Hectic traveling is expected to carry over into the fall, and winter seasons, at least that’s the outlook from airlines and the tourism industry.
The travel agency Hopper has analyzed data for airfare price predictions and saw strong booking demand for upcoming holiday travel after an “extraordinary” summer.
Travel experts believe the increased demand is the result of travel yeilding to the pandemic for two years and is partly because, for some travelers, the first time they will visit family for the holidays since COVID-19, said Hopper spokeswoman Lindsay Schwimer.
“Last year, omicron was surging around the holiday season, so people will be eager to take holiday trips this year and see family and friends,” she said.
Although AAA hasn’t released its seasonal prediction on holiday travel, some indicators suggest travelers should expect end-of-year travel that will be as busy as the summer, USA Today reported.
TripAdvisor’s fall travel survey, which forecasts trends between September to November, reported that 6 of 10 Americans plan to travel this fall, with nearly 49% planning to fly.
Industry experts advise travelers to book their flights as soon as possible. Don’t delay.
Now through Oct. 20 is when travelers will find the best airfares for Thanksgiving and the December holidays, Schwimer added. Higher prices and limited options are likely to take place after mid-October.
“There are still deals available now for the holidays, which is why we recommend booking as soon as you see a price you’re comfortable with,” she said.
Travelers should also avoid peak travel days; it could help save money. Expedia learned in its flight data for Thanksgiving that fliers could save an average of 5% on airfare costs by flying on the Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday before the holiday instead of Wednesday.
“For some destinations, the savings are even bigger – average ticket prices for Las Vegas, for example, drop from around $550 to $380 (round trip) just by changing the departure date to earlier in the week,” said Francheska Taveras, spokeswoman for the Expedia Group.
And if you can, consumers should book flights on the days fewer travelers are expected; Thanksgiving day and Christmas eve.