Save on holiday travel by booking your flights now
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Are you planning to travel during the winter holidays? Now is the best time to book your flights.
According to travel booking app Hopper, the best time to book Thanksgiving and Christmas trips is by October 14.
Google Flights found that the best time to book holiday flights this year is 71 days before departure, which puts the best prices for booking Christmas flights right before mid-October. Prices are expected to rise heading into the holiday season, with ticket prices increasing an additional $7 per day in the three weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and an additional $30 per day the final week before Thanksgiving leaves. In the final week before Christmas, prices are expected to rise by an additional $40 per day.
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When do you fly?
In the United States, the busiest travel days of the year are typically the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Christmas time isn’t far behind, and with Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve falling on weekends this year, the winter holidays are expected to be a busy time for travel too.
Hopper recommends that travelers be flexible with their holiday travel dates. Domestic travelers may be able to save the most money by flying the week before Thanksgiving or the Monday before the holiday. A good return date might be the Friday after Thanksgiving or the following Monday. International travelers can find better deals as Thanksgiving approaches.
The best deals for Christmas travel can be found if you leave on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and return the following Thursday. Travelers may want to avoid flying on the Friday before Christmas and return on Tuesday 26 December, when prices are expected to be higher.
Prepare for travel disruptions while on vacation
There is always the possibility of air disturbances, delays or other cancellations while flying. Some preparations can help avoid or reduce the inconvenience of flight disruptions.
(more: Has your flight been canceled due to bad weather? Here’s what you need to know)
Fly directly. Navigating connecting flights can be especially difficult during busy travel seasons. Avoid missing flights and reduce the possibility of delays by taking direct flights while traveling during the holidays.
Travel a day or two early. This buffer can mean a big difference when facing a flight delay or cancellation. Giving yourself enough time between your arrival and your holiday celebration can save you the chance of missing out on the fun.
Choose early departure. Early morning flights are less likely to be delayed compared to flights scheduled to take off after 9am. Give yourself the best chance of a timely flight by booking your flight between 5 and 8 a.m
Buy travel insurance. Rebooking a flight or having to pay unexpected accommodation costs in the event of a flight delay or cancellation can really break the bank. Travel insurance can help reduce costs and make the process easier.
Download your airline’s app and sign up for travel alerts, which will advise travelers of any disruptions related to their flight. Always check the status of your flight before heading to the airport and continue to check the status while checking in and going through security.
Senior editor Nicole Bonaccorso He works as a photo editor at Weather.com and writes about breaking news, travel, climate, and more.
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment, and the importance of science in our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.