When Should You Book Holiday Travel This Year?

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Even after you’ve made your bookings, feel free to continue monitoring the prices to see if a better option arises.

“Track prices to get a great deal,” advised Laura Lindsay, a travel trends expert at Skyscanner. “Like prepping the perfect turkey feast, when it comes to getting the best price, timing is everything.”

She pointed to the price alerts feature on Skyscanner, which can keep you up to date on changing costs for your saved routes.

“Flight prices evolve as airlines track interest in routes and add capacity to meet demand, allowing them to fly at scale to the most popular destinations,” she explained. “A route which may be close to being sold out might be allocated more capacity (flights or seats) nearer to departure, and this often drives the price back down for a time as the balance between supply and demand shifts back in favor of the passenger.”

Advantage Rent-A-Car’s vice president of operations, Elie Michaels, similarly recommended that travelers make their holiday car rental reservations early to secure the car and rate, as companies can run out of cars or escalate the prices as the winter holidays approach. 

“But it is also recommended to continue browsing the travel websites leading up to the holiday period to see if you can find better deals simply because sometimes things change and the demand gets shifted, which could drive prices down,” he added. 

Try to avoid flying on the busiest days.

According to the Transportation Security Administration’s daily passenger screening numbers, the busiest travel days of the year are typically around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“The worst travel days for Thanksgiving will be Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Nov. 26,” Dengler said. “Those are always the busiest days for Thanksgiving travel, and I expect the same for 2023. If possible, fly as far in advance of Thanksgiving as you can.”

He similarly expects the busiest travel days around Christmas to be Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 26-27. 

“The goal is to fly as far in advance of Christmas as possible as well as waiting a few days after to fly home,” Denger said, suggesting Dec. 18-20, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (which tend to be cheaper) for your outgoing flights and Dec. 28 or 29 for your return. 

“If your schedule allows, try to travel a few days before school lets out in your area,” advised Jessica van Dop DeJesus, founder and editor at The Dining Traveler. “Midweek is always better than flying out on a Friday.” 

Give yourself extra time for delays.

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