Inflation is real and so are the approaching holidays. If your winter plans are still pending, it’s time to seriously think about where you want to go and when this holiday season. And before you start stretching your budget, keep in mind new data from Expedia, which can help travelers avoid the busiest vacation days and save an average of 5-15%. Here’s how to hack the most beautiful (and expensive) time of the year.
Book your Thanksgiving flights days before the holidays
According to Expedia flight data for Thanksgiving 2022, travelers who depart on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday instead of Wednesday during the week of Thanksgiving can save an average of 5% on airfare. For some destinations, the savings are even greater — for example, average ticket prices for Las Vegas drop from about $550 to $380 by changing the departure date to earlier in the week.
Take an extended Christmas vacation
For Christmas 2022, Expedia flight data shows that 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 saving is 30-35%. For example, return flights to Cancun are $200 cheaper if you depart on Monday-Wednesday instead of Thursday or Friday.
Book about a month before your trip
You still have a little flexibility in planning your vacation plans. Expedia’s 2019 historical data indicates that travelers get the best price on vacation flights by booking approximately four weeks before their travel date. This year, given summer’s price and demand trends, Expedia analysts recommend booking even earlier.
Stay on top of your notifications
Sign up for flight price alerts to be notified when prices go up or down through Expedia or other travel booking sites. Expedia’s Price Match Promise, an optional add-on, automatically reimburses the price difference if your flight prices drop on Expedia prior to travel. Capital One Travel offers a similar guarantee if the prices for your flight are booked within 10 days of payment.
Security for anything and everything went pretty much out the window in 2020 and we are 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.