With airfare and hotel rates cheaper on weekdays, more travelers are opting to fly out earlier in the week
No more manic Mondays.
Some office employees are taking off Monday instead of the typical summer Friday to reap the benefits of cheaper flights, hotel rates and off-peak specials during the week.
Noah Potvin, a Pittsburgh-based assistant professor of music, has a tradition of booking a Labor Day weekend summer trip with his friends. But when prices for plane tickets and an Airbnb were skyrocketing for that holiday weekend — especially to fly out on Friday and return on Sunday — he and his friends decided to take off from work on an off-peak, non-holiday Monday instead, when rates were hundreds of dollars cheaper.
They chose Denver, Co. as their destination in early June this year, and Potvin says the group saved between $100 to $200 per flight, and around $100 per person on a three-night Airbnb stay. They monitored Google flights and set alerts for the best offers. “Financially, it just made a whole lot more sense,” Potvin told Moneyish.
And he said that without the weekend chaos at airports and crowded restaurants, the travel experience was much more pleasant on Monday, too. “The airport wasn’t packed; there weren’t a ton of people in line; and it was a lot more chill,” he said.
Friday is often the most expensive day to travel, when passengers could be spending at least $45 more on flights, according to the most recent survey data from airfare site Hopper. Domestic flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays are the cheapest, on average; about 25% less than Friday fares. And international flights of two hours or more are about $20 cheaper on Mondays, according to FareCompare CEO Rick Seaney, who looked at more than 1.5 million user searches across seven major U.S. cities.
The expense of weekend travel alone could be costing Americans their hard-earned vacation days, too. A quarter of Americans say they can’t afford to take a vacation this summer. And 47% of U.S. workers are looking for a cheaper way to travel, with 37% saying they’d be most likely to use their vacation days if they had more affordable options, according to a new survey by Outdoorsy in partnership with YouGov.
When booking his trip to Orlando for a destination wedding recently, Robert Graham, 26, from Astoria, opted to leave on a Wednesday night and come back on Monday morning, when flights were $50 to $75 cheaper.
“I knew if I left on a Friday or Saturday night, the trip would have been way more expensive,” said Graham, who monitored the flight booking site Hopper until he scored a good deal. He used the extra bucks he saved on dinner out one night in Disney World.
It certainly helps that hotels are giving travelers major incentives, like room upgrades if they book on Sunday nights; cheaper rates from Saturday through Monday; and free meals to book off peak, too.
W Punta de Mita, a luxury resort on Mexico’s Pacific coast, is now offering a “Week Escapes” deal that grants guests up to 30% off weekday stays.
The Sheraton hotel in Puerto Rico is $20 cheaper a night when you book Saturday through Monday instead of Friday through Sunday.
And for those looking to enjoy the Big Apple, there’s 50% off a Sunday night room at the trendy Public Hotel on the Lower East Side when guests extend their weekend stay, along with a complimentary room upgrade and late checkout based on availability. There’s also 40% off on Sunday night stays at The Marlton, a boutique hotel located near N.Y.C.’s Washington Square Park, and a complimentary breakfast on Monday morning.
Casino-bound travelers might be inclined to hit up the Borgata hotel in Atlantic City, which has a Sunday Funday package where a two-night Saturday through Monday stay is $309 per night, compared to a Friday to Sunday stay that costs on average $384 per night.
Plus, returning to work midweek verses on a Monday could also be better for your productivity and overall quality of life, experts say.
A global poll conducted by career site Monster.com found that 76% of people in the U.S. report having “really bad” Sunday night blues compared to only 47% of people in other parts of the world. Dr. Matthew Lorber, a psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, suggests taking off Monday after a trip or long weekend if you have the option to take vacation to decompress before the work week.
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