Best and Worst Days for Holiday Travel from Best and Worst Days for Holiday Travel

Best and Worst Days for Holiday Travel

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Best and Worst Days for Holiday Travel

Traveling during the holidays is always a hassle, but some days are better than others. You can be almost certain that airports will be packed, which will almost inevitable lead to delays and huge TSA lines. Set realistic expectations. Keep in mind that the year-end holidays fall on Mondays this year, and that makes for a plethora of bad, worse and worst days to be on your way.

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Worst: December 22

According to Smart Travel, this is one of the worst days to fly before Christmas. Why? Because it’s the Friday before the holiday. Everybody will want to be leaving that day.  

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Worse: December 23

Understandably, the closer you get to Christmas, the better it’ll be in terms of traffic – by air or ground. Still though, December 23 is projected to be very busy, so, if you can help it, don’t travel that day.

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Avoid: December 24

Christmas Eve is a busy day not just for bars; airports and bus stops are not having a good time. This is the last chance for many to make it to their extended families right before the holiday.

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Best: December 25

Know anyone who wants to be at an airport waiting in line or on a plane for hours when the whole family has gathered around the Christmas tree exchanging gifts? Didn’t think so.  That’s why Christmas Day is a good day to travel if you want the best deals and practically no crowds.

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Bad: December 29

The travel cycle begins again. December 29 is Friday. People will be on the road again to get to their destinations. Even though New Year is not a family holiday the way Christmas is, many people are using the opportunity to go on days-long trips.

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Worse: December 30

Many people who are celebrating the New Year will be gone by Saturday. Still, traffic will be bad and airports will be busy as there are two more days until the new year.

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Better: December 31

You can count on December 31, especially at night, to be an easy day to travel. No one wants to be on a plane at midnight or just now getting to their destination. Less traffic means better deals, too.

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OK: January 1

Some people are still celebrating the new year; not all confetti have fallen yet. Others are still sleeping after a wild party just hours ago. This means fewer people on the roads and airports.

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No-no: January 2

By now most of the New Year’s celebrations and private parties will be over. But this is when the chaos and hassles at the airports start all over again. SmarterTravel reports that January 2 will likely be the final worst day of the holiday season to be traveling.

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Buy tickets 3-4 weeks in advance

“Usually the best time to book a flight is on Tuesday night or Wednesday early morning,” Ivy Chou, travel expert at DealsPlus, says. “And the best time to fly is on a Wednesday because it’s farthest from the weekend,” she adds. “Companies want to push sales.” The timing is similar with hotels. You may also want to book 47 days in advance. After analyzing 1.5 billion air fares, a CheapAir.com study found that the best domestic fares were found booking, on average, 47 days in advance. 

Best and Worst Days for Holiday Travel