Finally, the answers you’ve been looking for…
The cost of holiday travel can certainly cut into the cheer. Budgets for presents go bye bye, and when you multiply travel costs by multiple family members, things get out of hand very quickly. If you’re looking to get the best deal on your holiday travel, which we’d assume is why you’re here – there are a few great tips, which are Hipmunk data proven to save money on your winter holiday bookings. Who doesn’t like saving money?
The first tip to saving on holiday travel is actually traveling on the holiday, especially if you can find a direct flight. Hipmunk cites savings between 20-21% if you travel on Christmas Day, or Thanksgiving, and this is consistent with our findings as well. Catch an early flight, make it in time for Turkey and save 20% – sounds like a good deal. You’l often find additional savings by leaving on a Thursday or Friday versus the weekend, or coming back on a Monday or Tuesday versus Sunday. What are vacation days for anyway, right?
The best tip for landing the lowest price is to set up price trackers via Google Flights, Hipmunk or Kayak. This allows you to search once and receive updates when prices change, all directly into your inbox. Data science shows that the best time to book Thanksgiving holiday travel is during the coming week, October 1st. By setting flight price trackers, you’ll automatically be alerted when sales go live. For December Holiday travel, the best time to book is the week of October 15th. Don’t be afraid to even glance into the premium economy or business class column either! You never know what you may find, and holidays can be one of the best times to score great deals in premium cabins, while everyone looks for economy.
There’s best practices – and then there’s real life. Airlines launch flash sales every day, and the best sales are never announced. If you see a deal that seems excitingly low, book it. Even if it’s not in the weeks of October 1st or October 15th, it may be the lowest price found for your travel needs. Always consider as much flexibility as possible, such as an alternative nearby airport, or flying on the actual holiday wherever possible. Booking last minute will almost always cost extra, as airlines impose advanced purchase requirements on many of their best deals. That’s not to say it’s impossible to score a great last minute deal, but it’s a lot more like roulette.