We recently discussed how booking hotels just before 3-day summer weekends seems to be the best money saving tool, at least during a slow economy. Flights, as we pointed out, tend to be cheapest between 4 and 10 weeks before the holiday weekend, so now that we’ve got that much figured out it’s time to dive even deeper for an even better money-saving tip.
Writing this almost a week before Labor Day in the United States, I’m seeing some amazing airfare deals for flights in the days just after the weekend. For people like restaurant workers who might actually have to be on duty on Labor Day instead of having a 3-day weekend, this could be an incredible booking opportunity.
Ultimate cheap flight tip: After a 3-day weekend
It makes sense if you think about it, people who want to take a 3-day trip (or maybe a 4- or 5-day trip) will tend to want to take it on or before Labor Day weekend. Not only do their friends probably have time off, but there are nonstop parties and events through the weekend no matter where you go in the United States.
So what happens to all the flights leaving from Tuesday through Friday of the following week? Yep, they tend to be half empty, which means they are also on sale at most airlines.
Current amazing deals
From Los Angeles to Chicago you are normally very happy to see a round-trip price of $250, and often anything under $300 feels like a blessing. At the moment you can book a flight between these cities for $119, which is as low as I’ve ever seen them.
From Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale it’s only $150 round-trip, which means that you could actually spend the following weekend in Miami (only 30 miles away) at a time when the weather is actually getting nice again.
From Los Angeles to New York it’s only $207 round-trip, although that’s with a mind-boggling 3 stops along the way, so probably not worth it if you can pay $250 or so for a nonstop or one-stop journey instead.
From Chicago you can fly round-trip to Boston for $117, which again is just about the lowest you’ll ever see that fare, even during the depths of mid-January, which is the slowest time of year for domestic flights that don’t involve Florida or California or Hawaii.
Also from Chicago you can fly round-trip to Las Vegas for $119 or to Fort Lauderdale for the same price.
The bottom line
For people who don’t mind flying at the most crowded and expensive times of the year, then go ahead and go on Memorial Day or Labor Day, but for those who have flexible schedules who like to get the most from their travel dollar, plan a trip for just after one of those weekends, but don’t book it too early, and you’ll be paying incredibly low prices.