FareCompare: The best time to score travel deals in 2017

FareCompare: The best time to score travel deals in 2017

Travel experts are expecting 2017 to be a great year for traveling at a discount. 

Flight comparison site FareCompare agrees, forecasting good winter travel prices for domestic airfare and solid deals for transatlantic journeys from June to August.

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Currently, the site estimates that these are the best date ranges for flight travel in the first and second quarters of 2017:

  • Winter: Jan. 7 to March 5 (with one blackout period from Feb. 11-24)
  • Spring: Fly by April 1, before the spring price bump of April 2-18
  • Pre-Summer: Fly by June 2, before the summer price bump which begins June 3
  • Summer: Fly by June 19, before peak summer-pricing kicks in on June 20

(Story continues below.)

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“The winter deal zone from January to March almost always has the cheapest prices of the year as fares drop sharply after the busy holiday travel season,” the site reports. “As for the higher-priced blackout period in February, blame it on demand for travel around Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) and the U.S. holiday, President’s Day (Feb. 20). Otherwise, winter prices are low.”

FareCompare author Rick Seaney also says that fall and winter are typically the best times to fly to and from Europe, but that next year could bring historically low fares to that continent. 

“So the usual rules – wait five months before departure to buy tickets to Europe – go out the window, for the moment, anyway,” he writes. 

Seaney cautions that these estimates are based on a Dec. 21 fare analysis, and that a number of factors could impact flight prices early next year.

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