Book Thanksgiving, Christmas air travel now, experts say
If you haven’t booked your travel plans for the 2022 holidays, do so as soon as possible, industry experts say.
“Despite the chaos and cancellations this summer from nearly every major airline, now is still the best time to book a flight for the upcoming holiday season,” said Phil Dengler, co-founder of travel site The Vacationer. , at FOX Business.
According to Dengler, the best time to book a vacation trip is in June and July, although it’s still not too late to strike a deal before prices skyrocket. The earlier you book, the better your chances of getting an early morning nonstop flight, Dengler said.
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“Early morning flights are much less likely to be canceled than afternoon or evening flights,” Dengler explained. “Having an itinerary with one or more connections also increases your chances of cancellation or delay, so I always recommend booking non-stop flights.”
Booking early will also give you the opportunity to “save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars,” according to Dengler.
Clint Henderson, editor of travel website The Points Guy, agreed, saying consumers should already set Google flight tracking price alerts for fall and holiday travel.
“Prices have fallen by a quarter for domestic flights since the summer price peak according to travel booking site Hopper. The longer you wait to book those Christmas trips, the more you are likely to pay more,” said Henderson said.
However, with prices still high, Henderson recommends cashing in travel points that have been saved up during the coronavirus pandemic.
For Thanksgiving, in particular, consumers should aim to book in late August or early September at the latest. After Halloween, prices “will rise significantly,” according to Dengler.
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Starting Nov. 1, travelers should expect prices to rise 40% to an average of $400 for a round trip, Dengler added. During Thanksgiving week, consumers should expect an additional 25% increase, pushing prices to around $500 on average for a round trip.
Meanwhile, he estimates last-minute international rates booked during Thanksgiving week will average around $820, a 32% increase from the price spike.
For Christmas, the best time to book is anytime before the Big Turkey Party. However, consumers should aim to lock in rates by late August and early September.
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The best deals for domestic and international travel for Christmas are around mid-September, which is around 90-100 days in advance. Dengler predicts prices will jump 7% to an average of $460 for a round trip two weeks before Christmas. During the week of the Christmas holidays, prices will climb another 11% to an average of $510 for a round trip
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Prices for international travel will begin to rise significantly around Thanksgiving, “so travelers should aim to book flights from Christmas to Thanksgiving at the latest to avoid the biggest price increases,” he said. note.
Airfares are estimated to increase by 23% throughout December.
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However, consumers don’t have to rush to book a hotel just yet, according to Henderson.
“If you need a hotel, you can probably wait a bit to book them because prices remain high in the hotel space at the moment,” he added.