Labor Day weekend is coming up fast, which means that if you’re looking for one last summer getaway, chances are you’ve already started thinking about booking flights.
Although most travelers are under the impression that “the earlier the better” is the golden rule when it comes to purchasing airline tickets – especially for travel over busy holiday weekends – research suggests this may not be true.
According to the 2019 State of Travel Report published by Adobe Analytics, an online web analytics tool, you still have plenty of time to score the best deal.
This year’s Adobe Digital Insights report found that the best time to book domestic airline flights for Labor Day travel is 38 days before your departure date. Mark your calendars: July 24 is the date to remember, although 38-49 days is the suggested buying window. And according to the Adobe Analytics team, Thursdays are slightly cheaper than Fridays to travel, while Tuesdays are the cheapest.
Adobe calculated its findings based on a survey conducted in May of 2019 as well as data collected from over 1 trillion visits to industry retail websites. The survey additionally collected data on what devices are most commonly used for booking (hint, smartphones and tablets are growing in popularity), as well as perceptions of travel along gender, racial and generational differences.
Year-round, the timeline for booking domestic airline tickets is slightly different. The report suggests that on holiday-free dates you can wait up to 21 days before the date of departure to make your purchase – wait much longer than that and you might see a big jump in price.
The report specifically found that five days before the date of departure is the absolute worst time to book (unless money is no object), regardless of whether you’re flying on a holiday weekend or not.
So unless you’re someone who doesn’t appreciate a deal, don’t wait until the last minute to book your trip. You may want to use the money for something more satisfying, like a second lobster roll in Portland, Maine.