The Worst Days of the Year to Travel

Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.

Oscar Wilde

Airfare and gas prices jolt up and down like they aimed and hit the worst bout of turbulence and pot holes imaginable. Why? Because they can make more money at certain times of the year because they take advantage of known heavy travel dates.

Certain days of the year are worse than others. One day can seem like you’re smashed into the airport like it’s trying to set a world record for how many people will fit in a terminal. Other days you’re driving down the highway and wondering if you’re the only person who left your house.

Take a look below at the short list of the worst days of the year to travel and plan accordingly. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather feel like the only person in the airport than have to squeeze my way through throngs of people just to make it to the terminal. Stay tuned for a follow up post featuring the best times of the year to travel!

Travel Days to Avoid at All Costs

Christmas and New Year’s

These two dates are by far the worst. Millions of people are traveling to see family and to explore new and exciting places to ring in the new year. The exact dates are hard to pin down, but the worst days to travel are during the weekend, especially if the holiday falls on a Friday or Monday, allowing for a long weekend off of work.

Pro Tip: Use your search engine’s booking tool and the website on which you’re booking to search for dates that may be less expensive around your intended days of travel.

Spring Break

Peak dates vary depending on your destination, but they usually coincide with college/university breaks in March or April. Beach destinations tend be more expensive for both flights and lodgings during this time. If you want to avoid vacationing alongside hundreds of college students hellbent on partying for a week, use this guide to avoid planning your vacation on the same spring break dates, especially if going to destinations popular for that demographic, such as Cancun.


The majority of people travel in the summer so prices tend to reflect that by soaring during the warmer months. Peak times for airfare and gas prices (as well as the crowds) fall from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Flights to Europe, the U.S, and the Caribbean are the highest during this time, so try booking somewhere more off the beaten path or travel from September to May to save your bank account from feeling a little starved.

Pro Tip: Most mountain towns experience their peak dates during the winter, but they are just as fun to visit off-season. Try something new and visit them to mix up your vacations and to help you stay on budget.


Luckily, these travel dates are more predictable. Most people hit the road or take to the skies the day before and return that Sunday. Try heading out earlier in the week, flying on Thanksgiving day, or extending your stay to Monday or Tuesday to save money. After all, who wouldn’t want a longer vacation?

Hitting the Road for the Holidays?

How are you planning on saving for the travel or are you flying at peak times? Let me know in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “The Worst Days of the Year to Travel

  1. Greetings from Wisconsin. We drove over four hours here last night but beat Winter Storm Dorothy (though we’re going home in a few days – and possibly driving through Winter Storm Ezekiel to get there – to several inches of snow we’ll have to shovel before we can put the car in the driveway). We rarely travel by plane during the holidays, but this year is an exception. We’re heading to SE Asia in a few weeks. How I long for retirement when I can travel in the spring and fall!

    Liked by 1 person

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