Tips and tools that could save you up to 65% on spring break travel from Chicago

Patrick Surry - Jan. 31, 2016

Summary

  • Don’t depart on a Friday or Saturday.  A Friday departure will add 19% and a Saturday departure will add 20% to the price of your ticket.
  • If possible, avoid traveling during the weeks of March 16,  or 23rd, and April 6th.  These weeks will add 26%, 23% and 25% respectively to your flight ticket price.
  • Book your ticket at least 15 days in advance and preferably 31 days in advance.  4-14 day advance purchase will increase your ticket price by 37% and a list minute purchase (0-3 days) will increase the price by 90%.
  • Use Hopper’s interactive flight price map to find the best deals from your city.  Because there are no universal rules for getting the best price and what to do varies by market, Hopper is working to develop tips and tools that you get the best spring break deal possible when flying out of Chicago.

Spring Break Tips from Chicago

Hopper looked at February to April travel from Chicago to popular warm spring break destinations (Figure 1), to identify a list of travel tips for the price conscious. We used regression modeling on over 4.8 million shops from Chicago (ORD, MDW) to these destinations to analyze how different factors interacted to affect prices.

Figure 1: Warm weather US and Caribbean destinations from Chicago

The Spring Break Price Premium

Our data shows that prices are about 34% higher for flying from Chicago to these destinations during the most popular spring break weeks. However, if you want to save money, when you book your ticket and when you travel can matter a lot.  

Timing is Everything

To get the best price for your spring break trip make sure you:

  1. Don’t depart on a Friday, or Saturday.  A Friday departure will add 19% and a Saturday departure will add 20% to the price of your ticket.  If possible, avoid traveling during the weeks of March 16,  or 23rd, and April 6th.  These weeks will add 26%, 23% and 25% respectively to your flight ticket price.
  2. Book your ticket at least 15 days in advance and preferably 31 days in advance.  4-14 day advance purchase will increase your ticket price by 37% and a list minute purchase (0-3 days) will increase the price by 90%.

Where to Splurge on Comfort

Surprisingly including a Saturday night stay, which often has a large impact on price, did not offer additional savings to these destinations when flying out of Chicago.  Booking late in the 15-30 day range, will increase the cost of your ticket the most, but only by 10%.  

The Most Expensive Weeks

If you have to travel during the week of March 16, 23rd, or April 6th  the subset of destinations shown below tend to offer the best deal for your money (10 percentile prices shown), though prices will vary from specific origins.  

March 16

March 23

April 6

Find the Best Deal

To find the best deal use Hopper’s interactive flight price map, which will show you prices to destinations around the world for an origin that you select.  An example is shown in Figure 2. Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 1.29.49 PM.png

Figure 2: Hopper interactive price and popularity map for travel from ORD airport in Chicago

You can also find details for individual origin-destination markets, including popularity and deal prices for specific dates, here.

Data and Methodology

The data presented in this analysis comes from Hopper’s combined feed of Global Distribution System (GDS) data sources which includes about 10 million queries and 1 billion trips per day.  Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases, and is calibrated across all GDS sources for each market.  Lowest fare, or deal fare, is represented by the 10th percentile prices.  For example if the 10th percentile price is $800 dollars it means that only 10% of trips are priced at or below this price.

Get the Hopper app to find the best deals.
You could save up to 40% on your next flight!