It’s hard to believe that summer is already over — for most of us at least. While we may spend the next few weeks trying to hold on to those last hints of summer magic, the fact remains that with the start of fall upon us, it’s time to start thinking about your holiday travel plans.
Most people tend to wait until the last minute to start thinking about holiday travel, but if you want to make sure you’re getting the best price for your flight that’s the wrong way to do it. According to new Expedia data, if you book your flights in September and October you will have significant savings for Thanksgiving travel, while the best time to lock in Christmas travel plans is typically November. That means, if you plan on traveling for Thanksgiving, you need to get on it now, sis.
We get it, Thanksgiving and Christmas plans can be hard to think about so soon. Especially when trying to deal with our crazy families and their hectic schedules. Or family members that are traveling near and far — from Atlanta to Chicago and everything in between. But getting the best possible airfare for a flight doesn’t have to be difficult — in some ways, there is a method to the madness.
To get more specific: For Thanksgiving, the optimal window to book and save is now through October 22. For Christmas, the optimal window to book and save is October 26 through December 4.
The holidays are not the time to procrastinate, at least where airfare is concerned. You can actually save some coins if you plan properly. Studies show that travelers who waited until the last minute, zero to six days out, paid the most – 10 to 20 percent above the average ticket price.
But the opposite goes for hotels. According to Expedia data, booking a hotel closer to your trip, zero to six days out, could save travelers 20 to 30 percent. This is an instance where waiting until the last minute can result in a lower average daily rate as some hoteliers aim to fill unsold rooms. Of course they want 100% occupancy, so this is where waiting until last minute will come in your favor.
The holidays can break the bank for some, so if you’re able, use these tips to help you plan ahead.