mind. If you’re wondering whether there is a best day of the week to purchase airline tickets, check out our post on the subject. For additional insight into airfare trends for Thanksgiving and Holiday Travel, visit CheapAir’s Holiday Cheap Flights Index. We hope we’ve been able to demystify the holiday flight landscape. Happy shopping!

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66 Comments

    1. Hi Ivan,

      Currently, fares from Charleston to Hays for your dates are starting from $529 and up, per person… not including any baggage fees that may apply. To view flight schedules and book, you can use this link: http://bit.ly/1tzv2Ke Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

      1. Hi Ivan,

        Currently, fares from Charleston to Hays for your dates are starting from $529 and up, per person… not including any baggage fees that may apply. To view flight schedules and book, you can use this link: http://bit.ly/1tzv2Ke Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  1. Thanks to you travel geeks I did save $$$ on Xmas travel plans. Wish I had your latest research though, because I could have saved even more to help out Santa! Thank you CheapAir!!

  2. Great info!can you make any suggestions on where I can travel for Christmas break. I live in los Angeles but am looking to be somewhere warm & beachy & full of adventure. (Have a 13 yr. Old teen) My dates are open from 12/20 through 1/3.
    any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Mary,

      Since you sounds open with your destination, I would suggest trying the CheapAir MapSearch Explore our travel map to search flights and compare airfares. You can see the cost of multiple flights from your city to several destinations world-wide. Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any assistance with finding flights.

  3. My husband and I are looking to fly from Anchorage to Nashville for Christmas. Any suggestions on cheap airfare around that time?

    1. Hi Sandy,

      With your route, if you are completely flexible with the dates, then you could depart Dec 16 and return the 26th for $866 per person. Otherwise, if you’re looking to depart closer to the holiday then departing Dec 21 – 26th is the cheapest, with flights starting from $1237 per person. Either way you go, I would absolutely recommend booking now since prices will only get more expensive the longer you wait. Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  4. What’s the difference between “Cheapest overall itinerary” and “Cheapest “practical” itinerary”?? I didn’t get it.

    1. Hi Lexi,

      The “cheapest overall itinerary” would be just that, the least expensive flights available. The “cheapest practical itinerary” would be flights that are more convenient (less stops, layovers, shorter flight times, etc..) and likely more desired. Please let us know if you need any assistance with finding flights.

    1. Hi Rakim,

      Currently, fares for your dates are starting at around $754 per person, not including any baggage fees that may apply. To view flight schedules and book, you can use this link: http://bit.ly/1wPdv2L (I’d advise to buy now since fares will only get more expensive.) If you can depart on Monday, 12/22, you can save about $50. Ultimately, the more flexible you are with your dates and flight times, the more likely you’ll find a cheaper airfare. Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

    1. Hi Vynk,

      In checking the airfares for your routing and dates, flights are starting from $472 per person, not including any baggage fees. To view flight schedules and book, you can use this link: http://bit.ly/1xfvFi5 If you can fly 12/22 to 12/31 then fares are starting from $441 and even cheaper if you can depart 12/24 to 12/31… with flight starting from $421 and up. Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  5. I am looking for a flight for 3 from ROC, BUF or CLE to SEA, I have flexibility of Depature date: DEC 19-23 and return DEC 30 or 31st. When is too late to buy (significant price change) for this itinerary?

    I appreciate your help.

    1. Hi Armando,

      In reviewing the routes and flights, it looks like the cheapest options would be to fly from either Buffalo or Cleveland on Dec 22 – 31. (Fares are starting from about $570 per person, not including any baggage fees that may apply. I’d suggest to book as soon as you can since fares are only going to get more expensive the longer you wait. TO view flight schedules and book, you can use this link: http://bit.ly/1uSlbVl Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  6. You advertise flights for 48 dollars round trip to Chicago but you don’t tell us on what days ! I will fly on the days they offer the 48.00 tickets but I don’t know how to find them

    1. Hi Maria,

      That $48 round trip fare was only available for a limited time by Frontier Airlines. Unfortunately those fares did sell out quickly and are no longer available. We’d be happy to help you locate the cheapest fares available for your route. (Where are you departing from?)

  7. Hi I’m looking for 3 seats departing from Phoenix, Az to either Atlanta, Columbia, Augusta or Charleston, which ever would be cheapest, for the dates of December 22 to the 29. I can be flexible about dates. The travel voucher is an awesome plus! 🙂

    1. Hi Alec,

      Since you’re traveling during the peak holiday day season, I’d encourage you to book your flights sooner than later. Airlines know the holidays are one of the busiest times for travel and flights are in demand so it’s not very likely they’ll decrease the pricing on those flights. If anything, they’re likely to increase the rates over time, especially as we get closer to your departure. In checking the fares, flights for your dates appear cheapest to Atlanta. To view flight schedules and book, you can use this link: http://bit.ly/1I63Ahw And remember, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

  8. I’m trying to find a cheap ticket to the virgin island! I have to be there before the 27! cam u please help me find two tickets round way please and thank you

  9. hello, am a student admitted into university of Sunderland. am to go there in December hopefully 28th Dec 2015 for the first time. please what will my booking cost and help me estimate what a student luggage would cost. my flight will be from Nigeria to Newcastle. and please advise me on the best flight date in December considering the cost and safety.

    1. Hi Felix, We are a North American based travel company, so our advice is generally geared toward the Canadian or American traveler. Having said this, I can tell you that some rules apply across the pond (so to speak). You should book very soon, considering how close you are to your travel date. I’m not sure if you’d be flying from Abuja? And I made the assumption that you are flying to Newcastle in the UK and not Australia. I looked to see what the one way price for a ticket on 28 December might be and today, I see a flight for $760 on Ethiopian Air and British Airways (2 stops – one in Addis Abada, then another in London Heathrow before flying on to Newcastle). Of course, you might also want to fly to London and then take the train to Newcastle. If you were to do this, it looks like there are flights for under $500 USD (EgyptAir and you overnight in Cairo). I’m not sure if you want a round trip or one way – if I can help further let me know!

  10. I have to travel to Jamaica for the new years. I’m looking to depart on or around Christmas and return on or around January 4th. I’m leaving from Connecticut or N.Y area & willing to have a long layover in Florida if it makes a huge difference in price. Tickets are almost $1,000! Do you think the price will decrease? I’m willing to try any combination. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Nikki, We can’t recommend waiting when you’re looking at holiday travel (especially Christmas to New Years – which is always one of the most expensive tickets to buy). Today I see a flight on United for $786 departing out of EWR on Christmas day (to Montego Bay) and flying back on January 1. These are nonstop flights. Are you going to Montego Bay or Kingston? And is leaving from Newark also a possibility? If you leave from New York the prices do go up to right around $1000. If you can get me your exact travel dates I can poke around a bit more and see what I can find. Hope this is a good jumping off point. But your main takeaway should be – do not wait!

  11. Am Mr. Denis from Uganda want to trouble to Lagos Nigeria beetwen 23 DEC return30 DEC can you advice me on available flight thanks…

  12. I’ve been looking for flights to Europe for Christmas for a while and I’m still only seeing flights on every site I check which are 20-50 hour trips? Why can’t I find a trip for under 10 hours with 1 layover like I’m used to?

    1. Hi Nate, It’s actually really close to travel for one of the busiest times of the year. The best itineraries sold out months ago. We recommend buying tickets to Europe about 10 months out. If you’re set on your travel dates, I would definitely not recommend waiting any longer. Good luck to you.

  13. i am trying to find flight from NEW York to some where between 12/24 to 1-03 as a offer it can be beach holiday or explore can you help me with it

    1. Hi there, We definitely can help but would need a bit more information. Can we narrow down the search options a bit? Any information you can give us as relates to budget and things you like to do?

  14. need return flight from Toronto Pearson INt’l Airport to Daytona Beach leaving either Dec. 26 or 27, returning Dec. 30 or 31. Not looking for long layovers – would prefer direct but that’s costly. Would like to find <$400 all-in. Possible? Would consider travelling to Orlando then shuttle to Daytona – but is that costly? How do I do that?

    1. HI Marcia, As you know, you’re looking at some of the most expensive travel dates sold so yes – any direct or nonstop options are gong to be even more pricey since those are more desirable for most folks. The best fare I am finding on our site is almost twice what you want to pay in CAD (for a departure on Saturday the 26th and returning on the 30th.) And these flights are on American with two stops (not ideal). It doesn’t appear to save you any money by flying to Orlando so I’d stick with convenience. It’s just very expensive because of the dates – if you had purchased 6 months ago it may have been much less expensive. Do you have any flexibility on dates? If we avoid the last week of December and the first week of January we can get you a better fare.

  15. Hi, I am looking for the best flight (cheapest and a non stop) from Detroit to New York (LaGuardia or J.K Airport). The departure on 12/24/2016 and the returning is on 01/01/2017 after 10 am. Would please advice the best flight?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Joniey, The best price available with your parameters currently is into Newark on United. That flight is going for $217 round trip. However, the best price into LGA with a return after 10am is going for $390 on Delta. If you can leave earlier that 10am on January 1st, there are flights for around $300. Hope this helps.

    1. Hi Melinda, Can you share what city in China you’re traveling to and are you looking for a round trip or one way ticket? If you are looking for a round trip ticket, can you share how long you would like to stay?

  16. Hi were looking for affordable flight fare from South Africa to Manila.planning to Depart on the 17 of December and return on January 8.Myself,husband and almost 3 year old son.thank you for helping.

    1. Hi Liza, The flights on the 17th are a bit more expensive than the flights available on the 21st. I see flights going for $1,100 to $1,600. Let me know if you’d like more information. I sent you specific itinerary information for the 21st of December (the fares were a bit less expensive).

  17. Hi were looking for affordable flight fare from Johannesburg, South Africa to Manila.planning to Depart on the 21 of December and return on January 8.Myself,husband and almost 3 year old son.thank you for helping.

    1. Hi Liza, I don’t see many affordable tickets for you but there is one flight that is coming in under $1000/ticket at the moment. It’s quite close to be buying this ticket which is why the fares are all a bit more dear, unfortunately. I’ll email you the itinerary that I see that seems reasonable. It does require overnight flights and long layovers. Otherwise, there are other options for a bit more money (in the $1,200-1,500 range).

  18. What is the best price for a ticket to San Pedro Sula Honduras. From Milwaukee, Madison, or Appleton. Any of those departure destinations work for me. Ideally leaving the 23 or the 24 of Dec and coming back the 1 of Jan. Thank you.

    1. Hi Tina, For sure at this late date the best price is going to be from Milwaukee. It looks like December 23 is the better fare. You can get a flight on American for around $900 but it’s got two stops and a total flight time of about 18 hours on the outbound. Better connections on Delta (one stop, total flight time of 6 hours) will run you close to $1400.

  19. Hi,
    Please can you kindly help me with the cheapest flights deal as I intend traveling on 20 February and return on 2 April 2017 from Doha Qatar to Lagos Nigeria.

    Thanks in anticipation

    1. Hi Janet,

      We’d be happy to help you with finding the cheapest flights. Where are you departing from and going to? You can always search for the lowest fares on http://www.cheapair.com. Keep in mind, when you purchase flights with CheapAir if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, we’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! Please let us know if you need any help with finding flights.

    1. Hi Liz, For sure the cheaper flights from Lake Charles are going to be going into LAX. Those round trip flights will probably save you around $100 or more a ticket. However, the cheapest flights are going to be out of Houston. If you can afford to fly from Lake Charles, great! Flights average from $400-600 out of Lake Charles. If you’re looking for the cheapest flight, you might prefer spending under $200 which is what flights out of Houston will cost.

  20. Please i want a ticket for Seoul Korea to Accra 23 December return 23 January. Please give me the fare for the date. Thanks

    1. The lowest fares for these dates are on Asiana Air for around $1700. We can send you detailed information if you’d like. Please let us know.

  21. Hi,

    I am looking for cheap flights from Mumbai to SFO anytime between Dec 20 to Jan 10?please help me with the cheapest fare.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Cathy, It’s hard to definitively identify the cheapest weekend in December but we know that Christmas week has the most expensive fares. You’re probably safest going the first or second weekend of the month. We recommend people travel the first couple of weeks because you can avoid Thanksgiving peak pricing and the more expensive flights that pop up as we get closer to Christmas.

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