Inflation is real and so are the looming holidays. If your winter plans are still pending, it’s time to start seriously thinking about where you want to go and when this holiday season. And before you start stretching your budget, take into account new data from Expedia, which can help Travelers avoid the busiest holiday travel days to save an average of 5-15%. Here’s how to travel hack the most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year.
Book your Thanksgiving flights days ahead of the holiday
According to Expedia flight data for Thanksgiving 2022, travelers departing Sunday, Monday or Tuesday instead of Wednesday the week of Thanksgiving can save an average of 5% on airfare. For some destinations, the savings are even bigger – average ticket prices for Las Vegas, for example, drop from around $550 to $380 just by changing the departure date to earlier in the week.
Take an extended Christmas vacation
For Christmas 2022, Expedia flight data shows travelers can save an average of 15% by departing the first half of the week instead of Thursday or Friday before Christmas. For some destinations, the savings are 30-35%. Roundtrip flights to Cancun, for example, are $200 cheaper if you depart Mon-Weds instead of Thursday or Friday.
Book about a month ahead of your trip
You still have a bit of flexibility in scheduling your holiday plans. Expedia’s historical data from 2019 indicates travelers get the best price on holiday flights by booking around four weeks in advance of their travel date. This year, given pricing and demand trends from the summer, Expedia analysts recommend booking even earlier.
Stay on top of your alerts
Opt in for price alerts for flights to get notified when prices go up or down via Expedia or other travel booking sites. Expedia’s Price Match Promise, an optional add-on, automatically refunds the price difference if your flight prices decrease on Expedia prior to travel. Capital One Travel offers a similar guarantee, if prices book for your flight within 10 days of payment.
Certainty for anything and everything pretty much went out the window in 2020, and we’re still learning to live and travel with that. Select flexible flight options with no change fees and free cancellations, which can save money in the long run as plans can (unfortunately) change.