With the holidays approaching, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed if you are one of the many travelers who visit their out-of-state or out-of-country families. Flights and travel expenses can add up quite quickly, especially if you’re traveling with a large group of people and luggage.
Flights are in high demand during the holiday season, meaning prices increase significantly. The average domestic plane ticket costs about $350 per person around Thanksgiving, while the average international plane ticket is around $795.
Around Christmastime is when prices significantly hike up, with the average domestic ticket costing about $463 and international tickets costing $1,300. With these prices, families of four could be spending $1,852 to $5,200 on plane tickets alone, in addition to other Christmas expenses.
So, with all these numbers in mind, there have to be ways to save money. Let’s take a look at how you can save money by booking your travel plans now.
Can You Save Money By Booking Your Trip Now?
You can save some big chunks of money if you book your flights at least a month in advance. Many people wait until the last minute to buy tickets and bookings, so as people start scrounging for these things, companies will hike up their prices.
High demand means high prices. Not many people think about booking their holiday trips in the summer, so demand for holiday tickets is rather low months before Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, book everything a few months in advance. Never book later than the middle of October unless you don’t mind paying extra.
The only travel aspects that you may want to wait on are booking a hotel and rental car. Many people find that booking a hotel at the last minute before your trip can help you save around $30 per booked night. The same concept occurs with rental cars. You can pay an extra average of $75 if you book your rental car months in advance.
Just keep in mind, due to the busy season, you might not get your preferred room or car if you wait. You’ll have to decide if saving money or getting what you want is more important.
What Are the Risks That Come With Booking Early?
The largest issue that you might come into contact with when booking your holiday travel plans early, is flight changes. By booking tickets months in advance, there is a possibility that changes in flight times, layovers, and cancellations can affect your traveling. It is difficult for you and airlines to predict issues months in advance.
These flight issues can happen due to the following:
And other airline issues
What Kind of Travel Can You Save on Now?
If you start booking your holiday trip now, you can save the most money when it comes to flights and cruises.
To find the cheapest flights possible, start ticket shopping now and try to book your flights on specific days of the week. Most flights seem to be cheaper if you fly out on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday.
Cruises are similar to flights in the fact that the closer you get to the departure date, the higher the prices will be. Many cruise lines tend to offer deals when they first release their dates and then hike up the prices as the cruise fills up.
Travel websites may offer coupons and deals when you need to bundle hotels, flights, and rental cars. However, if you only need your plane tickets, booking through your airline’s website is usually the cheaper option. Airline websites don’t typically charge booking fees, while travel websites do, so you’d be saving money on unnecessary fees.
The average person spent around $998 in 2021 on the winter holidays. Adding flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals, and other travel expenses onto this is a financial burden for most.
To save the most money on holiday travel, you should pay attention to prices in the months leading up to your trip and book no later than a month in advance. In most cases, you and your family are better off booking your trip now before tickets and bookings are in high demand.
Do some price shopping, consider all of your buying options, and never book anything without doing some research.