One secret of a hassle-free travel experience is to avoid flying when everyone else is traveling. Not only will you snag a less-expensive fare, but airports will have fewer crowds and planes will be less full. If you know when not to fly, you'll have a better chance of breezing through security and stretching your legs in a row of your own.
According to Farecast, the absolute busiest (and most expensive) weeks to fly are around holidays. It's no surprise that Thanksgiving and Christmas are busy, but Presidents' Day, Easter, and Memorial Day are also peak periods for flying. Hotwire's travel expert, Clem Bason, reports that travel around the December holidays is 30 percent busier than during average weeks, and Thanksgiving is 25 percent busier.
Following holidays, the next-busiest travel periods are the spring-break season and summer. Spring break tends to vary by college or school district, and this year, March 20 to 23 is the busiest stretch (probably due to Easter falling on March 23), followed closely by March 14 to 16.
Summer is always busy, but prices are highest around July 4. The last two weekends in June and the first weekend in August are also popular times to fly, and the entire summer is on average 20 percent busier than other times of year, according to Hotwire.
(Editor's Note: SmarterTravel.com is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Expedia, Inc. also owns Hotwire.com.)
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