While summer isn’t over yet, if you’re looking for a deal, it’s time to consider booking holiday flights.
Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, said flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas have started to increase since the last few months, but the good news is there are still potential opportunities to be found. Travel + Leisure.
In fact, the worst thing anyone can do is wait until the last minute hoping prices will drop (because spoiler: they probably won’t).
“Cheap holiday flights are hard to see and somewhat rare – they do happen, but it happens long before… when everyone is thinking about summer flights,” Keyes said. “The best prices were probably a month or two ago and now most of the prices are just reasonable but it’s extremely likely to get much more expensive in the coming months.”
Consider the following tips when booking holiday flights and hopefully save money along the way.
Now is the Time to Reservation
According to Google data shared with T+L, typically the best time to find a Thanksgiving flight is 36 to 74 days before departure (think: just after Labor Day), while the average price of Christmas flights tends to drop 22 days before departure. . But the search engine cautions that it may be “shutting down” as Christmas prices can drop anywhere from 20 to 88 days before departure.
“It’s a good idea to book early for any major vacation, especially if you already know your destination and travel dates,” James Byers, group product manager at Google Flights, told T+L. “This way you can make sure you don’t miss out on certain flights that best fit your travel plans.”
The good news for travelers is that many airlines in the United States have eliminated cancellation and change fees, allowing passengers to book now and rebook later if they find a cheaper deal.
“If you don’t get the time exactly right, it gives you a lot more ability to take advantage,” Keyes said. “This gives you the opportunity to experience the ‘head on head you win, lose head’ situation with airlines, which was quite rare before.”
Consider Going International
Keyes shared that another way to save money on a dream vacation abroad is to go during Thanksgiving week, when international flight prices tend to drop. For example, a flight from New York to Lisbon during that week would cost less than a flight from New York to Minneapolis.
“Thanksgiving is my secret best week for international travel,” he said. “People don’t associate Thanksgiving with cheap flights because everyone travels domestically. All these people who travel domestically don’t travel internationally and late November is low season.”
Travelers probably won’t find the same level of discounts at Christmas, but prices for winter flights in general are starting to drop.
“Traveling in the summer tends to be a little more expensive than traveling in the fall, and this year it has been made worse by pent-up demand. I think it’s starting to dissipate massively,” Keyes said. “I think we’re going to get into something closer to normalization again. This will still mean expensive flights during the holidays, but apart from those weeks there will be extremely cheap flights in the fall and winter.”
Book Strategically to Minimize Interruptions
After a summer’s chaos in the US where more than 100,000 flights were canceled and nearly a million flights delayed, it’s fair to try anything to stay on top of the challenge. Overall, airline delays have often been attributed to a combination of staff shortages and air traffic control issues, and many airlines, including American Airlines and United Airlines, have cut their fall schedules in an effort to minimize disruptions.
Keyes said choosing early morning flights and direct flights are “tried-and-true strategies” that travelers can use for a smoother travel experience.
However, there is a downside to just opting for nonstop flights, for example: Non-stop flights are on average 20% more expensive than connecting flights, according to Google.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York, she loves spending her time at the beach or exploring new places and hopes to visit every country in the world, she. Follow his adventures on Instagram.