The best time to buy cheapest air tickets for Thanksgiving is between 8 October and 9 November, says a travel website.
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.
With the holiday season just around the corner, the time to start looking for flights and hotels for Thanksgiving is now. The air tickets for Thanksgiving have already become more expensive by 7% compared to this time last year.
Travelocity 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.”
Tips for holiday travel
Look at returning on Friday 29 November or Tuesday 3 December for lower fares. According to Travelocity’s booking data, returning over the weekend will result in higher prices.
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.
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.
Pack smart and light
Look at shipping any gifts ahead of time, and try to only pack a carry on. This can help you avoid checked baggage and overweight baggage fees. In addition, if your flight is re-routed because of bad weather or delays, it will be much easier if your luggage is with you. If you do check, don’t put anything in your luggage you can’t live without – like medication, cell phone chargers or your child’s favorite toy.
Average airfares for top 5 Thanksgiving routes
New York City to South Florida – $375
Los Angeles to Dallas/Fort Worth – $338
Chicago to New York – $365
Denver to New York – $382
San Francisco to Los Angeles – $192