(NEW YORK) — For travelers on the hunt for bargains, dead week is one of the best — that is, cheapest — weeks of the year. And it’s coming up: mark Jan. 4 to Jan. 16 on your calendar.
Coming on the heels of the Christmas-New Year’s Eve travel period, the dead week brings incredible savings on airfare, hotels and cruises.
“A lucky handful of flexible travelers can scoop up the cheapest prices of the year — slashed by more than 60 percent compared to the holidays — with the added bonus of an empty middle seat,” said Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.
The bargains are due to a dramatic drop in the number of people traveling.
In December 2011, the number of domestic air travelers was about 37 million, according to industry group Airlines for America. The following month (January 2012), that number dropped to 34 million.
Think of it as a holiday travel hangover. Many people have traveled for Thanksgiving or Christmas or both, and perhaps even New Year’s. Wallets are light from holiday shopping, and kids are going back to school. All this leads to the perfect recipe for people staying home, which is exactly when the budget-conscious should strike.
But beware — the dead time comes and goes quickly. Once Martin Luther King weekend comes around (Jan. 21) and many are celebrating a three-day weekend, prices start to creep back up.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Erin McClam, CNN
Paul Menser, BizMojo Idaho
Jackie Wattles, CNN