The holiday season is just around the corner, and if you’re traveling for Thanksgiving the time to start looking for flights and hotels is now. Travelocity’s Thanksgiving data shows that the average round-trip domestic airfare this Thanksgiving is $415, inclusive of tax, up nearly 7 percent from last year. Travelocity calls this the ‘price to beat’ and it should be used as a gauge while shopping for airfare. Good news for some travelers, however, a closer look at the most popular routes shows many prices are well under that average.
“While average airfare is up for Thanksgiving we are still seeing some of the most popular routes well under the national average,” explains Courtney Scott, senior editor at Travelocity. “So if $415 is out of your price range, don’t assume you can’t make it home for the holidays. Check your route, be flexible on your dates and you can still find a great deal.”
TRAVELOCITY’S TRAVEL TIPS FOR HOLIDAY TRAVEL
1. Book between October 8 through November 9. According to Travelocity’s Booking Barometer, prices for Thanksgiving begin to drop during this time, and will pick back up at a steep increase beginning the week of November 10.
2. Be flexible on your travel dates. Look at returning on Friday, November 29 or Tuesday, December 3 for lower fares. According to Travelocity’s booking data, returning over the weekend will result in higher prices.
3. Search alternate airports. Take New York City – always one of the most popular holiday destinations – as an example. While LaGuardia might be the closest airport to your turkey dinner, flying into JFK or Newark instead may be worth the extra effort and could translate into big savings. Use the easy “Compare Surrounding Airports” feature in the advanced search options when you book your flights on Travelocity.
4. Take the first flight of the day. Not only will the lines at security be shorter, but planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance in general. However, if your flight is cancelled, you will have the option of taking a flight later in the day.
5. Pack smart and light. Not only will the lines at security be shorter, but planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance in general. However, if your flight is cancelled, you will have the option of taking a flight later in the day.