These are the 3 worst days to travel during spring break — and these are the best times to fly

Planning a vacation is truly an art. It takes years to master the skill of stuffing a suitcase with more stuff than the universe wants and still being able to fit it into an overhead storage bin. You are a wizard at finding discount codes to lower your hotel prices. All that's left is to sort out your ticket issues and hopefully make sure you get to your destination on time and without a hitch. Luckily, one company does all the hard work of finding the best and worst spring break travel dates so you can get back and forth without running into problems.

You already know that spring break vacation can be a little hectic, especially if you're heading to a more popular place like Cancun. Some of us choose cold spring break destinations - often a more manageable and affordable option since everyone and their brother doesn't want to spend more time in frigid temperatures. If you love white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and sipping Mai Tais, don’t worry: RewardExpert has the answer. These guys use data to help make traveling easier for everyone; now they've got some tips on when you should be flying in and out during spring break.

Specifically, RewardExpert said the three worst days for spring break travel are March 1, 12 and 13. By analyzing five years of statistics reflecting airline on-time performance, RewardExpert also discovered the best (and worst) airports and spring break travel dates. Traveling this spring break. fasten your seatbelt:

Best and worst travel dates

If you want to make sure your plane takes off on time, these are the best and worst dates.

Top 10 (Best)

  • April 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 22
  • May 2nd, 14th, 27th, 28th

Bottom 10 (worst)

  • March 1st, 6th, 12th, 13th, 30th, 31st
  • April 3rd and 7th
  • May 19th and 22nd

The best and worst airports

By finding an airport with a good reputation for punctuality, you can increase the likelihood of on-time takeoffs and landings. As we all know, some airports have very tight flight schedules. others? Not so much.

Top 5 (Best)

  • Honolulu
  • Salt Lake City
  • portland
  • Minneapolis/St. paul
  • Seattle-Tacoma

Bottom 5 (worst)

  • LaGuardia Airport
  • san francisco
  • love field
  • William P. Hobby
  • free

Does this data ensure that your air travel goes exactly as planned? of course not. Still, given that RewardExpert's research spanned five years, it probably doesn't hurt to take their findings into account—especially if you have some flexibility in your plans.

Finding reliable and on-time flights is part of it; but what about the cost? Since most of us want to arrive on time and within budget, I did some digging and found the most expensive and cheapest travel dates for 2018 to see if there was any overlap with RewardExpert's data. This is where FareCompare comes into play.

Cheapest days to fly

  • Most of March, except the weekend starting March 10th (worst travel date)

The most expensive days to fly

  • April 14, 15, and 22 (best travel dates)

According to data from FareCompare and RewardExpert, it seems we have a choice: save money and risk delays, or pay a little more and be more likely to have your flight on time.

Don't let this hinder your plans. While the data shows a pattern over five years, it certainly doesn't reflect all spring break flights. Plan early, compare prices, and you can spend spring break your way. Travel safely!