Flexibility is important if you want student discount airline tickets. Don't expect the best price if you have to fly at the last minute, unless you happen to luck into a vacation package deal which offers student flight discounts. While not uncommon, last minute deals should not be counted on when planning your travels by air.
Bypass Busy Holiday Travel Days
If you want to get home for the holidays and leave your worries behind for a few days at school, your mind would be even more at ease if you can save money doing it. While it may not be the most desirable, you could choose to travel the day after a major holiday as it would offer more seat availability and lower rates with the airlines.
Avoid Peak Travel Times
The busiest times for airlines typically are Mondays and Fridays. The reason is that many business travellers fly off on Mondays and typically return for home on a Friday. Obviously, when demand is high, airline ticket prices are going to be high as well. However, in off-peak times, you are more likely to book student discount airline tickets as the airlines want to keep the seats full when they fly as it is more profitable, even at a lower rate.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays will likely be the best off-peak times for flying. The good news is you know when your holidays are at school so it should be easy to make plans in advance for the best savings. Student flight discounts will be at their best in off-peak times.
Booking in Advance versus Last Minute
When you book in advance, even up to a year, airlines love that and will reward that advance preparation with cheaper fares. However, if you are fairly flexible, you could take your chances and see if your favoured flights or airlines offer last minute travel deals. Airlines do not like empty seats so they often will offer discounts on available seats. Any profit, even at cheaper rates, is better than no profit. The last minute deals are not a sure thing though so you should not set your sights on that unless you are really flexible.
Consolidators can offer cheaper rates for airline flights as can membership in associations that partner with the airlines. Regional airlines often have student discount airline tickets available. Or you can choose a smaller airport to fly into and get some student flight discounts as well. Let your comfort zone be your guide.