The Cheapest Time of Year to Fly: The Dead Zones

Published by Rick Seaney on July 3, 2023

Tropical island

Are you missing out on the cheapest time of year to fly? You could be if you don’t know the dead zones. Sometimes called deal zones, these are simply unpopular times to fly and unpopular means more money in your pocket.

Biggest Dead Zones

These are four of the biggest deal zones of the year.

  • Early December: Typically the first two weeks of December, sandwiched between the big peak travel periods of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, and Christmas/New Year’s
  • January: Most of the month, once the New Year’s travel rush subsides generally around Jan. 7
  • Spring: Not as cheap as January; does not apply to traditional Spring Break weeks in March/April
  • Fall: This deal zone usually gets underway in late August; there is usually another price drop in October

A good way to find a deal zone is to use the Getaway Map. It’s easy, fast, and will show cheap times to fly in specific months or seasons.

Dead Zone Travel Perks

You don’t just save money on airfare by traveling in a deal zone; you save on other travel necessities plus you can often save time. Perks include:

  • Less crowded airports and shorter lines
  • Easier access to tourist attractions
  • Hotels and rental cars are usually cheaper, too

Shopping for Dead Zones

There are a few things to do to find the best dead zone/deal zone prices (and most of these tips are good for airfare shopping anytime of year).

  • Always compare airfares: No single airline always has the best deal, not everywhere or every time.
  • Set airfare alerts: Get cheap fares delivered direct to you in real-time. If you see something you like, grab it because these fares don’t last.
  • Use the Getaway Map: Shop by month or season to find the best deals to destinations nearby or around the world.
  • Fly the cheapest days: In the U.S., the cheapest days to fly are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday (in other parts of the world, mid-week dates are often cheaper than weekends). If you can only fly one ‘cheaper day’ you’ll still save something.

Happy travels.

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