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Now is the best time to book holiday travel

  • The optimal window for booking affordable holiday flights is from now until late-October, according to two separate reports.
  • After that point, prices will rise every day as December approaches.

If you've been mulling a winter vacation, now is the time to book.

This is the best moment to find affordable flights ahead of the holiday season, according to two separate reports.

After early October, airline fares will fluctuate and then start climbing steadily as Christmas approaches. Prices spike dramatically in the last two weeks leading up to the December holiday, according to airfare prediction app Hopper.

If you wait to book your flight until after Halloween, it will cost you about $1 more every day, on average, Hopper said.

Currently, the average domestic fare for Christmas and New Year's flights is $404; down from $408 last week and $429 last month, according to a report by CheapAir.com, which tracks more than 3.6 million airfares and 11,000 itineraries a day over the holiday season.

Airfare for Thanksgiving is now $425, on average, up from previous weeks.

Airplane flying above the clouds
mattscutt | RooM | Getty Images
Airplane flying above the clouds

The cheapest days to fly

If your plans are flexible, you can save a lot of dough by avoiding peak travel days.

For example, flying home from Thanksgiving on Monday instead of Sunday, which is the single busiest travel day of the year, will save $88, on average, CheapAir found.

Similarly, you can save around $50 a ticket if you fly on Christmas Day rather than booking a flight on Friday, Dec. 22.

If you can swing a longer trip, and stomach more time with family, departing on Wednesday, Dec. 20 and returning one week later will be the most affordable.

"On the Money" airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 a.m. ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.