Dropping temperatures and shorter days mean one thing, it is time to start thinking about holiday (and wintertime travel).
Does that stress you out? Well, don’t let it. We’ve got all of the information you need to make smart booking decisions (e.g. when to book, how to book, etc.). Even better, we have all sorts of ideas regarding where you might want to go if jetting off to some place fabulous is on your mind.
Just think about how much better you will feel when you’ve got your holiday travel booked, you know you got a great deal, and all you have to worry about is how you are going to navigate your crazy holiday schedule.
WHEN TO BOOK HOLIDAY TRAVEL
When to book for Thanksgiving travel: To guarantee the highest savings for travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, travelers should book 21-30 days in advance, according to 2015 data. In 2015, travelers who booked 21-30 days ahead of their travel dates paid an average of $345 for their flight tickets. Booking 31-60 days out resulted in an average flight ticket cost of $365. As Thanksgiving approached following the three-week mark, ticket prices went up on average.
When to book for Christmas travel: According to 2015 data, the ideal time to book travel for the Christmas holiday is 7-13 days ahead of travel. Travelers who booked 7-13 days out in 2015 only paid an average of $415 for their flight tickets. Travelers who booked 2-3 weeks out paid $425, and travelers who booked within the week of travel paid an average of $420.
On average, the best day to book air travel is during the weekend. Booking over the weekend can provide a great opportunity to save while Tuesdays are still close behind. While the weekend has become a likely time to grab savings, a general rule of thumb still stands: If you find a fare that seems like a good deal, buy it!
WHERE TO GO THIS WINTER
California is a hot spot for deals on package trips. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego all fall within the top ten list. San Diego, specifically, is seeing savings of more than 25 percent. Think of all the seafood and tacos you can buy with those kinds of savings!
Travelers who book their flight, hotel, and car rental, or any combination of two, can expect major savings at the domestic destinations including Las Vegas, New York, Miami, and Oahu. Savings in these locations are more than 20 percent.
Head south of the border for great package deals. Travelers traveling internationally who book their travel as a package can expect to save the most in Mexico. Destinations including Cancun & Isla Mujeres, Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen & Tulum are seeing savings of more than 25 percent. Los Cabos is seeing event greater savings of nearly 30 percent. Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit also fall within the top ten international destinations for package savings with savings of more than 20 percent.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF HOLIDAY TRAVEL
Book your travel as a package. You can save up to $600 when booking your trip components as a package. In the same way that you bundle cable and internet to save money, booking flight, hotel, and car rental together can save lots of dollars—and it doesn’t need to be all three! Mix and match any two or three of your trip components to score big savings.
Viewfinder Tip: Don’t forget about Expedia’s Best Price Guarantee for the ultimate in travel booking piece of mind.
Speed through security. Signing up for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry can often allow you to shorten time spent in line by providing expedited clearance through security when arriving for your flight, as well as bypassing customs lines upon arrival in the United States.
Pack light. Where possible, carry on your baggage to avoid potentially long lines at check in. Also be sure to avoid items that may result in getting your bag checked at security, including oversized liquids or cork screws.
Keep your mobile apps close. Keep your phone handy throughout your trip for quick access to important notifications such as flight delays and gate changes. The Expedia app will send real-time notifications and alerts about any flight status changes or gate changes to your phone, so you can stay up-to-date.
Where are you traveling to this winter?