Book Now For the Best Travel Deals Around The Holidays
If you're looking to travel over the holidays, especially flying, the best time to make your holiday travel plans and book them is now.
Travel website Hopper posted a blog this week that says average Christmas airfares are higher than they have been in the past five years and Thanksgiving fares are expected to peak well over $450 for last-minute bookers. They say this week is the best week to book holiday travel because prices are low and deals are still out there. Additionally, flights aren't fully booked yet.
That's another complication to this holiday season's travel. Many airlines have reduced the number of flights available, and while some of them have added back service or scheduled larger planes on these routes around the holidays, there's no guarantee everyone who wants to fly will be able to. Simply, post-covid lots of people want to travel, and the capacity no longer exists to handle it.
Another website, Go Banking Rates, echos Hopper's book now advice. They say, traditionally the best time to book holiday travel is the fall because you'll get the best price.
They also quote Kristin Winkaffe, founder of Winkaffe Global Travel, whose advice is to book a refundable ticket if possible. If your ticket is refundable, then, you can return it or exchange it if a better deal comes along. I'm not sure if this works for budget travelers though because tickets with fewer restrictions come with a higher price tag.
An article on the AARP website cites Hopper's article when talking about how now is the time to book and purchase your holiday travel. Yet, they have some other handy tips for holiday travel including being flexible with your plans. This includes searching for flights using flexible dates and airports, flying in the middle of the week a few days before or after the holiday, or doing your holiday trip before the Thanksgiving rush, or the first few weeks of December.
The AARP article also cites Scott Keyes, founder of Scott's Cheap Flights, advice that if you're the adventurous sort, and aren't married to a traditional holiday, international travel prices are great because it's not the peak international travel season. So Christmas in London or the Caribbean can be done on the cheap.
The article also cites Rob Stern, who runs the Rob Plans Your Trip website, that if you can travel in the first two weeks of November, before December 17, or after January 4 you can often find travel prices 50 percent lower than holiday weeks.
That's definitely true as I booked a Vegas getaway at the beginning of January a few years ago that got us reasonably priced airfare, as well as dirt cheap hotel rooms on the strip at New York New York hotel and casino. It also was quieter in Vegas. While that may not be your thing, we enjoyed being there when it was less crowded.
The bottom line. The experts say If you're flying to mom and dad's over Thanksgiving or heading out to visit your sister this Christmas. Now is the time to book your flights and hotel. It'll save you a little bit of cash. Want an even better deal? Think about Christmas in January.