Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

Charlie Brown and Snoopy celebrate Thanksgiving, but remember that if you travel internationally then they won't be serving turkey dinner.

Pumpkins and Halloween decorations are suddenly everywhere, and that means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so it is time to start booking your travel plans if you haven’t already.

Trying to make sense of airfare fluctuations and fare rules is a tough game to play, especially around the holidays, and Thanksgiving is usually the most expensive time.  

Once again, September into mid-October looks to be the deadline for getting a good deal locked in, so start looking now yourself, or email us for help! 

As expected, fares increase drastically in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, which is on Thursday, November 27th this year. The cheapest times to book airfare for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve travel were found to be from September to mid-October, and airfares for Thanksgiving increased up to 17% after that time (and 51% for Christmas and 25% for New Year’s Eve).

So while it is not too late to get a great price, the clock is ticking and you need to act fast and be flexible. Traditionally, the busiest – and therefore most expensive – days are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day and the Sunday after, so avoid flying then if possible.

Of course, when you travel – not just when you book – greatly affects flight prices. The best day to depart if you are flying domestically is the Monday before Thanksgiving when prices are 15-23% below average. Then try to either have a shorter trip or a longer one, returning on Friday or the following Monday, after the rush. By being flexible, you can save up to 20% on your airfare!

With Thanksgiving being such an American holiday, global travel is not as common, but many people do want to take advantage of the four-day weekend and go abroad. The fare patterns differ to domestic in that when booking in July through September they remained low, then rose steadily from mid-September all the way up to the week before the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you are flying internationally, try leaving close to or on Thanksgiving Day and stay through the weekend to save on airfare.

Remember that while Americans can’t imagine life without it, Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated around the world, so don’t land in London or Paris and expect to be able to get a turkey dinner and pumpkin pie there – it is just a regular Thursday for them!