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Which Days Do I Need to Travel to Get the Cheapest Flights?

Dear Jessica,,

Which days do I need to travel to get the lowest airfares?


Dear K.L.,

You’ve probably heard the suggestion to travel midweek or off-peak to get the cheapest flights. While off-peak travel varies by destination, the other half of the equation—flying midweek—is more set in stone.

On most flights, off-peak means midweek. For flights within the U.S., midweek can be as broad as Mondays through Thursdays and as specific as just Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On international routes, particularly flights to and from Europe, midweek usually means Mondays through Wednesdays.

While flying midweek is often your best bet for finding low fares, if you must travel on weekends, Saturday is typically the least-expensive weekend option. Fridays and Sundays are busy travel days, but Saturdays sometimes see a lull, depending on the route.

RELATED: 7 Secrets to Booking Ultralow Airfares

When research flights on a specific airfare sale, be sure to read the fine print. The sale restrictions will often specify which days the lowest fares are available. If you’re flexible, try several different departure and return dates before booking. Sometimes traveling even one or two days before or after your ideal date can save you money.

And remember, there are other factors to consider in getting a good price, too. Be sure to book in advance (at least seven, 14, or 21 days ahead unless you’re counting on finding a low last-minute fare) and include a Saturday-night stay in your itinerary.

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Last updated: August 12, 2015

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