New data released today by Expedia® indicates that vacation travel planning is underway and the best choices for Thanksgiving and Christmas getaways are sunny beachfront destinations across Mexico, the southern United States and the Caribbean. Mountain-top getaways to Utah and Colorado are also shaping up to be popular with travelers this holiday season. While many of these destinations are already seeing high demand, it’s important to know that it’s not too late to book.
Vacation Travel Planning Tips
- Flight booking tips: Booking a plane ticket for the holidays is a matter of timing. While booking well in advance can save money, it’s often just as important to be flexible with travel dates to avoid the busiest travel days. According to Expedia data, the most expensive travel dates during the holidays are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (November 24) and Thursday, December 23. And for those planning a trip after Christmas, avoid leaving on Tuesday, December 28. Here’s when to fly:
- Historically, shifting departure dates to the week before or after each public holiday will save money. For example, a departure on or before November 19, 2019 has saved almost 15% compared to the departure the day before Thanksgiving. For Christmas, a departure between December 13 and 17 could save travelers more than 10%. Traveling on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas often results in cheaper fares.
- Consider a trip between the holidays: Currently, prices for domestic flights in early December (6-17) are around 15-20% cheaper than they were for the same period in 2019.
- Start the year off on the right foot: The week between Christmas and New Years is a very popular travel week and the prices often reflect this. A more economical route would be to go on New Years Eve and spend the first week of the year on vacation.
- Getting the best value for money on accommodation: It’s no secret that average daily accommodation rates have increased since travel started to pick up earlier in the year, and the trend is expected to continue during the peak holiday season. Current demand data shows prices are generally lower during the Thanksgiving holiday compared to Christmas week. For popular resort destinations in Mexico or the Caribbean such as Cancun or Punta Cana, for example, those savings could be around $ 70 or more per night.
- Car rental: For travelers who need a car during their vacation trips, price trends reveal now is the time to lock it in. Average daily rates for holiday periods are currently trending down, but as prices can fluctuate, there is no guarantee how long these rates will last. Filter the options that allow “free cancellation” Where “pay on pickup” to get even more flexibility when planning ahead.
- Economic destinations: City destinations like New York, San Francisco and Boston continue to offer the best deals in hotel prices, with vacation savings ranging from 10-35% over 2019. But if a beach getaway Preferred, winter months are a good time to go, with many warm destinations like Miami, Orange County and Myrtle Beach offering better rates compared to the summer months.
Beach destinations are still a favorite for the holidays and 2021 sees this trend strengthen. The bottom line for travelers: If any of these hotspots seem appealing, be sure to quickly confirm your travel plans for the best options and availability.
However, not all travelers head to their usual vacation spots. Examining the destinations with the biggest increases in search interest for Thanksgiving and Christmas shows that some travelers are thinking outside the box. From the eco-tourism mecca of Costa Rica to the ski slopes of Colorado, these trending destinations clearly have a lot to attract vacationers.
Flexibility is the key for winter vacations and travel.
- Book refundable stays on Expedia by filtering by “free cancellation” Where “book now, pay later” and select the refundable room option.
- Try to avoid restrictive or non-refundable airline tickets. Expedia makes it easy to compare fares during the booking process by highlighting what is or is not included with the ticket, such as seat selection, checked baggage, or whether changes are allowed. Paying a little more for flexibility can provide peace of mind, which is especially valuable during the holidays.
- Take direct flights and avoid taking the last flight of the day during the winter months as much as possible to reduce the risk of missed connections or delays due to canceled flights or winter storms.
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 restrictions and requirements for airlines, hotels and destinations. Some hotels require proof of vaccination while others may require a negative test result from an approved list of providers. Travelers can use Expedia COVID-19 Travel Advisor for more information on travel advisories and health and safety guidelines.
About the Expedia Group
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