Travel advice, strategies for best deals this holiday season

AAA says this year is projected to be the third busiest for Thanksgiving travel, and some travelers are not sure what to expect these days following a summer filled with flight delays and cancelations. 

Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, joined Good Day New York to discuss what you need to know:

Not all last minute fares are equally expensive

A flight booked one day before travel is almost certainly going to be more expensive than a flight booked one week before travel, and a flight booked one week before travel is almost certainly going to be more expensive than a flight booked one month before travel. If you’re looking to travel this Christmas, book now!

Remember the 21-day rule

When you book a flight, often times in the fine print there’s an advance purchase requirement of usually 21 days before travel. On day 20, that previously cheapest fare is no longer available.

Look to Europe for great thanksgiving deals

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Europe, but what does that mean for airfare? It means the best flight deals in late November aren’t domestically, they’re for travel to Europe.

Travel on the holiday itself

If getting the cheapest fare possible during an expensive travel period is really important, the best prices are for flights on the actual holiday. Flights on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve or day are typically up to 30% cheaper than flights a few days before.

Skip Christmas, travel over MLK Weekend

Late December is the most expensive time of the year for travel, but just a couple weeks later is the cheapest period of the year for flights.

Rebook and save with rental cars and hotels

Most rental cars and hotels don’t require you to prepay. As a result, if the price goes down after you book, you can just cancel your old reservation and rebook the new, cheaper rate.

AAA projects 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, a 1.5% increase over 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes. Nearly 49 million people are expected to drive. While Thanksgiving road trips have risen slightly, car travel remains 2.5% below 2019 levels. However, air travel is up nearly 8% over 2021, with 4.5 million Americans flying to their Thanksgiving destinations, an increase of more than 330,000 travelers and nearly 99% of the 2019 volume.