The time to start planning your end-of-year travel is now—if you want to get the best prices, that is. After a few years of severe ups and downs in the travel industry, many problems are working themselves out and airfare is dropping, especially on travel between the US and Europe.
You don't necessarily need to book your tickets right now unless you love the prices you're seeing and want to lock them in. Waiting until the first or second week of October should be all right. According to a report from NerdWallet that looked at data from Google Flights, you'll get the best rates for Christmas travel (that is, holiday trips in mid to late December) if you book about 71 days before your departure date—which puts you at booking no later than the week of October 9.
Take these four steps now to make sure you don't overpay for holiday flights:
Prices for flights around Thanksgiving are low right now. The same is true for flights in December. So, if you're planning to travel, now is the time to decide which dates you want to travel, look at your options, and request time off work if needed. Find dates that work for your kids' schedules and any other people who may travel with you. If you can keep your travel dates slightly flexible—for example, being open to traveling on either a Tuesday or a Wednesday—it may help you save some money.
As always, the cost of holiday flights varies dramatically based on which airlines you're willing to fly. If you're OK with budget carriers, like Spirit, Southwest, TAP Air Portugal, and Play Airlines (a relatively new budget carrier in Iceland connecting North America and Europe), you can get very low rates if you reserve your plane ticket ASAP. For other airlines, the base rates are higher andRead more on pcmag.com